A Luxury Resale Consignment store brings sustainability to Bahrain

by BTM

Mon, 27 February 2023

Shohra Hussain and Re-Loved luxury items

Shohra Hussain is making waves and turning necks with Re-Loved at Nakheel Centre in Saar. There’s something for everyone, from  authentic collectable bags to custom high-end jewelry and coveted accessories by your favourite brands. Here the entrepreneur talks about her journey into the world of luxury.

Re-Loved is making access to luxury items easier with Tabby Payments by offering purchases through installments. 

1.How did re-loved luxury come about? 
I was always of an entrepreneurial mindset. I loved trade, exchanging the feeling and buzz of buying a new luxury bag, wearing it, accessorising it, receiving countless compliments and then growing out of it rapidly, with the excitement of wanting to own another piece. Luxury bags are exactly affordable. I always thought to myself how many women out there dream of these. As but can't afford to pay the full retail price no matter how hard they worked. And what happens to the bag after its worn, how is it stored? Does it just sit in the closet?

Post Covid I started to think that people are now excited by the concept of decluttering. This could lead to a huge movement to circular economy in Luxury resale. 

The idea was always there since the start of Covid but I couldn't find time to do this and I wanted a process that eliminates the risk of counterfeit. So after loads of research, I decided to get certified in authentication. I met a few Web developers, and I looked for a suitable location, not too far from home. I launched the website, wrote to friends and family and with their support started with a 100 consignments and here we are now.

2. Tell us a bit about yourself? 
I'm a Bahraini, Mother of two, and have lived most of my life in Dubai. I spent 20 years in the Corporate world. I've been a part time Reseller since 2012, I was one of the most influential resellers in the United Arab Emirates. 

3. How has your business been received in Bahrain? 
It's been well received. One of the comments I receive are what a great business idea, what a cool concept so glad we have it in Bahrain. Sellers are so happy they dont need to courier their bags to other resellers in the US, UK or UAE, and that they have their very own consignment store in town.

4. What is the most popular brand? 

5. How can you spot a fake? 
I spent a full month in San Francisco with the leadership team and Authentication experts of TRR. Oh you don't know who they are. The pioneers of Luxury Resale. THE REAL REAL. They made the Forbes list, years in a row during the decade where E Commerce boomed in the United States. The training I received was like no other training. It was literally on the job training. I learnt so much about all types of specimens of Hermes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. 

However, the world of Authentication has developed so much ever since. I am associated and trained of late by Entrupy. 

Entrupy is the only company using artificial intelligence to instantly authenticate luxury handbags and accessories., whose mission is to become the Verisign of physical goods to attack the $1.7 trillion sales of counterfeit goods globally. I'm a humble qualified authenticator and I work closely with the authentication team. We have busted a handful of fakes since our launch in Bahrain. 

6. Describe the re-loved consignment journey from client to client? 
No single journey is the same. Customers need to sign up and then use the Sell now option to request an online quote. Most clients however send images on whatsapp and instagram (this is our virtual request option. The third is to come to the store and the fourth is VIP Concierge. We go to the clients residence and help them decide which items to resell. We help them with the logistics they don't need to leave their home. They just need to approve the quotes on the very next day and wait to get paid. 

We have had some good traction on the third option. Customers either just walk in with their items or message us first and short list and then drop off the item. We also offer courier services where we pick up the item. 

7. Why is your concept important for sustainability and the circular economy? 
The fashion industry is starting to move away from a linear system to a regenerative one. This is not just for brands, but for designers, retailers, operators and customers. Circular fashion is about eliminating pollution and waste, reusing, recycling and extending the life cycle of products. It is about caring for the planet and people. To achieve market transformation, someone needs to create a platform for such resale to happen. This is where Reloved comes in finding a home for each luxury piece and allowing for the item to get appreciated and used and hence extending its life cycle. 

8. What is your ultimate vision for your business? 
Growth. I plan to expand into other cities and countries. I want to make the process easy and grow the inventory to hundreds of thousands. I want to provide this service to customers across the region,Growing the online and offline channels and using social media, influencers, google campaigns and whatever channels I can to allow for customers to sell or buy at a click. 

9. What does a typical day look like for you? 
No one day is the same. I have some days where I receive walk-ins and work on pricing, research authentication and offer generations and another where I focus on sales and walk-ins and responding to online and DM queries. 

The best days for me are when an Hermes or AP or Rolex is sold or deposited for resale. I love how people talk about the store and how word of mouth has become the number one means in which people hear about the business and become curious to visit the store. I love it when a husband and wife come in together and then one of them sneaks back to buy the item their spouse liked. I love it when besties come in together, thats a whole nother vibe. 

10. What is the greatest asset required for this business? 
Personality and energy essentially are the most important traits or assets one can have to run this business. capital of course helps.