ARTE’s Success Stories

The Camel Soap Factory’s Journey with ARTE

Five years ago, traveling through Australia, my husband and I came across a little treasure of a place called The Natural Olive Oil Soap Factory. Set in the Western Aussie bush, it had a retail outlet and factory where visitors could see the soap being made, and buy locally made products and produce. I came home with a dream for Dubai!

My first steps were to learn to make soap. Not much in my background in payments software had prepared me for this. I found a course in London and met my soap mentor and guide, Melinda Coss, without whom the factory might not have happened as quickly. Paying somebody every month certainly focus’s the mind.

Next was learning how to make soap with camel milk. There are not too many books on the subject. I thought I would attend two school fairs that Christmas. I never made it to the second one after we sold all our stock at the first.

That’s when I decided I needed to dream a little bigger and faster.

But I realized that moving into bigger and different markets meant that I was going to need a license. Initially I was allowed to manufacture from home under a trading license but as we got bigger I needed to get a full industrial license. We now have a factory situated in the heart of Dubai and export across the globe.

Without Arte, it would have been impossible for me to get the business off the ground.

Selling at ARTE, The Makers Market helped me refine my product and learn more about our wonderful customers who buy our soaps. It allowed me to gather market intelligence, work out what sold and what didn’t. It allowed me to start to build cash to invest in growing the business. And most of all I made the most wonderful friends among the other ARTE vendors. Friends who have left the UAE, and now sell our soaps as distributors in other parts of the world.

Thank you ARTE, we are deeply grateful.

Stevie Lomass is the founder and creator of The Camel Soap Factory in Dubai.

If you are an artist or artisan that makes handmade items in the UAE and would like more information about becoming a vendor at the ARTE Markets, contact us via email – or read our section Book a Table for more information.

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ARTE’s Artists

Moonberry Studios by Lene

March is the month of horse racing, art and literature in Dubai which makes me want to race on down to ARTE at Times Square, tomorrow, Friday, March 10, 2017. Do not forget our new hours: 10am – 6pm.  Looking for that special hat to wear to the races or a gift to share with your favourite jockey? Than ARTE is the place to be! Remember, our artists make what they sell and everything is handmade with love in the UAE. Plus, look out for ARTE this weekend at the Emirates Literature festival.

This week’s ARTE artist is Lene of Moonberry Studios

(Instagram: Moonberry_Studios, Facebook: Moonberry Studios1, e-mail:

Lene is originally from South Africa, but has been living in the UAE since 2005. Lene’s first ARTE market was in 2008. Shortly after her first market, Lene learned that she was pregnant with her first child. Lene decided ARTE would have to wait.  Today,  Lene  has two beautiful children who inspire her art work everyday.  In 2015, Lene decided to return to ARTE and she’s been with us ever since.

I asked Lene how she became involved with card making and she told me that one day she saw a page with a rose and writing on it. She loved it so much that she started talking to the artist, who introduced her to scrapbooking. Lene was hooked!

My photos do not do justice to her beautiful work. Lene creates each of her designs by hand. There is a great amount of love and care that goes into each card.

Lene believes in quality over quantity. A card is just as important as an art piece. This is why she uses pigment inks which are not heat dried. They take longer to dry but, are worth the wait.

She cuts out her images by hand, as well as using the latest embossing techniques.

Plus, Lene’s work is environmentally friendly, as she uses recycled books and paper to create her gorgeous cards.

Lene’s cards are perfect for holidays.  With Easter and St. Patrick’s day right around the corner, (and don’t forget all those birthdays!) you must come and check out her latest cards at ARTE.

Lene also handcrafts the most adorable gift tags.

for any occasion:

They even make great bookmarks:

Although Lene, loves making her cards, her true passion is mixed media. In 2008, Lene was a finalist in the Red Bull art show. When you visit Lene’s table, you will also see her art pieces for sale.

Lene describes her art as “historic ephemera”. She uses items from the past which would normally have a short term use like tickets to a movie, and transforms them into something beautiful. Here is an example:

If you look closely, you will see tickets. These tickets are from the 1970s. Originally, they were used to raise money for a trip to the fresh water angling world championships in Europe.

In this piece, Lene has taken pieces that her grandmother crocheted and incorporated them in her art. Lene feels that art is a way to connect our pasts and futures. If you are interested in learning more about her mixed media pieces or if you are interested in taking a morning mixed media art class, for adults only, Please stop by Lene’s table at ARTE for a chat.

Don’t miss the next ARTE, The Makers Market!
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ARTE’s Artists

Craft Paper Nest by Chetana Badiger

Welcome to October! The temperature may be cooling down but ARTE is turning up the heat with original handmade inspiration. Come to the Oasis Mall this Friday, October 7 from 10 am-8 pm on the first floor and support your local artists and crafters. This month, ARTE artists will be raising awareness for breast cancer, celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving and creating spooky delights for Halloween.

This week’s artist, Chetana Badiger is new to ARTE and her unique approach to recycled art is well worth checking out.img_8351

Chetana is originally from Bangalore, India and has lived in the UAE for two years. Ever since she was a child, Chetana has been passionate about recycling. Chetana recycles because she cares about the environment. She recycles everything – even her money box at ARTE is a recycled toffee box. Reduce, reuse, recycle is her daily mantra and it has transformed the way she sees the world, both in her personal life and in her art.


Chetana has always recycled. When she came to Dubai, it bothered her that there was nowhere to take her old newspapers so she decided to look into ways of using her old newspapers creatively.


She taught herself how to make a paper box. It was very popular with her friends and family so her husband encouraged her to follow her artistic desires and Craft Paper Nest was born.


Chetana likes to bring new and different items with her each time she comes to ARTE.


From handbags


to lamp shades


Her products are all natural and made from recycled materials. Some of her items are painted and varnished,


while others are left in their natural state.


Magazines are also used to add colour to her work.


Chetana has objects in a variety of prices and designs that will please everyone in your family. These small cupcake boxes will delight children of all ages.


In her art, Chetana thinks about design






and practicality.


In India, Chetana was a school teacher. She is planning to put her skills as a teacher to good use and is hoping to offer classes in recycled art soon so watch this space.


Do you have an idea for an object for your home? A colour scheme to match your furnishings? Chetana is willing to custom make items for you.


You can contact Chetana (Craft Paper Nest) at ARTE, by e-mail: or on Facebook.


The next time you are at ARTE, stop by Craft Paper Nest ‘s table and say hi to Chetana and her husband. You’ll be glad you did!

#we make what we sell

#ARTE the maker’s market







ART at ARTE in April – meet Fahema Fattah

I am Fahema Fattah. I was born in Baghdad, Iraq and I am a graduate of the University of Baghdad. I am married and have two girls and a boy. I immigrated with my family to Canada before 20 years ago, but work keeps us coming back to AD.
My art is a mix of self-taught and art education. In my work I like to interpret the ideas that I have about myself and the world I live in. I do not limit myself to one medium, style, or concept. Each piece I paint is from the past where I have come from as well as a preview of the future.
I have always loved using my imagination and my senses which are expressed, through my colorful paintings. Sometimes I depict my characters faceless or with vague features because I believe that everyone is a closed book and there is a hidden side in each person which can not been seen by others until exposed, which I leave its interpretation to the viewer.
I believe women are half the community and they should be represented in every part of life. I paint them as tall as a palm tree to indicate their glory and generosity.My main advice to new aspiring artists is to always express one’s self, and keep in mind every person has his own taste in art and always be positive and always seek improvement. ‪#‎artemarket‬‪#‎wemakewhatwesell‬