Five minutes with.. Christianna Tsiterou, founder, The Gift Concierge - Gulf Business
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Five minutes with.. Christianna Tsiterou, founder, The Gift Concierge

Five minutes with.. Christianna Tsiterou, founder, The Gift Concierge

Christianna Tsiterou is planning to bring luxury service The Gift Concierge to the whole of the GCC following its UAE launch

What made you bring the Gift Concierge concept to the GCC?

The Gift Concierge was born out of my personal need and desire to make an experience special for friends and loved ones. However, I found it quite frustrating that in order to do so, not only did I have to source/organise certain elements myself; I also had to identify different services that catered to the different requirements. So, while there are the concierge services that can do the gift shopping for you (provided you are a member) and successful event companies that could cater to the specific celebration, I couldn’t find any service fully dedicated to creating a special gifting – celebratory – experience from start to finish.

That’s what The Gift Concierge is all about: a special, dedicated, bespoke and luxurious celebratory experience.

What do you consider the service’s key selling point?

What distinguishes The Gift Concierge is the fact that it is the first of its kind in the UAE and GCC, 100 per cent dedicated to gifting and special occasions. It is a very exclusive, discreet and personalised luxury service and it’s definitely not a last minute gift-shopping provider. We devise concepts for events or ideas for gifts that are bespoke and discussed with clients, involving them in the process so they can feel part of the experience of gifting someone special without going through the hassle of sourcing it. Furthermore, The Gift Concierge has access to items that cannot be found in the UAE including fashion, art pieces, collector’s items and limited edition memorabilia (which we source from Paris and London), as well as access to exclusive experiences.

Who is your target demographic?

Our key target market are the money rich and time poor, as well as those whose level of disposal income allows them to go the extra mile on luxury and exclusivity for a true VIP gifting experience.

Having launched in the UAE, where will you go next?

This is a unique service in the entire Gulf and we want the service to be accessible to all the GCC countries. Physically, we will still be based in Dubai but our objective is to have a solid network for our services for the entire GCC region within the next 12 to 24 months.

What are your plans for your service offering?

Our service offering will be consistent and always focused on gifts and VIP experiences and private events prepared for special occasions. This is the core of The Gift Concierge and we have no limitations as the service is fully personalised. We can offer whatever our clients’ desire going over and beyond the mentioned packages, as these just act as a guideline for our base service.

Besides working with the client to select and source the most suitable gift/ experience, we also do private events. From birthday parties, to wedding proposals, Iftars and bridal and baby showers we can create personalised concepts. The Gift Concierge team can go to the client’s house, or a location of their choice, and transform the space, creating the most memorable event ever. Our list of special events and experiences also includes bespoke dinners and lunches with private/ celebrity chefs, access to exclusive VVIP venues and exclusive experiences. These range from the Ultimate Golfing Experience to the London Fashion Week Experience – all of which can be offered as gifts. Every experience is tailor made to the client’s profile and wishes. Finally, we provide a Wedding Registry service that gives clients access to multiple luxury brands, outlets and experiences using one single list. Instead of being limited to choose one single shop or running around to keep track of several lists, The Gift Concierge Wedding Registry allows couples to put together a single wish list that is both managed by our team and then delivered by our porters.

What are your expectations for your first year here?

I believe that there’s a lot of space for The Gift Concierge to thrive, as this is the service that was missing for those who want to make someone happy and have the means to afford it. The Gift Concierge is a luxury personal shopper service made for those who appreciate quality, exclusivity, luxury and style, which I would say you have in abundance in the region. My expectations are that The Gift Concierge will be recognised as the prominent luxury gifting service of choice within the UAE over the next year, and then across the GCC region within the next 24 months. Our goal is to have global positioning and recognition within the next five years.

Are you hiring?

We are continuously building and improving our network of partners but for the time being our core team is complete. We have two gift consultants/shoppers, one (French) with extensive experience with VIP clients, who has worked for some of the most prominent brands in Paris, and the other one (Greek) who is a professional stylist and has also worked as a personal shopper for some very affluent customers in Greece. Both have been living in the UAE for an extensive period, understand the culture and requirements of our key market and have an in-depth experience within the luxury/VIP space. We then have a dedicated person for The Gift Concierge Wedding Registry, who works closely with the gift shopper and the clients as the registry is developed and is responsible for the registry management on all fronts. The team includes a marketing and communications manager and myself. Aside from being responsible for the entire business, I personally manage The Gift Concierge Events.

What is your leadership style?

I would say ‘leading by example’. I’m a perfectionist and, as such, like to be involved and kept in the loop for every – and any – project I am working on. Having said that, I don’t like to micromanage and hence choose to work with people whom share the same attributes: strong business ethics, efficiency and time management, personal drive and attention to detail. Everything else can be more or less learned.

I work to live and not the other way around, so I make sure that the work environment and process is a pleasant one and that there is a healthy work-life balance for the entire team.


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