Money & Me: 'You could be the richest person in the world and lose it all'

Love Luxury founders Emily and Adam Abraham are strong believers in giving to charity and reinvesting in their business

Emily, Moo and Adam Abraham. The family moved to Dubai to open their second Love Luxury branch. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Powered by automated translation

British entrepreneurs Emily and Adam Abraham are the founders of Love Luxury, a retail concept styled on buying and selling pre-loved high-end designer goods such as handbags, accessories and watches.

The couple, who married in 2018, opened their first Love Luxury shop during the Covid-19 pandemic in Knightsbridge, London, and a second in Business Bay, Dubai, late last year.

Now living in Dubai, the Abrahams have a blended family of five children (Ms Abraham has three and Mr Abraham two) from their previous marriages, including 11-year-old Moo, a mini fashionista who dresses up in Love Luxury’s items and is known as “The Billionaire’s Daughter” on TikTok (157,400 followers and 2 million likes), Instagram (111,000 followers) and YouTube.

“I'm here permanently with Moo and Adam is backwards and forwards [between Dubai and London], so he does two weeks here and two weeks there. We go to London if there's an event, or if there’s work that we need to contractually do,” Ms Abraham says.

Did money feature in your childhood?

Emily Abraham: I grew up in the south-west of England in a family that was not particularly well off. My mother was very young when she had me. My grandfather was a gold dealer, so he was quite well off. But my mother chose a different route in life … so I didn't benefit from having a wealthy grandfather. And then I went into the care system. That was my very early life.

When I came out of the care system, I lived with my grandmother from the age of 13 to 16, I was basically bringing myself up and I was looking after her as well. I left home when I was 16 and got three jobs. My first job was working in Waitrose on the deli counter. I was very proud of myself.

Adam Abraham: I grew up in Hackney in London. My father was very ambitious and he always wanted to be very successful. He worked the market stalls in Camden Market. When I was around eight or nine, I started working for him, selling women's hair bands, little pieces, things under £1.

I started paying bills at age 15, when I got my first job in Tottenham Court Road, working for Microworld. Then my father moved to China and I went with him. I started an e-commerce business, Cables UK, as a 33 per cent partnership with my father and his brother, which turned into a multimillion-pound business.

What did you learn from that?

EA: I could support myself. I had all of the skills that I needed. I knew how to pay bills, how to cook my food, how to do the laundry. I knew how to take care of myself, so I was very independent from a very young age.

AA: I was travelling the world a lot [with] private schools, tutors, art school clubs, working, studying, paying bills, living alone for quite some time, at least six to eight months of the year without my father.

I was in different businesses and having to study and sort of trained myself how to be a man. It was a very intense childhood. At my age now, I've been able to give our children a lot – a bigger head start.

How did Love Luxury come about?

EA: Adam had a chain of businesses called We Buy for Cash. And those businesses were buying goods and selling them. We were getting some of those [luxury] items coming into We Buy for Cash, like we'd have a Rolex come in. And then we'd have a Chanel or a lady would bring us a Birkin or Kelly [handbag]. There was loads of Gucci, loads of Louis Vuitton. Adam had a whole wall of Chanel in one of his stores.

And then Covid happened and that changed things for us massively as we couldn't open. However, we'd already built our name in these pre-loved luxury goods, so lots of people knew who we were and trusted us. Everybody knew Adam and Emily could give them authentic luxury goods. We decided to put [them] on eBay and literally the store sold out in eight weeks. We had a rebrand and we changed the name. And we also realised that we'd outgrown the premises that we were in and we needed a shop … we opened in Knightsbridge.

AA: Basically, it was dry run and I told Emily that I want to go to Knightsbridge. We started to make money from that business as it was a different level of clientele – watches are £200,000 [$250,380], bags that were £20,000, £10,000 Chanels … loads of stock, diamonds and gold.

How has social media changed your lives?

AA: Social media is a form of marketing. It’s just now TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. How does it change my life now? It changed my life when I was 17, from having an e-commerce platform and selling £10 million to £20 million worth of cables by the age of 19. I've been very successful, very young, and it trains you in how to market any business model.

EA: It has changed our lives in the respect that now everybody knows who we are. We are recognised now and it has given people trust in us. We have people travel all from all over the world to come to London to our store or to come to Dubai to meet us.

Are you spenders or savers?

EA: We reinvest all of our money back into the business because this is our baby. We don't have investors. Rather than drawing money out to live a massively lavish lifestyle, we are pumping the money back into the business. However, we're not afraid to go and shop.

AA: I always look at how much money you're making. And I always live on a certain percentage of that. So, I would say I would like to reinvest 95 per cent of my money back into business and arts, and I spend 5 per cent, but the 5 per cent is a crazy lifestyle.

Because we are Muslim, we are people who, regardless of what we earn, make sure that we are very charitable. So, charity comes before spending on ourselves. It’s very important to give back to charity because … we are blessed abundantly in so many other ways.

What are your best investments?

EA: I think for us, our investments are our business and time. That's how we invest. It's the best investment for our money.

And your most cherished purchase?

EA: When you buy things, they can be taken away from you, or you can lose them or you may have to sell them. I don't hold emotional attachment to material items. Having said that, obviously the thing that I care about the most are my wedding and engagement rings.

Money comes and goes, but the people you love, their happiness and health is what is most important
Emily Abraham, co-founder of Love Luxury

One thing that I don’t have in my possession is a locket that my grandmother gave me before she died. It holds a lot of sentimental value but it was stolen from me when my house was burgled. I learnt a valuable lesson and that was don't get attached to material items, because you just don't know what the future holds.

How do you feel about money?

EA: At the end of the day, you could be the richest person in the world and be depressed. You could be the richest person in the world and lose it all. Nothing is guaranteed. But let's be honest: having money makes life easier to navigate.

You don't have to worry about paying your bills, you don't have to worry about whether you can feed your children. I've been in that position. I know what it's like to not eat a meal so that my children could eat. However, it's not the be all and end all because we were still happy. Money comes and goes, but the people you love, their happiness and health is what is most important.

Money helps to build memories and a level of happiness. But you can be just as happy in your home with your children playing board games as you can be on a yacht. It's all relative.

Updated: April 26, 2024, 6:02 PM