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The Sassiest Mama 2014 DXB: Salina Handa

Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life - Post Category - That MamaThat Mama

Mamas if you don’t know Salina, or rather her company SensAsia Urban Spa, then we strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with it asap! An uber popular and mega wonderful spa with outlets across Dubai, SensAsia caters for every woman with a range of the very best treatments, massages and facials that we have ever tried (we’re trying to work out way through the menu just to be sure). Salina is the wonderwoman behind the brand and mama of 6 year old twin girls Sienna and Soroya, the combination of which keeps her busy, active and happy! 


Name: Salina Handa
Occupation: Founder and Managing Director at SensAsia Urban Spa (see our full review here!)
Children: Sienna and Soroya, twins aged 6
Nationality: Thai/Indian

1) Tell us about your business and why you started it.
It all started one day in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. Luckily for me, I am a golf widow. While Kavit (my husband) played the afternoon, I went in search of a lazy afternoon indulging myself. Right in the middle of the most glorious Shiatsu massage I have ever ever EVER had, I almost ached at the thought of not being able to have this when I went back to Dubai. The idea struck to create my own sanctuary, and have so much fun doing so.

At the time, I was working in concept design and business development for a large packaging company. I had a business and marketing degree so I knew how to ‘package’ an idea and sell it. Now I just needed the ingredients to make the product work. I met Kavit back at the hotel that evening and was bursting at the seams, desperate to tell him my idea and hoping and praying he wouldn’t crush it by laughing. Well as SensAsia is now in its tenth year, and with four locations, you can imagine, he was extremely supportive of the decision.

2) What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?
Definitely celebrating SensAsia’s tenth anniversary this month. The Village was the first ever spa we opened back in 2004, and I find it so exciting and somewhat emotional to have relaunched it last month, as such a stunning space. Ten years of staying power and significant expansion in the transient and entrepreneurial city of Dubai is no mean feat, and I could not be prouder of the brand right now.

3) As a child what did you dream of being when you grew up?
A firewoman!

4) If you had three wishes, what would they be?141023-SMDXB-TheSassiestMamasLaunch_v1-2-quote_Salina
Our world to be totally terminal disease free; good quality non-toxic food to be the norm (like it used to be), and for my children to always be content.

5) What does being a Sassy Mama mean to you?
Being Sarah Jessica-Parker.

6) What’s a typical day in your life like?
I get up in the morning and have breakfast with kids, drop them at school, go to the gym, arrive in the office by 9.30pm, have lunch at my desk, back at school by 2pm to pick them up, take them to after school activities, have dinner with them and put them to bed by 7pm. Then, I collapse and enjoy time with Kavit.

7) What’s your guilty pleasure?
Warm dark chocolate Brownies with vanilla ice cream.

8) What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in your personal life and career?
Always make sure you are enjoying what you are doing. If doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Be passionate about everything you do and everyone you choose to spend your time with. If either doesn’t feel right, move on! You will only attract more of it.

9) What do you most enjoy doing as a family in Dubai?
Dubai is such a busy place and kids get super busy here too! I can’t remember us being so busy when I was their age. So we really enjoy long lazy days with friends, all the kids in the pool and the BBQ going. Kids have a blast, and so do we!

10) Which three words best describe your personality?
Energetic, driven, holistic.

11) What advice would you have for a new mama?
Chill! Book in for the “I’m A New Mum” massage at SensAsia Urban Spa, AND if you are fortunate enough to have healthy happy babies/kids, they will eventually grow up and it’s not worth stressing over the little stuff. Do the best you can and make sure you enjoy your kids. Most of us, including myself, will look back and know that you totally stressed over the small stuff for nothing!

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?
Don’t start something that you aren’t passionate about. There will come times that your time just won’t feel like yours with balancing work and the family and you will wonder why you even started! You need to love/enjoy what you do enough to make it all feel worthwhile!

13) Describe your style.
Understated, but still elegant. I have to be able to run around in what I wear, but I hope I still look a little polished and professional! I also love to dress up when the occasion requires!

14) If there was a movie produced about your life, who would you choose to play you and why?
Julianne Moore or Cate Blanchett! Love them!

15) Tell us something funny that your kids have said or done.
We went to a wedding in London a few weeks ago and they totally get the concept of a bride, but grooms – not so much. Soroya was calling out “Where’s the MAN BRIDE?” and Sienna was calling him “THE BROOM!” It seems they have worked out for themselves that weddings are all about the bride!

Images of our Sassiest Mamas 2014 are courtesy of Jo Cole

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