Zainnab Al Kurdi, Founder, The Local Concept

Transforming the way locals shop.

Meet forward-thinking owner of virtual e-shop, The Local Concept in Amman, Zainnab Al Kurdi.

Zainnab explains her purpose behind supporting her Jordanian community and her opinion on the adoption of virtual shopping amongst Jordanian consumers. 

About The Local Concept

A curated e-commerce platform and lifestyle brand founded in 2020 to join all local Jordanian brands in a one-stop-shop, with the aim to become home to Jordan’s talented designers and expose them to the world.

The Local Concept is considered a community that connects buyers with the designers and tells the story of each product.

1. Describe yourself as owner of THE LOCAL CONCEPT in one sentence.

I am a curious individual who always had the interest in meeting new people, discovering new places, and supporting local businesses.

2. You describe the platform as “A curated e-commerce platform and lifestyle brand founded in 2020 to join all local Jordanian brands in a one-stop-shop;” why specifically did you choose to only focus on Jordanian designers only for the time being? Do you foresee this changing in the future?

I chose the Jordanian market for the time being because we have so many emerging, talented designers that need more exposure. We are living in challenging times and need to support one another. I realized there is potential for e-commerce and that we needed a curated e-commerce platform in Jordan that joins unique designs in one place.

I am not sure how this will unfold in the future as I have many ideas floating around and so much energy to grow the platform and expand. Our local community needs exposure and I hope that one day I would be able to introduce our local talents to the region and to bring in talented designers from the region to Amman.

3. Tell us more about why, how and when you decided to launch the online shop during COVID.

Before COVID, I was working on launching a different concept that involved brick and mortar, but when the pandemic hit I realized brick and mortar is not here to stay and saw an opportunity in online stores. My idea was at a very early stage, at the time, which enabled me to change it around and create this platform. I have always been interested in lifestyle marketplaces and concept stores, so I wanted to create that experience on my own, but also to support the local community.

"Our local community needs exposure and I hope that one day I would be able to introduce our local talents to the region."

4. From your experience, how is purchasing behavior different in person versus online? 

I think people are more confident to spend when shopping in person, and they usually spend more. However, people are starting to accept the idea of online shopping much better than before, especially in Amman, and have become more confident in doing so.

5. How would you rate the success of online shopping in Amman in general, before COVID and during? Is this the future?

I don’t think I have enough experience to judge the success of online shopping in Amman and compare it to before COVID, but I can definitely say that this is the future. We have been witnessing a growth in home-based businesses selling on Instagram the past few years, but also due to the pandemic, businesses had to adapt and start investing in online platforms.

6. What methods have been the most effective for you to get customers to trust in and invest in emerging, new brands online?

The main idea behind the platform was to give each brand an identity through its founders by telling their story. We have a very small community in Amman and I think for many people a part of why they usually purchase and trust emerging or new designs is mainly because they know the person/designer behind the brand and they want to support them.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

7. What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to move their physical stores to online shops?

I say definitely go for it! We are living through a very uncertain time and the best way to survive is to adapt and to take risks. Maintaining physical stores at the moment can be very costly.

8. What is in the future for THE LOCAL CONCEPT?

There are a lot of ideas on the table. The Local Concept is definitely envisioning a future that combines an online experience with a combination of a personalized offline experience. Who knows…