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Local Flair Issue 23: Rock Paper Scissors

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Back to School Mania is well and truly here, and what better way to introduce you to this amazing local business than through Local Flair. I would like to introduce you to the lovely Deepa, founder of Rock Paper Scissors , an e-commerce website with all your child’s school needs from trendy back packs, fun water bottles, water proof lunch packs to cute accessories. All of this delivered straight to your door, and at great prices! Read on to find out more about how Deepa started this venture and what drives her.

Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Deepa Dhamecha Ryan – born and raised here in Dubai.  I am a mum to two gorgeous little monkeys (Aaria, 5years and Adeyah, 18months).  Prior to starting Rock Paper Scissors, I was in the luxury retail cosmetics industry, overlooking marketing for M.A.C cosmetics for over eight years.  I then decided to call it a day about two years ago to be a full time mama.

Tell me a little about Rock Paper Scissors. How and when did it begin? 

Even though I stopped working, the brain never stopped thinking as ambitions still live! I wanted to find a way of being there for the family while still having a career, so ideas were being researched and bounced about for almost two years, and we zero’d in on an online children’s stationery store about a year ago.  It stemmed purely from my own experience as I felt two things:

a. You often saw a lot of the same stuff around here.

b. As a mum going shopping in a mall with kids is never the easiest.  So what better than having an online platform where parents can view items at their own leisure and have them delivered right to your doorstep!

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How did you go about choosing the name “Rock Paper Scissors” and the quirky logo design?

Initially I had completely different name options, which were dismissed pretty much instantly by people I asked!  And then I was playing Rock Paper Scissors with my 4 year old daughter which is when I had the a-ha moment!  It was quirky and playful which is what I wanted the brand to be, and also worked with the stationery/children’s accessories aspect.

The logo again was a completely different picture in my head versus what we ended up with!  I went for some more “standard” cleaner options, but our target market of 3-12 year olds loved this one…so that’s what we went with!  I learnt very fast that, especially when you’re a one-man show, it’s always important to talk to as many people possible.

What’s been the proudest achievement for you in regard to this e-commerce website, and what’s the most rewarding?

I would say its having the courage to take the step and doing something that’s completely new and out your comfort zone, and then to see it evolve from a concept to reality is pretty amazing!

The most rewarding part for me, by far, is seeing happy customers. When someone tells us about how happy their kids are with their new goodies or how pleased they are with their service.  And we aim to always drive those two elements.  Aside from that, its of course knowing I can do something that I totally love and fulfill my ambitions without missing a birthday party or a concert at school for my kids.

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What’s been the most frustrating or challenging aspect of your business, and how have you overcome it?

The first one is the red tape involved for set up, and there would be so many different areas you may not even know about and consequently don’t factor them in your timeline.  But I do believe that you will only learn once you are in the situation.  And you are never going to be able to change or fight it so have to accept it and channel your precious time on other things on your to-do list.

The other would have to be dealing with quality control. You naturally have a vision of how you want this new baby of yours to turn out and are always very protective and particular about it.  And not everyone would necessarily be able to understand that or articulate it the way you want it.  So you have to be prepared and have a buffer (in monetary terms and time) for some error and even take a hit if needed. However, quality and credibility absolutely cannot be compromised.

I love the playful designs of RPS products (such as the Dino and Mermaid back packs) that are unlike many designs I have seen in the shops. What’s the most unique trait about Rock Paper Scissors?

Thank you, always great to hear!  And that’s exactly what makes us unique so I’m glad to hear that this is reflected with our products.  It’s the uniqueness and newness in what we offer that makes us stand out.  Bar the essentials like the eraseable gel pens that we have, most of our product offers you will see will always keep changing so we can keep things new and fresh.

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Where do you source your products from?

All products are sourced worldwide and nothing is sourced locally.  However we are home-grown branded and almost all our products are in fact Rock Paper Scissors Branded products.

What are the main things you look for when sourcing products for Rock Paper Scissors?

Quality, uniqueness and of course the element of play! Such as our Mist Spray water bottles, quirky lunch bags and even our back packs.

What are the current best sellers from the website?

The best sellers so far are our Mermaid and Dino waterproof back packs, followed by the water proof lunch bags (its amazing how much you can fit in those- the size can be deceiving!) and the mist spray water bottles. Although I think the kids spray more out of them than drink!

