Our Philosophy Towards Business

The Magic of human passion

We are a young company finding it’s way. Which means that we are still in the process of understanding, articulating, perceiving and codifying our authentic core values, beliefs, our ultimate purpose and subsequently building our company around them. Although we have a firm intuitive grasp of these, we still want to take our time to codify them so as to not rid them of their power.

Nonetheless, there are a few fundamental tenets upon which we have intended and continue to build our company and attempt to live by ourselves:

Exploration, Imagination and Originality – Creativity as a Direction

Exploration, Imagination and Originality

Originality is terrifyingly tricky to bring into the world. Not because people aren’t capable of it, but because in the initial stages, original ideas and concepts are far from appealing. What’s more, it is far from obvious that they will work themselves out in the real world. One needs a deeper apprehension of things to keep keeping on in the pursuit of bringing in the unique.

Bringing originality into the world requires imagination, exploration and the courage to keep going when prospects are dim. This means we have to attempt a lot of things that don’t work and hope that from that plethora of effort, some ideas do work. But we are willing to pay that price as opposed to the alternative, which is a fate worse than death. Mediocrity.
We have a severe problem with mediocrity and those who believe in perpetuating it in the world. Following trends or fads, set by the industry is simply something that doesn’t get our heart pumping. We like to attempt the unexpected, to pay heed to the off-beat concepts, to push boundaries by trying to create our own path into the future. Trying and doing things that others have not thought to do, or lack the will to do, is what seems exciting to us. Once we are convinced, we stick to our guns and rarely hedge our bets.

Imagination, creativity and the will to do what it takes to create our own stand rather than copying others or following trends are aspects of our jobs that push us on a daily basis.

Creativity as a Direction

We like to look at creativity as a way to navigate the world of business, much as a sailor would navigate a sea using a few stars in the sky. Not only does this way of looking at business improve the quality of our own lives and give meaning to our efforts, but we believe this is the best way to make genuine, unique contributions to the markets we operate in and bring real satisfaction to our customers in the long-run.

It is easy for companies these days to throw around the word “innovation” in boiler-plate statements, so much so that the word has lost some of its meaning. But it is our belief that in the last analysis, the products speak for themselves in the lives of the customer.

By letting our creative compasses guide our decision making in business, we make room for exploration and a ton of experimentation, only some of which could lead to useful insights and then some. Afterall, creativity is all about making connections between apparently unrelated concepts or ideas.

Make products that last - Value Longevity

The throwaway culture, most prevalent today has had devastating consequences on many levels to both society and nature that are slowly coming to the fore. In the midst of this culture, people tend not to associate the idea of longevity with consumer products like clothing, thanks to the fact that today most clothing items are easily available, and most are easily replaceable.
At least this is the underlying mentality that pervades most business thinking in the general consumer culture. Aspects such as durability and longevity are underrated and mostly overlooked in this line as unnecessary pains, better to be avoided, the focus being more on repeat purchases.

From day one, we understood this and decided to take a different approach on this front. Durability is an important part of the equation of quality at Khiswa.

Each product that goes out of our doors holds value to us. Likewise, we would like for it to hold value in the lives of our customers for as long as they own it as well. We do not want the customer to get hooked on to the need for repeat purchases, just to sell more. Moreover, having them thrown away after a few uses is the last thing that comes to mind when we think of our products. Rather, we believe that what we do sell, must be good enough to last a while in the customer’s life. Whether the customer would like to purchase again is entirely up to them.

We derive a profound sense of meaning by making products that not only bring joy in the lives of our customers momentarily at the time of purchase, but that that sense of joy lasts for as long as they own and use the product. That is where our success lies. We may have to go to more trouble for this and take great pains in the development process, but ultimately, if we can achieve this consistently, we can be at peace with ourselves and left fulfilled.

Each product crafted with attention, rigour and passion with the ultimate aim to make sure that the product is capable of lasting in the lives of our customers, that it is made to endure by design, is the highest goal at which a small company like ours can aim at.

We try to make each product at Khiswa to endure and keep bringing a sense of joy long after the initial purchase. Each product should find a small yet special place in the customer’s heart. That small place is where we thrive and our sense of purpose thrives. Even though it’s a high purpose to aim at, the effort leaves us better.

Value craftsmanship and artistry -

The magic of human passion

In this age of automation, mass production and the rapid technological fervour of ridding humans of any kind of effort, artisans may be falling out of favour in most parts of the world. But, the more the world favours and moves toward this kind of technological progress, the more it is robbed of human passion and genuine originality.

For us, human passion is as important as technological progress. At least in our line of business, we believe it is important for products to have a sense of spirit and soul to them and not just be the result of mechanical reproduction and mass imitation.

We believe that if we are selling to human beings, then the product should come from human beings who care about what they do. We believe in the potential and magic of human hands and the human mind, which is much more valuable than the magic created by technology. The work of artisans is incredibly valuable for maintaining creative integrity throughout each product that is created within our walls. Without their work, the magic just isn’t there. As long as we are creating products for and selling to human beings, we absolutely need that magic ingredient of human passion deeply embedded in the developmental phase and the production process.

That’s not to say that we believe in holding a luddite attitude. We believe in the importance of being technologically rigorous, but without sacrificing artistry and craftsmanship. What is the point of efficiency, automation and techno-optimization if the end product does not bring a sense of real joy in the customer’s life?

