- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Sayed Ali. I am an Egyptian. I came here in 1998 from Egypt and started my life in Dubai.
Dubai in the UAE is one of the best cities I've lived and been to in the world. It's a very safe city, and life is very easy here. In Dubai, you can find yourself, you can dream, and you make your dream a reality.
Before I started the business, I met Michael Cinco while we were both working in a company and in fashion. One day, we were at a fashion show in the Philippines, and we decided to start our new life and our own business.
We discussed everything and decided Michael would focus more on design, and I would be on the managerial side. That's what I love; I love management so much.
We started our own business, and now I believe we are one of the best in the world.
- How did you get started in fashion?
I was working in a company in a PRO role, and I saw the way Michael would start from sketching until I saw the finished version of the dress. Michael is a true talent, and he's amazing when it comes to design. He never accepts anything other than number one; he's really one of the best.
- What is the role of fashion in society?
Fashion allows you to express yourself. It allows you to show your reality, what you really feel and what you really like.
- What is the biggest lesson you have learned since you started your entrepreneurial journey?
How to find a way with the big challenge or big sacrifice, especially the world now, with COVID-19—that's the big challenge and the big thing you can face in the market and in business.
The one who has a strategy and a good vision will find a way to overcome this situation with COVID-19 and find a way. I know it's very hard for all and that we wish it will be gone soon, but when it comes to business, you should find a way to deal with the situation.
- Now in business, what kind of things have you done so far to kind of mediate that COVID pressure?
When COVID started, Michael and I sat down and made a plan and a new strategy for the business. That plan was to cut our price, our costs because most of our work is for wedding dresses.
Before COVID, weddings were huge and held in very big halls in hotels; now, weddings are being held in houses with only 10 or 15 people or only family members. So we do less work at less cost; we make a dress to keep the price within the constraints of COVID-19.
- What's the role of technology in your business?
No one can live without technology right now. Before COVID-19, who knew we could make a fashion show live with the use of technology. Now we are doing it. Everyone has Instagram or a website; everyone has access to the technology. Technology is part of our life; we cannot live without technology right now.
Also, we used to take three months to make our wedding dresses, and now we can make it in one month using technology; everything now is faster with the use of technology.
- The fashion industry can be very demanding. How do you look after your mental health?
Health is number one in life. If a man starts to exercise - do some sort of workout, cardio or jogging every day, for 30 to 45 minutes, he will avoid all the sickness or whatever in his body.
Plus, you have to eat healthy food everyone—fresh fruits, vegetables—they make you healthy. You also have to sleep well. When you sleep well and you eat healthy food, it gives you a better chance of avoiding illness.
To help your mind, you have to read, read and read. Keep studying, that's the mood of your brain.
- What's that one quote that you live by?
You should have a strong heart and always challenge yourself. Don't stop dreaming. When I started my business, we had 10 to 15 people, now we are a big company.
I challenge myself. I am working hard with a brave heart. So you can be what you want to be.