Goa..you’ve GOT to go!

I was recently in Goa for the opening of another Smile Bar store (exciting!!) and I really did not expect it to be so amazing. I had heard great things about Goa from friends and family but it is different when you actually get to experience a new place for yourself.

The weather was hot and humid and midday gets scorching but I am okay with hot weather, it is the cold I cant really deal with too well, so I was fine. The place itself was so chilled out and relaxing it just made me want to sit down and do nothing all day (not the best way to feel when you are there for a store opening) but aside from Smile Bar related issues we covered quite a lot in a very short amount of time as we were with a family friend who knows Goa very well.

We went to some amazing restaurants and the food we had over the course of our short stay was absolutely amazing, I must have had lobster about 3 times and dessert everyday (oops)! We also had some traditional Goan food which was ridiculously spicy but so incredibly tasty. I am originally Indian so I should be able to take a little bit of spice but I really cant. In saying that however, I couldn’t resist! To be honest, temptations were too high and I couldn’t resist any of the food that was ordered throughout our stay, I always have to at least taste new food or I feel as though I have missed out on something great. This is a personal dilemma of mine and it involves my  passion for health/fitness and my love for food + big appetite.  In saying that however I was working out the entire trip so i didn’t mind indulging here and there 🙂 My mums appetite is tiny and  she isn’t really a dessert person’ (so she always says…) ….why didn’t I get those genes?! *hufff*

The beauty of Goa in my eyes was that nothing was over polished or pristine and that was what I liked the most, that was what gave it charm. You didn’t have to dress up at any point and I wore flip flops day and night!

One of my most favourite parts of the trip was the Flea Market we went to on the Saturday evening, now this was some market alright. It was the most amazing market I have ever been to in my life! It was set out in layers, with market stalls selling clothes to bags to spices  to tea to necklaces, to you name it, they had everything. There were bars all over the place blasting deep house and there was even live music, the whole place was buzzing! Again the food was incredible and we ate at a number of different stalls because It was just too difficult to just pick from one!

One last thing that I would like to mention is that a lot of the times we would be in the car driving down  a street along the coast, suddenly we would take a turn down into a shady looking dirt track and then we would be faced with an absolutely beautiful beach bar or restaurent. It is really difficult for me to explain but it seemed like everything was hidden and secretive and we were the lucky ones who got to experience it. I know that is not true , but thats what it felt like.  The whole place was so quaint, rustic and unique, the vibes were just so chilled it made me want to stay forever.

One thing is for sure though, I will definitely be heading back as I have heard the beach parties are incredible. For now though enjoy some of the photos I took along the way. Unfortunately i didn’t have my big camera with me so apologies for the quality.

Advertisements

Smile Bar Launch

After I graduated university,  like a lot of people, I had to start looking for a job. To be honest though,  after 4 years of studying I still really had no idea what I wanted to do.  I couldn’t picture myself working for somebody else and even if I had  to pick I still had no idea what company I would like to work for or even what field of business I wanted to be in. Nothing appealed to me and on top of all that the job market really wasn’t too great either. I couldn’t see myself stuck behind a desk 5 days a week, all i knew was that I wanted to do something that fitted my extrovert personality.

So not knowing what to do I moved back home to Dubai to see if I could find anything there. I then began work at a PR firm which was great experience but to be honest it just didn’t feel completely right.  My dad has always encouraged me to start something of my own and so I was always trying to think about what ideas I could propose to him.

Smile Bar all began about a year ago when I was in my room one evening. I was researching and emailing companies/ideas/concepts that I thought would work in Dubai. One company (a cosmetic teeth whitening company) got back to me shortly after and honestly I thought it was a scam or a joke. I thought ‘Wow, that was quick this cant be right?’. I was wrong… this man was seriously interested in what I had to say!   About a month later I flew off to LA to see the company and a year down the road it has began in India. Now you are probaably wondering “India? Don’t you live in Dubai?’ Yes I do and Dubai will hopefully be on its way to opening soon however I was faced with many obstacles along the way (but what new business owner doesn’t?) My hopes for opening in Dubai still remain and I believe it will all happen in time (hopefully this year!)

The company in India however is called  Smile Bar. The tooth whitening treatment is enamel safe, quick, pain free and best of all it only takes 15 minutes! So how did this India thing come about you may ask? Well, my dad was talking to a family friend of ours (who was born in Mumbai) about the concept I was working on and he happened to really liked the idea and thought it would work great over in India. Now obviously I had no intention of starting a business in India because firstly I dont live there and secondly I have heard that doing business there is a totally different ball game compared to more westernised nations. Now Dubai isnt exactly as straight forward as the UK or the United States but it is a lot more westernised in its business practices than India.

So to cut a long story short we decided with our family friend that the Indian market was perfect for this concept and to go ahead. Another few months and many obstacles down the line, the launch of the first store in Bandra Mumbai has happened. It was a great event which was inaugurated by Jacqueline Fernandez an up and coming Bollywood actress. It was a pretty long day but was great to have such amazing feedback on the concept and the store design. We also did treatments on those that wanted them and had some amazing results which is always satisfying to see 🙂

I will be sure to post about the Dubai launch once it happens (fingers crossed!). For now, I hope you enjoy some of the images below (click to enlarge).

Please check out www.smilebarindia.com and The Facebook Page for more information.

What I am wearing- As the Smile Bar colours are predominently blue i decided to wear lime green to stand out a little. I paired this with some rose gold closed toe heels and didn’t wear any jewellery as I just wanted to keep it simple!



 

 

 

Trip to India

Recent Trip to India 

So this is my first blog post and i am going to jump right in there with some stories from my most recent trip to India. The purpose of this trip was for business however I definitely managed to blend in some sightseeing too. The last time i was in India was when i was 6 years old and my memories from then have faded but i do have flashbacks of the not so good parts. I felt at this  age  however i would appreciate the  trip more and i was also extremely excited to take photos along the way.

It was absolutely chaos from the second we stepped out the airport in Mumbai. We landed in what is now the ‘old’ airport and jumped into a taxi. The first thing i noticed was that there was NO lines on the road and everybody was just driving wherever they wanted to! It was mental, cars beeping literally every second until we got to the hotel about 45 mins away. I was so occupied looking out of the window that the journey didn’t even seem to take that long. Wherever  you looked, something was going on. It just seemed like something out of a movie.

The purpose of the visit was for the opening of my store ‘Smile Bar’. Smile Bar is the first teeth whitening concept to be opened in India. Im sure many of you have already seen Teeth whitening concepts in malls or shops around the world but there wasn’t anything like it there so i’m hoping it does well because who doesnt want a bright white smile, right? (I will do a separate post on the launch)

Our hotel was in Bandra and although it was an amazing hotel within its boundaries, the second you step out of its boundaries you are faced with a lot of poverty and an extremely run down road along the coast. It was the same for everywhere we went, the more upmarket places were always mixed into the run down areas, i thought it was pretty cool though and it definitely added charm.  To be honest the more run down parts were the most interesting as they were always so busy and it was incredible to just watch and capture the hustle and bustle of the place. The driver found it hysterical because I kept telling him to stop along the road so I could take photographs of everyday life there.  He was used to it so had no idea why I thought it was so cool! Click on the pictures below to see them in full size!