Welcome to the Emirates Woman weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths that led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome.
This week we chat with Heidi Shara, founder of Wear That, a digital platform that creates personalised looks for women to try all from the comfort of their homes.
Using WhatsApp, this platform has created the ultimate shopping experience that allows women to purchase pieces stress-free, all with the click of a button. Through a 360-experience, users can witness fashion trends and have an insight into what’s popular in the market.
Emirates Woman sat down with the brand’s founder to learn about her career path and how she’s converted her love for fashion into a full-time business.
What was your favourite subject at school?
My favourite subject at school was media study as I loved subjects that drove creativity. I remember creating an online shoppable magazine that I shared with all my friends to buy from which was super cool.
What was your first job?
My first ever job was in a pharmacy. I would help out stocking the shelves and merchandising the pharmacy window and I had a lot of fun getting creative with it. That was when I discovered how resourceful I could be.
What brought you to Dubai?
I actually moved to Dubai on a whim. At the time I was living in London and wanted to explore a new adventure, so we thought of Dubai. Over 10 years later, it is my home away from home and I won’t be leaving anytime soon.
What inspired you to enter the fashion space?
I have always been interested in fashion. I studied fashion design, marketing, and PR. I was going to be a fashion publicist but moved into fashion buying where I started my career, and the rest is history.
Talk us through the concept of Wear That.
Having styled thousands of women all over the world and spending over 10 years in Fashion Buying in both luxury and mass markets, I witnessed the lack of styling services available to everyday women. I set on a mission to create, change, and offer real women access to something traditionally available only to celebrities or VIPs, Wear That was born. Our mission here at Wear That is to be every #realgirls’ styling solution. We want every woman to be able to experience having a personalized stylist. We built Wear That to save women time, make them feel awesome and give them an opportunity to be styled. Wear That was founded in 2018.
What are the key elements of your role?
As a Founder and CEO, you start by doing everything on your own. I believe each element of the business is instrumental in my role. Everything from the brands we work with, photoshoots, social media, packaging and even accounting. Fast forward 3 years and we are now a team of 50. This has given me the time and space to take on a more strategic role.
Talk us through your daily routine.
Honestly, no day is ever the same. As an entrepreneur, I need to plan for tomorrow and today. When I reach the office I make sure I greet the team and put on some uplifting music which helps boost my mood and helps me keep a positive outlook throughout the day. It’s very important to me to connect with the different departments on a daily or weekly basis to ensure that everyone is on track and has what they need in case of blockages.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?
To be successful, an entrepreneur must be resilient. Any comment that runs along the lines of “that’s not possible” or “that can’t be done” should be treated as a challenge to prove wrong. Problems come up all the time, you have to be able to move on.
My motto is “A lion does not turn around when a small dog barks”.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Honestly, trust your instinct on everything. You don’t need a lot to get started, and you shouldn’t expect massive returns right away. With patience, you and your team can turn a little bit into a large sum.
And what is the worst?
The worst advice that I’ve gotten is to not do something. There has never been a time that I have regretted going somewhere new. Most regrets come from not seizing an opportunity or not doing something. A lot more comes out of saying yes than saying no.
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