We understand the simple truth that technology is a tool that is meant to enhance human work, not replace it. This is not out of some misplaced sense of nostalgia or sentiment, but because real artists and craftsmen bring a unique sort of value into the world through their work that no amount of technological advancement can replicate and reproduce. Mechanical reproduction fails to touch people’s spirit. It is inherently soulless, at least as far as human beings are concerned.
We employ highly skilled artists, craftsmen and artisans who have specialized and mastered their areas of expertise and carry out each task with attention and care in our production facility to make sure our products can just be a little more special. Their passion is an intangible asset to us that we draw upon time and again simply because passion is a key part of our decision-making calculus.

Without it, we risk becoming a soulless enterprise. Without passion, there can be no real sense of spirit or purpose to our work.

Produce Responsibly

At Khiswa, we do not mass produce any of our products. We do not discount any of our products heavily just to sell more. And we certainly do not pursue growth manically by selecting unsustainable operating practices. All of which are common practices today.

We intend to preserve the integrity of our brand, the integrity of our company’s culture and of our products for as long as we are in operation. This is not just because of our limit as a small company, but because we do not believe in devaluing our brand by pursuing higher numbers at the expense of diluting its integrity. Each product that goes out of our doors is considered to be valuable and that level of attention is what we strive to achieve with our operations.
Because we employ a small number of highly skilled workers, we have a natural limit on the amount of products we can manufacture within a given time-period. By pushing for volume, we not only risk sacrificing the quality of the end-product but also higher attrition among our employees. And these are not bargains we are willing to make.

We do not discount our products heavily simply because we feel that it is an insult to the people who take great pains in the process to create something of such high quality, to sell the product off at competitive pricing. Each Khiswa product is meant to be special. As we do not take part in the throwaway culture, we believe the prices of our products reflect the long-term value they bring to customer’s life and reduce the total cost of owning the product throughout its lifecycle in general. We have a lot more to offer than just a lower price.

Our production and manufacturing is local and human-sized, with highly skilled workers constituting the nucleus of our manufacturing effort. This helps us to ensure and maintain creative integrity through each part of the process, something that is personally very important to the leadership team at Khiswa.

As we head into the future considering our own circumstances and limits, we are constantly deliberating on ways to reduce our impact in the environment we operate in, reducing waste and strategizing on how best to adapt in a way that doesn’t harm the environment. We have some exciting plans under construction and within the next few years, we are sure to implement ways of operating that are highly sustainable without sacrificing integrity.

Character and Competence over Credentials

Khiswa is the result of a few ordinary people from different backgrounds coming together, driven by a deep, genuine passion for what they do. Even though our backgrounds are different, deep down, we hold similar values. Deep down, we have a clear understanding of why our work matters. We believe in the power of what a few ordinary people driven together by a binding passion can achieve over the long-term.

When putting together our team, we like to focus on the individual’s character and level of competence most of all, than their specific skills, experience or credentials. Not that we do not look for these, but after looking for these, in the final analysis, our decision is made on the basis of individual character and the values they hold. Whether we are hiring a tailor for our facility or a finance professional, we look for similar values in people, as it is incredibly important for us to only work with people who share our values. We do not simply hire for the sake of hiring.

Passion is a key part of our value system. Passion for quality, for creativity, for originality, a desire to push boundaries and challenge the status quo, an obsession to make our own path, a distaste for mediocrity, all of these are essential qualities. We like to look for qualities and potential in people, where others don’t. Our understanding is that good ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. As long as they share our obsession for our work and the will to do what’s necessary, they fit the bill, no matter what background they come from.

Maintain control over Quality –

Tailor-Made at Khiswa; Not just a boilerplate statement.

With all our operations carried out in Oman, we are able to maintain control over the quality of each product that we make. This is done at our own production facility where we oversee the process at every juncture and are able to maintain this oversight until the product is packed and dispatched to the customer. Since we currently make each design to order, it allows us time to pay the much needed attention that each piece of product deserves.

Being a small company naturally means that we cannot maintain total control over every single part of the whole process from the inception of the raw material to the finished good. But that is not an excuse to cease our efforts to oversee the facets of the process wherever we can exert control. With a firm belief in the fact that no amount of marketing can make a customer re-purchase a bad product, the leadership team is present throughout the process along with the employees to make sure each part of the process is carried out according to our standards.

Tailor-Made to Order at our own facility – What does it mean?

At our own facility

Rather than outsourcing this most essential part of the process or just hiring anyone to carry it out, we have our own production facility where we maintain strict oversight over every facet of the production process, as far as the quality of work is concerned, carried out by people who are carefully recruited.

We procure the fabric ourselves with a great deal of rigour, selecting each piece carefully with an eye for detail, create and temper the designs ourselves working with our in-house fashion designers, and manufacture each piece of clothing at our facility, with the help of carefully recruited tailors, embroidery specialists, master patternists and artisans who are highly skilled and experienced at their work. They hand-craft and refine each part with the attention to detail that only a craftsman can give, to make sure that we can take pride in whatever goes out of our doors, no matter how small or big.

Tailor-made against each order

Once our designs are finalized and the first batch is created for display, we hold off on producing more until we receive orders from customers, rather than mechanically reproducing the same and stockpiling. This is done in order to help us maintain just the right level of attention over each order. We make each piece of Khiswa clothing against an order placed by a customer which allows us not only to give the customer a choice to customize the sizing and fitting with specific body measurement requirements, but it also gives us the time to pay the necessary attention to each order on a granular level and make sure the quality of workmanship is upheld down to the last detail.

To make apparel that enables women to wear them in a manner that just fits them right, appropriate to their body shape, is the essence of our manufacturing doctrine. Clothing should work to fit the wearer, not vice versa.

We try to go on an uncompromising pursuit of quality on all these different fronts where we can have control to the best of our ability. We do not let our small size stand in the way of quality work.

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