Kamsyn’s Special Holiday Gift Guide: 11 Locally Made Ideas you can find in Beirut

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Holiday shopping is just around the corner, and what’s better than a gift that is thoughtful and crafted with passion. At Kamsyn we decided to go local this year and compile a list of 11 small brewed businesses that energize the country with their creative ideas, craftsmanship, and forward-looking visions. In Exclusive Collaboration with A Muse in Beirut Founder Maria Lati, Kamsyn went to meet the founders of such outstanding initiatives and find out about their take on Lebanon’s distinctive vibe.

 

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1- Boshies:  

 

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Beanies FW 16 Collection feat Latiza & Latizé      Photo Kamsyn

Boshies is a Lebanese clothing brand, promoting Neo-Oriental lifestyle. The brand has been known for its new take on the traditional Tarboosh. Historically, a dress code only for men, today becoming the unisex striped Boshie hats, beanies and scarves. 100% Made in Lebanon.

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Beanies FW 16 Collection feat Ely  El Khoury    Photo Kamsyn

Elias El Haddad, as the Founder of Boshies, in what way does living in Lebanon inspire you ?

When it comes to design, fashion, art, gastronomy and culture, Lebanon has always been at the forefront of Arab and Oriental innovation and progress. So there is no better place in the world than Beirut to ignite big ideas and projects, and strive for universal spread. Nahda 2.0 is underway!

Insta, Facebook

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lea-bsaibes-geom-apartment-interior-designed-by-lea2-  Léa Bsaibes 

Interior Architect Léa Bsaibes has designed two product lines made in Lebanon.

Flam is a minimal table lamp, flexible for multiple uses. It is carefully handcrafted, entirely made with solid wood, and features an accent colour on its base. Flam is available in two different sizes, and a number of colour variations.

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Geom is a fun and practical collection of side and coffee tables, in solid wood, handcrafted with smooth angular edges. Some tables have a coloured top with a back painted glass giving it a refined, fresh look.

Lea what do you think of Lebanon’s creative scene ?

The creative scene in Lebanon has known a huge boost in the last 5 years. Many new galleries and exhibition spaces have popped up all around Beirut, showcasing not only the work of known local/international famous designers but also the great pieces of new Lebanese talents. Our culture is very rich in all its aspects and this is directly translated in the work we do.

 Lea’s Insta

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3- Kapi & Oz:

Kapi & Oz Founder Tania Tabet Ghanem:

We redesign high quality tasty sweets into trendy little boxes and packaging. Whether premium chocolate, hard candy, jelly beans and more, the concept is to present them in creatively handcrafted packaging catered almost uniquely for our customer’s events. But what truly separates us from the lot is that we revamp traditional Lebanese and Arab sweets by offering them in modern and trendy designs. This is how our business aims at passing on strong traditions and a deeply rooted cultural heritage to new markets and generations to come.

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Why did you chose to launch your project ? Why in Lebanon ?

On several occasions, I searched for sweet delicacies for events, and found that designs, packaging and presentation were outdated, recurrent. Coming from an architectural background, I tend to give importance to the smallest details. I thought why not merge my love for chocolate and sweets with the design skills I developed as an architect and create a brand that would freshen up this industry and cater to younger generations. Lebanon has always been a benchmark when it comes to events and traditions.

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It made sense for it to be my first market. Part of my CSR is to help Lebanese women produce their specialties from their houses (Under proper hygienic conditions), allowing them to showcase their creativity while bringing extra income to those families without having them to leave their children and house or invest in a store.

Kapi & Oz’s Insta

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4- Elsa O

I have been blogging for 3 years now and I am happy to announce that I have created my own jewellery brand. Since I am a retro fanatic and a fan of colours, Elsa O. items  are vintage inspired with their colours shining bright.

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What would be your advice for those who would like to start a project in Lebanon ?

One of my inspirations was Lebanon and this is because it is such a chaotic place that inspires artists out there. This is where I find that all hidden talents can be revealed in the Lebanese platform allowing them to start new projects.

Elsa O’s Insta

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5- RimRam Gourmet

A mother and daughter duo home made cooking and catering Atelier. Rima prepares the dishes, Lebanese and international cuisine with unique flavours.

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The pastry line, Little Miss Sweets, homemade traditional desserts with a distinguished texture are created by Riwa, Rima’s daughter.

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In what way does living in Lebanon inspire you ?

