Mama to 9 year old Alya and Rajaa, Zayan is taking Dubai by storm and is celebrating 10 years of her concept store s*uce with 9 outlets and 6 different concepts now in operation including the very recently opened Saucette, a children’s store for fashion conscious little people! Zayan’s rule for making being a mama and having a career work is simple – when you’re at home your time is for your family and when you’re at work it’s all about work! We love her style, vision and of course her stores!
Name: Zayan Ghandour
Occupation: Co-founder and creative director of s*uce, Designer of Zayan the Label
Children: Alya and Rajaa, both 9 years old
How long have you lived in Dubai? 14 years
1) Tell us about your business and why you started it.
My business partners and I met at a dinner when I first moved to Dubai over 10 years ago and we found we had a lot in common in terms of our love for shopping and discovering new designers etc. So we decided to create a space that would stock cool, young up-and-coming brands, regional designers, lifestyle items and basically all those things that we could not find in Dubai at the time. And so s*uce (pronounced sauce), a multibrand concept store was born. We are now celebrating our 10th year with 9 stores and 6 different concepts in operation, including s*uce Gifts for design and lifestyle items, s*uce ROCKS for fine jewellery and s*uce On-Sea for beachwear and resort wear. I also launched my own brand, Zayan the Label a couple of years ago (this is something that had been brewing even before s*uce!) and we have just opened the first standalone store in The Galleria Mall, Dubai.
2) What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?
Being able to keep a good balance between work and home life is a great achievement both on the personal level as well as the career level.
3) As a child what did you dream of being when you grew up?
I wanted to be just like my mama.
4) If you had three wishes, what would they be?
More time, more time, more time.
5) What does being a Sassy Mama mean to you?
Being a mama who knows how to balance between being firm and disciplined and staying fun and frivolous with her kids.
6) What’s a typical day in your life like?
Breakfast with family, work, lunch with family, work, dinner with the family.
7) What’s your guilty pleasure?
Ice-lollies (a.k.a popsicles) – and a lot of them!
8) What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in your personal life and career?
If you love it, you’ve gotta go and do it.
9) What do you most enjoy doing as a family in Dubai?
We really enjoy just relaxing at home together, going to the beach or park and of course going for ice cream.
10) What is the ‘best-kept’ secret in Dubai, something fellow mamas should know about?
If you have not heard yet, saucette, the mini-me version of s*uce has just opened! I now need not look any further to dress my twin girls with awesome brands like Play by Comme des Garcon, Stella McCartney, MSGM, Vivetta making shopping for little ones so much easier. It is truly the store for the coolest kids in town.
11) Which three words best describe your personality?
Passionate. Determined. Experiment-loving.
12) What advice would you have for a new mama?
There is simply nothing better than can ever happen to you (though it may not feel like it at first), so enjoy every second because kids grow too fast.
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?
I go by this simple rule: when you are at work focus 100% on work and when you’re back at home, give your it your 110%.
14) If you were on an island and could bring only three things (family not included) what would they be?
A note book, a pencil and a pencil sharpener.
15) Top three books?
The 40 Rules of Love, The Giving Tree, and the book which one of my daughters is currently penning for her entrepreneurship club (she needs to publish a book as her end of term project).
16) Describe your style.
Fun, girly and experimental.
17) If there was a movie produced about your life, who would you choose to play you and why?
Sarah Jessica Parker because she truly has wonderful style, or Julia Roberts. Emma Stone maybe, because she has the most genuine smile.
18) Tell us something funny that your kids have said or done.
Knowing they can only eat candy on weekends: “What is the minimum candy we can have this weekend?”