How To Be… A Boutique Owner: Adiam Emnay

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Unfulfilled with her job at an agency that specialized in marketing startups, Adiam Emnay decided to leave and create her own startup, Dubaruba, where she could buy products made in Africa directly from the producers and sell them online.

She shares why it was so important for her to ensure that she was providing the right kind of support for small-scale African designers and what she is doing to enable development for a market with so much potential.


Name: Adiam

Age: 33

Location: Vienna, Austria

Profession: Founder of



How did you get started?

I decided one day to just quit my day job. I wanted to go to Africa and find amazing designers and artisans that I would be able to promote through an online store.

What’s an average day like?

There is no average day, but mostly it is a lot of boring paper work and administrating; checking emails and solving problems; emailing suppliers and organizing the next design fair; making customers happy, paying bills, etc.

Why do you do it?

Africa’s development is a very important issue for me. I want to support the talented designers and artisans and get them access to the European and American markets. Supporting the production sector is one way to get there.

Ups and downs you sometimes face on the job:

Oh, there are a lot. You get your products too late, or you get the products that you did not order, or people abuse your trust, etc.

Creating attention and support for these designers completely makes up for it though…

Your greatest achievement so far?

Actually going through with launching the start-up and seeing how far it’s come is what I’m most proud of. I can’t wait to see how it continues to develop!


What might be next for you?

I’m hoping my website will continue to grow! We’re working on offering more diversified products from more African countries, with a special focus on West Africa.


What are your top go-to hair tips?

My best advice would be to wear your hair however you want! As long as it’s healthy and you’re comfortable, it really is that simple.

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Ellen Haile
Ellen Haile

My hair falls between the 4A to 4C category, so I’m always looking for the best manageable styles. I live for big, stretched hair, so I often keep it blow dried and call it a day.

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