I stepped into the Al Darzy boutique and was pleasantly met with a brightly lit space and plenty of natural sunlight pouring in. The shop was beautifully emblazoned with tall mirrors and gold elements, accentuating the chic and uplifting feel of the place. I sat down with Mounira Yateem, the founder and designer of the boutique. Looking impeccable in a detailed abaya, one of her first designs, she spoke candidly about her journey as an entrepreuneur.
“I am a complete perfectionist,” she says assertively, “I focus on the quality and finish of every piece.” Yateem likes to get into the nitty-gritty of things, down to the stitching technique of her designs. She graciously modeled different Abayas, Thobs and Jalabiyas for me, all of which capture the essence of the Bahraini heritage and traditional style. “I create my abayas to fit seamlessly like an open cardigan,” she says while adjusting the belt on a delicately beaded thob, “I work with fabrics from around the world including lace, silk and chiffon depending on which produces the best result.”
Originating from Urdu and literally means Taylor, the name Al Darzy is a tribute to her grandmother who taught her the term. Yateem has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the American University in Dubai and was flourishing in her career as a Compliance Officer in a prestigious bank, but with the encouragement of her family she decided to pursue her dreams of becoming a business owner. She emphasizes the importance of support from family and friends for achieving a prosperous new business and draws inspiration from her father who has successfully run Yateem Group for years. “When a family owns a business,” she says with tenacious eyes, “entrepreneurship runs in their veins.”