Thanks for sharing your story with us Akram. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Poetic, concise, elegant. Arabic checks all the boxes for a beautiful language. I was always obsessed with it, trying to find new ways to bring the uniqueness of it into a new medium. I always felt like it was such a stunning language reserved for those who spoke it when in reality, the beauty of it is that it can be taught, learned, and appreciated by all. I would spend hours every night trying to find how others had pushed the beauty of the Arabic language into something special, but I was never happy with what I found. Instead of continuing to search, I decided to take it into my own hands and create a company that revolved around the beauty of the language. More than just an aesthetic, I wanted to make everything meaningful, just like Arabic. I wanted to establish not just a company, but a brand, that knocked down the barriers between people who spoke different languages and practiced different religions, and unite us all through a beautiful language that everyone can be proud of. And on January 22nd of 2018, Nominal was founded.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We feel extremely blessed to have love and support from over 50 countries and over 30,000 Nominal owners throughout the world. However, it has been a bumpy ride, and here and there, we still run into obstacles, but it is the pressure of the obstacles that have created our diamonds.
When we first began, we ran into many designs, quality, attention to detail, communication, and lead time issues with our manufacturers. We also ran into many funding issues and had moments where we didn’t know how we were going to pay the remaining balances of our bulk orders.
The best advice that I can give to another entrepreneur starting a brand is to never sacrifice quality. With every new category of products that we come out with, we sample from multiple manufacturers. With these different manufacturers, we pay attention to how well they communicate with us, how seriously they take our deadlines, how attentive to product details they are, and how great their quality is. We don’t believe in cutting corners.
Once we receive our samples, we review the pros and cons and then decide which manufacturer we would like to proceed with as our partner. We learned this the hard way.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Nominal – what should we know?
We specialize in Arabic inspired accessories. Our best selling item is our Custom Name Necklace. This is a fan favorite, as both individual purchases and as gifts, because it is such a thoughtful piece and it resonates well with the new owner. We also specialize in cuffs and pendants that hold powerful words and quotes that serve as meaningful reminders. For example, we have a cuff that has “Verily, with hardship comes to ease” engraved on it, and necklaces with pendants that have words like “Faith” and “Passion” engraved on them, in both Arabic and English.
We also pride ourselves in our speedy customer service and fulfillment time, all within a maximum of 24 hours. We are close to 1,000 reviews on our website and have an average 4.7-star rating, and that is not only because of our quality products and unique designs but because we take genuine care of our clients. We don’t deserve anyone’s hard earned money if they are not happy, and we truly mean that. It is sad that we are complimented so much on our customer service because that means people aren’t used to it. Companies often forget that wouldn’t exist without their clients.
It has also been a dream of ours to build a platform and use it to raise funds and awareness towards the individuals who are less fortunate. Every single month, we have a new “Dead of the Month,” where we choose a new cause and a new set of items that we donate 25% of sales towards. This month, we are donating towards feeding families in Palestine and sponsoring orphans to go to school in Africa.
What’s your outlook for the industry over the next 5-10 years?
I think that more companies will start shifting in the same direction as ours because it is becoming more and more important to individuals that they dress with purpose. Every single accessory and piece of clothing worn is worn with thought and for a reason. I think that people are finally starting to embrace every single detail of who they are, whether it be their ethnicity, religious beliefs, political views, or skin tone."