NDA : Tell me a little about your business, what was the impetus to startup?
We specialise in vintage Berber rugs from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, and due to great demand we also sell made to order Berber rugs. The reason for starting Beldi Rugs really came from absolute and pure love for these pieces, only further inspired by a friend called Mustafa, who owns the rug gallery I buy from. He began educating me about the people and the pieces, telling me the stories of their provenance. Each piece is made for a purpose, whether for sleeping or warmth, and specifically for an individual home. Consequently every piece is unique.
I was already living in Morocco and running my other business Castles in the Sand, which comprises of a pair of exquisite boutique guest houses in Essaouira, only two hours from Marrakech. Our clients were fascinated by Mustafa's rug gallery and 90% of them would buy rugs to take back home. It led me to believe that I ought to start selling the rugs in London.
NDA : Where are your products available?
They are available both online at www.beldirugs.com and at our studio in West London, please call in order to make an appointment.
NDA : What do you think is your biggest achievement so far?
The biggest thing I have achieved, in my mind, is the fact that I have done something that I love and have also created something other people seem appreciate too. The nicest thing in life is when other people appreciate what you have created. What I have aspired to do is to show and educate about is the creativity of the incredible artisans who make these pieces.
NDA : What do you think was the toughest decision you had to make when you started?
I think that the toughest decisions we have had to make are financial. Insofar as, where is the most important place to invest financially. We decided to invest in trade shows like Tent London, in building a great website and invest in our stock, there isn't an endless supply of money to invest, so you have to be careful to only spend money on the essentials.
NDA : With regards to your business is there anything particular you didn't bank on happening?
In all honesty I don't think we have had anything arise that we didn't bank on happening. Aside from having to do our website twice in order to make it more user friendly and accessible.
NDA : What’s the best piece of advice you have been given with regards to entrepreneurship?
Well, our best pieces of advice came from Molly. She has been instrumental in turning the company around. She has advised us on how to make the company visually appealing, but has also enabled Beldi Rugs to functions with greater ease.
NDA : Many people only contemplate setting up their own business, what advice would you give to spark the catalyst?
Believe in what you are doing and know that you will be providing is something brilliant. Also, believe that no matter what you do you are going to be taking a big risk. So, look carefully at your finances and figure out what you can afford to invest and then jump, don't be scared.
NDA : Do you have any rituals that you stick to in order to keep your work - life balance healthy?
No, not really...I work very long hours on both of my businesses. My work comes first and foremost. I feel responsible for looking after my clients and want to provide the best customer service I can. I guess my rituals fall into my free time, which I strongly believe in, having your weekends off is important. If I have spare time I tend to spend it with my son doing various activities.
NDA : What do you do to stay active and how has it changed your life?
I am such an active person, most of my time is spent walking from place to place, or running clients around the Medina. I also have two dogs that I love walking and need exercising. I also do a lot of things with my son, we go swimming on the weekends and I go riding with my friend Sarah whenever I can.
NDA : Do you have any favourite tips and tricks to stay healthy and happy everyday?
My boy keeps me very happy and healthy. I am a very happy person in general, I love my life and where I live. The best way to stay happy and healthy is to be a happy person, enjoy your surroundings and be content with what you have made fro yourself. I also try to keep nice things going on all the time, just enjoy and make the most out of your life.
NDA : Which person do respect most and why?
My mum, because she is always right because she has had so so much experience in her life and I trust her judgement.
NDA : Lastly, how lucky are you, and why?
I am very lucky, I don't know...good things seem to come my way. I believe that you make your own luck and that as long as you have good aura and are naturally good to people I think good things come to you. What goes around comes around...