Manal Abushmais and Aya Shaban share with us their love for eco-friendly craftsmanship.
Who are Manal and Aya?
We are architects and jam makers with great passion for ecology, design and hand crafting.
Tell us about Namliyeh.
Namliyeh is a young dynamic brand focused on authenticity and craftsmanship; we are committed to building an ethical business that promotes responsible everyday choices. Living in a world of constant rush, we no longer want to accept compromises regarding our health or the environment. We believe in creating a holistic experience through bringing together farmers, makers, and designers in a purpose driven collaboration that pours backs into our community.
What inspired you to launch Namliyeh?
After graduating from architecture school, we decided to learn more about alternative architecture, sustainable farming methods, and permaculture. It was truly enlightening to visit and live in organic farms and self-sufficient communities, which triggered an urge to start a business that supports traditional farming in Jordan and focus on building a community of makers. It was not an act of nostalgia, but rather a push toward a more conscious lifestyle – even in the city.
We spent the first year visiting traditional farms around Jordan and were impressed by the beauty of the landscape and quality of fruits they produce. We decided to learn and develop the skill of jam making as it demonstrates the journey of creating an authentic product from scratch. Jams also celebrate the variety and seasonality of our harvest, preserving the freshness of fruits just picked from the tree!
What inspires your flavors?
We are always excited to try new flavors; while travelling we make sure to always try authentic cuisines and learn more about herbs, spices, and cooking techniques.
What’s your best seller?
Lemon lavender marmalade has been a very popular one for its refreshing flavor and earthy notes of lavender. Most recently however, our fig fennel jam has been our best seller; it has a deep flavor of blue figs with subtle spicy notes of fennel seeds. Our customers love it especially when paired with cheese.
How do you incorporate jam-making with your passion for architecture?
Design is in everything; we treat jam making and tea crafting as a design process and we believe the knowledge we gained in architecture school helped us connect the worlds of food and design. We seek to look beyond the mere act of eating to create a table experience that captures the beauty of earth's abundance.
During Amman Design Week, you designed a series of pop-up food concepts throughout the event; tell us more about that.
Our food program celebrates sociable public spaces; we want our visitors to share the moment and gather around a dining table with friends, family, and even strangers. We also featured a number of food startups and young chefs focusing on highlighting the bond between food and design.
What is the key to your success?
As a social business, we always focus on the purpose behind our work. We believe in small acts which eventually trigger bigger change. This concept always keeps us moving forward no matter what obstacles we face.
What’s your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Do not hesitate and always follow your gut when it comes to new opportunities. Never compromise your values and embrace the challenges!