How I Work: A day in the life of &YOU founder Anoud Khaled

We spend a day in the life of Anoud Khaled, a founder and online retailer with her own concept store &YOU LIFESTYLE. She lives in Riyadh with two children

 

At MCC we’re endlessly inspired by our members, many of whom are successful business owners and entrepreneurs. Here, we take a closer look at the daily routine of one of our members to see what drives them. This week we’re spending the day with Anoud Khaled, who’s is the founder and owner of online lifestyle and concept store &YOU.

 

Alarm clock / Unsplash

I set my alarm for…

I never set an alarm – every morning I am awoken by my biological clock. My body knows that I love the early hours, and my perfect morning ritual is being up before the sun rises. This way I can greet the day, wake up my kids and spend time with them before everyone else is awake – ensuring that their days are set up helps me enter mine with grace. 

Once I have spent one-on-one time with my kids, only then will I check my emails. Although I find the morning productive, our team works across six different countries and four (sometimes five) different time zones, so the mornings can feel like evenings and the middle of the night can feel like morning! What makes my morning mine, is time with my kids and my favorite breakfast of oatmeal. 

 

Woman writing in a diary

My responsibilities include…

I am the Founder and Creative Director of &YOU so my responsibilities in many ways are endless. I oversee all aspects of the business from logistics to editorial and I love how varied my days are. I would say my forte is the creative direction and I believe that it is this aspect which differentiates &YOU from other businesses. 

 

&YOU desk setting

I started my business…

I began &YOU in Riyadh in 2014 as an invite-only lifestyle agency aiming to empower women to live a more balanced life. Through connecting clients to resources, tools and inspiration to help their personal transformation, we have found that the greatest form of empowerment comes from sharing and reinforcing this practice. We believe small, daily investments bring the greatest transformation. We have since expanded our offering to make it more inclusive.

Though much has changed since &YOU began, one thing is the same: our reason for being – to distill a world of empowerment into design, rituals and inspiration for better living, centered on your sanctuary – and you.

In 2020 we launched our shop – &YOU is now an online concept store showcasing an evolving selection of objects designed to elevate the everyday. With great respect for craftsmanship and provenance, we present an array of products from established and emerging designers, and bring them together in context through a collection of stories on the  ‘Our List’ section of the website.

As we grow as a shop and a business I am really interested in working with artists to create domiciliary objects which translate their abstract vision into ‘everyday’ pieces. Through this change of medium it brings modern conceptual art into a new sphere of interaction which I find fascinating. We are working with a really special artist and looking to launch several different lines with her next year – so stay tuned!

 

Plant with desk in background / Shutterstock

My typical day…

My days can be very varied, but generally I have calls with my team, check in on different aspects of the business, and work on the creative development of &YOU. Being a start-up, everything – big or small – is important to our business, but I think the editorial and creative is the core of how people interact with &YOU. Our social output and our website is how we communicate with people, and ensuring it reflects our values and aesthetic is essential.

I have always worked from home, even before the pandemic, but since it started my day has shifted to work around my kids’ school schedule – I need to be present to make sure my little one has signed in and all is well. It has been very very difficult for both them and myself, but we’ve become much stronger and have learnt how to deal with this new normal in a really productive way.

 

Hand with sunset inside

My proudest moment…

It’s hard to define a single moment to call my proudest as I am proud of the whole business, I am proud of how we have grown and how we continue to grow. I am proud of my team and their development, every day and week I find there are more things to be proud of which are all part of me being so proud of &YOU – I don’t think I could pick one moment. 

 

Woman in yoga pose / Shutterstock

When I’m stressed I…

It depends what kind of stress. When I encounter stress within my life, or within a specific situation I like to process and analyse it. I would say that I tend to overthink things, so I have been trying to provide some balance to my over-active mind by employing new tools – you are never too old to learn new ways of being – and what has helped me a lot is listening to Sam Harris’s app Waking Up. I find it really helps me calm down and think with a clear mind.

And when it comes to stress from work I will step away, give myself some time, and then come back with a positive mindset. I don’t want to bring negativity to my team as I find we work best with each other’s positivity. Also, in general, for peace of mind I find working out has been a huge game changer. I owe a lot of my calmness to yoga. I also workout at Tribus, a female-focussed gym that was set up by three inspiring women who encouraged me to find balance in my life. 

 

Cleanse & Grow pistachio balls

My go-to work snack is…

Pistachio balls from Cleanse & Glow.

 

&YOU packaging

The best piece of business advice I’ve been given…

I think it is essential to have a trusted mentor, someone in whom you can really put your faith, and who will give you incredible advice all along the way. There were a few idioms that have guided me, but I would say the best piece of advice is to have a good plan, to prepare for financial challenges, and to accept the difficulties with a positive mindset. 

 

Failed It by Erik Kessels

What advice would you give to fellow entrepreneurs?

Failure is not the end of the world. Failure can be an incredible force in helping you clarify your dreams and goals, and if you truly believe in what you have created, you will succeed. 

 

Woman relaxing looking at pool

After work I relax by…

In the quiet moments after the kids are asleep, I like to build Lego while listening to podcasts.

 

DON’T MISS: Exclusive 30% off at &YOU online concept store

Online: andyoulifestyle.com
Instagram: @andyoulifestyle

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