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Priya Telavane

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind one of Dubai’s business stars, 361 degrees design solutions, Priya Telavane.

Mompreneurs ME: Tell us about your company

Priya: Founded this company 8 years back in Dubai. We mainly do commercial interior design and fit out projects. We help clients to transform their spaces to tell their stories through interiors.

Company is run by architect Duo Amol and Priya (in real life husband and wife) after having 16 years of experience from all over the world. They specialized in interiors and furniture design. We have done around 25 to 30 restaurants, cafes, and food joints in Dubai. Retails stores in all the malls, Healthcare projects like pharmacies, spas, saloons, and clinics. We have done corporate offices for Oxford University, Swedish consulate etc,also designed award winning jwellery brand shops in Dubai.

We are official design consultant for ASTER group. We designed master concept for their pharmacies, optical stores and nutrition concept (300 stores designed so far for them)

We have designed and build Ice rink café for reputed Sharjah Ladies club. We are working for Sharjah girls guide for their interactive facility design and build only for girls.

Priya and Amol won “young successful enthrupenure in Dubai” award in 2016 fro Indian Business forum in Dubai. Priya receiving “women super achiever award “as a young enthrupenure in Bombay on 17th FEB,India organized by femina 26th addition world HRD congress. Priya was invited as a panelist to talk at Women SME 2017 ,Dubai. Priya invited as a panelist to talk at World HRD congress on 17th feb 2018,India

Mompreneurs ME: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?

Priya: While working for other interior design and fit out companies I realized clients aren’t  getting correct design executed. There is big disparity in designer and contractors; time taken to finish the project is unreal. To reduce headache of the clients and provide key-to-key solutions, also to have design centric projects started this company. We both were technically sound, ability to do excellent design, project management skills, Business knowledge we had all resources to go for our own setup against many others who don’t even understand or have education degree ,enough experience in this field.

Mompreneurs ME: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?

Priya: Best part is we are always creative and learn more by books, conferences. Travel all over the world all places to understand the trends, styles and new innovations. To make work happen exactly what we have shown and promise to the client on the paper in tight timeframe. Getting payments on time from clients

Mompreneurs ME: How many kids do you have and how old are they?

Priya: I have 1 kid he is 2 years old. Son – Aaryan


Mompreneurs ME:
How do you juggle work and life balance?

Priya: I have to do it thinking that my goals I get energy. Looking at my son I get smile and go ahead. I am very systematic and try to arrange all things around me to save time. Schedule it well.

Mompreneurs ME: What’s a book you always recommend and why?

Priya: Who moved my cheese is all time fav for quick inspiration. Men are from mars and women are from Venus. What get you here will not get you there.

Mompreneurs ME: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?

Priya: Be focused and crave for what you want to start. Do it as its last day and always be connected to feminine side.

Mompreneurs ME: Your favorite quote is…

Priya: Dream Big and work towards it to make it reality……..

Eva Mezher

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind one of Dubai’s business stars, WE Organic, Eva Mezher.

Mompreneurs ME: Tell us about your company

Eva: We import organic food products from Europe, mainly Poland, which is my home country. My objective is to source healthy and high quality products at competitive pricing. At the same time I want the product to have a list of simple ingredients, understandable by the consumer. I read somewhere: do not eat anything your grandma wouldn’t consider as food. I try to follow this principle.

Mompreneurs ME: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?

Eva: My husband and I had this idea for a while. We travel to Poland once a year to see my family. Every time we went grocery shopping, we discovered many quality products at interesting prices. Every time we used to say to each other: “we should bring this to Dubai!”

As a mom, I was torn as I couldn’t find the right balance between a job that required long working hours, and my life as a mom of two young kids. One day I just decided to focus on being happy and did the big move. I quit my job and started the company. Its been a complete life changer!

Mompreneurs ME: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?

Eva: The best part is definitely the flexibility. I can come home in the afternoon to spend time with my kids, arrange after school activities, check their homework, give them their bath etc, and if needed work later once they are asleep.

