Independent Store Icons: Dar Beida Moroccan Living

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of boho decor.  The whole relaxed, laid back, non matchy matchy idea of colourful living is really attractive.  One reason that I find it so appealing is that it's almost completely non trend orientated.  The entire concept of boho is that it is individual to each person and leans heavily towards texture, colour and bringing the outside in.  

As a style, it takes huge amounts of inspiration from Moroccan living and Moorish architecture including traditional riad decor.  The word riad means 'garden' and these homes often focus on a central garden or courtyard.  This relaxed living style filled with greenery is what has filtered in to our own boho homes.  More recently, elements of bohemian styling have become current as the concept of decorating your home based on what you love rather than what's on trend has gained in popularity.  Moroccan design has the ability to incorporate easily with current styles and that's what has made it so incredibly popular.

Since I have been on social media, I have been lucky enough to become friends with plenty of amazingly creative small business owners whilst working with them to promote their brands.  The great thing about Instagram is that it provides an outlet for these business to promote to a market that they wouldn't necessarily previously have been able reach.  This has enabled them to grow their business organically and it's always fantastic to see this developing.

One company that I have always loved supporting is Dar Beida Moroccan Living, a company I was introduced to last year.  They sent me an amazing pale pink Moroccan pom pom blanket which I posted on my feed to much acclaim, mostly because it was absolutely gorgeous and so unlike anything that I'd seen before.  Since then, I've worked with them on several occasions and they are the nicest, most friendly people that you could ever hope to chat to.  Their unique stock is constantly updating and is consistently beautiful quality, ranging from soft Moroccan leather slippers to fabulous Handira wedding blankets.  Each of their vintage Boucherouite rugs is completely individual and they source every item themselves from Morocco.

So I was really keen to find out a bit more about the owners, Ishwak and Bushra, and how their business came about.

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Tell us a bit about you both.

Hi!  We are sisters Ishwak and Bushra and we are from Liverpool.  We are both married - Ishwak has three boys and one girl and Bushra has two girls and one boy.  Our company is called Dar Beida Moroccan Living, a homage to our Moroccan heritage.  We are an online homeware store specialising in Berber rugs, textiles and quirky pieces.  

Our passion for interiors and our love for all things Moroccan is why we decided to start our own business. We both personally travel to Morocco, sourcing unique vintage Berber rugs and handira blankets as well as ethically made textiles from local artisans.  Most importantly, we only sell the items that we really love.

Our mission is to bring home with us authentic, bohemian, eclectic and tribal home-wares for our customers, so that everyone can enjoy a beautiful piece of Magical Morocco.  

How and why did you decide to start your business together?

We spent most of our childhood summers on our grandparents farm in Morocco, so growing up with Moroccan culture and design has left us in awe of the beauty of its craftsmanship, even as adults.  The souks of Morocco is our sanctuary which is why we are forever bringing home with us a small "souvernier"...or two! We have always been eager to share our love of Moroccan interiors and we know how well they can marry in contemporary settings, so scouring our local antique markets has always been a past time of ours. 

We first started selling on Etsy in June 2016.  We launched our website, Dar Beida Moroccan Living, in November 2016, so we are fairly new.  We work from home as this gives us the freedom to work around our children.  However, our goal for 2018 is to open up a showroom in Liverpool to showcase our beautiful pieces.

We decided on the name Dar Beida (the arabic word for Casablanca) as it is where our family originate from, it's also a play on words as it translates to "WHITE HOUSE" in Arabic. We are an online web shop specialising in Moroccan textiles and home accessories vintage and new, we personally source our products from all over Morocco travelling through small berber villages as well as various towns and souks. 

How would you describe your own personal style?

Well our personal styles are very similar we would describe it as a fusion of vintage, mid- century, industrial and scandi-boho all with a Moroccan twist of course!

What is your top interior styling tip?

Our top interior styling tip has got to be to invest in a Moroccan rug! Not only are they timeless they can instantly bring a room together and will add character to any space.

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Who would you say was your design icon?

We both really admire Modernist Architects such as Alvar Aalto.  We also admire Charles and Ray Eames for their amazingly sleek designs and their boldness of pairing mid-century interiors with Berber rugs in the 1940s.

Ishwak and Bushra will be attending a couple of Pop Up Shops leading up to the Christmas period so watch their feed for details.  Their latest shipment of brand new stock is due in October.

With many thanks to Dar Bedia Moroccan Living for taking the time to chat to me and I wish them every success in the future!  You can contact Iswak and Bushra via the following social media platforms.