Common questions answered

Frequently Asked Questions

Almost all of our crafts are sourced directly from specalist craftsmen (and crasftswomen):

  • Monasteries that specialize in the product (e.g. orban stamps require specialization in woodsmithing).
  • Iconographer we have tested and worked with for a long-time.
  • Local community members who specialize in a given craft (e.g. masks were produced by a professional seamstress).
  • We commission manufacturers to produce some of our unique items.

There are many factors that explain why some prices seem high to those used to shopping in Egypt:

  • An important consideration is that inflation has hit Egypt very hard (15% on average vs 2% in the US), both in material and labor. The recent floating of the currency has exasperated this. So the prices our aunts are used to, are just that. What they used to be.
  • There are two qualities for many manufacturers, 'local' and 'export' quality. The latter costs more as it is meant for an international audience (like you and us).
  • Many of our crafts are made by some of the best in the business. These craftsmen / craftswomen are highly sought after.
  • The cost of shipping is exorbitant. And we haven't yet discussed handling, where drivers move products from deep in the desert in some cases to bring them to the shipper. Some of these unique items would not be accessible to most of us otherwise.

We carry quite a bit of inventory of common items (e.g. orban stamps, tunics, baptism outfits) and many of the most common icon themes and sizes. If you have any inquiries, please reach out through the contact form below.

Many other items have to be built on order (e.g. custom icons or priest vestments). Our craftsmen are really fast at producing our custom requests. We get about 2 large shipments per month (to benefit from economies of scale), so you won't have to wait that long for your custom order.

Historically, we have less than 0.2% returns (which is 100x less than the e-commerce average). They are usually due to misunderstandings or shipping errors. We correct promptly if it's from our side and at our cost.

If your order is custom, we will share with you progress and snapshots along the way. We inspect all products upon arrival. Most custom orders are hard for us to sell so we would work with you to correct the situation.

If you really don't like the product we will take it back. The goal is to serve, not frustrate.

Absolutely, please contact us to discuss. We are looking to support more craftsmen / women in Egypt and elsewhere.

As our product selection grew and as our customers are expecting great service from us, it was time to offer a better experience. In addition, a few things have accelerated this move (only 3 months after launch!):

  • We realized that the previous platform overcharged for shipping in 2 ways. First, it did not offer customers the discounted "commercial" rates shippers gave them. Instead, it displayed the standard advertised rates.
  • Secondly, they did not offer bundled / dimensional shipping. So if you bought 3 items, you paid shipping 3 times. In our new platform, the package size is optimized automatically when you check out.
  • We did not have full control over the listings and marketing. In some cases, we were not comfortable with the other products sold alongside our Christian products.
  • The goal is to reduce our costs to bring prices down; the many additional platform fees (including shipping and payment fees) would have to be borne by the customer.
  • Finally, the back-end was a challenge when many orders were to be handled, resulting in delays to customers. We built and optimized a new platform that reduced our overhead, allowing us to offer better service.

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