At the same time, I still have a job and my responsibilities during the day, which is very important for me.

The toughest part was transitioning from the two completely opposite worlds: corporate and entrepreneurship. Until now I have always worked for large corporations, with its hierarchy and clearly defined roles for everyone. Right now, I am the decision maker and the execution team in one.

Another difficult part was leaving a big open space of a multinational company for an office where I am on my own. No one to share a morning coffee with!

Mompreneurs ME: How many kids do you have and how old are they?

Eva: I have two daughters, 7 and 4 years old

Mompreneurs ME: How do you juggle work and life balance?

Eva: I try to stay organized and get the maximum amount of work done when my kids are at school. I start at 7 am and aim to finish around 3 to 4 pm. Once the kids are home, I aim to spend the best part of the afternoon with them.

Mompreneurs ME: What’s a book you always recommend and why?

Eva: “Mindset” by Carol S. Dweck, which shows the tremendous power of our mind on who we are and who we can become. Extremely interesting book that impacts all sides of our lives.

Mompreneurs ME: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?

Eva: The first advice would be: Make the best of your experience.

Spend time with people who’ve been there, even if they are active in a different field that yours. Sharing experiences is always a good thing and you will definitely learn valuable insights.

Besides, as a young entrepreneur you do quite often feel alone. At least it was the case for me. It’ s important to be able to reach to people who understand what you are going through and learn from their experiences.

Mompreneurs is a very powerful and productive network, make the best use of it!

Mompreneurs ME: Your favorite quote is…

Eva: One day or day one? You decide!

 

Laure Sejean

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind one of Dubai’s Make-up artist stars, Laure Sejean.

Mompreneurs ME: Tell us about your company

Laure: After 15 years in HR, I decided to switch career, to follow my passion and become a Makeup Artist. My services will mainly be focused towards women who don’t have time to do their makeup or maybe they just don’t know. I want to help them in creating a look in 5min because we hardly have more time.

Mompreneurs ME: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?

Laure: It comes after doing the makeup of several women at a wedding and they loved my work! I was so happy about it! I got inspired by few makeup artists like Sona Gasparian (US based, young and such hard worker girl who created her own palette @personacosmetics #identotypalette, I love it!), Desi Perkins (US based, so kind, funny and she does amazing makeups), Charlotte Tilbury (UK Based, she did a lor of UK VOhgue cover, she does very classy makeup, sh could be French 😉 and she’s opening a store in Dubai Mall in January!) and of course Huda Kattan the most well-known in the region such a kind and hard worker woman! It is amazing what she has achieved in such a short period of time!

Mompreneurs ME: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?

Laure: The best part is to make my clients happy each time I’m doing their makeup. The toughest is not stopping in believing in yourself, especially when you’re new in the industry. But my clients remind me how happy they are when they get a makeup done by me, so I then think that ok I’m good at what I do even though I haven’t been in the industry for 15 years!

Mompreneurs ME: How many kids do you have and how old are they?

Laure: I’ve got 3 kids, Louis 8 yo, Oscar 6 yo and Ines 15mo. I’m so lucky to have them around me!

Each of them brought me something good when they were born and usually it was a change in my professional career. Ines brought me the courage to quit my HR Director job and start a new career as a makeup artist!

Mompreneurs ME: How do you juggle work and life balance?

Laure: Personal life and work life cannot be separated. Work is part of our life and we all need to accept it. However I feel very lucky to have flexibility in my personal and work life. I can work in the evening and then spend the morning with my family or go and see a school show and not needing to ask permission from any boss. This is what I enjoy the most!

Mompreneurs ME: What’s a book you always recommend and why?

Laure: It’s a French book, Your 2nd life starts when you realize you only have one. It’s about a woman who realized after a car accident that she needs to change a life. She’s doing a kind of therapy and discovers new ways of living her life. It’s very inspiring and giving a lot of keys.

Mompreneurs ME: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?

Laure: Believe in yourself and use the resources around you. We all have ups and downs and it is more true when you are an Entrepreneur.

