Beachroad Magazine chat to Reem Abdullah and Andrea Ercegovic founders of Vesamina the online style and shopping destination based in Dubai.
Where do you like to eat, shop and socialise in our community? //
Reem // I live in Umm Suqueim 3 in the Al Manara area of Jumeira. I love home cooked food so I normally enjoy eating at home. Although I think living in Jumeira, you have a myriad restaurants you can choose from, so I think you get spoiled in that sense and become indecisive.
Recently I've become obsessed with DumDum, which is the perfect desert place. I also like the Meeras developments, City Walk, Galleria, The Box Park and the Beach, as you can shop, eat and walk around. I like to grab a bite to eat at Tasha's, walk around and visit the shops.
What inspired you both to start their business and any challenges involved?
Reem // Andrea and I realized there is a gap in the market for online shopping in Dubai, and as it's a growing sector, so we decided to establish a Dubai based online store that sells established and up and coming brands from the US, Australia, and different places in Europe.
Our brands embody our style of comfortable and unique pieces, with a medium to low price point. We also established our own Vesmasina line. Our products are easy to wear, and comfortable with an edge as it incorporates are cool hybrid parrot logo, which we've collaborated on with a European street artist. is the go to place to shop for products that are suitable for people for many, as well as for someone that ones that wants to find that unique piece to lift their outfit.
We launched the website in February 2016, so the challenge is getting our site recognized. Although we are getting orders internationally from North America, Europe, Australia, Japan, and other places, we would like to get more regional customers. I think the challenge in the region is that people may still not be comfortable with online shopping.
What are your future plan for the business? //
We would like to house more of up and coming brands that still embody our ethos of comfortable and unique pieces. we also would like to develop new collections of our Vesmasina line and hopefully collaborate with artists in the region in doing so.
What is your take on Dubai as a City and its rapid growth? //
I am Emirati from Dubai. The pride I feel in being from here is growing everyday. Dubai, in my opinion, is the new New York. The cosmopolitan and diverse talent in Dubai gives us a leg up in actualising the vision of our leaders here. We are always continually improving and being the benchmark globally in so many sectors that it makes me so proud to be part of this city. Andrea recognizes the same and she is already attached to the city and sees it as her home.
Reem answers the Beachroad Magazine Q&A //
NAME? // Reem Abdullah
YOUR FIRST JOB? // Auditor in Ernst and Young
YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION? // Strategy and Corporate Planning in the Dubai Government and Partner in our company that owns Vesmasina.
YOUR GREATEST LOVE? // My family
YOUR GREATEST FEAR? // Losing my loved ones
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY? // My dad and I watching the cartoon Jungle Book
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY? // H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum because he is a visionary leader and a humble Human being who is the driver in Dubai's growth.
WHAT WAS THE LAST GIFT YOU GAVE SOMEONE? // A pair of shoes
IF YOU WERE 80 YEARS OLD WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR CHILDREN? // To love yourself, everything and everyone unconditionally because that affects your positivity and theirs. Also being grateful for everything is an important factor everyone needs to remind themselves of.
YOUR WORST TRAIT? // Hesitating a little before making executive decisions.
THE WORST TRAIT IN OTHERS THAT GETS YOU MAD? // Not following through on an agreement and commitment already made.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR PART IN A MOVIE? // This is totally vein, but I'd say Keira Knightly because I think she's a great actress.
FAVOURITE MUSIC? // It varies depending on my mood, but I enjoy 70s rock like Led Zeppelin, 80s pop like David Bowie and definitely some R&B and hip hop. The type of music I can't seem to fathom is house and techno.
LAST RECORD YOU BOUGHT? // It's been a while since I bought a CD but I think the
last was Best of Queen. I think Freddie Mercury is most definitely one of the greatest artists of our time.
FAVOURITE BOOK? // Animal farm by George Orwell and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.
LAST BOOK YOU BOUGHT? // Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip Dick.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU? // Nature. Besides the color blends, I think the architecture of nature, and Fibonacci sequence in every detail is fascinating.
