INTERVIEW WITH ZAINAB AL SALIH
We continue to share special stories and this time we had the pleasure of getting to know one of Dubai's best wedding & event planners, if not the best!
Zainab Al Sallih, a wife and a mother of three sons. She is the Founder of Carousel, she started off her career in banking and found her calling when she changed careers and started her own company over ten years ago. We get to know her beautiful story ...
Please tell us briefly about yourself, who is Zainab Alsalih?
I have a degree in Business Administration from Eastern Connecticut State University. I started my career as a banker working for the National Bank of Dubai. I then found "my calling" and started Carousel just over 10 years ago. I haven't looked back since. Having your own business is extremely hard work but it's also very rewarding.
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day for me is spent at the studio designing and planning the weddings on hand, researching new products, materials, trends, and ideas and liaising with various vendors and suppliers. I do a lot of running around, sourcing materials and elements for my brides. On many days, you will find me with brides on site visits, rehearsals or food tastings. I spend a lot of time with our floral designers, creating centrepieces and floral displays for our weddings. However, my favourite time of the day is presenting concepts and setting up mock tables for new brides and seeing the twinkle in their eyes when they begin to see the first glimpses of their vision turning to reality.
How did you decide to go into Events management? Have you always wanted to be a wedding planner?
I have always loved making people happy. There’s something deeply gratifying about bringing people joy and sharing it with them. So, I always knew whatever I did, it needed to give me the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives. With time, I also began to better understand and appreciate my natural strengths: an artistic flair, a gift for communicating, and an obsessive attention to detail.
I was also lucky to have people around me who recognised these talents in me, and encouraged me to develop them and apply them. My husband, my friends and my mother all played a key role in encouraging me to do what I am doing today.
What do you love most about your job? & what is the most difficult part?
I love being part of such a happy milestone in someone’s life. There is so much love and joy happening in and around the wedding, and to be a part of this amazing celebration of love and life is a truly wonderful experience. I am forever part of my bride’s memories and they are forever a part of mine - for that I am blessed in doing what I do.
The most difficult part is being responsible for the most important day in a girl’s life. We have zero margin for error and we have one shot at getting it right – so the pressure is enormous.
Any all-time favourite events, or weddings that you have worked on? & Why
I can’t really pick one; all my weddings are very close to my heart. Each and every one of them has been unique and special.
Do you incorporate seasonal trends into the styles and themes of the weddings and events you manage?
A wedding should always be a reflection of the bride and grooms personality and their lifestyle. We personalize weddings by creating a theme that is a reflection of the couple, their culture and background, regardless of seasonal trends. One thing to keep in mind is that your wedding should be timeless, and just like fashion, while trends are fleeting, style is forever.
What is your favourite type of flowers?
What is the most precious piece of jewelry you have ever received?
My wedding band.
Which characters did you choose for your HJ Customized Duo Rings and what’s the story?
My husband’s and my first letters, he is my best friend, my role model and my driving force in life. Having our letters intertwined in a piece of jewelry that I can wear every day is symbolic of the nature of our relationship, we are partners in everything in the life we share.
How does jewelry make you feel?
I love wearing jewelry that is minimal in style and that accentuates my style and look, without overpowering it. It makes me feel elegant, feminine, and complete.
Any advice for women aspiring to follow their dreams?
Find a market niche – and then find (or build) your place within it.
Surround yourself with the right people – whether partners, employees, suppliers, vendors, etc…
Love all. We are such a diverse and multicultural place, and you should love all people, all nationalities, and all cultures. Ignore the stereotypes – they are false.