Mompreneurs ME: Your favorite quote is…

Laure: It’s time to live the life your dreamt of.(Henry James)

Marianne Azhari

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind one of Dubai’s business stars, Mums First, Marianne Azhari.

Mompreneurs ME: Tell us about your company

Marianne: I help mums feel like winners. Enhance their confidence, their career and look and act credible and influential.

Mums First offers products and services for mothers.

Our Services include:

  • Colour and Style Analysis: Identifying the colour Palette that works best for each mum. AS well as Identifying her Signature Style
  • Wardrobe Review: Looking at her wardrobe and upgrading her outfits whether from “Maternity” to “Back to Work”, or “Back to Work” to “Stylish Maternity” look. Or in general detoxing her wardrobe and creating new outfits from her existing wardrobe that will flatter her natural beauty.
  • Personal Shopping: We take out the hassle of shopping and offer a personal shopper service to our mums.

Our products:

  • We have an ecommerce section where we sell products in skin care, wellness and makeup. The kind of products that mums need and are quick and easy to use with impeccable results.

Mompreneurs ME: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?

Marianne: I always wanted to be a Fashion Designer, I couldn’t. I stayed close to it and worked in the creative industry for 18 years. During that time I always styled my friends and random people for free, as Styling allowed me to work with many fashion brands. Until I learned that Styling people is actually a business! So I decided to do it, its either now or never.

Mompreneurs ME: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?

Marianne: Best part is a Happy Client. Toughest part is to go through a 100 “No” to get a one “Yes”

Mompreneurs ME: How many kids do
you have and how old are they?

Marianne: 3 boys and 1 girl. 8 years, 5 years and 2 years twins.

Mompreneurs ME: How do you juggle work and life balance?

Marianne: I live on a schedule and I dedicate equal private time for each one of my kids (and my husband) to feel special.

Mompreneurs ME: What’s a book you always recommend and why?

Marianne: The Art of not giving a Fuck!

Because it allows you to simply life!

Mompreneurs ME: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?

Marianne:

Be courageous but be patient – these are the two most powerful warriors you need in your journey.

Mompreneurs ME: Your favorite quote is…

Marianne: “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”  -RUMI

 

Louisa Burden

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind one of Dubai’s business stars, #iheartME, Louisa Burden.

Mompreneurs ME: Tell us about your company

Louisa: It is a company dedicate to teen girls to teach them, in a safe environment, the fundamentals about selfcare, deportment and social graces in the effort to build their confidence and boost their self-esteem. Here they will learn the “why” before the “how” of how to look after themselves and how they can feel more empowered by knowing that self-love and acceptance is the most important attribute.

 

Mompreneurs ME: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?

Louisa: I love to help and give. I’m a huge addict of laughter and love to make people feel good about themselves. The idea honestly just popped up when I self-searched for what would make me feel fulfilled. My passion lies in beauty therapy and I one day noticed teenagers and thought, after I googled “teenagers” (I love Google) I felt that I want to teach them to get to know themselves through the art of selfcare. I will always remember my grandmother – you could pull her through a ring, she was my Cleopatra, my Coco Chanel, my Grace Kelly. She dressed well, her make-up, nails, image, and form were what I felt I wanted to become.

 

Mompreneurs ME: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?

Louisa: The best part is the satisfaction I get from seeing the girls laugh and have fun. When they realize how the small little tricks and products can help them through the struggles they face moving from a little girl to a woman. We laugh together, and we are serious together and the healthy balance helps the girls develop within themselves

The toughest part for me is honestly seeing the girls struggle with the new changes. I know that what I teach them helps a lot by guiding/mentoring them through this new transformation with a better understanding and more confidence because they have more control and respect for themselves.

It is for some a very trying and difficult time and it pains me to think that she might feel she has to do it alone. Being a teenager is really a condition – a brain and body thing and through the knowledge and fun approach #iheartME gives, they can feel more in control.

Mompreneurs ME: How many kids do you have and how old are they?