THE CLOSEST YOU HAVE COME TO DEATH? // I had a car accident once on my way to Abu Dhabi, I wasn't badly injured at all, but at that nano second the collision happened, I felt that was it.
FAVOURITE DESTINATION? // London. We call it here the 8th Emirate as its a typical favorite city of Emiratis. I find it so grungy and stylish from its streets to its people. I think it also reminds me of Dubai because it's such a cosmopolitan mix of people.
LEAST FAVOURITE DESTINATION? // I am not a laid back beachy type of girl. I really wish I were, but I'm just a city girl at heart. So I avoid beach focused secluded destinations.
HOW DO YOU RELAX? // Snacks and Netflix, while lying motionless on the couch.
WHY DUBAI? // It's the greatest place in the world. Also the ease
of doing business here and accessibility of Dubai being a hub of trade makes it the perfect place.
ARE YOU SPORTY? // I used to do ballet. But generally, I'm not sporty.
BEACH OR DESERT? // Neither, but if I were to choose I think I'd go for
desert. But preferably neither.
URBAN OR RURAL? // Rural
CATS OR DOGS? // Cats, hands down.
COFFEE OR TEA? // Coffee, always.
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? // I enjoy one liner silly jokes, don't know why, they just make me laugh.
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY? // I cry easily. Seeing someone in pain.
YOUR MESSAGE? // I think everybody tells their story and expresses their message through the life they lead, and that forms who you are. I guess my message would be Give it everything you have, with everything you do. Under that umbrella- Make an impact, Don't take people for granted, Make a difference, and most definitely keep growing in your love for others.
Andrea answers the Beachroad Magazine Q&A //
NAME? // Andrea Ercegovic.
YOUR FIRST JOB? // Intern at a lifestyle magazine.
YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION? // Partner in FOGO llc that owns Vesmasina.
YOUR GREATEST LOVE? // My family, my dogs, my friends.
YOUR GREATEST FEAR? // Monotony.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY? // My brother teaching me how to ride a bicycle and me failing at it
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY? // Its maybe strange to say but I don’t really have one role model. I respect and admire anyone with diligence, integrity, patience, understanding and self-control.
WHAT WAS THE LAST GIFT YOU GAVE SOMEONE? // Miista boots.
IF YOU WERE 80 YEARS OLD WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR CHILDREN? // Be kind to people, animals and nature… Do your own thing, don’t care what anyone else thinks.. You live only once.
YOUR WORST TRAIT? // Occasional aloofness.
THE WORST TRAIT IN OTHERS THAT GETS YOU MAD? // Possessiveness and narrow-mindedness.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR PART IN A MOVIE? // It depends on what stage of life would the movie be about.
FAVOURITE MUSIC? // It really depends on the mood but my go to bands/artists would be David Bowie, Morphine, Tindersticks, Leonard Cohen … recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Timber Timbre.
LAST RECORD YOU BOUGHT? // My friend collects vinyl so few years ago I got her “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac.
FAVOURITE BOOK? // The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.
LAST BOOK YOU BOUGHT? // The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU? // Traveling.
THE CLOSEST YOU HAVE COME TO DEATH? // Thank God but I have never come close to death.. Or at least I wasn’t aware of it.
FAVOURITE DESTINATION? // Mljet, An island / national park in Croatia. I try to go every summer for at least a week. It is a perfect place to detach from reality and recharge.I never saw a more clear sea in my life.
LEAST FAVOURITE DESTINATION? // Honestly I don’t have one.. Every place has its pros and cons.
HOW DO YOU RELAX? // I go to the spa for a quick pick-me-up.
WHY DUBAI? // It's an amazing place. Very safe with a great mix of people. Truly cosmopolitan and unique city.
ARE YOU SPORTY? // I am not really crazy about sports. I enjoy skiing but that only happens 10 days out of the year. I keep in shape by going to the gym 4-5 times a week.
BEACH OR DESERT? // Beach.. But with limited amount of people.
URBAN OR RURAL? // Rural.
CATS OR DOGS? // Dogs.
COFFEE OR TEA? // Tea.
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? // Random internet animal memes and silly videos.
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY? // People abusing animals.