Koullouna is a piece of Lebanon sent to you every month! It is a monthly subscription that aims to connect Lebanon-lovers to the country no matter where they are to beat homesickness. It also gives them the opportunity to contribute to Lebanon's development from afar.
The brainchild of this wonderful initiative is Marielle Khayat who left Lebanon in 2011 to continue her studies abroad. She kept a very strong bond with her country. Khayat was convinced that living abroad doesn’t mean being disconnected from her homeland. She had a burning desire to contribute to Lebanon's development.
“From abroad I was seeing all these local Lebanese initiatives that were pushing the country forward and were spreading hope and positivity. I wanted to get involved, but it was very hard to do that from far away,” she said. That's why she decided to create a channel between expats and their homeland. This is how the Koullouna box was born.
The company had successfully raised 29,000 euros on Indiegogo in November 2017 and continued to grow strong every month.
The team is small, but the startup's impact is significant! Marielle Khayat is the Strategy and Product manager. Pascale Comaty, who was friends with Marielle since high school, takes cares of the marketing and sales. Joseph Sayegh is the logistics and IT manager. He met Marielle during an event for Lebanese Entrepreneurs in Paris. All of them experienced what it's like to feel homesick and want to send small pieces of Lebanon all over the world!
This is what the subscriber finds in the box every month:
- A variety of local goods: food (zaatar, summac, mouneh, nuts…)
- Design products (tote bag, pouch, pillowcase, handmade bowls…)
- Cultural products (books)
- A postcard by a lebanese designer, and a booklet with all the stories behind each product and brand.
Every month, Koullouna donates 10% of the cost of the box to a Lebanese initiative. The money goes to a specific program run by the initiative locally.
We reached out to the team and asked them a few questions!
How did people first react to Koullouna?
"We got very positive feedback from the first box we sent out in April, it was around the theme of “Kankaneh” which means "cocooning at home." People loved the fact they discovered new brands, and that it was a complete surprise for them. The next boxes were even more successful: the “Sobhye box" and the “Jam3a box" made people want more."
What kind of initiatives is Koullouna supporting?
"We support the positive ones. We want to make sure that they are actually having an impact on the ground and that they are moving Lebanon forward. The initiatives we choose don’t have any political or religious affiliation. We also make sure that the initiative of the month makes sense with the theme of the box.
For example for our latest box the “Day3a” box (The Village box), we chose to work with the “Lebanon Mountain Trail Association” that works on creating a trail that crosses through different villages in Lebanon."
Where is the startup based?
"Our startup is based in Lebanon and France. Since our mission is to highlight the great things that are happening in Lebanon, we want to make sure that we’re also participating in its economy and so we decided to register the company there. The team is based in Europe (between Paris and Prague), but we travel regularly to Lebanon to meet with suppliers and initiatives."
"Inspired by our National Anthem “Koullouna lil watan,” of course. It also comes from the fact that we’re stronger together, and that we can move the country forward, even if it’s through small micro-actions. They also make a difference."
The Koullouna boxes are available to order online and can be delivered wherever you are.
It’s the perfect gift to yourself, a loved one living abroad, or a business partner!
For more information, click here.