We’ve previously covered the wonderful Marketing and PR agency, Pink Coffee, in our bazaar pages. Yet, one person that never truly escapes our memory from our first meeting is Co-founder and Managing Director Shamlan Al-Bahar. We remember first arriving at Pink Coffee expecting to be wowed with creative ideas and an awesome record of outstanding artwork fashioned for several boutique companies in Kuwait. However, to our absolute delight, we were so pleased to be met with the humble and ever-so gracious Shamlan Al-Bahar, who modestly downplays the incredible work this small marketing and PR company has accomplished in as little as three years, and instead, chooses to speak about his latest Escapade trip with a group of travelers that just returned from Goa.
When it came to establishing Pink Coffee Marketing and PR, along with his partner, Dana Al Otaibi, Al-Bahar insisted on instilling operatives that would give back to Kuwait, enrich his surrounding environment, and more importantly, empower the youth. The creative collective at the agency have been responsible for making dreams come true for many small businesses and various initiatives we’ve followed intently over several years, including The Protégés, Mutubtub, Small to Big, and Small to Big London. “Pink Coffee started with zero capital, we literally started from zilch! Dana actually used to be one of my students, and, somehow, we brainstormed the company in one sitting. After Dana came on board with her stellar organizational skills, we were well on our way.” By simply honoring his beliefs, Al-Bahar managed to create the nonexistent. Contrary to the present situation, there were little initiatives present at the time for small businesses in Kuwait that allowed for the complete development and training of young entrepreneurs, Small to Big was truly an unprecendented feat. He recounts many hardships his team faced at the beginning, yet what brought on their success was their transparent honesty in wishing to honor their objectives and give back to society in a remarkable way. Pink Coffee fever soon hit the blogs, and a loyal following was born.
With his quiet-natured and subdued personality, one can hardly decipher that Al-Bahar is an avid traveler, and a lover of adventures. Meeting him for the second time, we couldn’t help but notice how our conversations always tend to deviate towards traveling. His office, or as he claims, ‘the meeting room’, is a fantasyland for travelers; filled with various collectibles and knickknacks from different parts of the world. A union jack sofa-stool is comfortably centered in the room beckoning visitors to lazily lounge around, rare and collectible photos gently decorate the window panels that surround the entire room, and little figurines dressed in Russian garbs playfully invite visitors to say hello. This ‘meeting room’ rather becomes a mini museum that effectively mirrors Al-Bahar’s character. He comments, “Traveling has been a huge influence on my life since my younger student days; studying abroad, backpacking across different regions of the world, and even today in creating our the initiative and travel program, Escapade.” Al-Bahar stresses that the generations of today are exposed to traveling, yet fail to understand what makes traveling so special. “It’s a character shaping experience. In no way can a person deem that they’ve experienced truly rare moments if they don’t take the road less traveled. I’ve met my all-time favorite legends while traveling, like GNR (Guns and Roses) and Bono from U2! The best part was, they were both random encounters.” Since his younger days, Al-Bahar would save some money, get on a plane, and simply explore the unknown. From the rising excitement in his voice, we could tell that Escapade embodies Al-Bahar’s greater ambition: creating memories before they happen. He might claim that he has an eye for spotting the perfect setting for that elusive memory before it takes place, we just think he’s up their on our cool list for establishing Pink Coffee, and meeting GNR!
We notice that by the end of our sitting, we uncovered a whole new side of Al-Bahar that was easy going and fun, that he almost sold us on abandoning our bazaar posts to join his upcoming Euro trip that will take his team from Portugal to Italy. He adds, “The group was excellent, the moments were priceless. When the place and the people come together in harmony, every moment is. Stopping in the middle of nowhere on an empty highway in Omaha, enjoying the breeze and great conversation—all of these little details make for an unforgettable moment. People travel to the biggest cities, to stay at the best hotels, yet they fail to notice that the moments that do stay with you are miniscule and rarely found at such places.”
Nowadays, when Al-Bahar isn’t exploring a city at some random corner of the world, he chooses to spend his time at Pink Coffee Marketing and PR working alongside his team with a trusted network of clients to continue carving out the nonexistent. Escapade is only but a part of what he believes is part of the Pink Coffee experience.
Escapade is organized once or twice a year, and allows select participants to experience adventures, or the real taste of traveling. Whether avid photographers, looking for beauty off the beaten tracks, or cultural enthusiasts who consider themselves students of the world, there is a place for everyone seeking that special experience.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness is when you hit the bed knowing that you achieved something that will make someone happy.
What is your greatest fear?
That would be when my place and surroundings will not fit my ideas anymore.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
When I believe in an idea, sometimes I’ll believe it’s flawless.
Which living person do you most admire?
I would say Daniel Day Lewis; the dedication he gives to his art is second to none.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Maybe books? It may sound corny, but yeah, definitely books!
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
When you keep your mind in your head.
When were you happiest?
Whenever I see my family happy.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Singing! I’m a very bad singer actually; people I know literally wear earplugs.
What would you consider your greatest achievement?
Where would you most like to live?
Dublin, Ireland, and to this date I am still pursuing this dream.