Business & Technology

How an Egyptian Teenager Turned her Hobby Into an Eco-Friendly Business

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How an Egyptian Teenager Turned her Hobby Into an Eco-Friendly Business

Photo credit: Nouks

Only 17 years of age, Nour Louis admires art in all its forms. When like many other high school students she found her everyday life suddenly changed by the lockdown that came with the COVID-19 pandemic, a new door of creativity opened to her.

With a special fondness for the iconic blue ‘evil eye’, one of Louis’ favorite hobbies is making beaded accessories. And so, at the height of the pandemic in June 2021, she saw an opportunity and took it.

“I wanted this hobby to become a professional business,” says Louis.

Thus, the small local business Nouks was born.

Starting small with the beaded accessories that had led her down the road of selling handmade items, Louis slowly grew her budding brand. But as the year wore on and the summer months came to an end, she began to think of expanding her collection.

Feeling that the beads were “more summery”, the self-taught Egyptian teen elicited the help and support of her mother and sister, and introduced tote bags to grow her brand further.

“Our tote bags are made from recycled material,” Louis tells Egyptian Streets. “They are meant to promote sustainable consumption for customers by offering them eco-friendly and stylish bags which they can carry, instead of choosing other non-sustainable products.”

Louis describes her brand as a “multiple-woman show” as there are many parties involved in the creation of Nouks’ products. Many of the handmade items are produced by a group of hardworking unprivileged women in local workshops at Al Ghoria, Al Azhar, and Ain Shams.

Designed by Louis herself, Nouks products aim to spread positivity, and as such, the designs are mainly colorful and eye-catching, with a twist of the evil eye, Louis’s personal favorite.

 

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A post shared by Nouks (@__nouks__)

“My biggest challenge was to be able to create a balance between my business, my family, and school. I did not want Nouks to affect my grades,” Louis tells Egyptian Streets. “I was also worried about convincing customers to buy from a business managed by a teenager.”

Despite her age being a challenge at the beginning, Louis utilized this challenge in her market research of what products other young people would like to purchase, as well as the kind of designs they would be attracted to.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Nouks (@__nouks__)

Holding a strong belief that hard work always pays off, Louis believes her brand has the potential to be accessible to a global audience soon.

“We’ve already caught the attention of international customers, but we still do not deliver outside Egypt,” she says. “However, we’re working on it and we’ll hopefully achieve it soon.”

Follow Nouks on Instagram to know more about their products and announcements. 

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A journalism graduate from the American University in Dubai who is curious, spontaneous, and often rebellious, Marina is a passionate Cairo-based journalist who aspires to become one of the most influential women in the Middle East. She likes to follow her heart and express that through words; her favorite form of expression.

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