Meet Nektar

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Stephanie was born in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada and grew up in the “beautiful little town” of Kingston, Ontario.  She first visited Dubai in 1992, and having been “completely captivated” moved to the Emirate in 2005, before leaving to live in New Zealand in 2009.  Stephanie returned to the UAE in 2011.  “I have always felt a great sense of freedom and community while living here, and feel there are opportunities that are very unique to this region of the world,” she says.  Stephanie specializes in producing photo books documenting people’s lives in Dubai.  “My business has grown out of a deep love and passion for capturing and documenting the connections and love that our life stories are made of,” she says.  Stephanie has three children and says she was inspired to launch Nektar when she realized that she would be handing her children hard drives full of digital photographs of their childhood in Dubai rather than something more special and lasting.  “It is very important to me that they have their lives, and particularly their expat lives, documented, so that when they grow up it will be easy for them to return to their childhood home,” she says.  “The average person will not do anything with the images on their phone or had drive, not to mention that a lot of time the person capturing images is absent from the photos.  My creation allows the entire story to be told and everyone be in the pictures.”

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Stephanie live with her husband and three daughters – Olivia, 14; Ruby, nine; and Lily, six – and their helper Shalika and her husband, Tusith, in the Umm Suqeim neighbourhood of Dubai.  The family’s villa is located near the popular Kite Beach, and the family spends a lot of time on the beach or exploring the cafes on nearby Beach Road.  Stephanie loves the neighbourhood’s mixed community of locals and expats.  She describes her home as “very bright and airy” and says that photographs, fresh flowers, beautiful art and soft furnishings are what make a home.  “Colour is also very important to me, as well as the smell of a home cooked meal,” she adds. Stephanie spends most of her time in her office, which has its own meditation space, and is currently working on an outdoor workspace.  “I envision a secret garden full of creeping plants everywhere,” she says.  The aim is to feel as though we are not living in the desert.”

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