Home-grown online brand founder on building a wardrobe economically
Louise Emma Clarke
There are plenty of home-grown online brands that you can build a festive wardrobe with – without breaking the bank. Louise Emma Clarke talks to Laura Rooney of one, DesertDolls Boutique, to find out how hers can help.
Who are you? DesertDolls Boutique is an online women’s clothing store providing on-trend looks to UAE shoppers, but with affordable price tags. The three of us [Amy Robinson, Kelly McClements and Laura Rooney from the UK and Ireland] founded the boutique. Each of us contribute different styles and ideas, yet we all share the same core values and insatiable passion for fashion.
Why did you decide to set up DesertDolls Boutique? Although Dubai boasts the world’s biggest and best malls, the shopping experience can be underwhelming at times. The malls are replete with high street names, and as fantastic as they are, they tend to lack the individual boutique feel that a lot of us love. We identified a gap in the market to launch an online boutique, delivering unique pieces to our clients, while allowing them to avoid international shipping costs and customs charges.
Why is affordability so important? In today’s fast-paced fashion market, we would spend a small fortune if we updated our wardrobe from expensive high street or designer brands every time there was a new trend. We wanted to offer Dubai residents access to these trends without the high price tags, so they can wear something new to social events – whether that’s a weekly brunch or a beach party.
But doesn’t this mean we will bump into five other girls wearing the same dress at brunch? No. while our pieces are affordable, each item comes in no more than eight pieces. You can get dressed feeling pretty confident that you won’t meet anyone else wearing the same thing.
OK, we’re sold. How do we order? You buy through social media. Log onto our Facebook or Instagram pages, and when you see a piece you like, comment underneath it or send us a message. This works really well, as people use social media all day, everyday; when having lunch, while on the metro heading to work, on coffee breaks and at home after work. Using social media as our main portal in selling our brand means our clients have instant access to contact us 24 hours a day. And better still, it allows us to pass the savings onto our clients, since we don’t have large overheads. Search DesertDollsBoutique on Facebook and @desertdollsboutique on Instagram to find out more and to shop the collection.
Three more purse-friendly home-grown online shops to try
Judith Hobby Clothing This chic womenswear boutique sells modern, contemporary clothing with an emphasis on comfort and ease. Average prices: Dhs250 for tops, Dhs300 for skirts or trousers, Dhs350 for dresses. Buy from:www.judithhobbyclothing.com
Arcadian Apparel Selling a range of truly unique T-shirts for men and women with a Dubai theme, Arcadian Apparel is the first online T-shirt shop to promote and sell wearable art inspired by Emirati culture. Average price: Dhs150 for T-Shirts Buy from:www.arcadianapparel.com
2Birds Are you a beach lover? Then 2Birds is for you. Selling through Little Majlis, Facebook and at various markets across the city, the brand sells a range of colourful dresses and outfits for stylish days on the sand. Average prices: Dhs250 for dresses, Dhs130 for sarongs. Buy from:www.littlemajlis.com/shop/2birds