Tag Archives: Top mummy bloggers

Exclusive Interview | Hanne Ripsaluoma and Terhi Pinnington, founders of Omasi talk to us about motherhood and running their own business in Dubai

Hanne Ripsaluoma and Terhi Pinnington, founded their Dubai business, Omasi together.  They make these personalised towels for children and their parents, and it has been hugely popular with the surfing community in Dubai.  Hanne, is a mum of two boys who are 6 years and 2 years, and moved to Dubai 8 years ago from London with her husband.  She was a high powered executive herself before the call of family life, and has since created this enterprise with good fellow Finnish friend, Terhi.  Terhi and her Australian husband moved from Spain to Dubai back in 2003 in search of sunshine and a warmer climate.  They have two children who are 5 years and 4 years old. We talk to both Hanne and Terhi about Omasia and motherhood in Dubai.

What inspired you to create Omasi?

Hanne: The dream of being your own boss and aspiring to create something that I can be passionate about.

Terhi: I’ve always wanted to start my own company. I loved the idea of being in charge of my own work schedule and creating my own products. The idea became reality as there was a gap in the market for quality, personalised and affordable beach products.

Who are your main clientele who buy Omasi?

Hanne + Terhi: Our clients are a mix of mothers of small babies and school children, brides to be, corporates, sailing enthusiasts, yoga lovers, tourists, surfers…

Where can we purchase Omasi towels? What are the costs of these towels and does it include the embroidery?

Hanne +Terhi: You can order the towels through our website www.omasi.ae or on www.littlemajlis.com/Omasi or from any of the retail outlets that are listed on our website.

The beach ponchos start from AED 140 (small), beach bags from AED 180, bath towels from AED 150 and beach towels from AED 220 when ordering through us. Embroidery is always included in the price.

We design bespoke sets for occasions such as weddings or for corporate gifts and for those the prices depend on quantity and design.

Being career girls, how hard was it to choose between being a full-time mum and returning back to your old careers?

Hanne: For me it took until the second pregnancy to be able to leave the world of telecoms and although I loved being a full-time mum I always had the dream of starting my own business … and soon after the idea of Omasi was born.

Terhi: I went back to work when my youngest was 2 years old. I did enjoy the corporate world, but soon after Omasi was born, I just didn’t have enough hours in the day anymore. I found it challenging dividing my time in between a full-time job, Omasi and my family so I recently resigned from my job, the decision was easy.

You chose British systems for your children’s education? Can you tell us which school you chose and why? Please list three good things about your schools.

Hanne: My son goes to Kings’ Dubai which we chose because of its reputation and the familiar feeling of a relatively small school. We think the good things about Kings’ Dubai includes great teachers, a friendly atmosphere and keeping a good balance between fun and challenging the children.

Terhi: My children are attending JESS Jumeirah and both of them love going there. It is a non-profit school, they have a fantastic teachers and facilities and also the proximity of the school from our house is a big bonus.

Which nursery did you choose for your children and why? How important is the nursery’s reputation for education vs nursery’s location for you?

Hanne: My younger son goes to Willow Children’s Nursery which we just love. In addition to reputation and location for me it was really important to get a really nice overall feeling of the nursery the moment I walked through the gate and I got that at Willow.

Terhi: Our children attended Kids Cottage Nursery, Willow’s sister nursery in Jumeirah 3. We loved the small, cozy set up and the welcoming feel of the nursery.

Location wasn’t the deciding factor, but the small class sizes, reputation for education and the comfortable, cosy feel of the nursery.

Favourite date night in Dubai.

Hanne: My husband and I met in London so we like going for dinners in the same restaurants we used to go to there, like Gaucho Grill, The Ivy, Nobu…

Terhi: Dubai is a full of gorgeous restaurants. We like to go for a midweek dinners combined with occasional theater shows or comic nights.

Favourite holiday destination for the family.

Hanne: We love travelling back to our home countries Finland and Chile but for a true holiday elsewhere we love Bali for its beaches, food and culture.

Terhi: We are usually dividing our holidays in between Finland and Australia, but as my husband and son love surfing, we like to squeeze in an occasional long weekend/beach holiday to Sri Lanka or Oman.

Favourite weekend activity in Dubai with your families.

Hanne: Entertaining friends and their children at our place.

Terhi: We are a big beach lovers so we go the beach every weekend and love to host barbeques for our friends and their families at our villa.

