With our latest installation done and dusted, a break from the heat in Dubai and our current holiday back home to see family, it almost feels like things are back to normal. However, we are very aware that this is not the case. And although the COVID crisis is not perse something interior styling related, we have (had) a lot to do with it as entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs world wide, big or small, profitable or passionate, commercial or hobbyists, are suffering big time. So whilst people around us are now enjoying a restaurant visit and weekend away again, we do feel that we need to be aware of what is still going on in other parts of the world. And maybe more so; what is still to come.
As an entrepreneur these times are tough. I am not even going into the details as everyone has their own story. Some families are solely dependent on this income, others are not. No matter the situation, industry or part of the world you are in at the moment, we can all agree that entrepreneurs have to sit tight, get creative and reinvent themselves in this uncertain and unpredictable situation.
So… January just flew by before being able to reflect on the past decade. A decade in which I not only became a mother, I also moved countries twice and started up two businesses that I am very proud of today. It is always worth reflecting. Looking back gives you the opportunity to see what went well and what goes on the improvement list. Looking forward allows you to set our business goals for 2020. And being focused on those got me from being passionate about styling to running my own business.
We did not get here overnight. We suffered from imposter syndrome for years, because being a creative and doing what you love can feel like a hobby. But now, six years after arriving in Dubai with an idea, I can say that my gut feeling has been my biggest driver. It got me started with Live Loud Girl, a blog where I would share my love for beautiful interiors. It allowed me to build a team of people I trust and can share ideas with. It forced me to make bold decisions, bluff where needed and grab opportunities. It pushed me to start the furniture business Fronteriors with Kath from House of Hawkes – a partner who others will refer to as my competition. And it challenged me to rent a proper office. Moving into Studio Fronteriors last year, has been a dream come true. It is the home to the Live Loud Girl, House of Hawkes and the Fronteriors team and the place we use for photo shoots and brand styling.
As interiors is kind of our thing, we have put effort, time and money into making this studio an inspirational place for all of us. Painting the ceilings and walls, putting in a wooden floor and adding furniture and accessories that make us smile when we walk in in the morning all adds up to our output.
Taking ourselves seriously (but not too serious… fine line…) and being professional is important for building our brand. We stay very close to what we believe in. Because if we don’t, who will.
Growth is essential. We want to stretch a bit and do things we never would imagine we could pull off. Being scarred and biting some fingernails is part of the fun.
It is not only about how much we make. We focus more on how we make it. The creativity prevails the financials. The fun overrules stress. And coffee always, always beats water.
If starting your own business is on your new years resolutions list, go for it. Here are our cliche tips that have worked for us:
Stop saying you will start, just start!
Speak to people about your ideas. Getting feedback is so valuable
Get out there and sell your product. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will
Work hard, work a lot. Having your own business means that you are working 24/7. If that does not excite you, make a new plan
We had the chance to be present at the fifth edition of the Dubai Design Weekagain at the Dubai Design District (D3). This annual event highlights the best of design, architecture, craftsmanship and creativity from the Middle East. And this year was extra special as we – @fronteriors, a furniture company I started together with fellow stylist @houseofhawkes – were asked to speak at the Forum about building a brand online.