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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | July 11, 2020

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Interview with the A&N Boutique

Interview with the A&N Boutique

| On 02, Nov 2015

“We were on our honeymoon and we realised we didn’t want to go back to our old jobs.” Up-and-coming Brisbane power couple,  Nouf and Alex Hamze are dominating the online shopping scene with their recently opened A & N Boutique.

The boutique has grown in popularity after attracting the attention of celebrities such Amber Rose and Jenifer Hawkins. The couple opened the boutique in 2014 after they realised they were no longer happy with their full time jobs.

photo shoot
Alex, 27, said he felt over worked and underpaid being an accountant while Nouf, 24, felt under-appreciated at her retail job. “We were on our honeymoon and we realised we didn’t want to go back to our old jobs,” said Alex.

A and N boutique

Alex had studied accounting at the Queensland University of Technology while Nouf  was currently completing her degree in Human Resources.  Being a fashionista since age three, Nouf also had a keen eye for style.  With both their talents Alex knew he and his wife were capable of so much more. “I said, why don’t we combine what you know and what I know, and build a website,” said Alex

“We wanted it to just be hobby but we found we were staying up to three in the morning working on it.”

Since the couple had recently spent a large sum on their wedding, starting the business was risky.“We were both quite worried – well, extremely worried,” said Nouf.

Alex and Nouf wedding day

Alex and Nouf on their wedding day

That year they began working from their home in Fortitude Valley. At the moment Alex handles shipping, business development, accounting and the website, while Nouf is in control of sourcing the clothing, marketing and customer inquiries. “I’m on my phone all the time running the social media, the emails and responding to questions on our online chat…there is so much involved no one actually knows,” said Nouf.

Nouf evaluates each item before its put on the website. “I want to make sure the quality is always super beautiful so I try on all the clothes myself…if I like it I know the customer will like it.” She also can be found late at night scrolling through fashion blogs and Instagram to find her newest inspiration. “I’m currently focussing on celebrity style like Kylie Jenner”.

A and N boutique

In the year and half that they have been open the brand has attracted 72 thousand Instagram followers. “it’s all about connecting with the customers…I think hmm what would can I do to make their morning better, so I’ll post a photo of some amazing beach or something”

Along with their large Instagram following the boutique has also garnered some celebrity attention.

 “Jennifer Hawkins’ stylist contacted us and asked us if they could use our clothes.”

“When I found out I was like “Wow, that is such a privilege.” ”

A and N Boutique designs  Amber Rose is a regular wearer of the brand. The boutique have also been noticed by the Sydney Fashion Blogger and former Maxim model Ellie Gonsalves.

A and N boutique

Sydney Fashion blogger

Sydney Fashion Blogger

The couple work hard to keep close relationships with their suppliers in China. “We talk to the workers over Skype so we’re aware of the conditions, we don’t want to hurt anyone in the whole process of this. It’s very rare something drops below 50 dollars – we’re paying a fair amount to help the workers.”

The couple owes their growing success to their marriage in addition to their ability to build the brand slowly. “If I hadn’t met Alex I wouldn’t be doing this. Together we take things very slow, one step at time…if we don’t think we’re ready for the next step we won’t take it.”

In the future the couple hopes to expand their business and possibly take the brand to New York City.

 

Check out A & N Boutique online here, follow them on Instagram (@anboutiqueofficial) or like them on Facebook

Image credit: @anboutiqueofficial, @sydneyfashionblogger and @Amberrose