Beachroad Magazine meets Amelie Teissier Catteau the founder of jewellery and accessories company La Plage Dubai.
Amelie set up La Plage in 2013 as having lived in Dubai for a decade she realised you simply could not buy accessories that would be as at home on the beach as they would on the street. Previously Amelie worked in the luxury sector for the world’s most prestigious brands including Cartier and De Beers which has brought her extensive knowledge of the jewellery, fashion and lifestyle worlds to La Plage Dubai.
Combining both impeccable Parisian taste with worldwide colourful trends and styles, which perfectly characterise living in Dubai, La Plage is a must destination for the more fashion-conscious tourists and UAE residents.
Where do you like to eat, shop and socialise in our community? //
I love to eat at HEAT – their chicken tacos are in my opinion the best in town. The Surf Café is always a great option; they have amazing juices. We love Hampton's where we go as neighbours, (since we live two minutes walk away) for lunch or just a drink on the terrace with friends.
My favourite breakfast is at Baker & Spice, Town Centre, I cannot resist their Shakshooka, we love to go there on weekends, and then I can visit my La Plage kiosk in Mercato Mall. And The Park House on Kite Beach has delicious pancakes.
My favourite grocery shopping place is The Fish Market behind Dubai Offshore Sailing Club. We visit almost every day for super fresh fish to make delicious ceviche, and the small grocery shop there has a lot of fruits and vegetables. Once a week, I also go to Ripe behind Al Wasl to get fresh organic fruits and veg’ for my baby.
What is your take on Dubai as a City and its rapid growth? //
I founded La Plage Dubai with my husband in early 2013. It all started with a small kiosk in Mercato Mall and following our rapid success, we opened in Dubai Marina Mall, followed by Galeries Lafayette, Dubai Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall and Yas Mall. We also have our main showroom in Al Serkal Avenue. We are lucky to be part of the rapid growth here in Dubai and the development of this city has allowed us to expand quickly.
What inspired you to start La Plage and any challenges along the way? //
I have always been passionate about jewellery and shopping in general and being a real Parisian at heart, I quickly realised that something was missing in Dubai with regard to shopping. Big brands and big malls were the only shopping options at the time. So we came up with our concept after noticing that independent businesses with a different shopping experience was missing here. With La Plage, I wanted to recreate the ‘South of France market style’.
Any future plans that you can share with us? //
We are developing La Plage in Abu Dhabi, and other GCC countries. But mostly, I am still searching for exciting new brands to bring exclusively to our UAE clientelle. This is my passion; scouting all around the world to find new exclusive and edgy jewellery and accessories. I discovered the brand Mishky a few years back. The story behind the brand is fascinating – each piece of jewellery is handmade by a tribe in a small village of Colombia.
AMELIE ANSWERS THE BEACHROAD MAGAZINE Q&A //
NAME? // Amelie Catteau.
YOUR FIRST JOB? // Jewellery Marketing Manager at Cartier Middle-East.
YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION? // Founder and Manager at La Plage Dubai.
YOUR GREATEST LOVE? // My baby girl Alma, 11 months old. She is my angel; she is always in my mind.
YOUR GREATEST FEAR? // Losing the ones I love.
IF YOU COULD HAVE A MEAL WITH ANYONE ALIVE OR DEAD WHO WOULD IT BE? // My grandmother I guess. She passed away the month before I was born. All my family say how amazing she was. I really wish I had known her.
WHO IS YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN HERO? // Sarah Lavoine. She is an amazing French interior designer, with a typical Parisian taste. She can bring a modern twist to the very classical Haussmannien Parisian flats, which I love.
WHAT PIECE OF JEWELLERY COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT? // My engagement ring of course!
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE ARTIST / PAINTER? // Being in Dubai for the last 9 years, I am more and more into Islamic art and Arabic artists. I love the artist Lalla Essaydi, for example, and her beautiful triptych. My husband Emmanuel Catteau is also a great photographer and his latest pictures from the Himba tribe of Namibia are a true piece of heart to my eyes.
