Cindy Cafolla is a partner at Beauty By Edge, a beauty salon and store based at Mercato Mall in Jumeirah, Dubai, which opened in 2014. Ms Cafolla, from Dublin, Ireland, has lived in the UAE for seven years and runs the business with her son, Paolo, 31. Her other son, Ivano, 32, has his own online entertainment listings business.
How did your upbringing shape your attitude towards money?
My father was in the horse racing industry, so taking chances is in my blood. We were all taught as children that money doesn’t fall into your lap, you have to go out and get what you want. Most importantly, we were taught that hard work and giving your all to a project will bring success and pay off.
How much did you get paid for your first job?
My first job was in 1976 – that’s how long I have been in the beauty industry. And I was handsomely paid – the equivalent of $20 a week. You have to start somewhere, I suppose.
Are you spender or saver?
Definitely a spender. My relationship with money is also a product of my upbringing – I was taught that money was made to be spent and enjoyed. After all, you can’t take it with you. I love the finer things in life and have been lucky to be able to afford that lifestyle for the best part of my life.
What is your most cherished purchase?
I love spending on investment couture pieces for my wardrobe – pieces that will stand the test of time. My most cherished is by my favourite Irish designer, Louise Kennedy. It was a coat made from hand-embroidered silk and real fur. At the time I bought it in 2007, it cost me $5,000. I last wore it in Paris last November and was stopped in L’Avenue Montaigne in front of Chanel and asked where I bought my coat. So it is still a good investment.
Where do you save your money?
I have put all my savings into my business venture, Beauty by Edge. Being a serial entrepreneur, most of my cash has always gone into new business ventures because I believe in myself and my ability to make a good return on my money – in essence, I put my money where my mouth is. For my retirement, I always have my properties if the worst comes to the worst.
What has been your best investment?
My family home, which I built with my ex-husband in the 1980s. We were lucky to get a prime site in the best neighbourhood in Dublin and built an extensive five-bedroom home. It is an investment that has matured well over time and that will never lose its value because of its appeal and location.
What do you most regret spending money on?
I once tried a laser skin rejuvenation treatment which cost me over $8,000. The treatment did more harm than good and left me in a lot of pain for no results. I now prefer non-invasive ways to stay young.
What financial advice would you offer your younger self?
That cash flow is king in any business. It is what will make or break any venture, no matter how much passion you have. Also, take a course in accounting as you can never have enough knowledge when it comes to handling your finances. Alternatively, I would tell me to fall in love and marry an accountant so I wouldn’t have to worry about it.
Do you have a plan for the future?
My current five-year plan is to open more Beauty By Edge outlets – hopefully in Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, as well as in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. We are also developing our own branded products, including hair and eyelash extensions – not just for our own outlets but to distribute throughout the UAE and GCC.
If you won Dh1m, what would you do with it?
Buy presents for my family. Next I would take a long holiday and relax, then I would reinvest the rest into the business.
What would you raid your savings account for?
Coming from Ireland where it rains 360 days a year and now living in Dubai with all this beautiful sunshine, it would have to be a baby Bentley coupé. I’ve always wanted one and now live in the perfect climate, so there are no excuses.
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