An old beach chalet with a view of the Gulf is home to Zeri Crafts. This restored, sunlit bungalow set against a backdrop of Kuwaiti high rises houses a carefully curated collection of handmade products inspired by the Gulf area. The name Zeri Crafts is derived from the Persian word for gold thread, to convey a sense of the beauty, lightness and continuity it represents. Designers and artisans are commissioned to produce a range of products that include mubkhar, incense burners, textiles, and camel leather pieces. The space is light and airy, displays are modular, and change often keeping the product looking fresh. Clients, mainly locals looking for unique gifts, appreciate the understated luxury and handcrafted nature of the products.
Laila Al-Hamad opened Zeri Crafts in 2012 to bring a modern approach to heritage crafts of the Gulf area. Well travelled, Laila worked in international development in the Middle East and Asia for over a decade before opening the shop. She is inspired by nature, simplicity and lightness of being, which is evident throughout Zeri Crafts. She loves merchandizing, displaying the products, and sharing the stories behind them. Laila hopes to continue exploring new horizons and to expand the business, both across product and geographic lines. Last year one of the mubkhars was selected to be part of an exhibition at the Triennale Museum in Milan.
On Gulf crafts
“ I am proud to have transformed an idea – modernizing Gulf handicrafts – into a reality, and helping open peoples’ eyes to the beauty of our heritage.”
Salmiyah, Baghdad Street, Kuwait
Photographs: Huda Abdulmughni & Zeri Crafts