Alina Asif is the co-founder of Allure, a Dubai-based company she formed in 2010 that aims to showcase South Asian designers and their creations through fashion events in the UAE. Originally from Lahore, Pakistan, Mrs Asif says planning for the future is important for her family and business - but so is enjoying life.
Describe your financial journey so far.
After finishing grade 12, I started designing shoes in Pakistan and held many successful exhibitions. In 2008, I moved to Dubai and started out with having small exhibitions at home. When I noticed that there was a huge demand for Pakistani clothes, my partner, Jyoti Karmali, and I started planning bigger events, such as Allure.
Are you a spender or a saver?
When living in Dubai, I believe it is very difficult to be a saver. I love fashion and socialising. This combination automatically makes you a spender.
Have you made any financial mistakes along the way?
I haven't made any mistakes yet. I try to do business with the least overheads and with genuine people.
What is your philosophy towards money?
I believe that life is too short, so enjoy every second of your life. Don't keep saving for tomorrow - what if you are not even there to embrace it? Don't keep yourself too busy earning, enjoy life while it lasts. I spend all that I earn.
What has been your most valuable financial lesson?
I choose to work with people who I'm comfortable with. Otherwise, people end up with a financial loss regardless of the profits that were presumed.
Why did you decide to launch Allure?
The demand for Pakistani clothes in Dubai has grown drastically and that made me launch Allure. Our next exhibition is on October 6 at the Movenpick hotel in Jumeirah Beach Residence. It will consist of between 10 and 15 upcoming Pakistani and Indian fashion designers. It's a unique opportunity to reach an affluent, trendsetting and fashion-conscious market segment via a one-of-a-kind branding and marketing platform. It's dedicated to bring to you designs that encapsulate the beauty of Pakistan's luxury fashion scene. The comprehensive women's wear selection comprises of bridal wear, saris, ensembles, tunics, dresses, kaftans, bags, shoes and jewellery. The most prominent Pakistani designers are brought together under one roof for the first time in the city, allowing fashionistas the opportunity to own this season's latest creations straight from the catwalks of Karachi.
What has been your biggest financial challenge?
The biggest financial challenge was learning to invest and take risks. To overcome the challenges I face, I try to educate myself about personal finance, avoid or minimise debt and learn basic investment skills. Also, I practise patience.
What do you like to invest in?
My ideal investment would be in jewellery.
Do you plan for the future?
Yes, I definitely plan for the future. I believe it's extremely important not only for myself, but the people working with me, for my family and everyone around me. Planning for the future motivates me to work harder to be even more successful and the same goes for the people working with me. This is an exciting and busy time. I'm looking forward to expanding this business into something that will make more of an impact. For Allure, we plan to have a minimum of four exhibitions per year.
What do you like to spend on?
I like my wardrobe to be updated with the newest collections available. I keep my eyes peeled for watches and jewellery.
* Felicity Glover