If the name itself doesn’t entice you, then the store definitely will. Closet Candy, like its owner Dana Al-Khubaizi, is cute and ever so stylish. It’s designed as a walk-in closet, with shelves and racks to your left and right.

The store houses labels from New York, Los Angeles and London. Some are exclusive to Closet Candy, such as Charlotte Ronson, AKA New York, Ksubi, Primp, Siwy and many more. Other lines they carry include C&C California, Mike & Chris and Current/Elliot. Most of the labels in the store are featured in fashion magazines and are favored by celebrities.

Dana’s venture into the fashion industry meant to fill a gap in the market. She says, “In 2006, the Kuwait fashion market was filled with high street and designer boutiques, with a clear gap where contemporary fashion should be. I noticed a lack in stand-alone boutiques on fashionable streets, the likes of Robertson in L.A, King’s Road in London and Soho in New York. I opted to open Closet Candy in the fashionable Salhiya area as a stand-alone boutique, a concept that was almost non-existent but is catching on in Kuwait right now.”

After obtaining her MA in International Relations from the University of Denver in 2003, Dana developed a career in IGOs and NGOs including the U.N and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. Her interest in fashion never waned, as she was always aware of the importance of a well put-together outfits, so she decided to open Closet Candy. Says Dana, “Managing Closet Candy was tough at first because I had a full time job and it was difficult to deal with the start-up of the boutique and work. I had to take some time off to manage Closet Candy and train the sales staff. It’s important to be hands-on with a small business and be involved in everything from A-Z.” After two years of growing demand, Dana resigned from her day job to work on the store full time.

The exposure to the fashion industry has been a learning experience for Dana. She enjoys being in the know about next season’s trends before they hit the stores. She loves travelling, networking, and styling outfits for photo shoots. That is not to say that running the boutique is without challenges; dealing with an unstable market can be hazardous to business. A number of the designers she carried had to cut their collections due to the economic crisis. In addition, there is an increase in competition between emerging and established competitors. “The good part is it pushes you to find hotter designers to introduce to the Kuwait fashion market, and to continuously evolve to stay unique in this market.”

Fashionable Dana gives Khaleejesque readers a final word of encouragement for young and aspiring entrepreneurs: “Get inspired, innovate, rather than copycat and follow your goal to the last step.”

For more information, visit www.shopclosetcandy.com

– Alya Al-Othman


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