Q&A with Pauline Eveillard, Founder and President SOUKRA.CO

Pauline Eveillard is the founder and president of the e-commerce and lifestyle business SOUKRA.CO, which sells home décor and fashion from Tunisia. We personally love the foutas on SOUKRA.CO which are perfect for trips to the park or beach, extra warmth on a plane or throws for your patio furniture when it gets chilly at night. The business aims to celebrate Tunisia’s burgeoning community of creatives, connect tastemakers with home décor and fashion from Tunisia, and foster mutual understanding. After earning her BA in Art History at Tufts University, she spent a year in Tunisia in 2005-2006 on a Fulbright, where she studied ancient Roman mosaics and made lifelong friends. The research on Roman mosaics that she completed during her Fulbright year was applied to her Master’s thesis at the University of Chicago. Pauline previously worked in non-profit development at World Monuments Fund, an international heritage preservation organization in NYC. Click the photos to shop the post.

What were you doing in your previous life?

Prior to Soukra I worked in NYC at World Monuments Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving architectural and cultural heritage sites around the world. I spent 7 years there, first in programs and then in development where I managed a donor trip to Tunisia in 2012. In May 2016, I left World Monuments Fund to develop and launch Soukra.

What gave you the idea to start your business?

My relationship with Tunisia began in 2005, when I lived there for a year on a Fulbright fellowship to study ancient Roman mosaics. In addition to researching Roman mosaics, I made lifelong friends whom I visit every few years. In 2010 I launched a business importing and e-retailing the Tunisian fouta, a versatile 100% cotton fabric, as a way to bring a piece of Tunisia to the US market.

What spurred you to make the change?

Following the Arab Spring, I saw that there was a burgeoning community of creatives and entrepreneurs in Tunisia. However, there wasn’t a lot of visibility and awareness of the entrepreneurial energy there. So I launched Soukra to shed a light on these inspiring designers and the beautiful products that can be incorporated into any home.

Was there anything holding you back?

I knew that for a l