Louisa:Son – 9years old (starter teenager) going on 89 years old… old soul

Daughter – 6 years old and loves what I do (can’t wait to be a teenager herself to be able to do all the things I teach)

 

Mompreneurs ME: How do you juggle work and life balance?

Louisa: (with a vodka in 1 hand and faith in the other)

I take it step by step. One thing at a time, the rest will have its turn.

I love what I do (accept cooking) and even the times I would procrastinate rather than be mommy or business owner, I entertain it for a little bit (like paging through facebook and instagram) and move on to doing what I have too. I don’t beat myself up on stuff and remind myself constantly about my moto “always with no regrets”

In the difficult time I remind myself that “this too shall pass” (at times like a kidney stone) and in the fun times I celebrate all wins, no matter their size!

 

Mompreneurs ME: What’s a book you always recommend and why?

Louisa: Unstoppable by Cynthia Kersey is a great book for me. I got it from a friend I made when we both worked on Disney Cruise Liner and his note he wrote, inspires me to this day. I would like to think he saw something that I didn’t see then (yet). The book is not a massive seller and an old one, but I do love working through it every time, regardless

 

Mompreneurs ME: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?

Louisa: You know what: fear, self bulling, putting yourself down, not feeling good enough and doubting your capabilities will always try to knock you down. You know exactly why you want to do what you want to do, and you will be the one being the best at it because you are unique and strong and capable. Push through what’s holding you back!

 

 

Mompreneurs ME: Your favorite quote is…

Louisa: 

“I cannot be without ME” (said by the famous, elegant, ever so gracious Louisa Burden)

“No obstacle had been too great for people who possess an unstoppable spirit”

Dr. Nashila Farrah Jaffer

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind two of Dubai’s business stars, Pure Health Dubai and We Rock the Spectrum Kids Gym, Dr. Nashila Farrah Jaffer.

Mompreneurs ME: Tell us about your company

Nashila:

  • Pure Health Dubai

Pure Health is dedicated to providing a host of health services to people from all walks of life, in order for them to achieve health and optimum fitness.

Pure Chiro Dubai (www.purechirodubai.com ) offers specialist services in the field of Chiropractic and Physiotherapy to treat impairments, promote mobility, function, and quality of life.

Pure Child Health (www.purechildhealth.com ) offers a multi-disciplinary team of specialists working side by side to provide holistic therapies for children and young adults who experience challenges in their development. These services include: Paediatric Chiropractic, Occupational therapy, Paediatric Physiotherapy, Speech and Language therapy and Behavioural therapy as well as Inclusive Recreation & Sports.

Pure Health Dubai (www.purehealthdubai.com) centres are located in Dubai Media City and Dubai Motor City.

  • We Rock The Spectrum Kids Gym

We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym (www.werockthespectrummdubai.com) was founded to provide a place for children of all ability levels to play and grow together. As the only kid’s gym that offers an all-inclusive philosophy we have found all children can benefit from our uniquely designed sensory equipment that is specifically designed to aid children with special needs and sensory processing disorders. However, in our experience, all children are able to benefit greatly from this equipment by allowing children of all ability levels to play together and learn a great deal from each other and become the best motivation for success on every level.

Mompreneurs ME: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?

Nashila: I have been practicing as a Chiropractor for over fifteen years in the UK and the UAE, and in recent years I have treated more and more children with developmental delays, weak motor skills and sensory issues. This has taken my career on to a more child-orientated path and one that I believe has led me to this point in my journey.

I was inspired by the whole idea and framework of We Rock The Spectrum when I went to the States, and the real test was if my daughters, aged 4 and 6 years at the time, would like it. They absolutely loved it and this is when I knew that the children in Dubai would benefit enormously from a Kids Gym.

My motivation is my two girls. They give me a fresh perspective every single day and they are my drive and inspiration.  I am also passionate about raising awareness and educating parents on the importance of movement for all kids to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. Ultimately, it is my goal to improve the lives of children and families here in the UAE, whilst bringing an element of fun through therapeutic play.

Mompreneurs ME: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?

