July 29, 2016, by Elizabeth Smith
Beautiful designs at Iran Sheen
In the Ingenuity Lab, no day is the same and every member has a different story and requirements. As a group, we support each other, collaborate and ensure we have as much fun along the day; creating a melting pot of ideas! Each week, we will introduce one of our exemplary members and their business to you!
A few weeks ago, we heard from the lovely Elnaz Sedighara about her business Elsedra Ltd. Not only does she run a successful consultancy business, but she also puts her fashionista credentials to good use and gives us the chance to access beautiful accessories and the click of a button through her online store, Iran Sheen.
Company name: Iran Sheen
What did you study at the University of Nottingham?
MA in International Relations
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?
I was curating a womens fashion line while I was working as part of Amazon Associates. During that time, I realised what limited choice there was for online accessories compared to what I have access to in Iran.
At the same time, friends were always asking me questions like ‘Where can I get this ring?’ and ‘Could you bring me one of those coats back next time you go to Iran?!’. I was always on the lookout for more stylish, beautiful and well made outfits, and so I set up Iran Sheen so people can have easier access to stunning Iranian designs!
What is your business concept?
Iran Sheen is a Persian design online shop. We have two main categories: women’s clothing and accessories, and decorative home accessories.
We are applying our Iranian roots to unleash the unique and beautiful quality designs. We curate the best Iranian designs and put them in our customers’ hands to help them stand out from the crowd and add a signature touch to their living rooms.
Iran Sheen is powered by Elsedra Ltd and is the first UK online platform to sell Iranian contemporary designs and handicrafts.
What stage are you currently at in setting up your company/business?
We recently launched our website and will be expanding our categories very soon. We’ve received so much positive feedback so far, which is great!
What challenges have you faced during the process?
The first challenge was convincing people that using ‘Iran’ instead of ‘Persia’ in our name was the right decision. Not many people know that Persia is a part of Iran, and for thousands of years there has been a lack of awareness of the difference between the two names. The country was renamed Iran around a hundred years ago by King Reza to bring unity between the different ethnicities, and I feel using this term emphasises modernity and unity – something my brand reflects.
Setting up Iran Sheen has been, at times, heartbreaking and frustrating! There is a lot of outdated information about trading between the UK and Iran, which has caused a lot of unnecessary obstacles. As a person who feeds the birds each day and not having a single driving ticket, I have often been left bewildered at some people’s suspicion of us being an ‘Iranian company’. We think the cultural exchange between Iran and the UK is incredibly important, and we are doing our bit through the language of art and handicraft!
I actually knew a little about Iran’s handicrafts before setting up Iran Sheen. I want my brand to motivate customers to embark on a discovery journey of Persian culture through the gateway of Iran’s handicrafts and contemporary designs. I have been exploring the designs and the young talents behind the contemporary and chic accessories, and with Iran home to over 250 different types of handicrafts, it has been a fascinating journey so far. Despite the challenges, I am so glad to be using my voice and helping promote all these amazing talented designers!
How has being an Ingenuity Lab member helped you?
I have ten words for it: great environment, valuable mentorship, friendly supports, cool networking and free hot-chocolate! 😉
What are your goals for this year?
Work with more designers and make Iran Sheen accessible in more countries!
If you would like to find out a bit more about Iran Sheen and have a look at the beautiful products they have on offer, visit their website.