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Sat 12 Jan 2019 12:45 PM

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Entrepreneur of the Week: House of MC's Maha Al Shamsi

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

Entrepreneur of the Week: House of MC's Maha Al Shamsi

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.