Saudi entrepreneur Yasmine Alshathry is set to open the first physical store for her e-commerce platform, CLÉ, specializing in fine jewelry and watches. The grand opening is scheduled for October 7th at the VIA Riyadh location.
Alshathry, the CLÉ visionary, began her journey in 2013. In an Arab News interview, she shared her journey's origins and growth strategies.
Her passion for horology and haute jewelry started well before her platform's launch. In middle school, she was influenced by those with refined tastes who wore exquisite mechanical timepieces. She was captivated by their aesthetics and design, despite not understanding their intricate mechanics.
Her fascination evolved into an obsession as she initiated conversations with her father about the horological treasures he possessed. As a 14-year-old, sharing a common interest with her father was an unparalleled source of delight.
Yet, her transformative journey truly accelerated during her 2011 stay in London. Visiting contemporary and vintage boutiques, she absorbed their essence. By 2013, she was compelled to recreate that boutique excitement for GCC collectors, birthing CLÉ Concierge – bridging watch collectors and their favored brands.
With a wider aim, Alshathry redesigned CLÉ Concierge in 2019. It sought to transform the luxury market into an innovative ecosystem centered on localization, brand storytelling, and an extraordinary luxury consumer experience, going beyond simply linking collectors to brands.
Amid the pandemic, Alshathry noticed a shift in consumer preferences, with a longing for tangible experiences and human interaction. Despite being tech-savvy, Saudi customers were hesitant to buy jewelry or watches online. Alshathry saw the physical store as a source of trust and confidence.
Her objective: Deliver a gratifying experience to CLÉ's clients with exclusivity. Few knew of their unique service and products; she was committed to widening their audience through ongoing market education, relationship-building, and visibility efforts.
Collaborating with VIA Riyadh was a choice rooted in mutual admiration. Its luxurious local ambiance harmonized with CLÉ's values. Both were dedicated to delivering exclusive retail and hospitality, aiming to elevate customer service to extraordinary levels.
The much-anticipated launch event on October 7th promises to be anything but conventional. Alshathry hinted at an event that would be daring, different, and bold, with engaging activities and surprises on the agenda.
Regarding CLÉ's future, Alshathry envisions an expansive brand presence. Each new store will embrace distinctive concepts, shunning uniformity. Innovation and freshness will define CLÉ's expansion across Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region.