By: Amel Gaaloul & Moez Achour
Photography by: Moez Achour
It has been a year since SISI Store opened on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Carthage, just a few steps away from Roman ruins, a hallmark of the northern suburb.
As Moez and I arrived at the store that Saturday afternoon, we were struck by the diversity of the work exhibited, and suddenly felt as though time had stopped.
Sandra Fakhfakh, the owner and founder of the concept-store, was waiting for us at the far end of the room, at a white, low 19th century-esque desk designed by Philippe Xiri.
Fakhfakh, who studied at the Ecole de Stylisme et Modélisme (ESMOD) and at the Ecole d'Art et de Décoration in Tunis (EAD), had worked in advertising and PR before becoming a curator of young Tunisian fashion designers. Having always had a passion for style and fashion, and many of her talented designer friends deploring the poor visibility their work suffered, she took up with fashion designer Salah Barka to create an outlet to exhibit and sell the works of young Tunisian designers and, more recently, international designers.
In this relatively small, yet immensely magical space, customers can enjoy one-piece paintings, clothes, furniture, accessories and jewelery by a collective of artists and brands including DS by Dorra Sassi, Nadia Griba, Rifka, and Monica Cherait, Berbers by Fares Cherait and Syrine Boujemaa, Oshy by Salah Barka, 21 Clothing by Hafedh Barchouchi, Leila Bouricha, Zeineb Abdelkefi, Blonde or Not by Carole and Fouad Siala, Big and Bang by Aymen Soussi, and Baligh Meki for clothing, Philippe Xiri for furniture, as well as artwork by artists Atef and Brahim.
The store's customer base is mainly female, although it is looking at expanding its collection to include items designed for men in the search for "something different," as Sandra puts it.
In a city where everyone knows everyone, word-of-mouth and Facebook have proven to be very efficient tools to promote the store and the events it hosts. Recently, Sandra organized makeup workshops with brands E.L.F. and Gosh. Such events are a great opportunity to gain greater exposure as well as attract new audiences.
Sandra's concept store is certainly unique in Tunisia, and has become the place to go to find unusual pieces and discover new emerging talents.
SISI Store can be found on Facebook.