One Head, Many Hats Mariam Abdulrahim is a Bahraini entrepreneur who is inspired by western service oriented businesses. After moving back from Los Angeles post graduation, she recognised that there was a potential in the market place for her business concepts. Rebecca Smith sat down with Mariam to discuss how she has made an impact in the beauty and frozen yogurt industry.
You were living in LA. So, what made you return to Bahrain? I flew back to Bahrain to attend my sister’s wedding; I ended up meeting my future husband, here. Though I had intended to stay in LA, my plans changed. That said, I consider LA to be my second home. Most products at your spa and yogurt cafe are organic. Is this choice of products influenced by the time you spent at LA? Definitely. In LA everyone is so health conscious and aware of what they’re putting onto or into their body. So, it was important to me to find these products locally. But I couldn’t find anything. So I contacted the suppliers and started to bring them in myself. What challenges did you encounter while setting up your businesses? The toughest challenge is finding and keeping the right staff. I wanted to employ people, who I would feel comfortable doing my hair or nails with. I was on the lookout for staff that had been trained in their profession and would be able to explain to the client what they could expect from a certain procedure. I ended up recruiting outside. But the problem I faced then was trying to convince people to move to what they perceived to be a small, very hot and not very ‘happening’ country. So bringing somebody from LA or London wasn’t going to work. I ended up recruiting from the North of England and Europe. I
58 | Bahrain Confidential | December 2013