WHAT DOES DUBAI MEAN TO YOU? // It means a lot. I met my husband here, my two sisters live here and I started my business here. Love, family and work are all centred in Dubai. I can say this is my hometown and I love it.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY? // Childhood memories with my family are my earliest memories, and I really want to recreate the same for my daughter Alma. This summer, she is spending a lot of time with her cousins and friends in Europe.
IF YOU WERE 80 YEARS OLD WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR CHILDREN? // It is not very original, but live life to the fullest, follow your dreams, always respect people and don’t regret anything.
YOUR WORST TRAIT? // I am not very patient… everything should be fast and perfect! But now with my team of 14 at La Plage, I have learned to delegate and if everything is not exactly as I want it to be… it doesn’t matter!
THE WORST TRAIT IN OTHERS THAT GETS YOU MAD? // Injustice. This drives me crazy.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR PART IN A MOVIE? // Scarlett Johansson… no I’m kidding. I have no clue!
FAVOURITE MUSIC? // All of them, depending on the mood, from house music to jazz, a little bit of classical and a lot of French oldies. I am a big fan of French radio. I listen every morning to my favourite journalist on Europe 1.
LAST RECORD OR DOWNLOAD YOU BOUGHT? // Baby music (sorry, not very fun!). I don’t buy or download a lot of music, but rather listen to playlist on “SoundCloud”.
FAVOURITE BOOK? // Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin, I know it is a little cheesy but I have read it at least 20 times.
LAST BOOK YOU BOUGHT? // During summer, I read a lot of French literature – it is a good time to catch up with all the good books I have missed. I have to admit that I am also a big, big fan of French magazines, such as Elle, and L’Officiel.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU? // So many people and things inspire me. My mother for the way she raised her four children, Instagram to find new trends and French celebrities such as Caroline de Maigret for her Parisian style, also the French press.
THE CLOSEST YOU HAVE COME TO DEATH? // A car accident I guess.
FAVOURITE DESTINATION? // Anywhere with my husband and daughter. We are both entrepreneurs so we can manage our time as we like.
LEAST FAVOURITE DESTINATION? // None. I love to travel everywhere as long as I am with the people I love.
HOW DO YOU RELAX? // Sport, especially Pilates. For the last 5 years I have been going to Real Pilates in Palm Strip Mall in Jumeirah 1. I love everything about this studio. People go there to exercise; it is not a “fashionable sport place”. The teachers are amazing, and I really feel a change in my body: firmer, thinner and more elongated. I also love SensAsia Urban Spa at the Village Mall to finish the weekend.
WHY DUBAI? // I moved to Dubai in early 2007 right after my graduation. Some of my family are living here. I started my professional life here. And then I met my husband in Dubai. Dubai is not just a stopover for me – our life is here.
ARE YOU SPORTY? // I love Pilates; I play tennis once a week. I try to run on the Jumeirah running track at least twice a week. I also tried golf this summer and loved it. This will be my new challenge for the coming year.
BEACH OR DESERT? // Definitely beach! We live in front of the beach, so we go every day. Morning swim, sunset swim, we really enjoy it. It is a kind of Venice Beach lifestyle: we see people running, walking, kitesurfing, sailing, … it is really motivating. And maybe once every 2 months we go to the desert. My husband is a kind of Indiana Jones – he has all the equipment for camping. I think this is a boys thing…
URBAN OR RURAL? // Urban!! I was born in Paris and spent 25 years there. I love the countryside and empty spaces, but just for holidays. I need the speed of the city for my everyday life.
CATS OR DOGS? // Dogs!!! We have a little Cavalier King Charles, called Mila, she is 2 years old, and we love her! We just regret that there are so little places where we can take dogs in Dubai…
COFFEE OR TEA? // Coffee in the morning, and lots, lots, lots of herbal tea all day long.
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? // So many things! I am a really happy person. I laugh a lot with my daughter, I laugh at myself, we should not take ourselves too seriously! I laugh with my friends and family. I love to laugh every day.
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY? // All the terrorist attacks happening in the world. How a small group of fanatics can threaten the world this way makes me sick. I can’t help thinking in what world my baby will grow up in.
YOUR MESSAGE? // Believe in your dreams, work hard to reach them, and never take no for an answer.