In a city ranked among the world’s best for entrepreneurs, Dubai boasts an ever-growing gang of sensational female self-starters, each providing inspiration aplenty to those gearing up to launch a business of their own. With that in mind, we’re continuing our series on female entrepreneurs here atThe Gaggler, introducing you to the amazing women making Dubai the start-up capital of the world – complete with a few gold-plated nuggets of business wisdom to set you off in the right direction.
If you’re a Dubai-based woman obsessed with all things style and happen to be on Facebook, it’s likely that you’re a fan of Gabby Garvey. Spotting a gap in the market for an affordable, sustainable approach to dressing both women and their homes, the Irish personal stylist and interior designer realised that many expats didn’t have the financial means to hire swanky design firms to decorate their homes or consult an overpriced expert to dress better. Launching her business Style ME Dubai / Style ME Interiors Dubai as a Facebook platform in 2016, Gabby is on a mission to help Dubai look more stylish without blowing the budget, earning thousands of followers who follow her advice on everything from shoes to kitchen shelving in the process.
Style ME Dubai / Style ME Interiors Dubai
What was your ‘lightbulb’ moment?
As an experienced fashion stylist, qualified lawyer, and qualified interior designer, I had several choices to kickstart my career in Dubai and get back into the workforce after taking several years off to raise my family. I saw a gap in the market for an affordable, sustainable approach to styling – both in fashion and interiors – here in Dubai, and it just seemed like the right time to show my kids what mummy could do.
What makes your business unique?
My vision. I go the extra mile outside my curriculum to deliver the best results, so that my clients feel they are getting top results for their buck. I’m there to give a confidence boost from an expert without having to spend a small fortune to make either you or your home look good.
How and where do you seek inspiration?
Anything and everything can inspire me in my work. If it’s styling, I have a very individual personal approach – I listen to my client’s life story and what their day-to-day life entails in order to help them find their individual style. In interiors, it can be a piece of art that may be hanging on their wall, the lighting of a space, or the architecture of a building.
What’s the best thing about running your own business?
Although working for yourself is one of the best things in business, we are our worst enemies when it comes to perfection, self-criticism, and constantly striving for better.
What do you think is the key to success?
Believing in yourself, never giving up, and having resilience and tenacity – these are the keys to success that I will always hang onto.
What has been your proudest moment as an entrepreneur?
Seeing both of my Facebook platforms help so many women feel good about themselves. On Style ME Dubai, it’s all about making friendships and connecting with others through a shared love of fashion. And on Style ME Interiors Dubai, it’s all about connecting the end users with the right vendors in anything home- and garden-related.
Which other entrepreneurs do you admire – both locally and internationally – and why?
Locally, I admire all women in small businesses. I can’t single out just one as many amaze me with their innovative skills. Internationally, interior designers like Kelly Wearstler and Shea McGee are incredibly inspirational.
What has been your biggest business challenge so far?
Finding the right teams. You can only learn what is the best fit for Style ME Interiors Dubaithrough experience, but I’m happy I have great ones across Dubai.
Are you a part of any mentor or support groups?
I’m not part of a mentor group, but I am part of Female Fusion Network, which supports women in business in the UAE.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
“Always stay as tenacious.”
And what’s the best piece of business advice that you would give to a budding entrepreneur?
Take the first step, no matter what it is. The second one will always be easier.
Is there any piece of advice that you wish you’d ignored?
You won’t make it with that much competition – you’ve been out of work for way too long.
What makes a great entrepreneur right now?
Inclusivity. Extreme competitiveness will only single you out in the world, so have room to collaborate with colleagues and be open to sharing success.
NEXT UP: What makes food entrepreneur Marcela Sancho‘sbusiness brain tick?