During this time (and always!) it is so important to support the local business in our communities. Plus it’s great for the economy too! We are constantly inspired by the ambition and resilience of local business founders. We 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 Nigina Yakhlakova – owner of OneSports, about being an entrepreneur, running a small local business while also running a family, and how she’s adapted to the changes that Covid-19 has brought to her business.
What is your business about and why did you start it?
OneSports is where girls can find everything they need for their sports and active lifestyle. I believe sports is essential and must be present in every child’s life, so that being fit and healthy becomes a habit from an early age. It teaches being disciplined, responsible and achieving goals. We, at OneSports try to encourage that by providing products that make them look stylish and feel comfortable while doing their favorite activity. We specialize in daily activewear, training sets, dance and ballet outfits. You can also find gymnastics leotards, rhythmic gymnastics professional equipment and all kinds of sports accessories for beginner and advanced level girls aged 3-16 years.
I started my business in 2018 . Idea of OneSports came about when I struggled to find products my daughter needed for gymnastics trainings. I saw a lack of sportswear and accessories for girls in the market and have decided to bring in products of excellent quality with a great design choice that offer comfort and style. I have started off with an online store and have recently opened a retail store in Palm Jumeirah.
What do you love about your business?
I love to see our little customers smile when they get a new product from us. It’s so inspiring to hear stories from mums of girls being more motivated and enjoying classes even more now that they have a new leotard, a tutu skirt or a training set in their favorite color. It brings us a lot of joy when they share pictures of girls performing and winning at various competitions wearing our products. I love the fact that we in some way are adding value and helping girls grow up being fit, become professionals in their sport, feeling elegant, looking best, like real princesses and champions doing what they love.
How do you manage your time between running a business and a family?
To be honest it is hard to balance a big family and work but doable when you are passionate about what you do. It is all about time management. I have a daily plan of things to do, but having my own business is a 24 hour job and a day is never long enough.
I have 4 kids, so my day is split into before and after school timings. It takes a lot of daily hard work and effort to have a business running and bringing ideas into life. I spend a lot of time researching and learning new things to develop and grow my business. Often I work late nights. Although very tiring, that is the time when I am most productive and have many ideas.
I try my best to be a present mum and spend time with my family. My husband and family are my biggest supporters and I am sure I couldn’t have done it without their help.
How has Covid-19 affected your business and how have you adapted?
We only had an online store at the time of lock down. Since all kids sports activities got cancelled ,our sales have dropped dramatically. We all had to adapt to the new unknown reality. Kids slowly started doing online sports activities (which seemed impossible before) and we have introduced products that would suit home trainings as well as accessories like sports themed coloring books that would keep kids away from iPads and have them still interested in sports. We took advantage of our social media pages and have had fun challenges to engage kids.
Any piece of advice to other small businesses owners or anyone wanting to start their own business?
Be passionate about your idea and take that step with a clear vision of what you want to do. Always have a plan. Make sure you have a reliable team that looks in the same direction with you. There will be times when you will experience ups and downs, be patient, keep going. Do what you believe is best for your business. Good intentions always lead to positive outcomes.
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