The day you turn 30 is memorable for most people. You feel like somewhere, something has changed. You are a ‘grown-up’ now. You want to make a difference. I can’t say it was much different for me, either. Turning 30 was a milestone. I celebrated it by making the decision to take a risk and see where it takes me – This was the birth of DORI.
It goes without saying that having the support of my family went a huge way into making this dream come true. I worked in retail marketing prior to starting DORI. I used to manage the marketing department for Splash (a part of the Landmark Group) and then for Al Ghurair Retail.
With DORI, things were different. I was my own boss. And being your own boss, obviously comes with its pros and cons. The best thing is that you get to do things at your pace and this can sometimes give you a better work-life balance. There are months that you are extremely busy and then there are some when you can take a holiday at will or even take up a new hobby. You are responsible and answerable only to yourself. On the flip side, a downside I have felt is the lack of social engagement. I do miss working in a large team, the constant back and forth of ideas and the banter and social aspect of it. Being an entrepreneur is often a solo journey & that can be lonely sometimes.
So, what is DORI? We are a jewellery brand that creates one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewellery. We use semi-precious stones, which I believe, gives the jewellery its unique touch. The label’s forte lies in its mélange of offerings that is not only heavy on workmanship and design, but at the same time, is light on the pocket. We work with artisans in Jaipur, India to handcraft each of these pieces. So, I wanted a name that would symbolise the heritage of the brand. DORI is a Sanskrit word meaning “tie together” or “bring together” – at DORI, we bring together great design and workmanship.
Entrepreneurship in Dubai
I have been calling Dubai home for almost 10 years now. Dubai gives you a great platform to start your entrepreneurship journey. There are a lot of opportunities for small bespoke brands, as people today want to buy something that is different. Every single day, there are multiple events and pop-ups happening in the city. It gives you a chance to reach out to your audience. You just need to know who your target audience is and have a product that stands out. While there always will be obstacles and the usual highs and lows that come with starting something of your own, the main aspect is to know your audience, your goal of where you wish to be in 10 years, and to always be visible.
While I am still extremely new to the design industry here in Dubai, I do think with D3, a lot of amazing things are happening for upcoming designers and brands from the Middle East. We need more platforms, including online portals, that can give upcoming designers a worldwide audience to showcase their designs and products. The constant challenge one faces as a small brand is to reach a wider audience with a minimal marketing budget.
I am constantly thinking “What next?” – and that keeps me motivated. We are currently rebuilding our website to make it more customer friendly for e-commerce so you can purchase our products online with worldwide shipping. We are also in conversation with concept stores in the UAE to stock our jewellery. It is this constant movement that keeps me motivated.
Currently, we stock at Georges of Dubai at the Courtyard in Al Quoz, POP UP’s by Quadro at CITYWALK, and The Fashion Vault at Sunset Mall. We also regularly update our Facebook and Instagram pages with the new collections and event details. Soon, you’ll be able to purchase from our website and you will find us at pop-ups around the city.
About the Author
Bhavya Chandrahas is a GMBA ’08 graduate from SP Jain School of Global Management. Originally from Mumbai, she has also lived in Pune and Singapore, and now calls Dubai home since the past 10 years.
It is in Dubai that she completed her Masters, met her husband, and held her first Marketing job with Splash. After spending 8 years in the retail marketing industry, she started her own venture, DORI. Bhavya and DORI have also been featured in Khaleej Times for the bespoke jewellery at affordable prices. Bhavya loves travelling and spends most of her spare time doing just that.