SUPPORT ENTREPRENEURS

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.

Entrepreneurship is often born out of just needing to explore. Having two businesses myself (Live Loud Girl and Fronteriors), I know it is something I just needed to do. And the only way to make it work is putting in ten times the effort, the hours and the energy that you anticipated.
It took me 7 years to get to where we are today. Without knowing what the future in a damaged economy will bring, I am lucky that we could stay afloat and keep the team onboard. If I would have lived somewhere else, that might not have been the case and I could have lost everything just in the last few months.

Our team member Roos lives in South Africa. South Africa today is currently one of the hardest hit countries. After being in lockdown for 132 days (and counting) the economy is suffering. Hard! The endless amount of small enterprises, coffee establishments, restaurants, creative initiatives have had to close their doors due to the regulations to flatten the curve. Yet without customers, but with rent and staff to pay, they are now closing down one by one. This is leaving behind a trail of entrepreneurs with shattered dreams, suppliers that are out of business and staff members (often bread winners) without an income.

No one has an idea of where this is going and what the long term implications will be. Entrepreneurs who still have a business will have to be innovative and clever, those who lost a job will have to work harder then ever to get back into the game.

Luckily, we won’t have to sit back and do nothing.
Starting today, we can support small businesses.
Slow down and shop from your local baker, butcher and munger. Get your new summer outfit form a small designer and your bag from a passionate craftsmen. Be sure to go out for some lovely long lunches or romantic dinners not only for yourself, but to show restaurateurs you want them to get through this. With that meal you will be supporting a business, the staff and numerous suppliers.
Let’s do something for those fellow entrepreneurs, especially for those who are unfortunate due to circumstances beyond their reach. Even if it is just a shout out on your social media.

For those who want to go a step further, look around if there is a charity that you can help. Either with your time, your money or just by putting them in the lime light. Use your voice and network to get attention to a project that is close to your heart. Because if you are in the position to help- in any way – this is the time!

A few projects close to our hearts: Sandwich making for Ladles of Love | Coffee shop for charity | Naazneens Soup Kitchen | Photo credits: Simplylifephotographs

WORKING ON YOUR BUSINESS

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.



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BUSINESS GOALS 2020

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.

Reflect

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.

Goals

  • 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
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BUILDING A BRAND ONLINE – DUBAI DESIGN WEEK

@fronteriors on building a brand online

We had the chance to be present at the fifth edition of the Dubai Design Week again 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.



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