Name: Theresa Tsui

Name of business: reMADE DXB

What do you do?
We are a social learning space, and our main business is delivering making, crafting and creative themed workshops, from sewing to knitting to weaving to printing. We want to get the UAE crafting and enjoying creativity.

How did you get started?
We started off around the kitchen table at our homes as a crafty social with lots of chat and tea. It quickly took off and encouraged by all who came and created... so we decided to take the leap and find a space. Here we are three years later. It has been an eventful ride!

Who and what inspire you?
Like most creative entrepreneurs I am inspired by other creative entrepreneurs in the region. I'm inspired by writers, other crafters, home-grown brands and concepts. It's an exciting time to be creative in Dubai.
What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
Growing organically, looking for opportunities with other like-minded entrepreneurs, keeping an eye on the social and creative landscape and finding ways to be a part of that, adapting and responding to creative trends and most importantly: finding a way to keep ourselves fresh and relevant and not becoming too complacent about any successes.

How do you split your time?
Aside from reMADE DXB, I have two other creativity-related businesses (Wild Things DXB and The Bunting Queens) and a family to keep alive. At the beginning it was a bit hectic as we poured our energies into starting but it has gotten easier over the years as our efforts are starting to pay off. Thankfully, my family is fairly understanding about my 2am sewing sessions and supportive of what I do.

What is your workspace like?
I am fortunate to have two workspaces, my home and the studio. I wish I could say that my home is like a dream space from Pinterest or Harper's Bazaar Interiors, but in reality it's part crafter's imaginarium, part junkyard, part creative lab. There is a triple aspect wooden display cabinet crammed with fabrics and yarn. The Sewing Parlour at reMADE DXB is a welcoming studio in the heart of Al Quoz. We have tried to make it cosy, a bit like going round to your favourite aunt's home to drink tea and sew around her kitchen table, and we work and host workshops around a communal table. It's as far from a classroom setting as can be imagined. The kettle's always on and there's a steady supply of biscuits and retro candy to keep our creative juices going.

What three items can't you live without?
Cup of tea, sewing machine and fabric (surprise surprise).
What three items can't you live without?
Cup of tea, sewing machine and fabric (surprise surprise).

Which UAE companies do you admire?
This could take a while... I admire companies across the spectrum. Some aren't even in the creative industry – I just like what they are doing and how they're communicating with the wider community.

Why is supporting small businesses so important to you?
As a small business owner/operator I have seen and experienced firsthand the challenges we go through to survive, compete and keep our businesses afloat. Without the backing of large finances, our bills are no less than a big business. Supporting a small business means that we should treat them equally and no less seriously than a bigger player. It's all too common to bargain or make a deal to squeeze more for less with the promise of exposure or a break and, as a small business owner, we sometimes feel forced to accept the offer in order to move forward. Collaboration is one thing... freeloading is another. Small/homegrown businesses are unique and keep the entrepreneurial environment interesting and constantly changing.

How can the community get involved in your business?
If you are creative, crafty and particularly good at your chosen craft, we provide a platform for you to come and deliver workshops by giving you space on our workshop schedule. This is how we've grown our workshop offering. If you want to come and learn how to use a sewing machine, we are here to help you make friends with it. If you have a community initiative that involves crafting, come and speak to us and tell us how we can help – we are always keen to lend a hand as much as we can. Recently we helped a Girl Guide group to make simple dresses for impoverished children in Africa.
go back!