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Talk to us about your journey to launching Loch?
I was born in Tehran and moved to Scotland when I was nine months old. My fondest memories are of me growing up with my big loud Iranian family. We were always in nature when the weather allowed and would spend many a weekend in Loch Lomond (largest Loch in Scotland). I was a bit of a tomboy always out climbing trees and immersing myself in nature. This is where my love for nature and especially the open water began.
I attend Strathclyde Business University in Glasgow where I studied business and specialized in marketing. Upon graduating I took the leap and moved to Dubai in January 2008. I wanted to embrace my Middle Eastern identity whilst also being in an open-minded society so the city felt perfect. Not long after my big move, I started my business Pure Blue, selling shower filters with my brother.
From there we launched Pure Blue Sustainability which specialize in water saving products. This we started not long after the filters! We help organizations reduce their water consumption and in turn improve their social responsibility and reduce their bills in the process! Everything is about adding value with sustainability as the driver.
Biggest accomplishment was closing Emirates Staff accommodation were we completed a retrofit of 3892 homes.
Seeing the positive effects these filters had on people's health showed me how small changes could have a big impact. I’ve always cared about the environment so started thinking about other ways I could help. Sustainable solutions. This is when I came up with the idea for LOCH.
What inspired you to start LOCH?
Firstly, it was about creating a product that could help people help the planet. I’m always researching and reading about our ecosystems and waste, so with LOCH I wanted to help us reduce our negative impact. Secondly, I have a passion for being active and am always out and about. The design for LOCH came naturally from this. I identified a gap in the market for insulated bottles that were convenient. It always felt like a bit of a hindrance lugging a heavy water bottle about or trying to squeeze it into your bag, so LOCH straps are set to change this.
I also try to be as healthy as possible and drink 3 liters of water a day which is the reason behind our larger bottles, it was always a struggle to find large sized water bottles. I can keep on top of my water intake now and no need to refill so often.
How did you come up with the name Loch?
Loch is the Gaelic word for lake or body of water. This, of course, is one of my happy places. Everything we do is connected to helping people achieve healthier lifestyles and our health is rooted in nature.
What is the Loch ethos?
The culture of Loch is to provide people with sustainable solutions for their active life.
Being healthy and being eco-friendly doesn’t have to be difficult.
Our goal is to have a positive impact on the environment and our society.
What was your biggest challenge?
When I launched Pure Blue back in 2008 no other shower filter existed in the UAE. I single-handedly changed the mindset of all my stockist and introduced them to pharmacies, educating them on the benefits of shower filters in the house. I had to change their mindset that shower filters don’t just belong in hardware stores, they are a health and beauty product too.
What has been your greatest achievement?
I’m so proud of all of my achievements but one that stands out is when global haircare brand Kerastase asked us to collaborate with them. When such a huge brand saw the benefits of our product it really meant a lot to me. This was also the case when we signed with BinSina pharmacies and our product was available in 38 branches across the region.
Talk to us about your wellbeing routine?
It’s all about prioritizing yourself and your well-being. This isn’t easy when you run your own business as it’s often hard to build a routine. How I manage is by surrounding myself with people who are trying to make healthier lifestyle choices. I’ve worked with different naturopaths and discovered unique forms of healing and how to quiet my mind. I also make sure I wake up early and get my exercise done for the day. I love being on the water so you’ll often find me on my paddleboard as the sun rises. Then it’s all about getting enough sleep and drinking water throughout the day.
What are your top tips for living a healthy lifestyle?
Creating small achievable goals that you can build on, stops life from becoming overwhelming. It’s like when I first started to get back into exercising I would begin with a brisk stroll, then a light jog and gradually build up to running. Before you know it, that healthy change will have become a habit. This is what I hope for our clients, that by using LOCH it can be the first step in their journey to achieving a healthier and more eco-friendly lifestyle.
How does this differ when you travel?
For me, it’s all about consistency. Relax, but don’t completely give up on your routine. When I travel I always carry a reusable water bottle with me, made easier now with LOCH. Not only does it help me remain eco-friendly on my travels but also inspires others. I also use it when it comes to helping me stay fit. My top tip? Fill it up to the top and use it as a weight in your hotel room.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve received lots of great advice over the years! The first? Don’t be afraid to take risks. We are all so worried about failure, but, when you fail it’s just a learning curve to help you improve yourself. I’ve experienced this over and over again. The second is to do something you're passionate about. It will drive you and keep you going, even through the hardest of times. For me, it’s about believing in the products I’m designing and know I’m creating a better future for my community and world.