Emilie, can you describe your business?
I threw dream rain at the end of 2016. I create and sew accessories: kits, bags, evening pouch. I have a very special position since I mix the local culture (dromedary, Arabic calligraphy) with a simple and pure French design.
So most of my clients are expatriates looking for gift ideas. I also do a lot of personalization by adding a first name on my creations for example. At the end of 2017, I created a personalized passport pouch with the last name and a matching cabin bag.
I am currently seeing to have them produced in France under the brand name Nils & Emi. The idea is to launch the presales in April. I also give sewing classes in face and I just started sewing courses online recently.
How did you develop your project?
I like to have several projects in parallel. I am in the middle of registering an airlock for the Nils & Emi project because it requires working with suppliers and garment shops in France and therefore being well structured.
Online startup creation, online Banking – In short, an expatriate can now access almost anything without moving. On every trip to France, I fill suitcases with fabrics because I can not find everything I want in Arabia (or I do not know yet where to find it!) and I use it for my creations or to provide the necessary material to my students sewing classes. Sometimes I get to find my happiness in the souks but not always! Often one or two copies of a product are found but not more. Shopping in Arabia can quickly become a frustrating exercise! After only 1 year ½ of existence, I am glad of the path travelled with rain of dreams. I don't have a room but my own workshop at home.
What do you take away from your experience at the professional level, insertion in the country, family…
My activity allows me to rub shoulders with expatriates from all over the world and it's really nice. I regret not being able to share more with Saudi women. We do not have an easy opportunity to meet as this may be the case in other countries.
On a personal level, I found a real balance because I would hardly bear to be "only" the follower spouse. I need real challenges to flourish… and challenges I create every day!
In times of overload, the work encroaches a little too much on my personal life and it is my only regret but as my husband works enormously, I do not really have an account to give him;)
In a nutshell your professional career
After graduating, I went in exchange for a year in Japan before integrating Paris 3 where I did a master's degree in foreign languages applied English-Japanese, then a master marketing communication in business school. I then started working in fundraising and alumni (alumni Association) relations for INSEAD – sharing my time between Fontainebleau and Singapore. I fell in love with the Lion city and spent 10 years of my life there, still in patronage. Then I went from philanthropy to sewing into a move;)