Sociable, loyal and a little bit mischievous, Natalie is the amazing mama behind Easytruck Moving and Storage and Baby Bazaar – both companies completely invaluable to Dubai mamas! With a 2.5 year old little boy, Riley, keeping her busy and amused, Natalie juggles the running of 2 businesses with a toddler – oh and she’s also training to be a pilates instructor in her ‘spare time’! Well you know what they say mamas, variety is the spice of life!
Name: Natalie Humphrey
Occupation: Managing Partner of Easytruck Moving and Storage and Founder of Baby Bazaar
Children: Riley aged 2.5 years
How long have you lived in Dubai? 10 years
1) Tell us about your business/businesses and why you started them.
I run and own two businesses. My first business, Easytruck Moving and Storage, was set up five years ago with my husband Chris on the back of the GFC. We were both working for ourselves at the time, but our businesses were suffering. We made the decision to start a business together, something people would always need. My husband came up with the idea to move people’s houses and we ran with it!
Then a few years later when I had my son, I realised just how quickly babies under the age of 1 grow out of clothes and toys. I was spending so much money every week on sleep suits, teethers, bibs, hats and the list goes on. In October 2012, Baby Bazaar was born. Market days are held on the last Saturday of every month in Times Square Center and it has become an event in most mums’ social calendar as well as a good shopping spree! You can walk away from Baby Bazaar with a whole new wardrobe for your little one, a new set of toys and books and only be a dhs 100 or so lighter.We also host a selection of baby brand businesses, which have been hand-picked by us. This adds another element to Baby Bazaar and gives the shopper more choice as well as being exposed to some of the best baby brands in Dubai.
2) What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?
To state the obvious, my biggest achievement is being lucky enough to have a happy, healthy son. My husband (who I met in Dubai) and I started Easytruck in our first year of marriage, so our achievement is definitely having made it this far working together, living together and raising our son together (and being happy at the same time!). We now have a big team of moving experts who are the most loyal, hard-working men I know and six storage warehouses.
I’m also quite proud of Baby Bazaar. We won a Time Out Kids award in September 2014, which I absolutely did not expect to win. I started Baby Bazaar at a time when I needed to be doing something other than sitting at home breast feeding ,so not only has it come a long way but it has given me a lot of satisfaction and sense of achievement.
3) As a child what did you dream of being when you grew up?
A vet. I’m not smart enough to be a vet!
4) If you had three wishes, what would they be?
Find a cure for cancer, to be able to live in Dubai but be closer to family at the same time, to one day have my own organic veggie farm (with free-range chickens!).
5) What does being a Sassy Mama mean to you?
Obviously I’m honoured and I love the idea of being sassy!
6) What’s a typical day in your life like?
My son is just over 2.5 years old, so he is constantly throwing curve balls at me and making sure one day is never the same as the next (doing things like hiding my car keys or eating my lipstick)! But generally I get (woken) up at 5:30am, do toddler chores and get Riley ready for nursery. Drop him off at 8am, head straight to work, get my head down before I pick Riley up at 12:30pm, take him home for his nap (work in this time or cook dinner), spend the afternoon with Riley, have dinner together at 5:30/6, bath and bed by 7pm! Then I do some more work after he has gone to bed, watch a bit of TV or do some Pilates “studying” (I’m on my teacher training course at the moment mostly for my own interest).
I do love a good pampering! Nails, facials, massages. I love it all!
8) What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in your personal life and career?
Spend less than you earn, dream big and do what you love. People succeed doing the things they are passionate about.
9) What do you most enjoy doing as a family in Dubai?
We love our Friday morning breakfasts at home (pancakes or french toast) and then a swim in the pool or trip to the beach. The simple things I guess.
10) What is the ‘best-kept’ secret in Dubai, something fellow mamas should know about?
If you’re in need of a bit of a whinge, support, advice or even giggle then the British Mums in Dubai Facebook group is simply amazing. Everyone is so supportive in so many ways, for example, all you have to do is ask for something obscure or not available in Dubai and you’ll have it in less than 24 hours or advice on where to get it. I’m sure there are other Facebook groups that are just as good that I’m not a member of, but the message is, reach out to your fellow expats if you need them. There is always someone ready to listen and step up and help.
11) Which three words best describe your personality?
Sociable, loyal and a little bit mischievous!
12) What advice would you have for a new mama?
It’s hard! Every single one of us has sat there feeding our newborn in the middle of the night/early morning feeling lonely or thinking that we’re the only one in the world awake. The reality is that all the other new mums are doing exactly the same thing so, in a sisterhood kind of way, you’re not alone. Plus, it’s normal to want to throw eggs at your husband when he’s fast asleep at 3am and you’re awake!
13) 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?
Just do it. Take that leap of faith. But only do it if you’re ready – your mother’s intuition will tell you if it’s time. There’s always a way but it’s about finding the way that suits you and your family. It’s all about balance and perspective.
14) If you were on an island and could bring only three things (family not included) what would they be?
My bed, bikini and sunglasses!
15) Top three books?
It’s been a while since I’ve had the time to read a full book, though I have read Ekhart Tolle’s The Power Of Now more than once! Deepak Chopra is my old faithful go to author when work and life in general becomes too hectic and I need time to reconnect with myself (I had my favourite book of his signed by him when he was in Dubai!). The last fiction book that I laughed out loud to reading was One Day.
16) Describe your style.
I love to add a little bit of drama to an outfit by having a statement top, piece of jewellery or trousers. I guess you could call my style a little bit dramatic!
17) If there was a movie produced about your life, who would you choose to play you and why?
Big question! I think I would have to say Jennifer Aniston because I have loved her for a long time. She’s real, funny, fit and has great hair!
18) Tell us something funny that your kids have said or done.
My son has recently been potty trained, so he’s taken to announcing when he’s had a “movement” in public (usually in cafes or restaurants). It’s very cute though (at least to me and my husband), he’s so proud of himself!