Founder Spotlight: Shaima Goodarzi, Velvet Desert

Velvet Desert is a Kuwait and Spain based jewellery company founded by sisters Faiza and Shaima Goodarzi in 2021. We inteviewed Shaima to find out more about her journey from founding Velvet Desert to the remarkable success and expansion the brand is experiencing today.

Tell us about yourself and your background.

I am big on small details in everything. I love music, cooking and being playful with experimenting. I also like getting myself into risky situations occasionally.

As a co-founder of our jewellery brand and at work, I oversee the creative aspects of our business, ensuring that our designs are visually striking, innovative, and align with our brand’s vision. My background in industrial engineering provides me with a unique perspective on combining creativity with efficient production processes and user experience.

What is the story and inspiration behind Velvet Desert?

The gap in the Middle Eastern market between high end jewellery brands and affordable luxury jewellery plays pretty much a big role on why we made this happen. This gap was something we have been aware of since our father, who has long been in the jewellery industry, and this helped us gain a specialised insight on what’s missing in the market.

We created a brand to fill the demand and break the cycle of only having to have super high end and expensive jewellery, as it has been the only option forever in the region.

Spending 250 USD on a piece that is long-lasting and preserves its shine, isn’t expensive. What you will receive instantly will feel luxurious to you.

At what point did you experience an ‘aha’ moment when you realised you were on to something, and Velvet Desert was going to be a successful business?

I would say the speed at which the success rate was happening and when the numbers talked to us loudly! And when the audience confirmed that, we, as a brand are landing exactly on where the gap in the market is.

We have enjoyed a very high customer retention rate from very early on and this indicates how fast we have succeeded in earning the trust of our audience in such a short time. We have also managed to bootstrap our way up to where we are today which by itself is a good success indicator.

You founded Velvet Desert in 2021 and have continued to grow the business successfully, what do you believe is integral to building a company for longevity?  

On the outside, we focus on the customer and adapt. On in the inside, hiring the right talents and having a good team is what drives a company, it’s like having everyone on a boat rowing in the same direction.

What is your greatest company achievement?

Customers come back when they get premium quality for good value. We have had many organic influencer endorsements as well which have helped boost the brand and spread the word ¨casual luxury¨. I have even seen our pieces on women by coincidence in Europe! The brand name, Velvet Desert is surely known for what it serves among the audience and that’s one long term achievement for us.

In just under two years, your brand has experienced great success with availability in major retailers. What are your business goals for the next 3-5 years?

We are going to grow the team and hire senior people in senior levels. We need to have a good foundation to be able to grow the brand and bring our community together through opening different sale channels in different territories such as EU and UK.

What advice would you offer other founders looking at launching a startup in the Middle East market?

Know your audience and play the role of the customer to know what the market needs. Paying attention to tiny details is key with daily effort to grow and of course having patience. If you don’t envision big goals, another company could easily outgrow you.

Where can readers find out more about you? And Velvet Desert?

Head over to

Editor-In-Chief of Bizpreneur Middle East