Living in Lebanon inspires me to cook traditional Lebanese cuisine with a twist. It encourages transmission of family recipes and requires patience and dedication, giving it a unique touch. I like to see people enjoy my cuisine and it’s hidden flavours and perfumes.

Little Miss Sweets Insta

 

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Photo Clémence Cottard

6-    Dima Boulad

Dessine-moi un oeil is an illustration project by Dima Boulad. Dima is a multi disciplinary designer and artist working in and from Beirut. Her art is an exploratory journey of automatic drawings spread across different surfaces.

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Photo Clémence Cottard

She experimented with her distinct abstract and geometric style on ceramics, murals, wood paintings and print.

Find her work on: www.dessinemoiunoeil.co

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Photo Clémence Cottard

What do you think of Lebanon’s creative scene ?

 I love the energy that drives Lebanese designers. We are doers, despite the very little infrastructure that would help boost our creations. Beirut is a great place to start testing products and ideas, I would aim for more collaborations between designers and design spaces.

Dima’s Insta

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7- Muscade Patisserie

Muscade is a small pastry shop and family business started in 2013 by Ziad Haroun. You can find all from unique homemade individual desserts, chocolate, biscuits and special desserts on occasions like chocolate truffles and Christmas logs freshly prepared by Ziad in the Atelier at the back of the shop.

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Why did you chose to launch your project? Why in Lebanon?

I am a free spirit, some say stubborn. After I graduated from university I couldn’t work in an office. I decided to turn my passion into a career mixing it with imagination and artistry.  I travelled to France for an intensive program in pastry, chocolaterie and boulangerie then returned here and started my project. The area I live in doesn’t have a pastry shop with homemade products, original and unique desserts. In Europe, small pastry shops are encouraged by locals and authorities, so why not hope that someday the Lebanese market can do as much for homemade and handcrafted initiatives ?

Muscade’s Insta  and Facebook

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8-  Standout by Tamara Azar

Standout is a creative boutique that takes forward Art Direction, Setups, Visual Arts and Design to an exceptional space of art. In addition to the creative services that Standout provides, it has recently launched a collection of Conceptual creative products.

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What would be your advice for those who would like to start a project in Lebanon ?

Considering the limited Market that we have, starting such a business is hard in Lebanon and sometimes it seems impossible due to the limited resources that we have. So my sincere advice would be not to give up.It will take time and a lot of patience, it is for sure challenging yet very rewarding.

Standout’s Insta

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9- Peter’s Gourmet Delights

Homemade, handmade, no preservatives cultured butters and buttermilk, fine dressings, herbed olive tapenades, chutneys, horseradish and food for the soul. Peter’s Delights embraces recycling and no plastic in packaging.

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In what way does living in Lebanon inspire you ?

Lebanon is a crossing point, everything that’s wrong and right in the world you can find right around the corner

Peter’s Delights Insta

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10-Atelier Bellagio by Youmna Salame

Atelier Bellagio is a floral design studio that specializes in sophisticated and high end floral arrangements for weddings and events. Its bridal bouquets are custom-made and are created with the most refined natural flowers.

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What do you think of Lebanon’s creative scene ?

I think that Lebanon creative scene is very rich and lively thanks to all the Lebanese who travel a lot, study abroad and bring back many ideas.

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The combination between western, Mediterranean and middle eastern cultures creates a very interesting melting pot of creativity.

Atelier Bellagio’s Insta

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11-Hoda ET Chocolat

In the early eighties, Hoda elaborated in her kitchen an old secret recipe of a British toffee called Cupidon. She also was on of the very few confectioners in the Middle East who successfully prepared the refined French recipe of the Almond Fondant.

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Thirty five years later, Hoda owns an authentic chocolate kitchen. She continuously innovates in her artistic sweets’ creations. Hoda et Chocolat, the brand, has been created in 2010 and is today recognized as an up-market, hand-made, chocolate maker within a full-fledged professional network.

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Why did you chose to launch your project? Why in Lebanon

Hoda started 35 years ago, working from home, to stay close to her two daughters. Today, with her elder, she continues to develop her work, making a point in staying in her hometown. She cooperates and employs hard-working housewives.

Besides the fact that most of her products are a mixture of oriental and occidental flavors and recipes such as mastic, ganache, sahlab, cardamom, where else than in Lebanon could one experience, and be inspired by such a rich blend of cultures ?

Hoda Et Chocolat’s Insta

Guide Prepared in Special Collaboration with A Muse in Beirut

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Kamsyn, December 2016