general info WOMEN IN BUSINESS : KELLY LUNDBERG
Women In Business : Kelly Lundberg
Updated on 13 August 2020

Kelly Lundberg moved to the UAE to join the cabin crew team at Emirates in 2002. A couple of years down the line, the ambitious entrepreneur from Scotland hung up her wings to venture into the business world and fly solo in an industry she is passionate about. 

Kelly is one of the most diverse business entrepreneurs to have emerged out of the styling world to date. Gaining notoriety as a celebrity stylist, she has since propelled herself to an award-winning business owner, business mentor and international speaker. Kelly garners an ever growing loyal following across several social media platforms, from which she shares her business knowledge, personal branding and style advice with practical tools for self-empowerment. 

By combining the best in catwalk and commerce, Kelly launched: The S.Academy - mentoring business owners on how to launch and grow their very own profitable business and personal brand. She also has a number of best-selling books under her Hermes belt, plus regularly hosts and presents keynote speeches and motivational sessions across the world on a host of entrepreneurship and style led topics, such as her powerful TEDx Talk entitled ‘The Currency of Life’.   

In a new series focussing on women in business, Connector asked Kelly a few questions about her entrepreneurial journey and her experiences of the business world in Dubai. 

Q. When did you get bitten by the business bug?

I was cabin crew at the time and in awe of the entrepreneurial spirit Dubai had, a can-do attitude that ‘Anything is Possible’. At the age of 24, I hung up my wings for the last time and took the next big step and launched the Middle East’s first personal shopping and styling and styling service. Some would say it was a risk, but if you don’t try you don’t succeed. I think being young and a little naive helped!!

Q. Did you have mentors that encouraged you, and who were they?

Many mentors have influenced my life and business. The first mentor I had was a close friend who really encouraged me to start my business; he gave me the confidence that I could make the leap to start my own business. He is still my friend today and I am grateful to this day for his belief in me.

I have come a long way since then, learned a lot and much I can attribute to the thousands of dollars invested into further mentoring, coaching, courses with individuals the likes of Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Andy Harrington to name but a few….

Q. What challenges did you find in the business world, and how did you overcome them?

When I started out in business, whilst the Middle East was seen as very entrepreneurial, the biggest challenge was the lack of ‘community’ and I really struggled to meet like-minded women in business.   

I wrote a book a few years into business and it really helped me to connect with great SMEs and latterly there are so many amazing communities on and offline helping and supporting those just starting out. 

Q. What challenges did you face when balancing work and home life, and how did you overcome them?

Making sure that I take one day off a week where I can completely disconnect is a must for me. It’s a day where I don’t need to plan, get dressed up, put make up on, take the car out and face Dubai traffic.

Working from home has many advantages.   A crucial learning is that if you are serious and you want to have a business, and not a hobby, a desk space (ideally in another room, so you can close the door) creates the right mindset. Working from your lap or a dining room table is in my book a no no, it doesn’t quite inspire you to take over the world!

Q. What encourages and motivates you?

My business is primarily digital now, my team is based all over the world, so we work virtually; being connected and self-motivated is key to growth.  

For me it all starts the night before, planning my day then waking up and getting straight into my morning routine of meditation, exercise and listening to a podcast or a book.

Q. Does anyone inspire you at the moment?

Oh, wow so many!  My mentees, how they are over coming challenges and still not putting their dreams on hold, to those I follow on social media perhaps with a great workout or skin care routine.

Q. What advice would you want to use for women who are contemplating entering the business world?

Don’t wait for the perfect time, there isn’t one!  Start now and create intentions that are clear and genuine. How you present yourself to the world is a powerful tool.  You can begin to do this even before you launch your business; it provides a great platform from which to develop.

Much of my work now is working with women who are focussed on building their personal brand. Personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are.

With just the right focus you can differentiate from the competition, have a much higher perceived value, gain trust and be 100% authentic. With the right personal brand you will attract ideal opportunities.

For those interested in exploring further, Kelly offers free training on her website.

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