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What are your daughter’s favourite picks from the website?

She is obsessed with her Pink cat and macaroons backpack, the monster pencil case (of course in pink too!) and the rainbow mist spray water bottle.  But if it were up to her she would have one of everything on there!

Tell me about a day in your life, as the owner of Rock Paper Scissors?

Having your own set up certainly isn’t easy, and you’re still working just as many (if not more!) hours as you would in a full time job.  But you’re fortunate to make your own schedule and work around family which is important for me.  So I tend to start my days quite early, waking up about 5/5:30 am so I can have a cup of coffee in silence and gather my thoughts for the day! If I’m lucky none of the rugrats will wake up till about 7 am so I manage to get at least an hour’s work in there.  After that it is breakfast and getting the girls and myself ready for school.  After drop off I get into work mode between 8:30-1:00 pm.  On some days I manage to fit in the grocery run before pick up at 2 pm.  And then from 2 pm till bed time I’m in mama mode!  If I’m not too lazy at the end of the day I try to fit in a work out, and then some hubby time, maybe another 30-60 mins of work before bed time.  Very rarely these days do I get to read a book but it’s something I love to do when I’m ready for bed. But I’ll be honest I’m generally flat out these days!

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How do you manage to juggle the business along with family life?

I try to be as organized as possible, write my priorities for the week on the Saturday and then plan the week as best as possible out accordingly.  There’s always some open spaces left in there for things unplanned as you never know what else may come up!

What’s your advice to other mothers in the UAE planning to start a business?

Don’t be afraid to take the step.  I find there are so many talented women out there with such great ideas, and a lot of times they are just afraid that it won’t go as planned.  There is no such thing as failure and the only time you do “fail” in my opinion is when you don’t try.  I have a vision of where I want this to go and have absolutely no idea how it will end up.  But I know either way I will have no regrets and there will be lessons learnt. Never stop dreaming and always always do what you love…Life is too short for it to be any other way.

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Where would you like to see Rock Paper Scissors in 5 years time?

I would like to see Rock Paper Scissors as the Brand of choice for fun and quirky stationery and accessories for children in the UAE and across the Middle East.  We would also be open to opening a store in the future in the U.A.E.

Mummy On My Mind’s Opinion

Deepa was kind enough to send me a few products from their website, and Master Z’s “WOW” as he opened the package said it all. The Dino backpack isn’t only insanely cool, it is also really spacious, light and has an inner pocket to divide your belongings. However, Master Z was mesmerised by the Magic Highlighters which he insisted on trying out straight away. Who doesn’t love highlighters, and especially if they are “magic” or come in cute candy forms. The Mist Water Bottle is another playful item that I am sure kids of all ages will love to have, and even encourage them to drink more water when it can be done in such a fun way.

If you're a Mama trolling the malls for Back To School gear, you may have seen it all, but a quick scroll through the website of @rockpaperscissors_me will have you and your child beaming! 🖍📚🎒 With playful designs that are sure to make your little one stand out and the convenience of having it delivered straight to your door, why not support this local business? Read more about the founder, Deepa's story of how this vision came about over on my latest Local Flair feature on the blog – Link in Bio! 💕 I mean, who else wouldn't want to be rocking this cute Dino Back Pack? 🐲 Oh and I may or may not have got carried away with those magic highlighters! 🙈😜 #rockpaperscissors_me #rockpaperscissors #localflair #stationery #childrensaccessories #backtoschool #backtoschooluae #bts #letsplay #localbusiness #supportlocal #dino #backpacks #waterbottles #highlighters #motherhood #parenting #mummyblogger #mummyblog #dubaimoms #dubaimummy #mummylife #uaemoms #mumsindubai #toddler #toddlerlife #photooftheday #flatlay #flatlaygoals

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The website itself is easy to navigate, with the affordable prices clearly labelled, and the service was quick and hassle free. For those looking to buy quirky back to school items for their kids, and wish to support a local business at the same time, I would highly recommend you give Rock Paper Scissors’ website a scroll!

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Thank you so much Deepa for giving us a deeper insight into your ambition and drive behind Rock Paper Scissors.

If you are interested in seeing what more Rock Paper Scissors have to offer, head on over to the websitewww.rockpaperscissors.ae

You can also stay updated through their Facebook and Instagram.

Note: All photographs in this post belong to Rock Paper Scissors and have been used by the owner’s permission.

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