We’re just a bit LOKALOKA (crazy) about these totes and the Dubai based lady behind this brand without a label… Monique. In the UAE you may say – an unbranded bag brand, now that’s refreshing!
Monique believes in your personal style defining your character rather than a brand defining who you are. In her designed in Dubai brand ‘LOKALOKA’, she wants you to be free from trends and to express yourself. Sounds rather good doesn’t it? We can guarantee that after a read through this post you would have justified another bag purchase and we know for a fact it will be worth it (We’re LOKALOKA ladies ourselves so we know what we’re talking about)!
We are pleased to introduce you to the lovely Monique…
2. A rainbow of LokaLoka bags…
3. The LokaLoka bags are a staple every day bag – durable, practical yet stylish with a bit of attitude thrown in!
What sort of products do you market?
We started with leather tote bags that are now known as our classic collection. Not too long after, it evolved to several different styles of bags in different materials thus, the birth of vegan leather to cater to like-minded animal lovers.
To jazz up our classics we first offered handmade charms out of beads that were for free until we ran out of them. We also offer scarves that were initially very exclusive to Hermes, they even have a name for it, which they call “Twilly”. Again, in our case, we give it away for free with every LokaLoka bag purchase. Very soon we will be introducing “Lucky You” charms to our collection but now for a fee. These are leather die-cut charms in different shapes of animals, horseshoe, four-leaf clover, Fatima hand and sea creatures.
4. & 5. The LokaLoka ‘add on’ scarves – just that something extra to stamp your own personality with.
We are also developing new product lines such as vanity kit set, cross-body bags, wallets, etc.
We have also collaborated with different local artists and produced the “URBAG” collection. They’re one-off hand painted bags that were exhibited and part of Al-Ghurair Street Art Festival. Also part of this collection will be our upcoming collaboration with some more renowned local painters. Their works will be printed on the bags for everyone to afford.
6. – 8. The URBAG collection being showcased at Al Ghurair Centre during the Street Art Festival. Here LokaLoka collaborated with local artists creating one of a kind quirky totes. 9. A URBAG LokaLoka tote available for sale in fellow shopkeepers store KYP by Lepart
When and why did you decide to start your own business?
It was last October 2014 on my birthday when I received the first batch of bags that I designed.
It was a gift to myself, It was the pursuit of my passion for bags and the dream of someday I will quit my day job and be my own boss.
What’s the best thing about setting up your own brand?
It gives me HOPE that I can be the next Chanel.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
I thought knowing what the market wants is important but actually, the challenge is to find your market.
It’s about knowing who and where to sell. Brand positioning is the key and being a small start-up brand doesn’t leave me a lot of options putting up my products with the right market.
10. Monique hasn’t put her head in the sand (or the hedge!) – she is out there attending pop-up sales and events seeking out her LOKALOKA market…
What do you love about selling online?
Not all people would go to bazaars or markets which, in our case, as a small start-up is our only channel to sell our products. Selling online gives us the opportunity to tap that market we are trying to reach with the help of social media.
What top tips can you share with other littlemajlis.com shopkeepers?
Just like any business start-ups, word of mouth is the most powerful. Start spreading your brand with your family, friends, friends of friends, let it become viral and it’s now easier with social media.
What sets your products apart?
It’s a bag without a label.
Where do you get your inspiration to be creative from?
Am I creative? Doesn’t it just flow naturally? (Little Majlis Note: Sometimes Monique – sometimes!)
Any exciting news to share?
Ecstatic on the arrival of our lucky charms.
What keeps you awake at night?
11. Monique is active on social media and her instagram account is well worth following…
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I’m taller. Our totes would look better on me.
Do you have any pets?
She’s a lovely Shitzu named Sasha and unfortunately had to leave her in Manila.
What do you think you’d taste like?
Sweet and Sour.
Do you believe in luck?
Yes (like now filling in for a late ‘Meet…’ blog post pull out. Little Majlis note: Big thanks Monique!)
What is your golden rule?
Who is the best super-hero? Superman, Batman or Spiderman?
Edna Mode (Little Majlis note: Excellent choice!)
What is the greatest mystery of the universe?
How many foreign languages do you speak?
I speak Spanish (which I think Im losing it).
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
To be a Princess.
If you won the lottery what would be the first thing that you would buy?
What would you name the autobiography of your life?
Do you like girl groups or boy bands?
Why do you find the littlemajlis.com website appealing to shop at?
It feels very personal, the Dubai feel, the way it looks, and easy to use.
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