Welcome to EW‘s 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 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 the founder of LaLoge Beauty Salon, Reem Abou Samra, on how she believes in empowering women through the world of beauty, as she based her salon on the principle of VIP service in luxurious surroundings.
She has steadily expanded her business interests to span everything from fine jewellery to luxury yoga retreats and even events, while always being hungry for more. EW sat down with the entrepreneur to find out more about the brand, her career and what made her want to enter the beauty industry.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Biology and languages.
What was your first job?
So I didn’t really have a job as such, I made my own jobs as I created my businesses. I went to University and studied French Literature, then started taking business courses when they first brought them to the UAE around 1995. I learnt English first, which took around a year to learn fluently. I then took a windows course in 1996 and went from there, learning as many things as possible related to business. My first business was a children’s clothing store ‘Kids Puzzle’ it was the first luxury children’s boutique in the UAE which opened in Dubai Mall in 2007.
LaLoge Address Boulevard
What inspired you to go into the beauty industry?
My inspiration is always to help women feel empowered by being the best version of themselves that they can be. I have a passion for beauty and I believe every human being has beauty inside and out. When you look good and feel good, you have the perfect outlook. Laloge helps maintain the outer beauty, while my yoga concept helps with keeping a clear and focused mind for inner beauty. I believe women are the driving force and always bring balance between male and females through positive energy. All women are dynamic and vibrant in their own unique way, although some need help to realize and use their hidden potential.
What’s the story behind launching your own salon here in Dubai?
I was solving a problem as I wasn’t happy with any salon that I went to. Every woman wants to keep herself looking good and maintain herself the best she can. I saw that Dubai was lacking this because I couldn’t go to one place where I was very happy and it was very clean and luxurious. Even if they had someone that was good at hair, they wouldn’t have someone who was good at makeup or nails. As businesswomen, we don’t have time to run to multiple salons for experts. If you can do everything in one place, then, of course, it’s better. I always create what I need and want, knowing that if I feel there is a gap in the market, there is a likelihood that others feel the same.
How has your brand evolved since you first launched?
I started small, but I was very particular about the location. I have a very clear vision of what I wanted to create and Emirates Hills at Address Montgomerie was the perfect start. The name LaLoge came because I wanted to create the feeling of a private dressing room, one where performers go and transform themselves before a big show. Our salons are an experience rather than just a basic service. Our customers enter as normal and then emerge as their true internal superstar. Because every woman is a star in her life. At LaLoge what is different is that it doesn’t matter who’s doing your service because all our staff are going to make you look and feel your best., Since the start, we have grown steadily, waiting for the right locations and fit, rather than rushing. Sometimes, there are multiple locations that come at the same time, and for this, we are happy to grow quickly. The one thing we will not do is compromise on quality. We now have five branches across Dubai in the most exclusive locations, including Address SkyView, Mandarin Oriental, Address Boulevard, Address Montgomerie and Caesars Palace Bluewaters. We also have a new branch opening soon, so watch this space!
What are the key elements of your role?
I am always one foot in the future, including speaking with parties who are keen to franchise, but for me, it has to be the right partnership. I find it hard to find people with my same vision and passion for luxury beauty services. I am very focused on the details, the experience. Everything from the customer service to the products – everything has to be perfect. We also have to always maintain a positive vibe.
LaLoge Address Montgomerie
Talk us through your daily routine.
Every day is different. I get invited to many luxury events, so I will often be out late at night. It is really important to catch up on sleep to make sure my body and mind is fresh. I start my day by eating fruits, checking my emails and returning important calls and messages. From there, I will often have meetings with suppliers, business contacts and I visit the salons to check on how things are.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?
Some people will always have something to say, good or bad, but you have to follow your passion and never look behind. If you have enough drive and passion, you can make your dreams happen.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
That you need to concentrate, be present and focus on this moment. Forget about the past and the future.
And what is the worst?
I don’t remember – I don’t focus on the bad. I take only the good.
LaLoge Address Sky View
What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
When I started LaLoge, I was new to the beauty industry and was not a stylist or a beauty technician. Your passion and love to do things will help you achieve anything you want, even if it is the first time you do it. The challenge to myself was to be a leader in the industry and change the beauty industry to a higher level.
What are your goals for 2021?
We have some exciting expansion plans for the future, starting with a new branch in the coming months, and the next big step is franchising so that all our Middle East customers can have the Laloge experience closer to home. Our mission is to make everyone more confident about their beauty and look, to maintain their beauty in our way – the LaLoge way.
For more information visit laloge.com
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