It took me only 3 full days to write the Business Plan. I had thought about You Rock for so long, it came easy to just put it down on paper. I was excited and with every page I wrote I got even more excited. This is really going to happen! With a major in Finance, I knew that I would need a financial partner in order to fulfill my dream. I had saved money from my previous work, but I also had two small children and life in Dubai is expensive!
Luckily it did not take me long until I found a great financial partner, who is a close friend and who was not only willing to come up with her own hard saved money, but to help me at the beginning as much as she could.
My financials were sorted and I started to look for a great location, reasonably priced in Dubai. Not an easy task, but I finally found a small store with a very high ceiling in Downtown/ Business Bay, very close to Dubai Mall. It is located underneath a serviced hotel apartment building (Damac Maison), easy access and free parking in the building. It is 5 minutes from Dubai Mall and right at the RTA Taxi Boat station, with people hopping on and off. The area is magical and gets better every day. Across the street is Bay Square with its beautiful restaurants and just a wonderful vibe.
Trust me if I say the shop is small, but high. I call it “my little chimney” and I fell in love with it straight away. I imagined tall shelves that would reach until the ceiling and was very lucky with the rent and the landlord. GRATEFUL!
I was also very lucky with the fit out company I chose. Having had so many different contractors since I started in the UAE, it was simply a blessing to communicate with these guys. We were of course delayed, but it was hardly anybody’s fault. All papers and documents took long, trade license, bank account etc. I think a lot of people who started their own business can relate.
Fit out started in January 2018 and was finished end of June, but we still had to wait for a lot of approvals from the government. By end of July everything was ready and we opened our doors to the public beginning of September. The store looked great and I am still so proud of it. It is crazy comparing the photos of when we took over until everything was done. I was cleaning each shelf with a huge smile and could not wait to fill the shelves. The Signature Line had just arrived and I was so happy with the result. I cannot describe the feeling you get when your dream slowly turns into reality. I was exhausted and so happy, but I knew that the real work starts now. Promoting, keep going to Network events, constantly working on the website, Instagram and Facebook had already started and I knew it will never stop.
This is something you will need to keep in mind; it will NEVER STOP. It is part of your daily routine, if you are sick, if you are tired, if you are on holidays... you slow down on putting everything into your project and you will be punished. You will need at all times to be on top of your game, respond to phone calls no matter what time, no matter if it is the weekend or if you don’t feel for it. It is the typical life of an entrepreneur and I ask myself a lot of times, why I am doing this to myself. But then again, every time you have fun and kind customers and every time you finish a special project under a lot of pressure; you have that kick, that amazing feeling that you created this brand and all the products. That you packed thousands of gift boxes, cut ribbons, fought with tape and tissue paper...it sounds stupid, but it is all so worth it. Every time I meet people, I hope they ask me what I do... I often actually don’t wait until they ask me. I will tell them anyway, if they want to hear it or not :)