While Ashley Srouji was living and studying in Lebanon, she was amazed by all the local designers and brands there; most of which were not available in the U.S. These designers and brands were typically inspired by their surroundings and not by mass fashion. The concept of bringing pieces from abroad came to her and it wasn’t until after she returned and settled in Houston, that she decided to move forward with that concept.
Ashley officially launched Souk Chic May 2015 and has since held numerous pop-up shops at local businesses, as well as in her home. Think of Souk Chic as an international market, but in a more personalized setting (and without the hefty plane fare). Ashley has a keen eye for choosing styles for her inventory, which include divine Moroccan rug clutches, handbags by Lebanese-based Sarah’s Bag (including the ‘Tawleh’ style, which has been seen with Amal Clooney), Ukrainian vyshyvankas by Foberini, cheeky straw totes and hats by Caren Lola, Middle-Eastern inspired caftans by Biba & Marmise, handmade book clutches by p.s. Besitos, sandals from Greece and Spain and evil eye bracelets from Mono and Me.
Other brands include:
Aelia – Grecian handmade sandals.
BLTRX (Bellatrix) – leather handbags designed by Tamar Friedman. Each handcrafted bag is based on a take of a triangular shape, mixing 3 kinds of materials or textures, leathers and textiles.
Mola Sasa – clutches made with the traditional print by Kuna (indigenous communities of Colombia and Panama) women artisans.
KinaMania – founded by Kristina Zouein. The sandals are handcrafted in Spain and are based on the traditional Spanish sandal, the albarca.