"I'm My Own Boss"
Jenny Haddad, is the founder of DB Babies (dbbabies.com), a chain of stores and online store for baby buys.
HER STORY Jenny started DB Babies in 2007. Her friends were having children and Jenny had difficulty trying to find gifts for newborns online. So she started an internet company selling baby gift baskets. When Jenny started a family of her own, she decided she didn’t want to go back to her office job, as she wanted to spend more time with her family. So she left her company and concentrated on DB Babies. Over the next four years she expanded her online business in Abu Dhabi and Saudi, opened a store in Mercato Mall and Town Center, and she’s just opened another store in Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi.
LESSON LEARNED “Don’t just buy what you like, buy what the market wants.”
Becky Balderstone, is the founder of Ripe (ripeme.com).
HER STORY With a husband in the agricultural industry, Becky quickly spotted a gap in the market for locally grown organic produce. She noticed how her friends bought local produce when they spotted it in supermarkets, but the choice was limited. So in May 2011, she launched the Dubai Farmer’s Market at the Dubai Garden Centre to showcase the organic farm produce the UAE had to offer. It turned out to be a huge success. Becky then started a home delivery service. Finally she opened a farm store in Umm Sequim this year.
LESSON LEARNED “To stay transparent. People need to know we only work with organic certified farms.”
Sara Al Madani, co-founder of Rouge Couture (rouge-couture.com).
HER STORY Sara had always had a passion for fashion. And when studying at university she joined with design student Apple Wang to launch the abaya brand Rouge Couture, which combines the traditional abaya with avante garde style. “We also opened our first store in an industrial area of Ajman where there wasn’t much business.” However, when they brought the brand to Sharjah, the brand found its feet, and before long the brand was so sought after they had to open another store in Jumeirah on Al Wasl Road.
LESSON LEARNED “Dubai has so much competition, so I’ve had to alter designs and prices to stay competitive.”