This ‘Have You Met’ interview is with performer, YouTuber and designer Rhiannon Corbett
So Tell us what’s your name, where you come from and where do you live now?
My full name is Rhiannon Christine Corbett. Rhiannon after the Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac hit song, ‘Rhiannon’, Christine after my wonderful Mum and my surname is from my Dads side of the family. I was born in Bath, UK. I grew up in England and the U.A.E. During my 20’s I lived quite a bit in Tokyo, Japan and now I’m back in the U.A.E living in Dubai.
So you graduated from The Hammond School and Newcastle University as a trained dancer and performer, heavily working in Tokyo, and you now run your own business -Empress Studio Wear. Alongside being a company owner you also jet-set around the world as a flight attendant. Tell us a bit more about your story and how you got to where you are now?
Haha, I’ll try and make this short!
When I first moved to Tokyo in 2008 I was 22 and whilst being there many doors opened for me. I was performing as well as modelling and collaborating with new local designers. I was constantly meeting new and exciting people and became very inspired by a lot of who I met. I have always had an interest and fondness for modelling and fashion but at the time didn’t want to leave the performing world. As much as I loved being in front of the camera and assisting designers I became envious of their clothing lines.
So, In 2012 I decided to combined all my loves together and have a change in life. After my last contract in Tokyo I spent a couple of months back in England writing out business plans, talking to manufactures from around the world, looking for and researching fabrics and designing garments. I even had my Mum making me my prototypes from my designs as I can’t sew and my Dad going over cash flows with me and explaining business terms that took me forever to get my head around.
I then went to investors and had to do a presentation about my company. It felt just like being on Dragons Den! At the time it was a much bigger idea and they offered me a lot of money. However, whilst I was thinking about accepting it I also applied for a job as a flight attendant as I still wanted to travel. Very quickly I heard back from the airline and was offered the job. It took me a while to decide what to do but I thought hey! I’ll keep saving the money myself and work as well as start up my own company.
It wasn’t until 2014, when due to some personal matters, I found myself ending up back in the UK come early 2015 for another couple of months and decided this is it… just do it girl! So, I did and Empress studio wear was launched 10th March 2015. A month later I was back in Dubai and now I juggle it all.
What’s a typical day in the life of Rhiannon Like?
Everyday is certainly different for me. I’m either flying miles across the globe, exploring a new destination or back home in Dubai running errands and catching up with friends when I can. But, wherever I am in the world I’m always checking emails, responding to customer inquiries, talking to my manufacture and doing the daily updates on instagram, twitter, facebook and the website. The only routine I really have is waking up and putting on the coffee machine!
Describe your fashion and lifestyle?
My fashion style varies I feel depending on where I am in the world and of course on the weather. But I like a mixture of designer, vintage and high street items. The lifestyle I try and lead is just a healthy and positive one.
What did 5 year old Rhiannon want to be?
Little miss Rhiannon wanted to be a Disney Princess which certainly came true! 🙂
Tell us something about the city/country that you live in?
I’ve seen the U.A.E change and develop a lot over the years. I love downtown Dubai, all the palm trees with fairy lights wrapped around them makes the place look so magical. I’m also quite excited that Dubai is currently building an Opera house! I’m sure we’ll be getting some great performances soon!
Do you have an advice for people in the industry / any creatives?
Don’t let your self-worth get caught up with your ego. If it was easy then everyone would be doing it. So, have a good work ethic and don’t try and be someone or something else. Just be you and believe in you. Times do get tough, but instead of feeding it fear grow with it and you will create the life you want.
Best place you have been so far whilst travelling?
This is a difficult one. I’ve travelled a lot and yet there is so much more to see in this world. However, I will say El Nido, Philippines was paradise and Italy is my favourite country in Europe because I love the food, vino and how historical it is. The best Christmas markets are in Germany, Switzerland is very picturesque and returning back to Japan anytime just feels like i’m going home. Childhood dreams have come true for me in Johannesburg, South Africa and Brisbane, Australia as I was able to get close to a giraffe and cuddle a koala. I love animals! Vietnam is an eye opener and Mauritius is a jaw dropper. It’s amazing this world, it’s so important to travel. I really don’t have a best place as each country I explore has had different experiences and I’m going to forever keep travelling.
What do you like to do in your downtime ?
I do Reiki, Meditate or get a massage.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
Career Wise – having established Empress studio wear more, I’m currently making changes. I’m taking baby steps and not rushing things so I know it’ll take a while. Travel wise – just more and more and use being a flight attendant to my advantage with that. Personally… haha! Only the universe seems to know that!
How do you balance your time between working as a flight attendant and Empress Studio Wear?
I have a schedule every month with the flights I do, so everything else gets fitted in around that. As I said before though it doesn’t matter where in the world I am I’m constantly working on Empress studio wear. It’s kinda the beauty of having an online store compared to an actual shop. So basically it’s just doing it all when I can.
Do you have any quotes you live by?
Not really in all honesty, but I tell myself this a lot… ‘I’m the strongest person I know’. It gives me strength to get through difficult times, reminds me to give myself self love and separates my ego from my self-worth.
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