Launched in 2012, MyList.ae is the first online multi-store gift registry service in the UAE, offering an extensive array of gifts with thousands of exquisite and original brand items from more than 75 partner stores. This month in Wedding Savior we bring for you an exclusive interview with the charming, amiable yet extremely professional, Julie Leblan, CEO MyList.ae.
1) Let’s begin with knowing a bit about you; where are you from and the kind of work that you do?
My name is Julie Leblan, I am the Founder and Managing Partner of MyList.ae, the first online multi-store gift registry in the Middle East, launched in 2012.
MyList.ae is an amazing online platform that simply makes gift giving easy for everyone. Brides and grooms use our services to make sure they receive the wedding gifts that they are truly wishing for. They are able to create their personal gift selection online and invite their guests to contribute from anywhere in the world. It is easy, flexible and best of all, free of charge for our clients.
I am French and was previously living in Paris before moving to Dubai in 2010. I am married and have 3 beautiful kids aged 6, 4 and 10 months old.
2) What inspired/motivated you to start MyList.ae?
I arrived in Dubai six-months pregnant, with a 16-month old son in late 2010. Previously a finance solicitor, I set up MyList.ae after struggling to find a way for my friends and family in Europe to send me baby shower gifts. I could not find one in Dubai and remembering how I had also used a similar registry for wedding gifts back home, I decided to launch MyList.ae.
For many of us expatriates, marrying or having a baby here far from home, the whole gifting process becomes challenging and stressful. I wanted to make sure that we provided our clients with both an elegant and convenient service.
Creating a wedding registry with Mylist.ae is very simple and can be accomplished in just a few clicks from the comfort of your home. It allows you to ask your guests for thoughtfully and lovingly selected gifts in a more elegant manner, while eliminating the hassle of them trying to guess what you really want. We appreciated that this is a very overwhelming time in a bride’s life, so we have made our registries extremely flexible. Brides are able to make changes to their wish list at any time, even after the wedding and have up to two years to purchase their gifts!
The answer from couples is amazing and a lot of young GCC and Emirati nationals have started to use our services. Independent of your tradition and culture, MyList.ae is the perfect service for your wedding!
3) Before meeting a couple what ideas do you set and how do you stay so passionate yet creative?
We make sure to understand each couple and their expectations taking into account all the cultural aspects such as tradition and religion and also incorporate their personal story.
We know all the latest trends in each store but we make sure to remind them about the traditional gifts (even with a modern twist).
I am always excited for each couple we meet as you can feel we accompany them into their wedding journey and make our best to satisfy them. Creativity comes from the people I meet every day and my amazing family and friends that always give me inspiration in everything I do.
4) What has been your greatest influence? Do you idolize anybody and really admire their work?
My grandparents were always my role models as they started from nothing and offered their children a comfortable life and a good education. They never gave up and always take life on a positive note.
5) What sets MyList.ae apart from other wedding gift registries?
I don’t know any company offering equivalent services with such a high quality standard, flexibility and choice that MyList.ae offers.
We pride ourselves upon working with an exciting selection of renowned and eclectic stores within the region. We have now partnered with 75 partner stores and service providers – including Galeries Lafayette The Dubai Mall, Tanagra, Ethan Allen, Marina Home Interiors, Better Life, The White Company, O’de Rose and Tavola to name a few – as well as honeymoon and charity registry options, mostly in the UAE but also in Qatar, Kuwait, KSA and Bahrain.
With over 500 brands on offer, our couples are sure to find what they need and love: from traditional dinnerware, stylish decoration items to electronics to more original leisure experiences such as hot-air balloon flights, private chef or cooking classes! We cater to all budgets and styles.
We are the only registry offering a free service and offering a personal shopping experience for any couple registered with us. We know very well how to advise a young couple within their cultural and family traditions and taking into account their personal story.
6) What are your top 3 gift essentials that you would recommend to a couple?
My top 3 gifts for your registry would be:
– Something unique for your home such as a fine china dinner set, a silverware cutlery set or a beautiful crystal vase. It’s time to upgrade your home!
– Some experiences for your honeymoon. You are creating a memory of a lifetime and your guests will love contributing to it.
– Something personal: if your fiancé likes to play tennis, just add some tennis courses; if you love baking cupcakes, pick up some baking equipment. Your guests will see that you spend time making your selection.
7) Any advice that you would like to share with the budding entrepreneurs especially in the wedding industry?
I have learnt a lot being an online entrepreneur in this region and here are my 3 top advices:
– Be as creative as possible and avoid copying fellow UAE entrepreneurs as you will face a lot of entry barriers and not so much consideration from your industry.
– Work with ethical values and be positive about your project.
– Always listen to your customers and make sure you adapt quickly to their requests.
8) Other than MyList.ae what are your other passion/hobbies?
I am a passionate reader and I used to read 5 books a week before having kids.
Now I love spending time with my family and my friends, travelling, discovering new cultures.
9) What would you advise the brides to be?
Just enjoy! It is going to be the most beautiful day of your life and you should enjoy every minute of it.
You have so many talented wedding experts in the region to help you make your dreams come true. Do spend some time to research and select those who match your expectations the best in terms of budget and style and then let them take care of you!
10) Lastly, if a couple wants to set up a registry how can they get in touch with you?
A couple (or one of their guests) can directly create a bridal registry on our website: www.mylist.ae or contact us by email email@example.com or by phone (+971 4 455 8544) to book an appointment with one of our gift advisors.
Visit our blog for tips and advice: https://mylistuae.wordpress.com