Empowering Motherhood: The Story of Rouqei Arts

Empowering Motherhood: The Story of Rouqei Arts

By Aya

Food|For Moms|Indoor|Lifestyle|Little Kid|Outdoor|Parenting|Play|Teens|Toddler

Established in 2016 by two Egyptian mothers, Rouqei Arts emerged from their shared belief in the transformative journey of motherhood, marked by its myriad challenges and joys. Inspired by their children, they embarked on a creative endeavor, beginning with a personalized scrapbook infused with Arabic identity; The ‘Baby’s Book of Firsts. Shortly after that, they produced a second scrapbook specifically for the preschool years; My Nursery Scrapbook, helping mothers with toddlers organize and keep the nursery memories forever. 

Their kids grew and so did their brand, introducing a second line ‘Seggadty and Isdaly,’ featuring prayer essentials for children which resonated deeply with their audience and further elevated the brand’s profile. Today, we’re privileged to have Ayah Ghoneim, the CEO and co-founder, with us to delve into the brand’s origins, its mission, and its future aspirations.

1. Can you share the story of how Rouqei Arts came to be, and what inspired you and your co-founder to start the brand?
I understood the real meaning of having your heart walk outside your body after having my daughter, Roukaia. I wanted to document all her firsts; her first shower, shoes, dress, smile, tooth and it was not an easy mission to find a scrapbook in the market that did not require a lot of writing and decoration from the mother. Moreover, it was almost impossible to find any relevance to Arabic identity and culture in the scrapbooks in the market. Therefore, I handcrafted a scrapbook which I proudly showed anyone who visited documenting Roukaia’s firsts which later became the seed where The Baby Book of Firsts stemmed from. 

I decided to take a leap of faith, stop procrastinating and produce the scrapbook to help other mothers document and keep their babies’ firsts.  It goes without saying that I couldn’t have partnered with anyone other than my best friend; Eman Elba, who had had her daughter Khadija before mine and was already sharing amazing motherhood tips and advice.

2. What were some of the challenges you faced when starting Rouqei Arts, and how did you overcome them?
Eman and I were already so busy raising our first babies and then we added another baby to take care of. Finding a print house that could provide us with the type of paper we wanted, a strong binding and a durable scrapbook was not easy. Yet after several – not so little- attempts we were lucky to find our print house and produce our book just the way we envisioned it. 

3. Your “Baby’s Book of Firsts” and “My Nursery Scrapbook” seem to be deeply rooted in Arabic identity. Can you elaborate on how you incorporate this cultural aspect into your products?
The scrapbook has more than 70 pages full of illustrated designs, each page has its own theme and topic with a designated space for the date, picture and comment box plus a couple of free pages at the end for mothers to add their unique firsts. 

Simple Arabic words, comments, proverbs are embedded in the design. In addition to being the first scrapbook in the region that includes the first Ramadan and first Eid among its firsts. 

4. “Seggadty and Isdaly” has gained significant attention. Could you tell us more about the inspiration behind this line and its impact on your brand?
Khadija, Eman’s daughter, started praying and it was almost a mission impossible to find a cool and colorful prayer set for girls. So,  we decided to launch our second production line; the prayer creations. Furthermore, Eman came up with the idea of making the prayer set colorable, yes colorable, like the trendy bags back then and washable so girls could recolor. We designed two beautiful and cheerful Isdaly patterns; one with butterflies and flowers and the other inspired by Mandela drawings leaving a few outlined and not colored icons for girls to fill with their favorite colors. Needless to say, the collection was a smashing success, and we were able to change the prayer garments scene forever. 

 Then, as our girls grew, we realized the colorable option was for the younger ones and the older girls needed a different material and outlook. So, we produced a new soft and stretch collection; the tie-dye collection offering trendy and joyful patterns changing the tween prayer scene. And mothers want to pray too, don’t they? So we produced matching mother and daughter sets to encourage them to pray together. 

 But was it enough? Do we produce prayer sets without prayer mats? 

No, we are perfectionists and if we were going to do something, we had to make sure we are doing it right and we are offering mothers – like us- with all the tools that could help them encourage their kids to pray. 

Hence, came our unique praying mat; Seggadty. It was a game changer because not only was it padded, colorful and comfortable, it also allowed kids to track their daily prayers and good deeds. 

The mat has the five prayers printed on the right and five good deeds on the left and it comes with five stars and five ticks for kids to button on top of every accomplished prayer or good deed. Moreover, the mat comes with good deeds’ cards explaining in both English and Arabic the five good deeds printed on the mat; Quran, Birr, Sunnah, Sadakah and Zikr.

5. How do you approach the design process for your products, ensuring they are both aesthetically pleasing and functional for parents and children?
Remember that we are mothers, going through the same struggles and challenges like every other mother so when we design something we test its usage, durability and practicality thoroughly. We test our products first on ourselves, our kids, our friends’ kids and ensure that we covered all the feedback before production. We are doing our best to challenge ourselves and elevate our game with every edition or collection we produce. 

6. As a co-founder and a mother, what do you hope children and parents take away from using Rouqei Arts products?
Everything you do, whatever it is, no matter how big or small, do it elegantly with Rouqei stemming from our brand name رقيAnd make sure that you are giving it your absolute best, doing it with ihsan – like we say in Arabic احسان.

7. Could you share any memorable customer experiences or feedback that reaffirmed the impact of your brand on families?
The countless mothers who messaged saying that they never had the time or energy to save their kids’ memories and our Baby book helped them do this easily.

A mother said that she used to throw away all the nursery scribbles and keepsakes but was only able to keep the meaningful ones outlined in the nursery book.

And of course, the mother who texted us that her daughter takes isdaly proudly to school to pray Duhr and is always so proud when her friends compliment her cool and trendy prayer set.

8. What future plans or expansions do you envision for Rouqei Arts? Are there any upcoming products or initiatives you’re particularly excited about?
We are excited about continuing to challenge ourselves and offer new and engaging scrapbooks and prayer creations. And who knows what our next production line is…

9. Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs, especially mothers, who are looking to start their own businesses based on their passions and experiences? 

If you believe in your idea, keep pursuing it and insist on making your vision come to life. 

Instgram page: https://www.instagram.com/rouqei.arts/

Promocode for UAE: Rouqeiforqidz
Promocode for KSA: Rouqei10

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