Aqila’s 50 Things You Should Know

Aqila’s 50 Things You Should Know

Many of you know it was Papillonkia Founder, Aqila’s milestone birthday this month (April 2018). You probably saw the BIG competition we ran for a lucky person to win a beautiful Mulberry Bayswater bag, in celebration of Aqila’s big 50! Hollie Brady was the happy winner and has already shared some stunning pictures with us in our Papillonkia Facebook group.


Holly Brady


We also had some lovely pics shared with us of Aqila’s celebrations too:


Merc Chanel


To finish off and wind down from all the festivities we asked Aqila 50 things she would love to share with her PK family. From bag advice, to business advice, to her favourite quotes, her most inspirational heroes, must-sees and must dos.

Here’s what she had to say:

  1. My hero – is my mum… At 15 she was married, at 16 had her first daughter. Moved to the UK when she was 20 years old. Illiterate in English and could not speak English but still managed to work three jobs to support the family along with my father. By 33 my mother had 7 daughters…! PLUS by now had set up her own business in retail, self-taught to speak, read and write English. She became a successful business woman and now aged 77, she still works full-time and swims everyday. My mum, my mentor, my role model..
  2. If you take away anything from this blog – let it be this; don’t forget your health ladies, nothing is more important than this. Have yearly MOT’s – health checks. I have annual health checks, which checks my blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, blood tests etc.
  3. Breast Cancer, my sister was diagnosed with this four years ago and after that, I see my breast consultant once a year. I pay for a package so £200 and I have a mammogram, scan and consultation. It’s the best £200 I spend every year to get the all clear, and if I am in a situation where it is not clear, the medics can pick up the diagnosis early to treat.
  4. Be pro-active and not re-active.
  5. I try to travel a lot and take my girls with me to lots of different countries. Not pre-dominantly to sunbathe and play on the beach, (which is fun and there’s nothing wrong with that) but to explore different countries, cultures, religions, faiths, beliefs, food and open their eyes to show them there is a big world out there apart from our city of London.
  6. Talking about food, my favourite food is Turkish food at the moment.
  7. Favourite country is of course Dubai…! Jumeirah Beach Hotel for a family holiday and The One and Only for a Couple’s holiday!
  8. My favourite handbag designer at the moment is Chanel followed closely by Dior lately then LV.
  9. My favourite shoe designer is Gucci especially my trainers – so comfortable.
  10. I admire and love Barack Obama. He is one of the only politicians I know that is so respected after he ended his term as President. Love Michelle too… Such an advocate of women empowerment.
  11. Try to buy bags that are a good investment and that have a high re-sale value should you want to sell later on.
  12. Look after your bags by regularly cleaning and using a Papillonkia Handbag Liner to protect the inside!
  13. Insure High Net Worth bags under your Home and Contents Insurance especially covering away from home. Also contents and cash inside the bag up to a certain amount. Take the excess into account.
  14. The higher the excess on your insurance, the lower the repayments. Try to go for mid-range excess.
  15. Do not rush and buy your designer bag without really thinking about it first. It is a tangible investment and a lot of money to spend.
  16. Do not let Sales Assistants pressurise you in your decision making process.
  17. Try your desired bag on many times – leave the store and go back if necessary.
  18. Do your research before you buy as if you do buy directly from boutiques, often they do not offer refunds but exchanges and credit notes only.
  19. Purchase from department stores as they offer a refund policy should you change your mind. Or of course, us at Papillonkia as so do we…!
  20. If you want a bag for everyday use, go for robust leathers such as Caviar, Saffiano or Calf Leather. For special occasions, go for Lambskin or bling..!
  21. Invest in bags and shoes as clothing fashions change too quickly and you may only wear once or twice before they get sent to the local charity shop. Plus if you put on weight, these clothes are redundant. So my advice would be to splash out on bags and shoes and buy low to mid priced clothes. I love Zara at the moment.
  22. Don’t be afraid of purchasing from EBay – that’s where we started our business and continue to have an EBay shop. Just make sure you purchase via PayPpal as they offer both seller and buyer protection.
  23. If you are unsure of the authenticity of an item, authenticate first from reputable authentication companies before purchase. Or after you have purchased and received the goods immediately.
  24. Age has no limit and is just a number, if you have an idea GO FOR IT.
  25. It’s very easy to set up a business. Your bank and accountants will offer lots of advice on how to set up.
  26. You can achieve anything if you work hard.
  27. Favourite music – Soul and Motown.
  28. Favourite TV Programme at the moment is “The Real Housewives of Cheshire” – why? Constantly reminds me of who I aspire NOT to be and look like…
  29. I absolutely love spending time with my sisters and family. We are a very close-knit family and regularly see each other. Immediate family is so important to me and we are there for one another. Yay to the Bond of Sisterhood.
  30. Best movie I have seen lately is The Greatest Showman. Such a great story and songs too.
  31. My favourite colour is red although I wear black nearly all the time.
  32. I love Kiko lipsticks as they stay on all day after applying once. Best I’ve used to date.
  33. Favourite shopping place – Knightsbridge especially Harrods.
  34. Favourite restaurant – Lavash in Golders Green.
  35. My favourite bag at the moment is my Chanel Chevron Distressed Calf Leather Tote Bag in black.
  36. People always comment on my eyebrows – threading is the key. Don’t have your eyebrows waxed as the pulling action stretches the skin therefore causing droopiness later on. We don’t want things to go South but stay pert..!!!
  37. I don’t drink or smoke. I don’t need either to have a good time and my girl friends will agree.
  38. The best evening for me is to cuddle up with my hubby and watch a movie at home.
  39. I am loving Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra Jewellery at the moment. It is very expensive but is more wearable for me than my other jewellery and I tend to wear it every day. I feel fabulous when I do.
  40. Favourite artist is Salvatore Dali. I was about 19 when I went on holiday with my younger sister to Venice and there was an art exhibition by our hotel. Dali’s work was being shown and I loved it. Haven’t bought anything yet but like to look.
  41. My favourite watch is my Rolex that was given to me on my 18th Birthday by my parents and Uncle. Its now 32 years old and I would love to say still going strong but it does lose time every year. Hence I have her serviced annually to keep her in check. But I can’t change it, not even for a more modern version as this one holds so much sentimental value for me.
  42. My favourite Landmark is Burj Al Arab – A hotel built in the sea… Who would have thought?
  43. 1 door closes, 10 new doors open.
  44. It’s not all about taking all the time, but you must give back to help people too.
  45. “What goes around comes around”
  46. “Only good things happen to good people..!”
  47. We are all equal – diversity and inclusion is a must to succeed in this World
  48. “You can pick and choose your friends but not your family”
  49. All material things can disappear just like that, but no one can take away your education. It’s an investment in yourself.
  50. Proudest moment – being a mum.


I’d like to take the opportunity to thank each and every one of my family, friends, clients, supporters and well-wishers who wished me a happy birthday and send kind words and messages. I was overwhelmed and it means so much to me.


Aqila Dorchester

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