Located in a mall, which overlooks the Arabian Sea, is a quirky little boutique called Fortune Cookie. Ever since it opened its colourful doors 5 years ago, Fortune Cookie has charmed people for many reasons. Artsy interiors, quirky gift pieces and home accessories, limited edition wear, and abundant use of colour and nostalgia ensured that clientele would remain steady – either out of curiosity or for a new shopping experience in every visit. So, whoever talked, blogged, or reviewed the Fortune Cookie, certainly did so glowingly.
Although not much of a shopper, I have a hopeless soft-spot for curios-and-quaint shops that offer something other than fashionable names and winsome products. The concept belongs to Kuwaiti entrepreneur, Areej Al Kharafi, who opened the original little store at Karizma, but soon after moved their address to a bigger place. The entire idea revolves around gifts and the elemental surprise that defines a fortune cookie. With a slogan “Today is your lucky day” Areej intended and succeeded to recreate for shoppers the notion of a ‘new fortune’ in every visit.
As I crossed over the threshold, I had the feeling of stepping onto a mid-80’s Arabic theatre set or sitcom, ready with props and lights and waiting for the actors to appear go about their script. My eyes darted from item to item, triggering off nostalgic feel-good memories, absorbing the craft and flashback in every article and transporting me to the world of my childhood.
In what appears to be odds-and-ends, is actually Fortune Cookie’s USP. The boutique specializes is inspired pieces of traditional Kuwaiti identity from the oldest candy, iconic actors and television personalities to old home décor. Apart from an in-house brand, especially made by designers sharing their vision, they also carry selected pieces from variety of international designers. As a result, you will neither find multiples of a piece nor two of the same kind. It is also clear that their focus is on women shoppers.
The store’s interiors deserve to be lauded as much as the boutique itself. Undoubtedly, Areej found a dream-mate-of-a-designer in the delightful Salah Zamani, who owns Baraka Designs. Known for his fusion art and multitude use of colour, Salah Zamani shrewdly interspersed traditional Kuwaiti and Arabian elements in designing a modern store right from the floor, traditional doors with funky deco, pillars and settee to overhead lights and chandeliers.
For a boutique, Fortune Cookie is bang on target with the unusual and one-of-a-kind set against a backdrop of a bygone generation. Recently, Fortune Cookie has opened up a second branch in the Souk district of the popular Avenues Mall, thus, cementing the presence of this home-grown store in a world of giant brands and international franchises.
Fortune Cookie Boutique is located on the 2nd Floor in Olympia Mall and a new branch at the Souk district, Avenues Mall, Kuwait. To learn more anbout the boutique click here, or follow them @FortuneCookieQ8 on Twitter and Instagram.
WORDS & IMAGES: SHABANA H. SHAIKH