How I got my job as... Founder of Dubai-based textile brand NOW WAY
Tan in style
Dubai-based brand NOW WAY, founded by Elvira Distefano, aims to elevate your outdoor hours by reinventing the classic throw.
What makes the brand stand out from regular rugs and towels? Apart from the fun designs, NOW WAY uses 100 per cent cotton from Turkey and is most importantly wind proof. Thanks to the four pegs and an elastic band that fixes it on the sand or grass, those days of constantly having to fix down your beach towels are over.
With three sizes to choose from, NOW WAY range is designed to be lightweight and ultra thin so it dries quickly, and is easy to roll up.
Below we chat to Distefano about her inspiration.
What was your favourite subject at school?
I was always very keen to learn new languages in school. Knowing languages is the best tool to communicate, to exchange notes with people and to share your ideas and your passion. Languages open up your mind, boost your curiosity and allow you to travel more conveniently. Nothing can stop you when there is no language barrier.
I speak four languages fluently: Italian, French, English and Spanish. I trust that what I have achieved is due to this flexibility and fluency in languages.
What was your first job?
My first job was in store sales. I worked as a Marketing Supervisor at Procter & Gamble.
What inspired you to launch NOW WAY?
Being a beach lover and someone who enjoys travelling, every time I ventured outdoors, I faced different constraints with my existing throws and mats such as space, wind, volume, weight and of course sand. I wanted to create something that was much more practical, convenient and friendly while being stylish at the same time. Thus the idea of NOW WAY came about.
What are the key elements of your role?
As the Founder of NOW WAY, brand identity, website, social media, business strategy, retail sell out, wholesale and export are the key elements that I look after for the brand.
Talk us through your daily routine.
I work 24/7 as I’m both an Educational Manager in the corporate sector and run my own business NOW WAY.
I personally oversee all orders, deliveries, stock, social media, website, sales and finances for the brand and also closely monitor day to day operations of Now Way’s retails shop located at Alserkal Avenue. We also retail through a stand at the Ripe Market over the weekend, which requires a lot of coordination and team work.
Someone once said to me: “You are the only person I know that takes holidays to work”.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?
Be curious, be proactive, think out of the box, observe, listen and engage with your customers, they are the best source of inspiration.
Which fashion brands can we find in your work wardrobe?
Saint Laurent – I have worked with the brand for almost a decade so I am very passionate about it.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
When you have an idea, write it down first, elaborate on it, spend time thinking before you talk about it.
And what is the worst?
Don’t try anything new or experiment in life with your ideas.
What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
Making people change their habits and inspiring them to be more outdoors, is something I constantly try and instil in others. I want to encourage the NOW WAY customers to lead an active lifestyle and join the trend of going to the beach more often or for a picnic in the lap of nature rather than spending passive time indoors.