Nashila: The best part of my work is making a difference to someone’s life. There are so many moments I cherish, one particular comes to mind is a mother coming in for her visit in tears of joy, telling me how for the first time she was able to carry her 6 month old baby girl over the week-end, compared to not being able to hold her for longer than 5 minutes since she was born. Hearing stories such as these are priceless and I am often crying with my patients whilst listening to them!

The toughest part is creating work-life balance. I find there are just not enough hours in the day to complete everything. I am constantly on the go, but I also love the challenge and wouldn’t change a thing. I set myself a list of things to do daily and it is a great satisfaction when they are all complete. I just wish the list would not keep growing!

Mompreneurs ME: How many kids do you have and how old are they?

Nashila: I am blessed to have my two daughters Safiya, 7 years, and Aliya, 5 years – they are everything to me and of course they challenge me daily but also inspire me all the same. Seeing them grow, develop and learn new skills through perseverance and dedication, discovering their talents, unlocking their inner potential… it’s a full time job in itself. For sure, they are my drive, my energy, without them, I would not be doing what I am doing today.

Mompreneurs ME: How do you juggle work and life balance?

Nashila: This is the hardest part of my life, having two things you l
ove, your family whom you love to the moon and back, and your business which is saving and changing lives of others. Both are so important to me and of course, nothing ever comes before my children, their love, their innocence, their trust in you as their mother is priceless. At the same time the love and appreciation you get from your patients gives a sense of responsibility. I love going to work and helping people and making a difference to someone’s quality of life. I feel blessed to be able to do this and I feel wasted if I am not. I also cherish quality time with my kids and I don’t want to miss these precious years which go so quickly, so it is a constant juggle and one I find very hard to manage. So a lot of the time I take my girls to work with me and they love it! It’s a win-win situation!

Mompreneurs ME: What’s a book you always recommend and why?

Nashila: “The Power of Now” by Eckharte Tolle. The message is so simple……living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. Don’t wait for things to happen, don’t dwell on things that already have….just enjoy the now. It’s that simple

Mompreneurs ME: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?

Nashila: START NOW. Don’t overthink. Set your intention, LOVE what you do, be passionate, persevere, believe you can do it and you will do it.

Mompreneurs ME: Your favorite quote is…

Nashila: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right” Henry Ford

Doaa Tahboub

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind one of Dubai’s business stars, Luxe House ME, Doaa Tahboub.

Mompreneurs ME: Tell us about your company

Doaa: Luxe House is fast growing regional agent of multinational premium brands. Formed in 2012, Luxe House is in the business of discovering, nurturing and delivering lifestyle with the sort of panache that the world’s most coveted brand names seek.

Mompreneurs ME: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?

Doaa: I was thrown into a major life challenge that disrupted my family’s wellbeing; in the meantime, my father’s business needed someone additional attention to grow its potential. I took a major leap of faith and moved forward with the challenge knowing that I didn’t have past experience in the distribution and luxury industry; instead, I was determined to turn this challenge into a sustainable opportunity.

My intuition and gut feeling were my biggest drive. Through various experiences, I engineered myself to trust the voices in my head & heart which helped me in moving forward with confidence.

Growing up, my dad was my biggest inspiration. I grew up seeing him flourish in his various successful business roles throughout his career. His fearless, risk-taking, entrepreneurial spirit are what encouraged me to pursue this opportunity the most.

Mompreneurs ME: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?

Doaa: Best part of what I do is to create opportunities of employment amidst unstable economical times. It is also about finding team members who share your vision and believe in you. The company would’ve never reached thus far if it wasn’t for every small & big effort put in by every team member.

The toughest thing to me is constantly having to step out of your comfort zone in order to develop knowledge required to understand the mechanics of every department to run the wheel in motion effectively. To succeed in what you do, you must always be a chapter ahead to lead the business forward. Which often requires engaging in knowledge empowering platforms, such as seminars, workshops, classes, networking events, etc.

