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 Aastha Parekh, founder of Butter DXB, a luxurious floral boutique that delivers varied arrangements for any occasion. Without limiting to bouquets, the brand also caters to lavish setups for events and exquisite tablespaces to make any décor special.
As a firm believer in learning on the job, Parekh believes in taking baby steps on a daily basis to achieve her goals and hence, took the plunge in 2021 to launch her own brand where she continually takes inspiration from the world of fashion.
Emirates Woman sat down with the brand’s founder to find out more about her career.
What was your favourite subject at school?
I always loved Business Studies. From a very young age, I knew that I wanted to start a business from scratch and create a brand of my own so it truly felt like the building blocks for my future.
What was your first job?
My first job was a marketing trainee for Farfetch at Chalhoub.
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What brought you to Dubai?
Back in 2000, my parents settled in Dubai and I’ve been here ever since. I thoroughly enjoyed my years of education here. The UAE’s cultural diversity has always amazed me and has been a huge inspiration for everything I do. I did my undergraduate studies in London and moved back to Dubai to work straight after.
What inspired you to enter the flower space and launch Butter DXB?
Over the years, I used to love creating tablescapes for all my family members’ birthdays. The setups I’d
create with flowers would get more elaborate and grand as the occasions kept coming around every year. That’s when I discovered how passionate I am about creating beautiful and aesthetic moments and thought, why not turn this into a business? Butter DXB is a flower company that creates all types of floral concepts. I always knew – no matter what business I start, it really needs to have a soul and flowers have a way of spreading joy. The flower arrangements we create and the events we cater to are so full of love and meaning that each smile inspires us a bit more, to do what we do.
Talk us through the inspiration for your pieces.
Butter DXB’s most vital premise of design inspiration is luxury fashion. I’ve studied Fashion Business and it’s at the core of everything I create whether that’s event decor or a simple bouquet. We have an edit on our Instagram called “The everlasting love affair of Florals and luxury fashion”. For example, our best-seller which is the red rose wall was inspired by the MetGala décor of 2022, our love for blush pink roses stems from Giambattista Valli’s candle campaigns and most recently we’ve added the exotic anthuriums to our new collection when we saw them in all its glory at Loewe’s show at Paris Fashion Week, a few days ago.
What are the key elements of your role?
As the founder of the brand, I’ve got to be super hands-on and get involved with everything. My best days are definitely when I have the time to work on Butter’s product development or business expansion although, recently I’ve been brushing up my skills on accounts too. As a founder with a small team, every day is a new day and I must cater to the most important task at hand for everything to run smoothly.
Talk us through your daily routine.
I think flexibility is what’s most important on our work days as there are lots of events on weekends and late evenings. I’m not a fan of early mornings and I prefer to get the job done with the highest level of productivity. The week usually starts with going through orders and events from the weekend, updating accounts, finalising our social media calendars and creating our to-do lists. I prefer going to meetings earlier in the day and then heading to the office in the afternoon to get all my work done. In the evenings, I’ll go to the flower shop to design some new products or check out the packaging. At night, I love to spend time with my family and then just before I sleep, I need an hour to myself to unwind from the day.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?
I’d say – just start. I think it’s all about taking those baby steps to reach your goals and turn your ideas into reality. I remember how excited I was, even when I had just finalised my logo and got my first few samples of the packaging and to now having a fully functioning business having worked with some amazing luxury brands that I could have only dreamt of. It’s okay if you don’t have all the skills you need. I’m a firm believer in learning on the job.
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What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Automation and delegation. It’s so important for a business to be able to run smoothly without you needing to be part of each and everything. If you put in the effort to create the processes and a strong foundation, over time it should be able to run itself and you’ll have time to focus on the development and expansion of your brand.
And what is the worst?
The worst piece of advice I ever received is that you don’t need to love what you do. I think it’s self-explanatory.
What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
When we started off, we had a different idea for Butter DXB. We were focused more on hospitality partners but we soon noticed that once we put our brand out there, it was gaining traction from an audience that was not our initial target. Our biggest challenge was to move away from what we had planned and listen more to how the market was responding. We overcame it by being flexible as a brand and giving our customers what they want and continue learning along the way about what works and what doesn’t.
What are the future plans for your brand?
We are currently in our second year, and relatively young. So the aim is to hire more staff and set up a store to become a hybrid e-tailer. Our focus is also on doing more events for high fashion brands that we resonate with and increasing hospitality partners as that has always been an area we want to expand in.
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