Innovating the blend of perfection

Celebrating 50 years of UAE and the diversity it represents, Ananke unveils its series of interviews featuring #UAEFemaleFounders; showcasing Laura Manning – founder of BRW Society.
Innovating the blend of perfection

Tell us a bit about yourself and the journey that led you to where you are now?

Hello, my name is Laura, and I am the founder of BRW Society, a locally based, tea brand on a mission to get the UAE drinking better quality tea.

I moved to Dubai in 2018 and straight away I felt that great quality tea was hard to come by, there was little choice in the premium quality, whole leaf tea category in the supermarkets.  For a long time, I asked my Mum to courier tea parcels to Dubai, containing on my favourite British brands.  Then I had a lightbulb moment, and the rest is history!

I am now trying to make tea a lot more colourful and fun in the UAE.  I want to help people discover tea and enjoy drinking delicious, great quality tea.

Tell us about your company and the vision behind the launch?

BRW Society is making tea a lot more colourful and fun.  We have over 50, unique and delicious tea blends in both loose leaf and plastic free teabag format which cannot be found anywhere else.  We have super cool blends such as Mango Madness, Prickly Cactus and Flamingo and on trend ingredients such as butterfly pea, matcha, turmeric and so much more.

We are on a mission to get the UAE drinking great quality tea (whole leaves & whole ingredients), which is sourced and packaged in a way that is kind to the planet!

Our products are 100% natural and packaged in eco-friendly packaging which is planet-friendly!

What have been some of the challenges you encountered while setting up your business?

The biggest challenge I faced at the start was setting up a new business in a new country.  I had never set up a business before let along in a new country, so it was a challenge for sure.  I didn’t understand how things worked and whenever I asked for advice it raised more questions than it answered.  The rules and regulations here are very different from the UK so navigating around this at the start was not straight forward.  But that said, I am glad I went through this first-hand, and I took the time to understand the process, it’s less daunting now!

Innovating the blend of perfectionDo you believe gender factors in when you are setting up as well as leading an organization? If yes, is that a positive factor when it comes to the vision?

I think Dubai is a fantastic place to set up a business as a woman, there are so many incredible female entrepreneurs here who are always willing to help and support other female business owners.  I can’t recommend it enough, whether you are male or female, Dubai is the place to set up a business!

I haven’t felt any gender challenges when setting up my business or leading it here.  I think the UAE judges people less on gender and more on capabilities.  If you work hard and don’t give up, that’s the start of a winning recipe.

How inclusive is your business and how does it empower your target audience?

BRW Society is an inclusive brand, we welcome all ages, all genders, all cultures and all lifestyles.  We are a unique brand, and we like to celebrate uniqueness.  We believe everyone can live a happier, healthier life with tea.  So, everyone is welcome!

What are some of the most memorable milestones – professional as well as related to your company?

I have many memorable miletones, it is hard to list them all.  I am particularly proud of my career which spanned 15 years at Tata in various roles and locations prior to moving to the UAE.  It’s a great company to work for and I will always look back at my time with the company with fond memories.  Now, running my own business, the milestones are even more significant because reaching them transforms the business. For example, I’ll never forget winning the Spinney’s Incubator Scheme, it has really helped shape BRW Society and has put us on the map in the UAE.  Through this scheme we have been able to reach a larger audience.  It has led to many other, fantastic opportunities for the business such as collaborations and product listings.  However, that said, my biggest and most memorable milestone will always be completing my first fundraising round and not only getting all the funds that we need to take the business to the next level but finding the perfect investor who believes in our vision and our products.

How empowering is it to be a UAE-based company?

It is very empowering to be a UAE based brand, the country is doing amazing things and taking centre stage in the world.  From its Emirates Mars Mission to hosting Expo 2020 the region is getting much attention around the world and everyone wants to be here.  That’s great for business!  The economy is diversifying for long term growth providing businesses with stability and opportunities to grow.  We are very proud to call ourselves a UAE brand.

Celebrating 50 years of UAE, what would you like to say?

I am proud and honoured to call the UAE home, we have enjoyed every second of our 3.5 years living here.  I think it is a wonderful place to live, to start a business and to raise a family.  The opportunities are endless.

Any last words?

Drink better tea and give BRW Society a try today!


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