Creativity attracts, that’s a fact. When graphic design graduate Nimsha Al-Kharji moved to London for her postgraduate studies, she noticed the ease of grabbing a light meal, good coffee and having a quiet “office” to get her work done. “There are so many available workspaces for anyone [including students] to pay and just sit and get work done,” Nimsha started, “and I noticed that gap here in Kuwait.” While startup accelerators exist and offer remarkable services, students and freelancers alike seem to be at a loss when it comes to finding their ideal workspace. On the other hand, Co-Owner of Magnet Nouf Al-Ghanim, is a law graduate with a deeply rooted passion for food. Having always dreamed of opening a home-style café, Nouf’s dad made the dream come true and helped her and Nimsha find the perfect location – and this is how Magnet came to be.
“The whole thing started over the phone,” Nimsha laughed. A phone call between Nimsha and Nouf opened the door to a great venture that would combine both their interests to benefit everyone. A café and workspace in one, Magnet arrives as the ultimate space for creativity to shine. Split up into three levels and an outside seating area, Magnet has been designed to inspire its patrons. Minimal design and a clean aesthetic add to the Zen-like theme. Exposed light-bulbs, steel fixtures, pipes and wooden seats decorate the area, as well as white flowers and cushioned benches all-around.
While Nimsha had the idea to create a workspace, Nouf’s dream was to create a health-conscious café to cater to locals. “We’re inspired by the amount of quick-bite options you can get anywhere in Europe,” Nouf smiled, “and we wanted to do something similar, so we combined them into one idea!” – taking us back to their fated phone conversation. Craving to create something different, they decided to join forces to see their dreams come true. Nouf got the café she wanted and Nimsha got her workspace. Working with a specialized chef, the café offers healthy, quick bites and an incredible coffee selection.
They even went as far as offering lactose free, almond and soy milk! “We also have an almond-coconut milk combo,” Nimsha boasts. Created as a one-stop-shop for those looking for some quiet, Magnet balances between the workspace and café. Nothing is held above the other as they’re created equal – they ensure that everything is fresh and prepared daily. The food is super light and ideal for a quick business-lunch meeting or pre-cram session sustenance. They’re also currently working on developing a weekend brunch menu with breakfast to follow eventually! Super exciting news for the early birds out there.
While the music is kept at a comfortable, conversational volume downstairs, upstairs is entirely isolated. “We wanted to create a ‘Quiet Zone’ for people to work in a hushed environment,” Nouf began, “People follow the rules amazingly and even step out of the zone to answer their phone!”
For a nominal fee, people can “rent” a desk to work at for the entire day. Refreshments are kept on the side and finger foods can be ordered from the café to be enjoyed while working upstairs. The cozier meeting rooms for group study sessions and meeting offer an incredible feature: Idea Paint painted walls! So go ahead and draw some charts on the walls. Their other notable space would be on the next floor up, the “Open Space.” Reserved for workshops, seminars and meetings, the space is fully equipped with a projector and the café can also provide catering if required.
So what’s next for Nimsha and Nouf? The sky’s the limit!
Up close and personal questionnaire:
What do you most value in your friends?
Nimsha: Love, trust, loyalty and respect.
Nouf: Their loyalty & trust.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Nimsha: Peace of mind.
Nouf: Getting on a plane and exploring the world.
What is your greatest fear?
Nimsha: Cockroaches! Full stop.
Nouf: Losing someone I’m attached to.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Nimsha: I trust very easily, sometimes people use it to their advantage.
Nouf: I’m very blunt and don’t easily get along with people.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Nimsha: Unkindness, hypocrites & judgmental people.
Which living person do you most admire?
Nimsha: MY MOTHER.
Nouf: Mama Muneera, my beautiful grandmother whom I consider as my mother.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Nimsha: Buying gadgets nonstop.
Nouf: SHOES!! I can never have enough!
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Nimsha: So, basically…
Nouf: Who cares?
What is it that you most dislike?
Nouf: Routine. It kills me!
Which talent would you most like to have?
Nimsha: Playing the piano and the guitar.
Nouf: Being able to speak all the languages of the world.
If you could have any job, what would it be?
Nimsha: It’s my job now, working for myself!
Nouf: Become an interior designer & a Michelin inspector.
What would you consider your greatest achievement?
Nimsha: My master’s degree and Magnet are my greatest achievements.
Nouf: Graduating from law school.
What is your most treasured possession?
Nimsha: Being always grateful is my most treasured possession.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Nimsha: Big dreamer.
Nouf: I’m a hard worker, I never give up & always like to keep myself busy.
Where would you most like to live?
Nimsha: Kuwait/London/New York, four months in each country.
Nouf: Florence, Italy.
What are your favorite words to live by?
Nouf: Always count your blessings and be grateful for the life you’re living.
Magnet is located in Salmiya, Amr Bin Al-Aas Street, Block 3, Aknan Complex. Call them on 2225 4085 for more information. Follow them on Instagram @Magnet.KW to check out their incredible creations and to find out about their latest offerings!