Entrepreneurs live on the edge of immense profit and total loss and need to change constantly and adapt to the ever changing market trends to survive and make profits as well. One can only do that if he/she has a natural sense of responsibility, leadership, & constant wiliness to evolve & improve.

Mompreneurs ME: How many kids do you have and how old are they?

Doaa: I have one daughter (8 years) & currently expecting our second child, due in January.

Mompreneurs ME: How do you juggle work and life balance?

Doaa: The presence of a solid support system is very important.

I also rely a lot on the practice of being happy; be it through praying & meditating, surrounding myself with positive people, or through engaging in some R&R activities.

Sometimes taking a break is the most productive thing you can do. It re-energizes and clears your mind, acting as both a mental and physical reset. For me, taking short breaks is a chance to regain motivation and clarity for the season ahead.

Mompreneurs ME: What’s a book you always recommend and why?

Doaa: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries & Start with Why by Simon Sinek are two amazing books providing entrepreneurs the insight they need to make it on their journey.

Mompreneurs ME: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?

Doaa: First, is your idea compelling?  Does it address a current or future market need?  You must be excited about the potential and that passion needs to be conveyed confidently throughout your journey.

Next, be prepared to work hard.  I love the excitement and risk taking involved with startup organizations, but it often requires long hours.

One final thing is building your support system. Surround yourself with people who believe in your upcoming mission and are readily available to extend a helping hand.

Mompreneurs ME: Your favorite quote is…

Doaa: Whatever doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger.

 

Helen Al Uzaizi

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind one of Dubai’s business stars, Future Entrepreneurs, BizWorld UAE, BizWorld Jordan, Helen Al Uzaizi.

Mompreneurs ME: Tell us about your company…

Helen: We do entrepreneurship and financial literacy education for children aged 8-15. We do this with schools, workshops, youth organizations and work with young children on developing their entrepreneurial mind-set and spirit to prepare them for the ever-changing world.

Mompreneurs ME: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?

Helen: The idea came about in the middle of the night on April 1st 2016. My husband showed me a tweet about a company in the US that works on entrepreneurship with kids and I realized no one is working on the educational side of this much needed skill. Whether they decide to have an entrepreneurial journey or not, the mind-set means that we are developing creativity, resilience, empathy and much more.

Mompreneurs ME: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?

Helen: Best part, by far, is working with the kids and seeing the excitement they feel when they go through the projects and take on roles like company CEO and VP of finance. They have so much positive energy and passion and it just makes me over the moon when I work with them. Can’t imagine anything more fulfilling.

The toughest has been to get into schools. Although they are all interested and want to integrate the program into their curricula, there are so many layers and levels that it takes a long time to get through. There’s also a lot of bureaucracy when it comes to the education systems and frameworks that it is difficult to stay patient and passionate when you spend so much of your time doing paper work. I want to just get on with it and do great things with these kids and then there’s always one more document, one more approval, one more requirement and it gets daunting at times especially as I am working on a regional level and dealing with the UAE, Jordan, Egypt and now starting to look into Saudi Arabia as well.

Mompreneurs ME: How many kids do you have and how old are they?

Helen: I have two girls, 9 and 6 years old.

Mompreneurs ME: How do you juggle work and life balance

Helen: They aren’t always perfectly aligned and sometimes I do have to prioritize one over the other for a short period of time. I think the realization that it will not always be perfectly balanced is what helps a lot. I do most of the things that I do for me (working out, reading) in the morning as early as 4:30am and that way I release the sense of guilt that a lot of moms have. I also prioritize things depending on the days and what I have planned – I have an incredible agenda/ journal that I rely on which I use to plan my week ahead and spend a few minutes every evening planning the next day and seeing what I can do when. I think the two key things are:

  1. Not everything needs to be perfect – there won’t always be a perfect balance, I won’t always look perfect, I don’t need to be perfect!
  2. Planning and organizing my days ahead of time (while knowing that things can change)

Mompreneurs ME: What’s a book you always recommend and why?

