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Newsletter 11/2014

Face to Face with... | Sue Stephenson and Caroline Farrell


Please tell us a little about (your workplace/business)

2birds is a small Dubai based business run by two Aussie birds, Sue Stephenson and Caroline Farrell. We sell beautiful products from around the world. Things that we fall in love with on our travels that we hope others will fall in love with as well! We are also now very excited to be producing our own fabrics for some of the gorgeous dresses we sell. We also sell beach/bath colourful hammam style towels from turkey, hand woven, hand dyed silk ikat cushions from Uzbekistan, hand screen printed dresses and beautiful handmade jewellery from Java and Melbourne, Australia.

How long have you been working in the role and where were you working previously?

We decided to start the business about 18 months ago and spent 4-6 months sifting through ideas and trying to decide what would sell and how to sell it. Once we had narrowed down our ideas we then spent time trying to refine those few ideas and do them really well. To be honest we went in with blind faith and belief. We took a small risk initially to test the water and let things grow from there.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

We get to do what we love every day - and it is every day! We are our own boss. We can pick and choose what we want to do and we have the advantage of having each other. We take it in turns to do certain aspects of the job and somehow without us really having to talk about it too much it all falls into place. We also have the opportunity to travel to meet and chat with our suppliers and have met some wonderful customers along the way.

What is the most challenging and difficult aspect of your job?

I guess just the usual challenges of starting any new venture. You just get a bit smarter and a bit faster each time you do something. We have been very open to giving everything a go - sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Mostly we are able to laugh at the things that don't work out so well.

What does a typical day at work look like and how do you like to spend your leisure time?

With three kids each and a new business, there is never enough leisure time! But like good Aussies we both love being outdoors and love the water and the beach. Fortunately our families are very close so we have had many years enjoying nippers and auskick here together. Now that the weather is cooling down we are dying to try the new beach path for a walk/ jog or cycle.

What is the best piece of advice you could give new arrivals to the business world of Dubai?

Do what you love and then its never a job. Research the market and of course take time to research your business licence.

Sue Stephenson and Caroline Farrell are members of the ABCD

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