I’m Rhiannon, but you can call me Rio, as those who know me often do. They'd also be the ones to tell you that I'm a straight-talking empath with a head for business and a whole lot of heart. I'm probably best known as the Founder of Bride Club ME, an award-winning wedding inspiration website and concierge, responsible for helping thousands of brides plan their weddings in Dubai and beyond. I’m also a keynote speaker, professional emcee and business mentor with four (and counting) small businesses that I run on a day to day. I owe a lot of my success to my instinctual ability, but mainly it’s the hard graft that got me here. I’ve fine-tuned 9 years of business acumen and time leveraged my learnings, to help budding entrepreneurs and business owners perfect their brand, correct their market positioning and most importantly, boost their bottom-line.
Finding those who wish to achieve their business goals and are ready to utilise my extensive UAE market knowledge and contacts to grow a business, that reaps the rewards it deserves, is my lifeblood. If that sounds like you, then we need to talk.
I left London in 2008, right before the recession. I had a job lined up and my bags packed with determination and big ambitions. Yes, I survived the financial cuts of the crisis, but I soon found out that the real fight wouldn’t be between the balance sheets, but with a stagnant culture in a male centric industry. I went round-to-round working for some of the biggest publishing houses in the UK and UAE, and it was a hard fight for a young woman in sales, let alone one that was challenging the status quo. But my grit cemented my success; I swayed them to embrace social media, encouraged them to hold events and convinced them that advertising was a valuable source of revenue in the dot.com landscape.
Climbing the corporate ladder didn’t come easy to me. I’d fallen into sales and advertising as a bill-payer to support my singing and acting career, yet I surprised myself and soared through the ranks, finding a natural affinity with making money (go figure, right). I went on to manage several magazines, launch websites, award ceremonies and social media platforms (before they were really a thing), until I decided to pour it all into my own baby - and so Bride Club ME was born. It’s the first online wedding inspiration website and concierge in the region and remains a leader in the market 9 years later. I now have over 16 years of media, marketing, and sales experience, as well as 9 solid years running profitable, small businesses.
I’ve been a multi-facet entrepreneur for over 9 years now - It’s the dream I never knew I was looking for but left everything behind to find. That leap taught me to trust my intuition and it continues to echo into my everyday choices as a businesswoman, and wow! There are a lot of difficult decisions to make, chances that need taking and tear-jerking moments on the path to profitability. It’s because of this journey and skill that I’ve built, falling and getting back up again (so that you won’t have to), that I’m dab hand at providing bespoke, no fluff consultancy for people just like you. I’ve got a keen eye for spotting the next big thing and a generous heart compelled to see success in others. I’ve also got the lungs to belt-out a power ballad or two and a wicked sense of humour, but we’ll save that for later.
Alongside running my businesses and searching for my next new venture, I help other entrepreneurs and business owners across various industry sectors launch, grow, adapt and learn through focused 1-2-1 consultancy and mentoring sessions. Over the past few years, I have helped many businesses thrive during difficult times.
I am a trained professional speaker and emcee. I’ve hosted talks, moderated panels and often speak on topics ranging from weddings, home lifestyle, entrepreneurship and leadership. I’m also available to emcee social and corporate events and have experience in providing voice-overs for film and adverts. You can check out my showreel here!