I grew up in the scenic mountains and valleys of Kashmir, India. We had no gadgets or plastic toys at home. I had to be creative and imaginative during playtime and was always the one thinking up new games and bringing everyone together.
At the age of 18 I moved from India to the UK for higher studies. A few years later I was in Dubai, where I met my future husband. He is German and our two children enjoy an interesting mix of both cultures. Since 2001, Dubai has been home for us. I love how Dubai is a melting pot of different cultures and cannot think of a better place to raise my children.
Birth of Party Camel
When I was organising my daughter’s first birthday party in Dubai in 2010 I found it almost impossible to source quality and trendy party products locally. The idea of opening an online party shop started back then. I started Party Camel in 2013 in the spare room of my home. Within a year I moved to an office and hired my first employee. Today we are a team of eight and are in the process of launching our own party ware products. It has been a long journey and I am still learning every day.
Being a mompreneur
It is definitely not easy managing two kids and a business. I am forever trying to juggle my time between these two passions of my life. It’s a tough call, but as long as I am able to spend quality time with my children, I feel a little less guilty.
My biz tips
Do your homework well before you start your own business. Make sure your new venture aligns with your interests and passion, as the early days of an entrepreneurial journey are very tough. Unless you enjoy what you are doing, you will not find the motivation to brave the obstacles.
Producing our own line of party ware in collaboration with an international distributor brand called www.merimeri.com is my biggest achievement to date. They collaborated with Liberty of London last year. This year Party Camel products will be distributed throughout the Middle East.
Fridays with family
On Fridays I love to spend quality time with my family. We try to be outdoors as much as we can -- be it the beach, our garden or the pool. The fun we have on Fridays helps me to re-charge my batteries for the week ahead.
Heart Japanese dishes
I love Japanese food, it’s tasty and healthy. I like to cook at least few times a week -- usually quick and easy Jamie Oliver recipes. At my dining table I would love to host Victoria Beckham, whom I admire for the way she manages her life as a mummy to her four children along with her business ventures. I would cook her a biryani and wait for her verdict.
It’s all in the details
I feel being organised is the key to a successful party. Planning every detail will help to have the best time on D Day. I believe less is more, so try to keep things simple and relaxed.
It has to be my daughter’s first birthday party with the theme fairies in the garden. I spent weeks planning and organising to the minutest details. In the end I had to make most of the items on my own as I couldn’t easily source products and that struggle also led to my own self-employment journey.
I never have time to read. So finishing a book in just a week is a huge accomplishment. At Delhi airport I recently picked up Miss Malini To the Moon: How I Blogged My Way to Bollywood. I found it a light read and felt inspired reading about writer Malini Agarwal’s successful entrepreneurial journey that started with her Bollywood blog.
Fuel for life
Knowing that you are making a difference in someone’s life is a huge motivator for me. Being able to make accessible, trendy and high quality products for mums in the UAE inspires me to dream and plan bigger.
That gut feeling
I always trust my instincts. Believing in my own inner voice has been rewarding. I am more confident and able to take big decisions with ease.
Trips as rewards
As a family we love to travel and have been to many wonderful destinations. I have travelled to around 80 countries and my husband is almost ticking off 100 countries from his bucket list. Travel is a great way to unwind as well as a reward for all the hard work we do round the year. I particularly cherished seeing the real Santa in Finland, the Taj Mahal and the imposing palaces in Rajasthan with my kids.