Before becoming an entrepreneur, Naoual was a regular employee at a company. “I am well aware that you can lose your job overnight and hit rock bottom, or move up the ladder until you hit a ceiling and end up stalling.” It was after reflecting on her job that Naoual made a decision that would transform her career completely: she chose to launch her own business. And what attracted her most to entrepreneurship? “I am aware that in the business world, you can hit rock bottom, but you can never be stuck because there is no ceiling,” she declares with ambition and enthusiasm.
Naoual and her husband, who is also her business partner, grew up in enterprising families. Despite this family tradition, they had both settled for salary jobs instead. “We went to school here, we worked here, and then all of a sudden we decided to go back to our roots and start a business here,” says Naoual. But a business idea was needed first. “My husband and I looked at several business opportunities and finally decided to expand the family’s factory business in Morocco.” So it was family tradition that brought them back to it.
So Naoual and her husband decided to import the products made in their families’ factories in Morocco and bring them to the Canadian market. The high quality carpets were already exported to Europe and Asia, but not yet on Canadian soil. This is a first for Tapis Lina, a young company that’s barely a year old. “We knew that our project was a promising one, especially since we are the only ones who offer real Moroccan rugs for the first time in Canada,” says the confident entrepreneur.
At Tapis Lina, Naoual and her team listen to their customers. A bit of magic and a phone call to their designers in Morocco allow them to create custom-made pieces, to suit their customers’ taste. The wish of each one can then become reality.
What makes your brand stand out?
Naoual is especially proud of both the quality of the products and the service she provides to her customers. She explains, “In our business model, we are the owners of our store, we have the freedom to carefully choose our products ourselves, which makes our rugs unique.” The dedicated entrepreneur considers herself fortunate for the opportunity to offer custom-made products. “For example, we are able, thanks to the collaboration of our wonderful designers and the entire team of factories in Morocco, to create custom-made rugs for our customers.” And their customers are delighted! “They don’t have to buy what’s on the floor or be limited to choosing from a catalogue,” adds Naoual, proudly yet humbly.
Naoual loves her business and is very dedicated to her customers ... and it shows. She makes sure that she does everything in her power to satisfy every customer. It’s something that’s very important to her, and it’s sincere and innate. What keeps her passionate about this job? “It’s my customers’ satisfaction. Especially when they come back, often with family members or friends, to help them discover Tapis Lina. We create a bond of trust with these people and that encourages us to go above and beyond and keep our passion alive.” For a family business like Tapis Lina, repeat customers are like an extension of their family.
Ambitious and creative, Naoual is constantly coming up with new ideas for her business. She has a vision. It seems that she is definitely in her element as an entrepreneur!
Tell us a funny anecdote from your entrepreneurial journey
The beautiful colours and patterns of the rugs often attract customers to the store. As they walk around, they ask Naoual many questions about the products, their manufacture and their origin. Then they stop in front of the real leather poufs, which are not upholstered, and pause. “They see the poufs and they don’t know what they are for, they don’t know what it is. Then they finish by asking, ‘Are these cat beds?’ I don’t know why, but they all think the same thing: ‘Are these fancy cat beds?’” laughs Naoual. She then explains that they are handmade poufs, made in Morocco - and that they will be upholstered afterwards!
What is your best-kept secret?
“It’s a secret, but I can tell you that my husband and I are working on several other projects and that soon, you will see some nice surprises at Tapis Lina,” confides the determined entrepreneur, with a smile in her voice.
“Continuity. And greater success. I really hope that we will see Tapis Lina from coast to coast,” says Naoual. We wish her all the best!