This month, we are proud to showcase the arab pop culture brand that is taking the MENA region by storm- Jobedu.
Walking into the store, it’s apparent that Jobedu is a lifestyle and streetwear brand. They sell clothes, posters, notepads, sketchbooks, keychains, stickers and so much more, but what makes them stand out is the artwork on these products. Jobedu promotes local street artists to create artistic, cultural content that is relevant to the youth in the MENA region. They are also the franchisee owners of Warner Bros, Disney, DC and Universal, so they are able to create artworks that appeal to fans of the brands, but with a local twist.
Jobedu started working with Tap when they were looking for a payment gateway for their e-commerce store in Kuwait. Through Tap’s easy-to-integrate plugins, they started accepting payments for their Shopify e-commerce store in Kuwait, shortly followed by their e-commerce store in Jordan and Saudi as well. This has allowed them to scale their business and sell to customers from around the world.
We had a chance to sit down with Tareq Al Awadhi, the partner and country manager of Kuwait, and virtually with Tamer al Masri, the co-founder and CEO- who’s currently in Jordan- to talk about the growth of Jobedu.
What was the inspiration behind Jobedu?
We were inspired by how western pop culture has many brands that represent it for the youth, whether it is Virgin or MTV, and wanted a pop culture brand of our own that represents Arab pop culture. We decided to build a brand that circulates regionally relevant designs and artwork on streetwear products and we called it Jobedu.
What was your biggest obstacles in the beginning?
Our biggest obstacle was to get suppliers to believe in us enough to accept our low quantity orders. With time though as we built scale it became easier to get suppliers on board and join the tribe.
How has switching from retail-only to an online store as well helped with your expansion?
With retail you serve specific countries and you can only serve more countries, if you are physically present there, which comes with its own set of challenges. Through Jobedu.com, the world is our neighborhood. However, retail is still important as it offers us a chance to allow our customers to get to know us and the brand on a more personal level.
How has Jobedu helped promote street art and artists?
The core of Jobedu’s brand strength comes from the artists we collaborate with. Every artist adds a different flavor to the brand, which represents how colorful and vibrant our pop culture is. Jobedu is dedicated to promoting amazing talent in the region.
What made you decide to expand to Kuwait?
Kuwait is and always will be one of the pop cultural powerhouses in the Arab World. The 70’s/80’s were defined by the pop culture that was being consumed by the whole region from Kuwait and so we thought it was a perfect fit for a brand dedicated to presenting all the awesomeness we all love.
What made you choose Tap as your payment gateway?
We always look for partners who simplify complex operations with the end user in mind in every step of the way and Tap fit the bill.
Any advice for someone looking to start their own business?
Your dream is the end result of a very tiring and demanding series of experiments, mistakes, small victories that require your patience. Focus every step of the way to materialize, and enjoy the ride!
For those interested, Jobedu is located on the ground floor of 8 Mall, Salem al mubarak street, Salmiya. If you'd like to follow them on instagram instead, it's jobedu.kw.