Helen: Jack Canfield – The Success Principles. It was given to me by my mentor and changed my life and anyone who I have gifted it to says the same. The first chapter of the book sums it all. Take 100% accountability. For your life, your choices, your days. The minute we understand that we have choices and hold ourselves accountable, we stop blaming people and the world and take ownership and control of the situation (empower ourselves) and that is when we can create the change we want to see, whether it is within ourselves, our work, our family life or environment. 100% accountability and that is true self-empowerment.

Mompreneurs ME: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?

Helen: Don’t forget to take care of yourself. We can get so caught up in setting up a business and working on managing ‘everything’ that we forget ourselves. If your cup is not full, you can’t quench anyones thirst. This applies to the simple things like having time to meditate, read, plan your day, work out or even getting your nails done, massage or whatever it is that makes YOU happy and feel fulfilled. I believe many Mompreneurs think being overwhelmed and neglecting themselves is part of the process, but it does not have to be. Even something as simple at 10 minutes a day for YOU to do what YOU want can make all the difference in the world – your patience, your understanding, your giving will all benefit from you taking care of yourself.

Mompreneurs ME: Your favorite quote is…

Helen: I have many but ever since I started triathlon and did my first IronMan70.3, the slogan that they use is ‘Anything is Possible’ and it is something I truly believe in. I don’t like saying ‘Nothing is Impossible’… it feels negative… but Anything is Possible is full of dreams, hopes, and gives me the feeling that whatever I set my mind to, I can do and I believe everyone has that power. So, Anything is Possible would be my favorite quote.

Karin Drane

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind one of Dubai’s business stars, Curveball Events & Talents, Karin Drane.

Mompreneurs ME: Tell us about your company

Karin: We are an event and talent company that puts a personal spin on things and specialize in longterm collaborations with our clients. Our team is young and fresh in terms of ideas but old school and wise in terms of the quality we provide. We handle promotions and roadshows, product launches, corporate events and bespoke weddings but we also support many clients with video production and customized giveaways.

Our talent division exclusively represents Kris Fade, Priti Malik, Big Rossi, Brent Black and Maz Hakim from Virgin Radio, Malavika Varadan from City 101.6 as well as Karen McLean who is also known as Secret Squirrel Food.

Mompreneurs ME: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?

Karin: In my case it was a combination of two things: demand from the market (long term clients requesting my services) and a wish to do things my way so it was somehow inevitable to have my own. In terms of the talent management part that developed after working with Kris Fade for the first time. We got along great and shared the same ethics so it was a no-brainer.

My biggest inspiration and mentor was my previous boss Dr Ramesh Ramachandran. Working under him was incredible and I watched first hand how much of a difference there is between managing and leading as well as how much leadership affected the company and its results.

Mompreneurs ME: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?

Karin: The best part is that we have a lot of versatility in our job and get to work with a lot of young people. In our industry you’re pretty much always working, but never really working since you have so much fun doing it. One day we’re customizing flower arrangements for a launch, the other day we are looking into how skydiving can be branded or doing a sampling campaign in Dubai Mall. The next day we are planning Kris’ trip to attend the Oscars, filming Karen McLean making something yummy or setting up a boxing ring and another day we’re on the beach in 40 degrees setting up a wedding. You get the picture. Most of the time we engage promoters in their early 20s who are either working to make extra money for that bag they always dreamed of or to pay their studies or even help the household with money. It is a humbling experience to be able to contribute to that.

The toughest part is probably client retention. The competition here is fierce and although I believe a client can never be stolen; they can of course be tempted to try someone else if you drop the ball and lose your edge. It is tough to stay ahead here. Forget staying on top of your game, you need to RAISE your game. Every. Single. Day.

Mompreneurs ME: How many kids do you have and how old are they?

Karin: I have twin daughters who just turned 2 years old.

Mompreneurs ME: How do you juggle work and life balance?