Visit Omasi or Little Majlis

Hanne Ripsaluoma/ Terhi Pinnington

Email:  dubai@omasi.ae

Phone:  050 152 5889 / 050 843 2088

Snapsights | A revolutionary way of watching your children.

Our household was invited to test for 2 weeks Snapsights, Dubai’s first in-home monitoring and installation service.

Yes, my husband and I had the same reaction as you are having now. I didn’t like the idea of someone outside my home being able to watch my children and me.  It felt really creepy and an invasion of my privacy.  However, the more I learnt about the company, the more I felt more at ease so hear me out.

Snapsights growth

Snapsights is the vision of Basak Sen Sasal, GM of the company, who comes from a high-flying background in financial and strategy consulting having worked with a blue-chip British firm before starting Snapsights.

Basak, herself, is the daughter of a high-flying career woman herself who fortunately had the support of extended family but her mother still felt wrought with guilt leaving her with Basak’s grandmother and the nursery. Basak’s mother was that successful iron lady, running a corporation of over 400 employees who cracked glass ceilings but when Basak reached 18, she talks about her regrets of missing Basak’s milestones including her first crawl, first step and first walk.

Then 18 months ago, Basak was also touched by a story about an unfortunate incident involving a working mother and her daughter and decided to use her knowledge of technology to help parents who are facing difficulties so Snapsights was born.

Why Snapsights?

Snapsights is a professionally run company with a team that is fully certified by the Dubai Police, Department of Protective Systems.  They ask your family for rules, and they implement them by texting you if any house rule is broken, for example, if children enter the kitchen without adult supervision.

They only monitor your house during the regular working hours form 8.30am until 6.30pm Sunday to Thursday.  You can choose the number of hours you wish for them to monitor during the day, and when I was home or in any room of the house I often switched off the cameras to maintain my privacy.

Who should use this service?

In my experience, the monitoring service would work for:

#First time mums who are nervous leaving their little ones at home

#Families with a new nanny who they are not familiar with

#New families to Dubai

#Working mums – Dubai has a 45 day maternity leave so it helps mums who need to leave their young infant.

#Parents who travel – Mums and Dads can check in on family moments from their phone.

My family

We love it – I had resisted for years getting CCTV placed in our home.  However, Snapsights really changed our perspective of cameras in our homes.  We had sweet moments of the children at home with us captured on film and life is about remembering those everyday moments too.  During the two week trial, having four children whilst working meant I did miss some moments that Snapsights caught and at the end of the week I had this amazing collection of video moments and photos of my kids.

As a result, we have installed the cameras in our house in almost every room that the children spend their time in but we monitor everything ourselves as I work from home.  At first, I was hesitant thinking that it would upset my nannies but at the end of the day my children’s safety and well-being comes first because we don’t have the luxury of an extended family.  It has given me a bit more security as a mum, and I know that my children are being cared for in the way that I want them to.

Q&A with Snapsights.

Who are typically your clients?

For our monitoring services, it is mainly working parents who would like to keep an eye in their home while they are outside at work. However, they know that they cannot watch their camera feeds full time, and they hire SnapSights’ female monitoring operators to be their eyes and ears at home when they can’t. We receive a list of their house rules and make sure all of them are followed by the nannies and children. These rules can be as simple as; no snacks after 4pm, children should not watch TV for more than 2 hours, children should not be in the kitchen without adult supervision, or the super popular one; no Ipad/Iphone but pure communication, activities. Some of the other more critical house rules obviously involves the security of the baby.

For our installation only services, it is mainly stay at home mothers who would like to see their children when they would like to have ‘pamper me’ time or who would like to share their moments with the daddy traveling abroad frequently or grandparents living abroad.

We also recently launched SnapSights’ corporate arm where we help corporates on the remote monitoring of their offices, clinics, branches, warehouses, and even cash registers. Finally, we recently launched our White Stork project which we work together with various hospitals providing remote monitoring systems for newborns.

Can you tell us who are the people monitoring the cameras if we opt of the monitoring service?

We have an all-female team that went through Dubai Police Academy’s training and security checks. We choose our monitoring operators very carefully as we hand one of the most crucial part of SnapSights’ services, monitoring, to their eyes.

Can these cameras be used for commercial purposes?

Of course, we recently launched SnapSighs corporate where we help businesses with the usage of innovative technology on surveillance systems, access control systems and video intelligence systems. So far, we are very happy to be chosen by well-known F&B chains, health clinics, and corporate groups.

For more information call 800-Snapsight (762 774 448) or email info@snapsights.ae

Otherwise, you can see more examples of their work on www.snapsights.ae