Datsa Gaile is the Founder of SolaAir™️ Sequin Walls UK and has built her exclusive business in the UK from just £1.50. She is an entrepreneur from Latvia who has lived in England since 2004. Her clients have included BBC Strictly Come Dancing, The Fashion, and Brit Awards, the Miss England pageant, Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden and TV Presenter Amber Rose Gill.
Her business story is one of determination. Since 2017 she has established her successful company in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire as the sole UK distributor of these SolaAir sequin panels. The sequin panels are not only attention-grabbing but also durable, flexible, and resistant to heat and cold. They can withstand the elements of rain, snow, frost, and strong winds.
Datsa has a strong reputation as a go-to expert, which enables her to give masterclasses to women business owners. She is also an article contributor to several online business-related magazines.
Her ethos is to create show-stopping sequin walls and signs with the highest quality materials while remaining environmentally friendly. Therefore, not only do the sequin panels add a sparkling feature in any setting, but they are made with our planet in mind. Datsa wanted something people could buy confidently and know their experience would be positive.
How did the beginning of your sequin wall panel journey begin?
I started my SolaAair™️ Sequin Walls UK entrepreneurial journey with an idea, a ribbon, and two batteries. When I moved to England, I had big dreams but limited resources and very little knowledge of the English language. I had always dreamed of running a business of my own, but as a single mum with two young sons and just £1.50 to start a business, there didn’t seem to be any way it could happen.
In January 2019, I spotted a sequin wall on Instagram and decided that there was a gap in the UK market for such a product. I started small but quickly realized that I was onto a very good thing.
Although I had never started a business before, I knew that opportunity would knock if I could make it through the first couple of years after starting a family. So that’s what I did: focus on my business.
Through innovation, I have found multiple ways of using these shimmering sequin walls that create spellbinding movement and a business dedicated to this dynamic, sparkling product. These flickering panels are ideal for exterior facades, murals, billboards, signs, and extenders and make attractive interiors for glamorous offices, cafes, nightclubs, and concert venues.
Can you share how you coped with some of your biggest challenges and how you faced them?
I’ve faced many challenges, but I’m proud of the success I’ve worked toward. My business was 90% events focused before the Covid pandemic. Once the lockdown started, all the event industries closed, so I began advertising our sequin product toward interior design and shop sign usage.
Since then, due to Brexit and the war in Ukraine, our logistics and fuel costs have been affected. I have had to become innovative to make sure I can move my business forward. I turned my business around by pivoting to keep up with trends. In the spring of 2021, BBC Strictly Come Dancing contacted me about making glitter boards for promotional shots. We were able to work with the show, and it brought many great opportunities for my company.
After coming out of the lockdown, my company became more established. Within the most significant challenges, new ideas are born. Looking back, I am delighted that the sequin panel I brought to the UK has become one of the most desired products in the events and interior design industry once again.
Facebook, now Meta, chose me and several others to share advice and experience in a book called “Words Of Wisdom.” The book is a collection of inspirational quotes from small businesses chosen by Facebook.
The message reads, “Never be afraid of doing things differently. We grow by overcoming challenges and obstacles. Over the last year, we have learned the importance of communicating with our valued customers via social media.”
Could you share what you are planning or the future of your business?
I am designing and working on a new product with an excellent purpose for event decorators, exhibitors, and domestic use. Due to this new product, I am looking toward expanding and finding distributors in other countries, such as the USA, Baltic countries, and Australia. When I started my business, I thought it would last forever.
I know I must keep moving and look for new opportunities to survive in this competitive market. The sequin trend will not last forever, so I am already searching and looking for new ways to go forward and grow the business. I have learned to adapt to significant challenges. That is how I plan to manage the next five years.
Have you got personal ambitions to make an impact beyond your business experience?
My biggest goal is to inspire other female entrepreneurs to know they can achieve anything they put their minds to. SolaAir™️ Sequin Walls UK created itself. I just needed to earn extra cash for my son to go to university. As a single parent, getting through life has always been challenging.
I hear this from my clients over and over again. Single mums like me want to make their children’s lives better. All I wanted was to help my children have a better life and a small side hustle. Somehow, I saw the opportunity and set up the company with my willingness and strong mind.
Four to five years later, I am running an international award-winning six-figure company. I also share my personal business story and inspire other entrepreneurs online.
My instagram has almost 100k followers, Tik Tok more than 40k. My journey has inspired many female entrepreneurs, whether single, in a relationship, or married. So to have a bigger platform, share more of my experience and help other like-minded female entrepreneurs would be a fantastic opportunity to give something back.