Karin: Well for starters I think it is safe to say my social life has taken a hit. And everything is most of the time upside down. But I have embraced the chaos so to say. There are only so many hours in a day and when you have children your priorities change drastically. Being somewhat of a workaholic I am well aware of the fact that I can find things to do 24/7 so I found balance by making a schedule and sticking to it. I usually spend time with my children in the morning and leave the house before they go down for their 12 o’clock nap. If weather allows it they either walk me to work or come and pick me up so we get some light exercise in. I try to spend quality time with them from coming home to when they sleep and drop everything else unless it is something really urgent. Luckily with my work I can also bring them along to fun experiences. Granted they did not see the full joy of Taste of Dubai this year for instance but as they grow older I see my work as something that actually enhances their life rather than taking mommy away from them.

Mompreneurs ME: What’s a book you always recommend and why?

Karin: I would say it is a tie between The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell . Both of them provide mind boggling new perspectives on both work and personal life. I made quite a few changes as a result of reading them.

Mompreneurs ME: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?

Karin: Surround yourself with people that are on the same journey as you and prepare for some friends not being fans of your newfound passion for work and children. Change is inevitable and a lot of people may not like it that you don’t have time for them but if they don’t have your drive they will never understand anyways so no need to waste your energy. I also believe it is important as a Mompreneur to know that you and only you can decide the right balance between work and your children. Nobody else have the full picture so you need to trust your instinct on when to go full speed vs hold back a bit on work in favor of your children and vice versa.

Mompreneurs ME: Your favorite quote is…

Karin: “We rise by lifting others” by Robert G Ingersoll

 

Nathalie Haddad

We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind one of Dubai’s business stars, Right Bite and Nathalie’s Coffee & Kitchen, Nathalie Haddad Attiyah.

Mompreneurs ME: Tell us about your company…

Nathalie: Right Bite started in 2004 and was the pioneer in the nutrition & personalized meal plans specializing in healthy meals prepared fresh daily based on individual requirements and goals. Since then we have grown steadily throughout the years expanding in our area of expertise which is the healthy catering space adding to our portfolio healthy corporate catering, on demand (Right Bite express) and Right Bite kiosks and pop ups in different offices and business towers.
In addition we went into retail with Nathalie’s Coffee & Kitchen; a cozy eatery focusing on healthy wholesome fresh ingredients and gourmet food.

Mompreneurs ME: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?

Nathalie: I am a dietitian by education and career and was always passionate about helping individuals take care of their health. Nutrition is an integral part of our day to day lives and plays a large role in preventing many of the diseases we are faced with today and ensuring that you are at your healthiest.

I was counseling individuals on Nutrition and helping them achieve their health goals when I started Right Bite. It was as an added service to help individuals achieve their goals hassle free. Right Bite also educates individuals on portion size, variety and what constitutes a healthy diet; especially in todays world where many are confused with all the information available in the media.

Mompreneurs ME: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?

Nathalie: The best part is making a difference in our clients lives and the positive impact that we have on their overall health and wellbeing. Right Bite has become a household name and that is the biggest reward for me and my team.

The toughest part is the ongoing challenges that you have to overcome on a daily basis to ensure that you are always working towards improving yourself, your team and the service you provide.

Mompreneurs ME: How many kids do you have and how old are they?

Nathalie: I have 2 girls; a 4 year old and a 1 year old and a little boy on the way.

Mompreneurs ME: How do you juggle work and life balance

Nathalie: As the demands of the kids and work both seem to be increasing at the same time these days this gets to be a bit tough at times… more in terms of being tired at the end of the day more than anything else.  I make sure I schedule everything – both the kids activities and work requirements and am lucky to have a great support system around me from family to close friends.

Mompreneurs ME: What’s a book you always recommend and why?

Nathalie: “Lean in” is a great book that depicts many of the real life issues we face as working women that have to juggle between work and family and provides inspiration to all mompreneurs.

Mompreneurs ME: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?

Nathalie: Focus on the quality and not just the quantity of time that you spend with your kids or at work.
Make sure you love what you do and the rest will come into place.

Mompreneurs ME: Your favorite quote is…

Nathalie: The most beautiful things in world cannot be seen or touched; they are felt with the heart – the little prince

 

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