Many many things happened in 2020, but there was one thing that we considered fortunate. We spent more time with our families. We had a chance to slow down our steps and rethink our lives. As we had more time to watch children play at home, the more important we found in quality playtime. We met Fadi and Clara from Dubai in 2020, and we are happy to learn that we all shared the same philosophy towards parenting and childhood. Today, we have an Q&A with My Backyard Chronicles to learn more about their inspiration and business.
Q: What was your thought process behind starting your own business? What are your motivation and inspiration behind the business?
A: We felt that Dubai and the region as a whole was missing a kids' concept store that focused on nature inspired play, simple games, timeless toys and play pieces that inspire children's imagination but at the same time were kind to the environment. Our mission is to get kids unplugged and inspire them to explore, create and play outside.
Q: Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about?
A: My Backyard Chronicles is an e-commerce platform that offers a curated selection of sustainable and eco-friendly toys and products for kids sourced both locally and around the world. We have a passion for beautiful things, we believe in slow play and we are committed to offer open-ended toys that encourage a child’s imagination and invite a sense of wonder and curiosity into everyday play. We handpicked and sourced all our brands from around the globe and brought them to the Middle East for the first time.
All our brands are eco-friendly and sustainable, all our suppliers share the same ethos as us. We aim to be more than just an online store, we are trying to create sustainability awareness in kids as well as creating a community of like minded parents to share experiences, advice and to support each other. Our social media aims to be a place to shop as well as being a place to get inspired. The thing I love the most though has to be the amazing people that we are meeting along the way, our suppliers as well as our customers and everyone in between.
Q: What are the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way?
A: Lessons: Patience, a business takes a lot of work and time to develop. If something fails, learn and try again. Treat your fellow retailers as friends and build a community instead of try and compete with each other. There is space for everyone in the market and nobody is you, so there is no real competition. Sometimes you really love a brand or a product but you need to accept that your customers might not and you need to move on.
Challenges: Push yourself out of your comfort zone (i.e. I am not a sale person) and having to learn new skills (i.e. accounting). Make sure you are able to separate work and private life, as when you work on your own business its easy to keep going, set boundaries around the times you work and the time you are present with your family. Some days are tough and you seem to lose purpose or the drive, sometimes it can be challenging to stay positive and keep going.