“DaadGeem is essentially a passion project and it started when [me and my partners] felt like we needed a creative outlet, so it acted as that outlet for us,” explains 27-year-old animator and storyboard artist Salma Hafez.
Run by a group of five young women – Hafez, Alia Wahby, Aya Marzouk, Mennatallah Hamdy and Nada Elsibaey – DaadGeem is an online concept store that offers unique prints and collectables designed by its founders – all of whom work in the creative field in different ways.
“[DaadGeem] is an art collective that sells original art prints and novelty items that we design and illustrate,” Hafez tells Egyptian Streets. “So far we’ve done prints, hologram stickers, pins, coasters and bookmarks that all feature our designs,” she adds.
Having been swept away in the strict rules and guidelines of professional life, these young women felt as though they needed to re-ignite the creative flame that once burnt strong during their university days. As such, after having been inspired by artists who undertake similar passion projects elsewhere in the world and make their artworks available for purchase as prints through online platforms such as Etsy, they decided that they could have their artwork available to purchase as prints for people in Egypt as well.
“We thought why not try and create pieces for people in Egypt; it makes sense that since we are a part of the Egyptian community, we will be able to create something that will cater to our community specifically,” says Hafez. “So we even shifted our way of thinking into not just having some of our old artworks available as prints, but creating new artworks that are specifically designed for DaadGeem products, such as more poster-oriented designs for example,” she continues.
Keeping in mind that the young group of designers wanted to offer the Egyptian community – whether they are artists or not – authentic memorabilia designed by local artists, DaadGeem has quickly become an important ‘shop local’ platform.
“Our designs are super versatile… even though we are five super close friends, we all consume different types of art and so even the art we produce is very different from one another and we all specialize in different things – from animation and illustration to graphic design and collage work,” Hafez says.
This is precisely why Hafez feels as though DaadGeem can offer something for everyone, especially after experiencing first-hand the diversity of their audience, in addition to the positive feedback they have been receiving.
After the success of their first batch of products – which include mainly pins, hologram stickers and prints – they are now discussing ways to branch out into various other types of product design. Hafez also added that they are looking at ways to collaborate amongst themselves in attempts to offer a unified piece that has a little bit of each of them in the design.
“We also would like to create more thematic collections based on the feedback we have been getting, and we are very excited about launching our online store from which people can directly purchase items,” Hafez tells Egyptian Streets.
Although having started out as a passion project, it is safe to say that DaadGeem is a promising platform to promote the vast and diverse talent of young Egyptian artists through wonderful collectable novelty items.