Recently, HipMix.net launched a new shopping experience for belly dancers, Shop.HipMix.net. Designed as a one-stop-shopping for belly dancers, it allows belly dance vendors from around the world to host shops side by side. It is free to join, with no limit to how many or what items you choose to upload.
Dilara Sultan, internationally known belly dancer and founder of HipMix.net, said she created the site in order to greater foster the community of marketplaces across international borders.
“If you’re living in a small town, or even a large city, it’s hard to find the belly dance costumes and accessories you need in one place. You can turn to the internet, but often it takes three browsers, 10 tabs, and a whole lot of angst trying to find exactly what you need,” said Dilara.
As someone who splits her time between Texas and Turkey, Dilara knows that what you find in a Turkish bazaar can greatly vary from what you may find in an American thrift store. Her goal was to create a place where those two worlds co-existed.
“Since the beginning of HipMix.net, this was my vision,” Dilara Sultan said. “Only no one could see what I saw. With the evolution of eBay and the advent of Etsy, people understand that there’s a world out there creating and selling unique items that 5 years ago would never be seen on the level they are today.”
The goal behind HipMix.net and now the shopping site has always been about community, Dilara said. Nothing strengthens a community better than a mutually beneficial arrangement, like the one offered on HipMix.net.
“Whether it’s by highlighting great stories, or great stores, HipMix.net has always known there’s a need for this to exist,” said Dilara. “Here you can buy zills from Sarah in South Africa, a veil from Mary in Maine, and a skirt from Annie in Australia.”
The journey to create the site may have been a long time coming, but Dilara doesn’t regret the effort it took to realize her vision.
“What I really wanted was a place where belly dancers come together,” Dilara said. “As much as this vision was mine, it’s really not about me. It’s about every belly dancer I’ve ever met, and I can’t wait to see their success.”