Lulwa Al-Soudairy has been the head of strategic development and a board member of Mansour Al Mosaid Group since June 2017. She is also the co-founder and CEO of Artistia since February 2016.
Al-Soudairy attained her bachelor’s degree in management information systems from Dar Al-Hekma University, Jeddah, in 2011 and her MBA from Babson College’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business, Wellesley, Massachusetts in 2015.
Prior to her current position, she worked as a social responsibly coordinator at BMG Financial Group from November 2011 to September 2012, was a business development intern at Harvard Medical School from January to August 2013, and graduate assistant at Babson College’s Center for Engaged Learning & Teaching from January 2014 to May 2014.
When Al-Soudairy watched her mother struggle to make a living from handcrafting souvenirs and gifts, she realised that despite the large number of artisans in the Kingdom there was a lack of openings for selling wares.
“My mother is the owner of Liyano, a local production house that produces Saudi handcrafted souvenirs and gifts,” Al-Soudairy said.
Taking inspiration from her mother’s entrepreneurship ventures, Al-Soudairy decided to create an e-commerce platform that operates as a virtual mall, where users can share administrative task services and access the global marketplace. In 2016, her dream came true when Al-Soudairy launched Artistia with her co-founder Leena Alaufi.
According to Al-Soudairy, through the management of administrative functions the company is able to reduce an artisan’s overhead costs by as much as 33 percent.
Since its launch, the site’s network has expanded from 60 to 400 artisanal brands across the Gulf, including in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain. The platform registers around 15,000 visits per month.