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Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
Moon Flower: Far Eastern-themed Gift Shop in Zamalek
Cairo has so many gift shops filled with home accessories and trinkets, that they can be difficult to tell apart. Located on Hassan Assem Street in Zamalek, Moon Flower is a gift shop with a distinctive Eastern edge.
It’s easy to miss the modest shop because of its dark wooden sign and subtle window lighting; but once inside, you’ll find the space filled with quaint and charming accent pieces inspired by the Far East. There is plenty of woodwork available, ranging from serving spoon sets for 110LE to a large and heavy decorative chair for 3000LE. While a few other large pieces are on display, including a tall CD shelf carved in the form of an elephant for 650LE, many of the pieces are much smaller.
Beaded pillow covers, tiny elephant-shaped incense burners and hanging ornaments are placed throughout the shop, making perfect housewarming gifts or charming accessories to brighten up your house with. However, the display tables are low and the shop is crowded, so make sure you look down; not only to spot a good find, but also to keep from stepping on anything.
A small selection of beaded jewellery hangs from the wall across the register. Most of the pieces are earrings and necklaces, ranging from 30LE to 65LE. The pieces are pretty, but nothing extraordinary. Similar key chains are available for about 35LE, but it is not these beaded pieces that make Moon Flower memorable; rather, it is the ornate boxes, bowls and statues.
Elephant enthusiasts will probably have a difficult time walking out of the shop without making a purchase. While many of the wooden elephant statues around Moon Flower vary in size and style, the most unique pieces include a wooden wall hanging in the shape of an elephant’s head and a marionette puppet embellished with colourful thread and sequins for 1250LE.
Moon Flower’s charm lies not only in its electiveness but also in its quality of wooden pieces. So, whether you’re looking to drop some serious cash or frugally add some flair to your home, you can find beautiful Far-Eastern-inspired pieces here.
The common notion in the Egyptian market that the word ‘Imported’ stands for good quality has lead many business owners to neglect Egyptian-made products and even take pride in offering the costumer the imported ones. Now that almost everything we buy has been manufactured abroad, one can’t help but be impressed when finding quality products with the label ‘Made in Egypt’.
Among the local brands that are swimming against the tide, Inca & Co. offers a variety of furniture textiles and fabrics, which are designed by Egyptian artists and mostly manufactured in Egypt. Located on 26th of July Street next to Drinkies in Zamalek, the spacious shop well-organised and efficiently set-out. On the left, is a collection of fabrics is displayed on wall-mounted metal tubes, while other products, like cushions, are shelved on the other side. At the centre of the shop, a number of swatch books are displayed on a rectangular island.
One of the collections that can be found in the swatch books is ‘The Road to Marrakesh’, whose relatively light fabrics can be perfect for beach house furniture. From this collection, we liked a white fabric embroidered in black with a simple floral design (340LE per metre).
With a more complex design of flowers and birds, ‘Mexico Passion’ (460LE per metre) boasts a heavier material, durable for daily-use furniture. Not as heavy is the curtain-suitable ‘Winter Dust’ (325LE per metre), whose geometrical patterns come in various colours, including beige and light blue.
Besides fabrics, Inca & Co. has a versatile collection of products, including cushions (medium 325LE / Large 375LE), poufs (1150LE) and mattresses of different shapes and size. From the latter we liked the over-sized squared mattress (1980LE), which can comfortably take two persons, as well as a more firm mattress for a single person (890LE).
And like any Textile shop, none of the displayed items are available for instant purchasing; while the fabrics are received four days after placing the order, other products take to 10 days, which you can customise by choosing the fabric and adding tassels for an extra fee of 65LE.
In the textiles business, both durability and design are of great importance. And while Inca & Co. designs mainly cater to modern settings, the diverse collection promises good quality and taste – but at a price.