Elli Kasbi is the founder of Elli Junior in Dubai, UAE. She is the mother of two. We had the pleasure of sitting down with her to learn more about her business and her personal life. Read the full story here:
Mompreneurs WW: Tell us about your company
Elli: We are proud to be the exclusive distributor for some of the best Swedish brands: Elodie Details, JaBDaBaDo and Kids Concept. We sell all of the brands in our e-shop, www.ellijunior.com and in some of the most high end shops around GCC, such as Level Kids in city walk and Bumble Bee in Dubai mall and House of Fraser in Abu Dhabi.
We offer functional and innovative baby products that live up to the motto of making “big differences for small people”.
What we do: design + quality + function
We aim to produce all products as responsibly and sustainable
as possible. This is a continuing process. We aim for a broad and long-term environmental approach to our entire business, which is a constant factor in all decision making at all levels. Our goal is to have a 100% sustainable company. So, buy baby stuff and create a big ecological difference in your life
Mompreneurs WW: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?
Elli: I’m originally from Iran but I grew up in Sweden. I now call Dubai home, and I love it. I love the weather, the opportunities, the diversity of all nationalities and most of all I love the beach. I have a background in banking and finance but when I moved to Dubai, my youngest daughter Nellie was only 6 months old and I couldn’t find a flexible job, so I changed careers into media.
After 2 years I felt that I had built enough experience to start my own business and as I have always been a huge fan of the Swedish brand Elodie Details, I decided to bring this brand to the GCC region and that’s how Elli Junior started in the retail market.
My dream is to one day develop my own collection under the Elli Junior brand, we already started with our personalized posters.
Mompreneurs WW: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?
Elli: I love owning my own business because I get to enjoy every second with my girls and its important for me to be with them when they are small. They will grow fast and they will go their own way and follow their own dreams, same as I did and moved from my mother to another country.
The toughest is to grow a small business to a mid size and to build a brand that people will know in the region. Its many hours of hard work and many arguments to get your way.
Mompreneurs WW: How many kids do you have and how old are they?
Elli: 2 girls, Nicole 9 years and Nellie 5 years
Mompreneurs WW: How do you juggle work and life balance?
Elli: In today’s world, it’s difficult to balance work with the rest of your life. Relationships, health and hobbies are often overshadowed by long hours and endless stress.
Its hard and I need to get better at it, but I run like a headless chicken on back to back meetings while they are at school. I drop them off and pick them up and spend some time with them after school and I do all my admin when they are at sleep.
But separating your work life from your personal life is crucial if you want to be both successful and spend time with your family/friends. Its all bout prioritizing.
Mompreneurs WW: What’s a book you always recommend and why?
Elli: As I mentioned above its important to find the balance between work and personal life, so I recommend a book by Matthew Kelly called, Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction.
Mompreneurs WW: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?
Elli: Don’t give up, hard work pays off but work smart, ask for help, find a mentor in your field that can guide you and support you.
Mompreneurs WW: Your favorite quote is…
Elli: “Stay away from negative people, they always have a problem for every solution” Albert Einstein