Drawing and children are the typical match, but adding real life products and an online store to the equation is certainly unconventional. The extraordinary idea brought together by two ladies was to use the designs of unprivileged children to create products and sell them to fund the children’s medical, educational, and basic needs.
Co-founded by Yasmeen Khamis and Farah el Masry, the Doodle Factory highly focuses on the children’s involvement with art as it contributes to their overall well-being and gives them a sense of self satisfaction.
The brilliant project is a social business that works alongside non-governmental organizations to cover some children-related cases. It is based on art sessions with the children creating different designs to be printed on bags, notebooks, make-up kits and more.
Yasmeen got inspired to start the initiative after working in the field of charities and getting bored with their typical fundraising efforts. She then resorted to social entrepreneurship to install a more sustainable project.
“My interest for Islamic art and architecture during my studies triggered a love of arts and crafts. I wanted a way of combining these two things and thought, why not have an art session with a child who needs an operation and create a product?” Yasmeen said.
An actual implementation of this out of the box project was not the only challenge that the Doodle Factory team faces. For instance, it is often hard to turn the children’s basic paintings into a consumption commodity.
“It is definitely a challenge turning something that people will look and be like ‘that’s nice, but I wouldn’t buy it’ into something they would buy. We want people to buy our notebooks because they like them, not just because there is a cause. That is what makes it sustainable,” Yasmeen added.
Despite the challenges, the Doodle factory was able to collaborate with Gourmet, a food store that offers top notch butchery and grocery, to create reusable shopping bags. Yes, super brilliant eco-friendly idea for conscious shoppers to reduce carbon footprint with reusable shopping bags. Proceeds of these bags will help children gain access to clean water and healthy living. The design on the bags was created by underprivileged children in Fayoum who need the supply of clean water in their homes.
Their capsule collection is inspired by the drawings of 11-year-old Mohamed and 10-year-old Aliaa, who need to undergo heart surgeries.
The Doodle ladies have ambitious expectations for the future. They expressed their hopes to start working with public schools and hospitals and a branch more into education. They eventually might do food and shelter projects too.
On the long run, they would love to work on international projects, but in the near future, they hope to appear in pop-up shops, and then hopefully maybe in a year have their own stores and also start exporting.
The new collection will launch in March to help fund the tuition fees of children in Behbeit Al-Ayat.
So far, the factory has impacted the lives of around 100 children, and it is still on track.