During this time (and always!) it is so important to support local and small businesses in our communities, and it’s great for the economy too! We are constantly inspired by the ambition and resilience of small business founders and feel that the risks that they take lead to innovation and help in moving the world forward.
Inspired by these entrepreneurs and their stories, we recently chatted with Katrina Gray & Nikki Shearer – owners of Sweet Pea, about being entrepreneurs, running a small business while also running a family, and how they have adapted to the changes that Covid-19 had brought to their business.
What is your business about and why did you start it?
We are a kid’s brand distributor. We look for good quality, creative, educational & affordable brands that we ourselves would give to our own children to play with. Between us we have 6 little ones (from age 2-7) that love to test out the toys!!
We both came from working full time jobs and wanted to be able to still work and raise a family so the idea of Sweet Pea grew from that.
What do you love about your business?
Daily we are inspired by new trends and the fun aspect of Sweet Pea, it’s toys- they bring joy! We love what we do and bring to the UAE; making children and parents happy. As business owners, we have full creative control and decision making over how we want to grow. We love that the UAE has so much support for local businesses and female entrepreneurs.
How do you manage your time between running a business and a family?
Lots of late nights & utilizing technology allow us to be physically present for our families. Our little ones often pretend to ‘work’ as well so I hope that at least is setting a good example. Being able to consciously switch off is something we still need to learn but, we are both still in the growth stage we are very hands on with every aspect of the business.
How has Covid-19 affected your business and how have you adapted?
We have been very lucky that this has grown Sweet Pea since March! Now we have several new offline and online retailers stocking our brands as well as us finally taking the leap into launching our website where we can reach customers directly.
Any piece of advice to other small businesses owners or anyone wanting to start their own business?
Earn the right to grow is our motto! We believe that we should get involved in all aspects of the business and get to know every stakeholder. Literally get your hands dirty & it is not glamorous running your own business. You’ll often find us in the warehouse setting up our ‘desk’ for the day.
Get to know other small business owners, these are your network. We are so lucky to work with several women owned SME’s. Dubai has a super supportive business community.
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