How I Work: A day in the life of Ewan founder Dana Saud

We asked entrepreneur and founder of Ewan interior design, Shop Ewan and The Apartment, Dana Saud, to tell us how she spends a typical day. She lives in Riyadh with her husband and four children

 

The Apartment will be hosting its first event 12-22 December – click here to find out more

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 Dana Saud, who is the founder and owner of interior design business Ewan, vintage homeware and accessories store Shop Ewan, and her exciting new upcycled-furnishing venture, The Apartment.

Dana, 34, is married and lives in Riyadh with her husband and four children aged between 18 months and 10. She started her first business in 2017 and is a devoted fan of interior design, and restoring and upcycling classic furniture pieces to give them a new lease of life.

Here’s how she spends her day…

 

I set my alarm for…

Alarm clock & eye mask / Shutterstock

There’s no need to set an alarm, as my children make sure I am up when they are – pre-Covid 5:45-6am, post-Covid 7:45-8am. I’d love to say our mornings are calm and serene, but the reality is the contrary. Once everybody is settled in for school the baby wakes up and it’s all fun and games. Ideally I would work out in the mornings or have coffee with a friend before work. Post-Covid I work mostly from home (virtual school), so my days are not ideal. I have to make lists so I don’t get distracted and do what needs to be done.

 

My responsibilities include…

To do list in notebook / Shutterstock

I go over our weekly to-do lists on Sundays and check off what we have achieved.

As the founder of Ewan, I oversee everything to do with the day-to-day operations. I make sure deadlines are met with the quality we thrive for. With the event for our new venture The Apartment, which runs from December 12-22, we had more to do in terms of making sure all the requirements were met so everything runs as smoothly as possible. I have a great team that motivates me to grow the business. The team and I go over new tasks and discuss how we will achieve them.

 

How I started my business…

Ewan Interior Design / project

I grew up in a very artistic house and lived in the most tasteful environment whether it was a picnic my mother would plan or a room she would design. It always had her touch and was nothing short of breathtaking.

In the Nineties my mother founded the first female interior design academy in the Kingdom, so design was something I grew up with. When I got married and had my own house my mother encouraged me to experiment and find my style. I gravitated towards interior design so after I got my management degree I took an interior design diploma and founded Ewan.

When Covid happened I decided to grow my business into an online business to have more reach, and also give back to the community and Mother Earth. That’s when Shop Ewan and The Apartment were established.

 

My typical day…

Woman working on laptop / Shutterstock

Looks like this: I wake up with the kids, then alternate between kids and schoolwork (with cuddles and kisses in between) while working on my business and finishing assignments – I’m doing the Hult hybrid MBA program. Once the kids are done with school work, I either have a workout booked or I alternate in taking them to their after-school activities while still working on my business by being always online for my team.

Between 6-8pm is our family down time. It’s my favorite time of the day, making sure the kids are ready for bed. If it’s a fast and smooth transition we’ll have time to read a bedtime story. If not they have 10 minutes before lights are out. We also visit family members  – parents, grandparents, in-laws and once a week, friends.

My ideal day on the other hand is different: It would be to wake up, meditate, have breakfast, wake up the kids, drop them off at school, have a workout, go to the office, pick up kids from school, take them to after-school activities, pass by family, go home, have dinner, have a smooth bedtime with the kids and be in bed by 11 pm.

 

My proudest moment…

Women's hand in high five gesture / Shutterstock

I have a lot of mini proud moments from founding the business to The Apartment event we’re hosting this month. I still don’t have a proudest moment but I am proud of how much evolution is happening with the business and within me.

 

When I’m stressed I…

Work-live balance / Shutterstock

Cry? No, but I must be honest, I don’t deal well with stress – I suck it up and move on. I am working on my self-care and trying to figure out what’s a good balance for me. Traveling would ideally be a great way to deal with stress but it’s not realistic. I can’t pick up and travel every time I am stressed.

 

My go-to work snack is…

Healthy work lunch / Shutterstock

Anything that Asma – our admin assistant at Ewan – brings to the office. She makes sure the whole team is well fed.

 

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

Woman meditating / Shutterstock

Don’t take things personally.

 

What advice would you give to fellow entrepreneurs?

Female entrepreneur / Shutterstock

Go for it! don’t overthink, do your due diligence and move to the next step.

 

After work I relax by…

Watching a series before bed, or reading a book.

 

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