Name: Miriam Walsh

Name of business: ARTE, The Makers' Market

What do you do?
I am the organiser of the UAE-based handmade markets, called ARTE.

How did you get started?
In 2005 it was felt that competition between handmade and non-handmade vendors was spoiling the profile of the artisans and reduced the success of their sales. It was also that at that time the marketing for the market events was very poor and so we decided to set up our own event and focus on the needs of the artisans. We have not changed our mission since that time and we have grown from the initial 29 vendors to having an average of 600 different vendors at the ARTE markets in one year.

Who and what inspire you?
The vendors at ARTE inspire me; to do well for them is my drive every day. I must do the best I can to provide the only Handmade Market in the UAE so that the artisans do not have to battle against unnecessary competition from imported products and that the marketing is geared to support their needs.
What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
Everything. It is a personal challenge to see if I have what it takes; if I can actually call myself a successful entrepreneur because my business has a healthy following and is a great success. I believe I can tick all the boxes, although it is time again for some internal changes so that I am not spending every minute of the day on the ARTE workload.

How do you split your time?
My family's needs come first and around it I work every minute of the day and often night to keep up with the work load. I have a great team of supporters around me nowadays and it has changed the market in a tremendous and forth going manner, but my time is still eaten every day by taking care of the market and her vendors. The balance is not healthy and it is desperate for an adjustment.

What is your workspace like?
It is my beautiful Mac on my lap with Google Drive, Facebook, Mail,

What three items can't you live without?
My Mac, my pull on trolly that holds all my precious things and my passport. I am not really attached to this or that and I can live with very little. I love a good view when I work which I have from my sitting room of the old villa in Jumeirah. it will be hard to let go of our home in Dubai, but they are going to pull it down, so no escape of a house move.
Which UAE companies do you admire?
Ah…. that is a tricky one. I have to say that Becky with the RIPE concept took one of my passions and made it work. I always loved Harvest Home store that is now moved to RAK.

Why is supporting small businesses so important to you?
A long time ago when things were particularly tough personally I found my way forward by working on my felt and attending the markets. It had been so tough that i felt that if this way works for me, it must work for all those who are having a tough time too. I am so very happy for those men and women at the market and see them thrive and grow and regain their confidence in life and in dubai.

How can the community get involved in your business?
ARTE is pretty much a non-profit organisation that is very much depending on the support from volunteers. People who stand up and speak up and guide me with their views so that I can decide what the best way forward is so that the journey meets the need of the public and the community in the UAE. Anybody who would like to help with ARTE can contact us on We are overhauling the website, as soon as this is done we are happy to welcome related companies to the business of handmade and advertise their companies on the net.

This is ARTE's motto:
ARTE, The Makers' Market, is a place where makers of design, art, craft and fashion, who reside in the UAE, showcase their own work. The vendors at ARTE meet our tag lines of 'Handmade in the UAE' and 'We Make What We Sell'.

And this is ARTE's social media: |
go back!