START-UP

The styling plat­form wants to of­fer clients an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence through high fash­ion, jew­ellery rentals, lux­ury car rides and more

Arabian Business English - - CONTENTS -

En­tre­pre­neur of the week: Maha Al Shamsi

The co-founder of styling plat­form House of MC wants to of­fer clients an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence

I SEE A LACK OF COM­PAN­ION­SHIP AMONG SME EN­TREPRENEURS WHEN THERE ARE GROWTH OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES”

IN-HOUSE PER­SONAL styling, lux­ury oc­ca­sion wear, concierge ser­vices, pri­vate shop­ping – you name it, House of MC has a hand in it.

Founder Maha Al Shamsi es­tab­lished the styling ser­vices plat­form to fill a niche gap in the mar­ket for be­spoke styling ex­pe­ri­ences. She tells Ara­bian Busi­ness why the mar­ket needs an­other styling plat­form, how hers is unique to ex­ist­ing ones and what it takes to be­come a suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur.

Why did you de­cide to launch House of MC? At­tend­ing an event – be it a gala, awards night or so­cial oc­ca­sion, can re­quire long hours of prepa­ra­tion. Peo­ple want mem­o­rable out­fits, but do not nec­es­sar­ily want to wear them enough to pur­chase them. House of MC is the an­swer. We cre­ate an ex­cep­tional concierge ex­pe­ri­ence where guests can rely on us to pro­vide ev­ery­thing they need to get ready for their evening. From hair, makeup, lim­ited edi­tion gowns, exclusive per­fumery and per­sonal shop­ping to high jew­ellery rental and a lux­ury car ser­vice to the red car­pet, our guests will find all they need at House of MC. It’s glam­orous and exclusive, but also sus­tain­able in an eth­i­cal and eco­nomic sense.

Why does the mar­ket need such a plat­form?

The first thing you un­der­stand as an en­tre­pre­neur is iden­ti­fy­ing peo­ple’s needs and mar­ket re­quire­ments.

Dubai has one of the world’s most vi­brant event sec­tors; one that plays a cru­cial role in eco­nomic growth. We wanted to make it eas­ier and worth­while for peo­ple to be at their most glam­orous for im­por­tant oc­ca­sions while

in­tro­duc­ing a be­spoke ex­pe­ri­ence they’ll cher­ish.

What dif­fer­en­ti­ates your plat­form from sim­i­lar con­cepts that al­ready ex­ist in the mar­ket?

We op­er­ate a dif­fer­ent ser­vice than pure dress rentals as our fo­cus is on the client’s ex­pe­ri­ence. We work with our clients to give them a mem­o­rable ex­pe­ri­ence and tie together all those el­e­ments that will make that happen. This is what dif­fer­en­ti­ates us from the ex­ist­ing con­cepts out there and this will re­main at the core of our busi­ness.

How is House of MC funded and was it dif­fi­cult to at­tract fund­ing for the busi­ness? House of MC has been self-funded and I in­tend to keep it that way for as long as I can. If op­por­tu­ni­ties arise in the fu­ture to branch out, we will of course con­sider that.

What are some of the chal­lenges that the busi­ness is cur­rently fac­ing?

As it is our first sea­son, it is still very much a learn­ing curve to un­der­stand our cus­tomers’ tastes, sizes and lengths, and of course man­age the op­er­a­tional side of the busi­ness. But we are ex­tremely pleased with how well the con­cept has been re­ceived.

What do you see the plat­form grow­ing into? We want House of MC to be­come the premier desti­na­tion for dis­cern­ing cus­tomers and lux­ury

emerg­ing brands; a one-stop lux­ury ex­pe­ri­ence to al­low women to ex­plore the current trends in evening­wear, shoes, bags, beauty and lux­ury with add-on concierge ser­vices.

What more needs to be done in the GCC start up space to sup­port busi­nesses?

I see a lack of com­pan­ion­ship at times among SME en­trepreneurs when there are op­por­tu­ni­ties for growth and ex­pan­sion. I would al­ways wel­come a plat­form that al­lows di­a­logue and de­bate for our com­mon goals.

What are your fu­ture ex­pan­sion plans for the House of MC?

The fu­ture is bright. As we have just launched, I want to take the time to ex­plore the po­ten­tial for growth out­side of this mar­ket for when the time is right to do so.

From your ex­pe­ri­ence, what does it take to be a suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur?

Per­se­ver­ance, due dili­gence, proper plan­ning and more im­por­tantly, trust in your­self and your abil­i­ties.

Maha Al Shamsi

Style House of MC’s se­lec­tion in­cludes one-of-a-kind pieces

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