7 Moksi Women answering my 7 questions : how they are Living and Working in Dubai.
I was so happy all these 7 women wanted to participate - even more when I could work with the lovely Rebecca Rees - who photographed all their outdoor portrait photo's. We only had 1 day (a crazy busy day!) to make it all happen, since everyone has a busy schedule. So one day in March, we drove around Dubai in the heat and visited them all.
People have a certain image in their heads when thinking of Dubai. Instantly only thinking of the luxurious side of living here - which is here too. But there are more people simply living their normal everyday lives - being a mother, being a creative or running their business. They mix this all together - most of them doing so while creating their home away from home. To me, that's what makes them great & inspiring Moksi Women.
*So, this week in The Moksi Homes mini-series, meet Dubai designer Maha Gorton.
I was out and about, exploring one of the many weekend markets Dubai has to offer, when I discovered the creations of Little Farasha - beautiful and handmade baby items. I started talking with the gorgeous lady behind the stand, who was so friendly, I had to know more - that's how I met Maha 2 years ago. I had seen the traditional headscarves Arab men are wearing but I had not seen them used in baby accessories, like her mini dribble bibs. Maha designed them initially for her own 3 children but soon started her company - Little Farasha, meaning Little Butterfly. Her collection is now spread out to more than baby items, she designs fashionable kids wear as well and last week launched her newest collection - Little Bugs. Personally I love the Mummy & Me kimonos, such a sweet idea!
Being half English and half Egyptian, Dubai is Maha's home and the city where she was born. Growing up she lived between the UK and the U.A.E. so Maha knows how it feels to move around, adapt and to blossom. A Moksi Women, a working mum and the wife of a film director, she does it all, so I was truly glad she made the time to answer my questions.
**What inspired you to start your business / work in this branch?
My kids! Little Farasha was born out of a need. I couldn't find bibs for my seriously drooly twins that were both functional & stylish and I couldn't find nursing cover sets that reflected the glamorous lifestyle that we live.
**In your work, what is your favourite creation you have made so far?
That's a hard question! I genuinely love all of my pieces... but if I had to pick I would say the Ramadan Calendar. It is very unique and so useful. There are an endless number of ways that you can use it.
**Working in Dubai, how would you describe it to anyone not living here?
A very special and unique city, full of opportunities & where everything runs on fast forward!
**Which side of running your own business / working in this branch excites you the most?
Creating! I have my studio at home so when I get inspired it's easy to get started almost immediately. My kids are very involved in the design process too, especially my daughter. She tests out every sample, helps finalize colours and combinations and most importantly, she tries it and gives me her feedback.
**As a working mother, how do you keep a good balance between work and your life at home?
It is always a struggle. When the kids are on holiday or sick, my husband has work and I go to assist, my own work has to wait. Then when I'm working on a new collection or launching it, my work takes up more of my time. There is a lot of give and take. After a lot of feeling guilty and beating myself up when I couldn't do it all, I made a mental list of my own personal priorities - like reading to my kids in the evening and putting them to bed - going out with my husband for dinner, spending kid-free time with my own mother etc. I make sure that those things happen. Everything else has to be flexible.
**Do you have any tips for other women who want to start their own business or work here in Dubai?
Go for it! And make it your own. No one is inventing the wheel but whatever you do put your own stamp on it.
A great piece of advice someone gave me was to talk to people! Its amazing how many people are happy to share contacts and tips that can really help you.
**And last, what is the best part of living in Dubai?
At a personal level, the best part of living in Dubai is that I'm with my family and my kids are growing up with their grandparents and cousins being a part of their daily life.
On a more general sense, we live a very privileged life in Dubai. It's a blessing that living in an apartment overlooking the sea and going out regularly for dinner for example is the reality for many.
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*Photo Maha made by: Rebecca Rees for Moksi Collective.