Any successful new business has a story of hard work behind it. Some also have luck. Kevin Mahany and Ata Sari have both. The UCSB graduates launched their kids fashion store, Mama Luma, in Paseo Nuevo in 2017 and just announced the brand’s first international franchise in Abu Dhabi.
Mama Luma’s clothes, explained Mahany, are inspired by designs created by Sari’s mother, who stitched dresses for her daughter back in their home city of Istanbul. “[Sari’s mom] is like a mom to me too, and to be able to spread her art around the world is such an amazing opportunity,” said Mahany of the pair’s decision to merge the elegance of European tradition with the beauty of Santa Barbara’s surroundings.
Two annual collections turned into a singular style, as the brand is “more about expressing yourself individually the whole year,” said Mahany. “Even if fashion is not something valuable in your life, it’s still an opportunity for you as an individual and for your child to experience another color on the palette of expression.”
The Abu Dhabi franchisee found Mama Luma while traveling from Dubai and approached Mahany last January. After months of negotiations, the store officially opened on May 22. The company plans on growing its customer base online but will always put an emphasis on its brick-and-mortar stores, Mahany said
“The store will be more like a destination, like an experience where you can see past popular designs or pieces of new collections,” he said. “It will be an interactive experience, the moment for you to be a part of our brand.”