Founder and CEO of Sophie’s Closet (mamas if you love a little sparkle then this site will become your best friend), Sophie is also mama to 2.5 year old Chloe who is girlie, gorgeous and so like her! Sophie has the work/life balanced figured out just right, taking Chloe with her to the office every day and making sure that family time spent outside of work is fun and exciting.
Name: Sophie Katirai
Occupation: Founder and CEO of Sophie’s Closet
Children: Chloe 2.5
How long have you lived in Dubai? Over 25 years
1) Tell us about your business and why you started it.
Many things inspired Sophie’s Closet. My love of jewellery definitely came from my family: every family member contributed to my passion! My mom is a gemologist, my dad was an antique collector and my grandmothers both had amazing private jewellery collections, so each of them have contributed in their own way! Another element that came into play is that I have always loved shopping online – I hardly ever shop in stores, so the idea of an online boutique came very naturally.
I had just completed my MBA in Canada and moved back to Dubai, so I was sourcing special pieces for myself, as well as jewellery that I was seeing on my favorite show at the time (Gossip Girl!). I was hunting each down individually, contacting designers or stores in New York that had that pieces and it turned out that I had a real passion for doing it and wanted to share my finds with other women in the Middle East looking for that extra-special-piece too.
2) What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?
Balancing being a mom and a business owner and being equally good at both! It is hard, as every day brings a new challenge and I have to keep switching hats, but it makes every day very exciting and fun.
3) As a child what did you dream of being when you grew up?
A school teacher.
4) If you had three wishes, what would they be?
That I could travel long distances in a few minutes so that I could be in New York in the day, then after just clicking a button I’d be back home in the evening with my family.
No Jet lag.
A magical hair and make-up box that I could step into for a few minutes to look perfect for the day!
5) What does being a Sassy Mama mean to you?
A Sassy Mama is a fun multi-tasking and happy mom!
6) What’s a typical day in your life like?
I wake up at around 8am to spend a few hours with my daughter – the best way to start the day. Then we both head to the office. She comes to work with me every day! At the office, my days are always different. Sometimes I’ll be reviewing designer collections and choosing key pieces that my customers will love for the next season, sourcing rare and pretty vintage designer pieces that we’re well known for, or working with my staff to make sure every customer receives great service and finds a piece that they love. Every day is different!
7) What’s your guilty pleasure?
8) What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in your personal life and career?
You can do anything you set your mind to if you love it strongly, focus, persevere and believe in yourself.
9) What do you most enjoy doing as a family in Dubai?
Dining out. Dubai has so many wonderful child-friendly restaurants!
10) Which three words best describe your personality?
Ambitious, loyal, hard-working.
11) What advice would you have for a new mama?
Enjoy every minute! They don’t stay tiny long enough.
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?
You can do it!
13) If you were on an island and could bring only three things (family not included) what would they be?
This depends on whether I will have internet access and electricity on the island! If yes, than I would bring my phone or laptop, sunscreen, a suitcase filled with some of my favourite jewels, dresses and shoes.
14) Describe your style.
I love all things floral. I would describe my style as classic, lady-like, floral, colorful and always jeweled.
15) If there was a movie produced about your life, who would you choose to play you and why?
Jessica Alba. She is humble, successful, and a great mom.
16) Tell us something funny that your kids have said or done.
I nursed Chloe until a few months ago – I know 28 months is too long! – so up until a few months ago when she met a new friend, she would ask if they loved mommy’s booboo too.