Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Nihan Sedef Ardor. I am originally from Turkey, where I studied interior design. Later, in the States I studied computer science. I worked in Information Technology in a retail environment for about 20 years. Currently I am a co-founder of QuiQuattro.
What exactly is QuiQuattro?
QuiQuattro is a women owned e-commerce company which supports women artisans by providing them with jobs, fair wages and helping them with their education. We sell handcrafted, hand loomed and handmade items. We work mainly with women and help school age girls’ education by donating a percentage of our earnings.
What inspired you to start QuiQuattro?
My background is in design and I have friends and family in Turkey. I visit Turkey every year and while I was meeting with my friends who are also designers we got to talk about how we can create an outlet for women designers in the USA and give them an opportunity to be known world-wide. After a while we noticed the inequality between genders and we started to work solely with women and businesses that employ women. When we buy our products we pay fair wages and make sure our products are environmentally safe and eco-friendly.
How did you come up with the name?
When we started QuiQuattro we started with four different products which could be used in four seasons. QuiQuattro means “Here Four”. Our original product line was jewelry, tote bags, Turkish towels and hand-poured soaps. Now we are mostly selling Turkish pestemals AKA traditional Turkish towels.
Your brand is featuring female artisans from Turkey; can you tell us about that?
We work with Turkish female designers and artisans; we try to open up an outlet for their designs. When we purchase from small vendors we make sure they have women workers in their production line as well.
Is there a favorite product?
I personally love our Good Luck wrap bracelets. They are made with real leather and Turkish “Nazar beads”. When you are in Turkey you see Nazar beads almost everywhere; it is believed they ward off jealousy and bad thoughts; people use them as a protection. The Nazar beads used on our bracelets are hand-blown so they are each a bit different; no bracelets are quite the same. We have people who love the bracelets and believe in their good luck.
What is your favorite part about running QuiQuattro?
It is challenging and I always love challenge. There is always something new to learn. We believe we have a responsibility to our community and environment, and in QuiQuattro we try to do our best for our planet and its people.
What is your least favorite part about running QuiQuattro?
You are always working on some kind of new issue. One day it can be website issues, on another other day it is a customs issue. Retail is a very fast-paced environment. One needs to adapt quickly and provide solutions. This can be overwhelming from time to time. But at the end, when I see the shipments going out I feel accomplished and I know we are helping the women who are in need.
How do you spread the word about your company?
We do so mostly through our customers. We are very lucky to have a customer base that loves us and actually spreads the word for us. We are a small company with a very limited advertisement budget, so we rely solely on our customers. We run a brand ambassador program and use Facebook and Instagram a lot.
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
If you have an idea, start working on it. I know it takes time to start; you need planning, but you need to start at some point and there is no time like the present.
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying?
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now “— Paulo Coelho
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Come and shop with us. When you are shopping at QuiQuattro you are not only shopping, you are also helping other people. We are devoted to building a better world for women in need while doing right by planet earth. We always give back a percentage of our earnings for the education of women and girls, hoping that we can become a non-profit organization someday.