Nov 5, 2020
Earlier today, the ASEEL HQ team hosted its long-awaited launch in Kabul. The team has been working diligently since earlier in the year to overcome challenges posed by Covid-19 and get ASEEL posed to provide delivery of handmade goods within the country itself. Having initially tested our supply chain over the past 8 months, ASEEL is ready to deliver within Afghanistan as well as to the US and Australia.
To prepare ASEEL for this launch, our development team worked hard to refine our website and update our IOS app. Our products management team added over 700 new products to the platforms. And our media team photographed products, prepared advertising material, and built up the excitement for the event itself on social media and with local press outlets.
At the event, social distancing was encouraged; and masks and sanitizer provided to the guests. But even despite how the event was adapted given the current Covid-19, precautions, spirits were high. Attended by members of the entire ASEEL team as well as former employees and friends of the team, members of the press, and representatives from ASEEL’s vendor network, the event was hosted in HQ’s garden space. The ASEEL team had completely transformed its outdoor space with hand-painted wall murals, rich, handmade carpets covering the stage, and a rubab, a traditional Afghan instrument, playing in the background. Guests filed in and the entire team participated as presenters of the event or covering the event with photography, video, or social media.
The launch event began with introductions from Nasir Faizy and Nasir Meerkhil on the goals of the company and the mission to create 10,000 jobs in Afghanistan through the country’s artisan sector. Then our development lead in Kabul, Reshad Zazai, demo-ed the improved website and app, and Alex Tyler, Content Editor for ASEEL, remoted in from DC to speak about the importance of the stories of resilience and heritage behind every product. Afterward, two of ASEEL’s vendors, Mohsena Saqib from Jama Design Center and Mustafa Ahmadipor from Golden Wood Productions spoke about how the ASEEL platform is impacting their and other artisan businesses in the country. These speeches were followed by a panel discussion hosted by ASEEL’s social media manager Zahra Karimi, where Zahra Kazemi, founder of the Women Weavers of Bamyan, Mariam Yusufi, a free-lance journalist from Voice of America, and Ayeda Shadab, a social media influencer and owner of the brand Ayeda, discussed how fashion and social media can be harnessed to create positive impacts in developing countries like Afghanistan.
The last of the presentations was a message from ASEEL’s founder, Nasrat Khalid, who spoke about the potential impacts of job creation, women empowerment, and economic development that is now possible through ASEEL. Once the presentations were through and official contracts signed with the vendors, guests were encouraged to walk around ASEEL’s office spaces, which had been transformed into galleries for photographs of the company’s journey thus far and even product showcases from the vendors present at the vent.
With this launch, ASEEL positions itself to further validate its platforms and expand its business. The launch was crucial for in-country operations; now the business that supports artisans in Afghanistan can also allow consumers to buy handmade products from all over the country. Building from the momentum of the launch, ASEEL will continue to expand its network of vendors, improve the technologies behind its e-commerce platforms, and generate sales going into Australian and American holiday seasons. Every purchase from ASEEL directly benefits an artisan in Afghanistan. Everything ASEEL offers through its platform is handmade with tradition, skill, and beauty. And we are thrilled to continue sharing our work and platform with the ASEEL community. To check out our new website, go to www.aseel.xyz or download the latest version of our IOS app here.