Somaiah Al Dabbagh, a Saudi Arabian national, has been successful in uniting seemingly unrelated fields – finance, bodybuilding, and fashion – into her entrepreneurial journey. Al Dabbagh began her career in finance, a profession she held until 2014 before she switched paths to become the first Saudi woman to compete in a bodybuilding and fitness contest organized by the World Beauty Fitness and Fashion (WBFF), a US-based international fitness pageant organizer. She kick-started her bodybuilding career in 2015 by participating in the WBFF Worlds Las Vegas. Following this, she took part in multiple WBFF female fitness competitions, including the WBFF Pro World Champion in 2017 and the European ProAm London in 2018. This career shift led to her being awarded a WBFF Pro Card, a title recognizing an individual as a certified fitness and bodybuilding professional.
Identifying a Gap and Filling It: The Birth of Maeya
During her journey as a bodybuilder, Al Dabbagh found a challenge she believed needed addressing – finding stylish yet functional activewear. Thus, the idea for Maeya was born. Drawing from her finance acumen and her firsthand understanding of fitness enthusiasts’ needs, she embarked on a journey to establish Maeya. This UAE-based online luxury women’s activewear brand was launched in 2020, offering a range of clothing designed for women of all ages and sizes.
Al Dabbagh said, “I founded a brand aimed at providing stylish and high-quality wardrobe options for women from all walks of life. My goal with Maeya is to promote physical and mental well-being through a healthy and active lifestyle.”
Employing Multichannel Retail Model to Enhance Customer Experience
Maeya operates on a direct-to-consumer (D2C) and business-to-consumer (B2C) multichannel retail model, selling its products through its online store and select retail partners. This strategy boosts customer loyalty and lifetime value as customers can purchase Maeya products through multiple touchpoints.
The entrepreneur aims to make Maeya accessible to all women, accommodating different body shapes and promoting body positivity. She believes in creating activewear that not only performs well but also empowers women.
Fashion-forward and Sustainable: Maeya’s Core Commitments
While ensuring great style, Al Dabbagh is committed to sustainability. Maeya emphasizes on using non-toxic materials that are safe for both the customers and the environment. The brand is also offering “mix and match” options that allow customers to extend the life of their activewear wardrobe, thus reducing waste and promoting an eco-friendlier approach to fashion.
The Drive Behind Maeya’s Success: Hard Work and Dedication
Bringing such a comprehensive concept to life is undoubtedly challenging. Al Dabbagh attributes Maeya’s success to the hard work, dedication, determination, and resilience she learned from her bodybuilding career. She also emphasizes the importance of overcoming fears and focusing on positive outcomes, such as personal and professional growth, financial stability, and making a positive impact in the world.
Planning for the Future: Expanding Maeya’s Reach
The next step for Maeya includes expanding its online presence, opening physical stores starting in Dubai, and potentially widening its range to include athletic wear for men and children. Al Dabbagh also has plans to collaborate with additional online retailers in the UAE and globally.