Jelena Jakovljevic Bin Drai

The founder of Duchess
Jelena Jakovljevic Bin Drai
Jelena Jakovljevic Bin Drai

In 2012 this savvy entrepreneur and busy mum-of-three added not only a fourth company to her name with the opening of Duchess, but also a fifth...

Tell us about your latest ventures.
I finally launched Duchess, my clothing line – this was my dream for such a long time. I offer timeless pieces that are glamorous and show-stopping without sacrificing comfort. I also managed to set up our first multi-speciality medical centre, Al Das Medical Clinic. This is my biggest project to date.

Of your five businesses – Asya’s Nursery, Duchess, Vanilla By Jelena, Chocolate By Jelena and Al Das Medical Clinic – which is your favourite?
I love all the businesses. They’re like my kids! I started them and was there every day to watch them grow. Duchess is very special to me though as it allows me to return to my roots. I studied architecture at university so sketching and working on the dresses satisfies my creative passion.

What gives you your inspiration?
I’m a workaholic!

What are your goals for 2013?
To keep a balance between my private and professional life.

How do you juggle your hectic business life with motherhood?
I have a great team around me with good reliable managers. I was struggling for a few years and felt guilty every day when I was running off to meetings and leaving my babies. Now the situation is different, I have learnt how to delegate.