We love celebrating strong, successful women here at The Caviar Spoon, which is why we’ve created ReBelles. These are the women who are working it and owning it in life, work, and everything in between. Our newest ReBelle is the talented Sally Sarieddine, founder and creative designer of the Lebanese sustainable fashion label LaLaQueen.
Fashion is our passion and indulgence here at The Caviar Spoon. And there’s no shame in being strong, zero BS, empowered women who also love to indulge in accessories so we can look fab whilst being fab. Right, ladies?
Which brings us to Sally Sarieddine, the founder and creative designer of fashion label LaLaQueen, which specialises in handcrafted leather handbags.
“LaLaQueen aims to provide a sustainable brand that compliments the global demand on maintaining and protecting natural resources. We target progressive women who are influential in making a difference in today’s changing market.”
When we first found out about LaLaqueen, we fell in love with the bags, which all seem to have the perfect mix of cool, function, and luxury. The details are beautiful and feminine but the overall structure is still sturdy – they are the embodiment of a woman on the go who has things to do and people to see.
We knew that Sally was our kind of woman – a true ReBelle – and that we wanted to find out her story.
Like all great entrepreneurial success stories, Sally’s path to LalaQueen was far from being a straight, clear path.
Let’s go back to 2004, when she directed and produced a play by Eugene Unesco whilst working as an assistant director at a local TV station in Beirut at the same time. She then moved to Dubai in 2005, where she found a job in the satellite broadcasting industry before delving into PR and then as an Executive at an investment company. Two years later, she was working in advertising and then two years after that, in 2009, decided to take some design courses at Central Saint Martins College in London.
In 2012, she launched LaLaQueen and hasn’t looked back since. The first flagship store opened in Downtown Beirut in 2016 and you can also find LaLaQueen at House of Fraser in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall. And even if you’re not in Lebanon or the UAE, there’s an online shop so you can still indulge and get your hands on one of Sally’s stunning creations! (Seriously, though, the designs are simple and thoughtful yet very unique, which means you’re going to have people going “Oh my goodness, love that bag! Where did you get it!?” every time you go out.)
Ed. note: some answers have been edited for clarity
Who has inspired you the most and why?
I am inspired most by my parents. They are both business people who have injected their all into being successful.
What’s been the biggest reward to date being a designer?
I must say when Amal Alamuddin was spotted wearing our Dr. Bag.
And the biggest challenge about being a designer…
Sourcing the materials we work with in an ethical and sustainable way.
What do you do to get inspired?
I learn something new, either via a skill or taking up a new activity. I have tried kickboxing and Tai Chi recently and enjoyed both. Also travelling, reading, and meeting interesting people inspires me a lot!
How do you measure success?
Measurable growth, and a feeling of wellbeing within myself and the people I work with.
What do you struggle with now as a businesswoman?
To be honest, it’s keeping our budgets together.
The biggest learning lesson since opening up your business?
All my learnings were big in a sense. My management and communication skills are becoming better and I am also learning to trust my intuition (yes, business requires a lot of intuition).
What advice would you give to women looking to succeed in the workplace or in their own business?
To be fair and sensible to themselves and others.
When the going gets tough, you…
What’s your one piece of advice on how to achieve a good work/life balance?
Besides setting and actioning priorities, eat well, exercise, and surround yourself with good people.
In 24 months’ time, LaLaQueen will look like this…
It will still look like LaLaQueen, with 24 months of extra work…with lots of little surprises that we will announce in the process.
What’s your signature piece and why?
The Dr. Bag, It is inspired by a vintage Dr. Bag I found in Florence. It is a classical piece that is versatile, timeless, and unique. I personally have been carrying my Mini Dr bag for around three years now. I take it with me everywhere.
3 words to describe your clientele
Beautiful, influential, and confident
3 words to describe you
Natural, ambitious, and fun
One lady in business who deserves a shout-out is…And why?
My mom, Rima Sarieddine. She is a school principal and has dedicated her life to educating thousands of children and she is still doing it.
Your motivational quote
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
The person you most respect is…
I respect all walks of life.
Your business mantra
Building good relationships.
Your life mantra
Focus on what matters.
Your favourite position is…
I am currently in my favourite position.
Your favourite fashion brand (apart from yours:) )
Your favourite restaurant (locally or somewhere around the world)
Home. My dad cooks the most amazing food. So that would be my favourite place to eat.
Anything we should keep a look out for? Fashion shows/new designs/developments?
We are currently working on a new line of clutches, belts and leather accessories.