We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind one of Dubai’s business stars, Curveball Events & Talents, Karin Drane.
Mompreneurs WW: Tell us about your company
Karin: We are an event and talent company that puts a personal spin on things and specialize in longterm collaborations with our clients. Our team is young and fresh in terms of ideas but old school and wise in terms of the quality we provide. We handle promotions and roadshows, product launches, corporate events and bespoke weddings but we also support many clients with video production and customized giveaways.
Our talent division exclusively represents Kris Fade, Priti Malik, Big Rossi, Brent Black and Maz Hakim from Virgin Radio, Malavika Varadan from City 101.6 as well as Karen McLean who is also known as Secret Squirrel Food.
Mompreneurs WW: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?
Karin: In my case it was a combination of two things: demand from the market (long term clients requesting my services) and a wish to do things my way so it was somehow inevitable to have my own. In terms of the talent management part that developed after working with Kris Fade for the first time. We got along great and shared the same ethics so it was a no-brainer.
My biggest inspiration and mentor was my previous boss Dr Ramesh Ramachandran. Working under him was incredible and I watched first hand how much of a difference there is between managing and leading as well as how much leadership affected the company and its results.
Mompreneurs WW: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?
Karin: The best part is that we have a lot of versatility in our job and get to work with a lot of young people. In our industry you’re pretty much always working, but never really working since you have so much fun doing it. One day we’re customizing flower arrangements for a launch, the other day we are looking into how skydiving can be branded or doing a sampling campaign in Dubai Mall. The next day we are planning Kris’ trip to attend the Oscars, filming Karen McLean making something yummy or setting up a boxing ring and another day we’re on the beach in 40 degrees setting up a wedding. You get the picture. Most of the time we engage promoters in their early 20s who are either working to make extra money for that bag they always dreamed of or to pay their studies or even help the household with money. It is a humbling experience to be able to contribute to that.
The toughest part is probably client retention. The competition here is fierce and although I believe a client can never be stolen; they can of course be tempted to try someone else if you drop the ball and lose your edge. It is tough to stay ahead here. Forget staying on top of your game, you need to RAISE your game. Every. Single. Day.
Mompreneurs WW: How many kids do you have and how old are they?
Karin: I have twin daughters who just turned 2 years old.
Mompreneurs WW: How do you juggle work and life balance?
Karin: Well for starters I think it is safe to say my social life has taken a hit. And everything is most of the time upside down. But I have embraced the chaos so to say. There are only so many hours in a day and when you have children your priorities change drastically. Being somewhat of a workaholic I am well aware of the fact that I can find things to do 24/7 so I found balance by making a schedule and sticking to it. I usually spend time with my children in the morning and leave the house before they go down for their 12 o’clock nap. If weather allows it they either walk me to work or come and pick me up so we get some light exercise in. I try to spend quality time with them from coming home to when they sleep and drop everything else unless it is something really urgent. Luckily with my work I can also bring them along to fun experiences. Granted they did not see the full joy of Taste of Dubai this year for instance but as they grow older I see my work as something that actually enhances their life rather than taking mommy away from them.
Mompreneurs WW: What’s a book you always recommend and why?
Karin: I would say it is a tie between The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell . Both of them provide mind boggling new perspectives on both work and personal life. I made quite a few changes as a result of reading them.
Mompreneurs WW: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?
Karin: Surround yourself with people that are on the same journey as you and prepare for some friends not being fans of your newfound passion for work and children. Change is inevitable and a lot of people may not like it that you don’t have time for them but if they don’t have your drive they will never understand anyways so no need to waste your energy. I also believe it is important as a Mompreneur to know that you and only you can decide the right balance between work and your children. Nobody else have the full picture so you need to trust your instinct on when to go full speed vs hold back a bit on work in favor of your children and vice versa.
Mompreneurs WW: Your favorite quote is…
Karin: “We rise by lifting others” by Robert G Ingersoll