Morocco’s the kind of place you visit and wished you had taken extra empty luggage so you could stock up with gems unearthed in the famous maze of medinas. Souks in this hypnotic north African country are full to the brim with millennial catnip for the interiorsobsessed. We’re talking hand-knotted Berber rugs, rainbow-print ceramics, evileye mirrors and rattan everything. And now, Rita Bennani is saving us those extra baggage costs by bringing her decor delights from Morocco to the UAE with her home e-boutique, Beldi Bazaar.
Handira cushion cover in white, Dhs298
The 29-year-old Moroccan spotted a gap in the market when her friends kept asking her to bring homeware finds from her home country back to Dubai. “I’m inspired by the architecture, culture, scenery, food and patterns of Morocco, but it is the colour palette and the Moroccan people that inspire me the most,” Rita, who moved to Dubai in 2017, tells Bazaar. “How incredibly inspiring is it that cities in Morocco have very distinctive colour palettes? Marrakech is known as the Red City, which inspired Beldi Bazaar’s first collection of rich terracotta and beautiful warm hues of brown and beige.”
Decorated glasses, Dhs290; Rafia jug, Dhs345
For the launch of her debut online store, the savvy entrepreneur joined forces with the established Marrakech-based interiors company, Chabi Chic. “Behind this beautiful brand there are more than 18 artisans aged between 20 and 60 that are passing down tradition and savoirfaire learned from their ancestral families,” explains Rita. In this handcrafted collection is hand-painted pottery in fresh blue and warm orange shades, and striped cushions finished with tassels and blankets, the colour of which echoes the terracotta walls of Moroccan riads.
Not only does Rita insist on working only with local artisans who are paid fairly, she considers sustainability a core ethos for her business and sources ethical products and uses eco-friendly packaging. Beldi Bazaar, which means ‘traditional’ in Arabic, hopes to offer a delightful collection of feel-good wares that “perfectly illustrate Morocco’s unique charm and character,” says Rita. “It’s all about leading an authentic lifestyle.”
Available at beldi-bazaar.com
Harper's Bazaar Arabia April 2020 Issue