The New You – Meet Alicia Pérez
Coming to Qatar and making a career for yourself is not always easy and definitely not straight forward.In these series, we are exploring the stories of inspiring women in Qatar who bravely created a new career of their own. We’ll hear from founders, writers, mothers, artists, designers, and more how they paved their way to their new me. Their stories will inspire other women and girls in Qatar that there are many different ways to create a successful career in Doha, either as an employee or entrepreneur. #thenewyou
In this episode meet Alicia Perez – Founder and Director at Luna Design, created in 2013 in Doha, Qatar. Alicia is a total powerhouse and created her very own design company from the ground. She is committed to design integrity and offers her clients an excellent and personal service. Her company’s offerings are born with a distinction, which makes them special and unique to the rest. Alicia’s passion is right there in the design!
What did you do before the new you?
“My old me”: I used to be a very dedicated and polite employee, loyal, hard working, always trying to give my best at work. When I started my professional career I was very careful and always trying to learn from my senior collogues. I started working in small/medium size design studios. Then, after gathering more experience, I started receiving good opportunities in international design firms such as Broadway Malyam and Architects Pacific. Working with them gave me a wider perspective and what it’s like to be part of an organisation and it gave me the opportunity to work on an international level. I very much enjoy working in an international environment and exploring global projects in new countries, meaning new challenges! Something very important that opened doors to me professionally, was the willingness to travel and accept international projects like in Fiji Islands, Solomon Islands, China, Australia, Dubai and now Qatar.
When moving to Qatar, what were your career expectations?
First time I moved to Qatar was in 2009, when I came from Dubai (which was in recession at that time). I had great expectations of Qatar, although I didn’t warm up too much to the country’s environment first time I arrived.
But as I said I had high expectations. So I started my way around Doha. But then another unexpected thing happened in my life, I fell pregnant! I decided to slow down for a while. Being a new mum was just a pause in my career, definitely not a stop.
When my first baby was a year old, I went back to work. I really needed to go back! My professional career started picking up again. And since then I didn’t slow down my professional growth, even though I had another two babies. Being a mum should give us inspiration to continue our careers rather than ending it. Those years gave me a great local experience in a traditional design studio and I got to know the Qatari culture really well. And as if my full-time job wasn’t already enough, I was also doing freelancing jobs which led to being offered a great position in Qatar Television as Set Designer. My career went totally beyond my expectations which were already very high when I arrived. I was a very happy professional and a mother of three at the same time.
What made you decide to create the new you?
When I started working for Qatar Television, I learned many other different professional aspects which were not just related to technical aspects. It was a completely new world, the world of media. I learnt to work independently, with budgets, with uncertain scopes. I learnt to make deals, negotiate, social relations, time management and mingled with all sorts of different personalities.
All of this made me think, I can run my own show now! So the new me started and my business started to take shape: name, logo, branding, partners, clients and of course new projects. So I became a business woman, owner of a design studio, and the new me was born. I always say that my business is my fourth baby, who needs full dedication, love and hard work. It has beautiful moments but it also less great moments.
Which skills from your previous career come in handy now?
The skills from my first career that come handy now are the structure of documentation and hierarchy in the team that I experienced; it enables an organisation to grow in a systematic way.
What is your advice to other women to create their own new me?
My advise to the women out there is to leave their comfort zone in which they could feel trapped and to try new challenges. If you want to become a new version, you will need to do something new. Nothing will change if you don’t change something. We can do so much more than what we think …..!
Find out more about Alicia
- Instagram – @lunadesign.qatar
- Snapchat – lunadesignqatar