x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

'Make the most of opportunities'

This much I know As the head of Dubai's only personal shopping service, Kelly Lundberg has helped improve the self-esteem of countless clients from across the Gulf region.

Kelly Lundberg is a stylist who runs Dubai's only personal shopping service.
Kelly Lundberg is a stylist who runs Dubai's only personal shopping service.

Kelly Lundberg, 27, owns and runs Dubai's only personal shopping service, Divine. She styles clients from all over the Gulf region, offering a range of services from a one-day shopping spree to ongoing wardrobe consultation. She has lived in Dubai for five years. I was born and brought up in Edinburgh, Scotland. I have always had a love for fashion and as I grew up I discovered an innate gift for styling. My friends would ask me for advice on outfits and I'd be only to happy to help. I never thought I'd be running my own business before I was 30 but I am a great believer in making the most of every opportunity, plus you never know what is round the corner.

I came to Dubai with Emirates airlines in 2003. I was working as an air hostess. I only ever saw it as a stopgap and took the job mainly because I wanted to see the world. At the time I was doing an open learning course in fashion buying and merchandising and I had decided I wanted to work as a personal shopper. I started looking for jobs but I was shocked to find nothing like that available, not even in major stores. In fact, nobody was even aware of the concept. I thought if there wasn't someone to give me a job in personal shopping or styling then I would give myself one. I set up Divine in September 2005.

My business plan started off as a doodle on the back of a napkin in a restaurant. I talked it through with friends and in the end saw no reason not to give it a go. So I copied the plan out, went to the bank, got a personal loan and quit my job with the airline. Looking back, it was a huge risk but I was young and naive and thankfully it all paid off. Every day for me is different. My diary is always packed. Some days I have meetings with regular clients who come to me every few months for a shopping spree. Other days I am out with someone all day for a full wardrobe consultation and hair and make-up advice. Occasionally I do styling for TV adverts or photoshoots. I like to look after myself so most days I make time for the gym.

I love my job. There is nothing better than seeing the self-esteem I have inspired in my clients. When I bump into them in the mall and I see them wearing something I have helped them choose it gives me such satisfaction. Often they look 10 years younger and five kilos lighter just by selecting the right clothes, and the fact they are brimming with confidence makes them more attractive. I think my job is a great gift.

I would describe myself as a "half-full" type of person. In fact, with me the glass is always full. I am very positive and happy. At this stage in my life I feel I understand myself completely. I know how I work and what sorts of people I work well with, I know how to say no and I know my limitations. I hope that means that life will always be good for me. I don't have any regrets. My mum says that is silly and that everyone has regrets. But even things I wish I had done differently I don't count as regrets because I believe that things always work out. It might not be how you imagined but they do work out. The only thing near to a regret that springs to mind is I wish I'd hired an accountant when I started out. I'm not very good at dealing with money or with saving so that definitely would have helped.

If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to Lapland in the wintertime. I would love to see the Northern Lights and go sledding in the snow. I am lucky to have visited some amazing places already in my life and Dubai is one of them. I am happy here and see myself staying for a long time.