I've been hunting around in Muscat for different stores that sell abayas, which might be interested in shipping their goods the US/UK/Canada/Australia.
Unfortunately, I didn't get much feedback from them about sending their goods out of the Middle East, so I've been sitting at home and brainstorming about ways of doing it myself.
I came up with two options that I thought I might share with my viewers:
1) There's a possibility of purchasing the items myself and paying for shipping from here to whichever country it needs to go to, and the receiver pays for the cost of the abaya + shipping.
- In order for this to work, I'd need to make sure that shipping costs and the price of the abayas are feasible for the receiver.
2) If the receiver isn't in a hurry to get the abayas, I can purchase the abayas and bring them with me to Canada, when I go back there for my summer-time visits. At that point, I could ship the abayas for a much lower price, from Canada.
-This would only be convenient for those people who don't mind waiting, and wouldn't want to spend extra money on shipping costs.
In terms of Abaya pricing, I can give you a rough idea of what it costs to make specific abayas.
- A Bahraini style bhisht abaya, completely plain, with no embellishments, can be stitched for about USD $ 60 (give and take $10). Obviously the more that are made, the lower the price is.
- Any kind of crystal work is extra, and things like: initials, names and crystal borders can be made, but it costs about $20 extra to do that, depending on the intricacy of the design.
- More complicated styles of abayas, such as Abaya 4 in my previous post, will be more expensive, based on the 2 different types of fabrics being used and the cut and style. Something like Abaya 4 will cost roughly about USD $100. Anything extra could be added to the Abaya, but that would cost more
- A balloon abaya, also completely plain, such as Abaya 3, can be stitched for about USD $ 75. Its a bit expensive because it requires A LOT of cloth to achieve the right effect.
I'll be honest, the first abaya is the most expensive due to the crystal work and tassels as well as the cut and the material. I could try to replicate that with a tailor, but I don't think it can cost less than USD $ 100.
Shipping costs are as follows:
Abayas are heavy due to amount of material used to make one. 6 meters of cloth is the minimum amount of cloth needed for an average sized person- who is not more that 5 feet 5 inches tall. Taller sisters would probably need more cloth.
I have appromixated the weight of one abaya to be a maximum of 5kg/10lbs.
According to that weight, I'm going to give a rough estimate of the cost of shipping to the US and its coming up to about $50 via FedEx, which ensures that the package arrives in about 4 business days.
I'm sure I could get a cheaper rate from UPS, especially if I set up a business account with them.
I'm tempted to open up a website to handle requests for abayas that people are interested in, but the only thing holding me back is the cost. If I could find a way of cutting costs in shipping, I think it might be beneficial to everyone.
I hope this post has helped in answering some of the questions that people have had regarding my abayas. As of now, I'm asking everyone who is interested, to let me know which one of the two options they would prefer for shipping, and if the prices I have quoted for the cost of abayas are something that they can work with. I'm still working on the shipping costs from the middle east, so I'll keep everyone updated on that. I'm gonna add a poll to the blog to see what everyone has to say, it will help me keep tabs on all the opinions.
I'm also in the midst of packing and moving my belongings to Riyadh, so please bear with me in case of delays. Once I'm settled in Riyadh, I might be able to offer more to everyone.
Thank you to all those who liked and commented on my abaya collection, you've inspired me to do more and to share my ideas with others.
May Allah (swt) forgive our sins, and grant us His Divine Shade on the Day of Ressurection.