The Sassiest Mama Awards 2015
What do we love? effective workouts and knockout kiddie play spaces – and this mama has brought both to our desert city. She thinks a working mama sets a good example to her kids and we couldn’t agree more.
Who’s The Mama?
Full Name: Reem Farah
Occupation: Partner at apple seeds dubai and Flywheel Middle East
Children: Zoanne (8) and Cayan (5)
How long have you lived in Dubai? 9 years (but also born and raised in Abu Dhabi)
1) Tell us about your business/businesses and why you started them.
apple seeds is an indoor children’s playground that offers ‘mommy and me’ developmental classes, summer camp, birthdays, a cafe and a state of the art playground conceived by children’s museum designers. The playground consists of exhibits based on the city of New York and allows children to use their imagination while playing and learning at the same time.
My partner, Amira, and I brought apple seeds to Dubai from New York because we wanted the same experience for children in Dubai and selfishly, for our own children. I knew that there was and still is a large and growing group of discerning mothers in Dubai who want a safe and clean environment for their children that had no electronic toys and over stimulating loud noises.
As for Flywheel, it was on another visit to New York in 2010 right after I had Cayan that Amira introduced me to an amazing workout that took indoor cycling to another level. There is nothing like it in Dubai and we knew that people would love it as much as we do. We now have two studios in Dubai, one in Downtown and the other opposite apple seeds in the Gold and Diamond Park. Both also offer Flybarre, an effective toning and pulsing class done with a ballet barre. It is easy to get addicted to Flywheel and I often have people tell me how it has changed their body and their lives. Each class is choreographed to a different playlist put together by the instructor.
I chose those two businesses because they allowed me to involve my children in my work and I wanted to go back to work because I felt I had had my time at home with my eldest and she would benefit more from seeing me go to work rather than assuming it was only Dads who worked. I also wanted a different answer to “what do you do?” Having said that, parenting still remains the most challenging job of all three!
2) What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?
I don’t know if those are my biggest achievements, but in my career, I managed to open two businesses in the same year only because I had the tremendous support of my husband. Personally – I think it would have to be speaking to my children solely in Arabic which believe me, is not easy!
3) As a child what did you dream of being when you ‘grew up’?
I dreamt of being a child psychologist!
4) If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
Good health for my family and I, a cancer free world and no children in pain.
5) What’s a typical day in your life like?
Up at 6:30am, get dressed before waking Cayan up. Zoanne is already up and dressed. Take them downstairs, prepare breakfast, get them dressed, teeth brushed, shoes on. Make my frappe and get them out the door. Drop them off at school. Reply to e-mails in the cafe at apple seeds for an hour before taking a Flywheel or Flybarre class across the street. Grab a Wild and the Moon cold-pressed smoothie and juice for both breakfast and lunch. Work and meetings at either apple seeds or Flywheel. Then pick up at 3pm, go home, play or simply spend time with kids. Kids have dinner then it is bath and bedtime for both. Wait for Patrick to come home before having dinner together, watch some TV, check e-mails, prepare my gym bag and outfit for the next day before bed.
6) What’s your guilty pleasure?
Reruns of Sex and the City and Grey’s Anatomy.
7) What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in your personal life and career?
Always complete something you start and ALWAYS reply to an e-mail as soon as you read it. I am still working on both!
8) What do you most enjoy doing as a family in Dubai?
The beach but mostly being home and playing cards or board games. Right now our favourite card game is Phase 10.
9) What is the ‘best-kept’ secret in Dubai, something fellow mamas should know about?
Breakfast at Creekside Cafe, followed by an abra crossing and a visit to The Spice Souk.
10) Which three words best describe your personality?
Demanding of myself and others, determined, discerning
11) What advice would you have for a new mama?
Remember to laugh and smile often, your baby feels your emotions.
And if you speak a language other than English, speak to your baby in that language only. The best service you can do for your child is to teach them another language when they are young.
12) What advice would you give to a mama who wants to go back to work or start her own business but is worried about juggling family and career?
Make sure that you never lose sight of the fact that your family comes first. Only go back to work if you have the full support of your husband. You cannot be perfect at both all the time, there will be days when you feel that you have to sacrifice work for family and vice versa. There will never be enough time but I think a working mom sets a good role model for her children, especially girls.
13) If you were on an island and could bring only 3 things (family not included) what would they be?
An iPhone with very very very long battery life, sunscreen and activated raw walnuts.
14) Top 3 books?
At the moment – All The Light We Cannot See, The Fault In Our Stars and for the kids – Library Lion and The Day the Crayons Quit. I read lots and lots of children’s books but never have time to read for myself.
15) Describe your style.
My fashion style is unique and fun – to me at least! 🙂
16) If there was a movie produced about your life, who would you choose to play you and why?
Julianne Moore, because she always looks so dignified and strong and because I have been told numerous times that I resemble her!
17) Tell us something funny that your kids have said or done.
Cayan asked his sister if she loved Dad or Mom more. She said that was not an appropriate question to ask, you can’t love one more than the other. He said: I think Dad, we see Mom all the time, it is always Mom, Mom, Mom. I miss Dad more often so I love him more.
My son is very wise even though he is only 5!
Thanks to The Studio for the gorgeous pics! Book your photography experience on (+971) (0)4 347 1745.
Special thanks also to Sassy Mama Dani for coordinating mamas and photographers while juggling 3 little ones too!