Two gorgeous best friend mums, Alessia and Nivine, have set up an enterprising business creating moccasin shoes for babies and toddlers called Moxilicious here in Dubai. I love anything specifically created for children that is non-toxic and what I really love about the moccasins is the soft leather design that allows babies’ feet to grow and stretch. To top it off Leonardo thinks the designs are comfortable and it is time for me to purchase the next size up. It is his everyday baby shoe that he loves, and chews! Alessia is an Italian that grew up in Germany, whilst Nivine, born in Egypt but raised in Austria. They have both lived in Dubai for over a decade with their children. Alessia has two beautiful boys ages 6 years and 1 year and Nivine has Maya aged 6 and Saif who is now 4 years old. They talk to SOTP about their incredibly affordable and highly demanded moccasins.
What inspired you both to create such a cute brand of baby moccasins?
Nivine: With Alessia’s passion for fashion, paired with my interest and experience in marketing, we were looking to do something different, something that wasn’t available in Dubai.
When Alessia was pregnant with her second son Yusif, she noticed that the extremely comfortable baby moccassin were not available here in the UAE, although they were very popular in both the US and Europe. This was the trigger for our startup business. Highly motivated by the idea of being creative, exploring variations of moccasins we decided on doing them ourselves here in Dubai.
What have been some of the challenges and successes of your brand?
The biggest challenge we faced was that the production cost here in Dubai is significantly higher compared to those manufactured in the Far East countries. However, we insisted on producing them here, to be able to guarantee the best quality possible, and since a lot of things you purchase here are made abroad, we decided our moccs must be different.
Not only that, but choosing the correct leather manufacturer was not an easy step, since we needed to make sure the leather is non toxic, 100% genuine and suitable for babies and toddlers. These took us more than 6 months of proper research to decide on the best quality leather for our customers.
How easy has it been to balance this with having young children?
Alessia: Since I have always worked full time, I am used somehow to running here and there. I have the great help from my husband too, who works mostly from home which makes a lot of things much easier. We always try that at least one of us can be with the kids.
Nivine: Having your own business gives you the freedom to flexibly manage your time set by your own priorities. My kids are now at school age, so 5 days a week we have a few hours of quiet time to focus on our business. We conduct all our client and team meetings early in the morning and try to get everything done before school is over. The afternoons, are reserved for quality time with my kids.
My baby boy, loves, the soft feel, and the baby blue colour is perfect. Can you tell us how you choose the leather to ensure that the colours are non-toxic for the children?
Alessia: When we chose the leather supplier, we asked for the chemical report, which every company is happy to provide.
What do you both fear most for your children raising them in this day and age?
Alessia: Honestly I do not think much of fearing anything raising our kids. For us it’s important that our kids learn to be independent and value their family and friends.
Nivine: As a mother of a child with juvenile arthritis I have witnessed first hand dealing with chronic illness in children. I believe health is a blessing, but with all these new diseases spreading globally, I fear my children may be living in a world where health is a privilege for less and less people.
What 2 values and qualities do you hope to instill in your children?
Alessia: I really do hope to teach them the importance of honesty and kindness and the value of hard work.
Nivine: Kindness, to each other, to their family and friends and no less to strangers. I want them to see that every person is valuable and is worth being kind to. I would also hope to convey the importance of independence and confidence in oneself.
Your favourite restaurants with the family?
Alessia: We love several different cuisines but being Italian, we love to go to Carluccio’s. Their pasta is amazing.
Nivine: That’s a tough one! The restaurant options here in Dubai are great, so it’s hard to have a single favorite restaurant. My kids on the other hand can answer that in an instant, they go crazy over PF Changs. No visit to Mall of Emirates is complete without lunch there.
Your favourite hotel in the UAE for a getaway?
Alessia: Being in Tourism over 15 years and 12 years in Dubai its really hard to chose. Right now we love the Rixos Bab al Bahr in RAK. They have the unique all inclusive concept and the best kids club in the whole UAE.
Nivine: The UAE is filled with amazing hotels, and resorts. We are sold for any hotel with kids entertainment, so hotels such as Atlantis the Palm here in Dubai and Rixos Bab al Bahr with its unique all inclusive model are some of our favorite places.
You feel happiest when….
Alessia: When my kids, husband and family are healthy and happy.
Nivine: I feel happiest when there is a spirit of love and kindness surrounding me, when my loved ones are healthy, and definitely when I am on vacation with my Family.
For more information, check out the newly launched website www.moxilicious.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org