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Other Women's Jobs // Thea Kearse

NAME: Thea Kearse

AGE: 38


JOB TITLE: Founder & Head of Operations, Butterfly Social


Thea Kearse is the head of operations and one of the Founders of Butterfly Social, Dubai’s only homegrown concierge app. Created for those looking for a more efficient and proactive lifestyle service with extra benefits. In under three years the company has a well-established membership base and is now looking to expand into other areas in the Middle East, maintaining to focus on the unique demands of the region. The brand looks to provide effective concierge paired with a selection of events and experiences, procured specifically so that members can meet informally whilst experiencing something completely different and most critically, making the most of their time spent in Dubai.

Of late, the concierge market has become saturated with new and old players all offering the same overly priced luxury service that is only useful for a small number of people, when clearly upon researching, Dubai residents showed demand for a high quality, more accessible concierge service that instead prioritise residents and proactively offer access to what they really want.  The app gives members access to private events, exclusive offers, benefits from all kinds of day-to-day service providers and a constantly evolving selection of venues, from the best restaurants in the city to some of the fantastic beach clubs, bars and so on.

Let's learn about a day in Thea's life...


7AM: By now my partner has already completed his serene morning routine and is halfway to work. Myself, being in denial of mornings evening existing, will remain asleep in bed with the dog adopting the position of the missing partner. With great reluctance, I usually force myself out of bed by around 7:15am and aim to do a quick turnaround of back stretching, teeth brushing and throw on a highly questionable combination of clothes, before taking the long-limbed, ginger dog for his 5km morning walkies. I find walkies a really productive time of the day, which I’ll start with a sports podcast or Headway before receiving a call from our amazing Creative Director where we’ll have a general chat and set the structure for the days content. I’ll also be updating my to-do list in Notes, share finished decks or documents from the night before and I’ll be in comms with Micky, the CEO, prepping for the day. 


8:45am: Inevitably, walkies takes much longer than anticipated and I’m left rushing to make a coffee and get my cycling kit on before jumping on Zwift for 60 mins of zone 2 with my online racing team, complemented appropriately by some classical music or 90’s hip-hop to set the tone for the day. I’ll have ‘breakfast’ during this time, which is a mix of beverages; always coffee with a sugar, a kombucha and lots of water with electrolytes, vitamins and creatine. During the session, I like to go through my emails, read drafts, check the app back-end and look through the social media posts so I know I’m all settled before the servicing team come online at 10am.


10AM: I’ll drink a protein shake whilst grabbing a quick shower and be ready to head out to meet the CEO. The servicing team for the day will all be online and in communications on WhatsApp. They will be gathering feedback from the previous night’s bookings, highlighting any requests/reservations that require special attention for the coming day and sharing updated guest-list numbers for upcoming events.11am: I’ll be with the CEO going over everything from corporate accounts to the events schedule. Our meetings are usually highly productive, involve multiple iced americanos and can easily last from a couple, to several hours. 


2PM: We will usually have a couple of scheduled meetings during the afternoon, or a business lunch in one of our partner venues. We believe that having meetings in person are essential, whether that be with any of our suppliers, corporate clients, our PR or marketing team, viewing a new or potential event venue or with members of our network.


4:30PM: If we are hosting an event on that evening then I’ll already aim to be at the host venue by now, liaising with third-party suppliers and making sure I have everything in order. If not then I’ll be heading home in the back of a taxi, checking in with the head of servicing, going over my notes for the day, working on a deck or following up from the meetings I’d attended. Once home, I’ll make a coffee, settle in and start on my to-do list, although most of the time a few things will come up that will need actioning immediately, this is just the nature of concierge, it’s unpredictable.


7:00PM: I’ll be expecting my partner to arrive home and then it will be a quick turnaround before he heads out for a run or a cycle whilst I’ll prepare to jump back onto Zwift for what could be a more intensive training session or potentially a race, depending upon the season. I’ll listen to some deep house music, or I’ll catch up on shows on YouTube like Last Week Tonight, The Daily Show, The Late Show or Real Time, and the servicing team know I will be less responsive but available if they need me. I get grumpy and sluggish if I don’t exercise, so many of them team find amusement in providing active encouragement during this time. 


8:30PM: By now my partner will be back from his run and we will have spent about 20 minutes asking each other what we want to eat for dinner. Clearly at this point neither really cares, we are both hungry and have essentially lost the will to make a decision. Our poor fridge is desperately clinging on to the hope of one day living its best life, by being filled with fresh vegetables, natural yoghurt and fancy cheeses. Clearly neither of us are capable enough of acting like adults and being decisive, so inevitably we end up with our usual order from Pitfire Pizza… again. 


9:00PM: Whilst waiting/eating we take a bit of time to relax together and catch up on the content we follow on YouTube, which is mostly sport or adventure related, before we take the dog for his evening walkies and he gets to go on the swing in the park.


10:15PM: Upon returning, the kettle is boiled and the nightly ‘mud-water’ (peppermint tea) ritual begins! This newly adopted routine is something I have essentially been forced into by my partner with the intention of helping me fall asleep. Although unhelpful as a sleeping aid, I have become somewhat addicted to the routine and unexpectedly found myself taking peppermint tea bags on holiday skiing, which of course ended up being pointless: 1. because peppermint tea bags are indeed readily available in France and b. the heady combination of jetlag and aggressive cheese consumption means that falling asleep in the Alps is absolutely not an issue. Back at home, we get into bed and my partner (who is clearly some kind of psychic tea wizard), whilst engrossed in a novel, will tell me at the exact moment that the fragrant yet hideous mud-water is to be quickly consumed. Dutifully, the mud-water casts its magic spell upon my partner, and he slips off pleasantly into an intense, deep sleep alongside the already passed-out dog; both blissfully unaffected by late-night over thinking and anxiety. This is when I come alive! 11:30PM: I’ll be sat up in bed with my laptop as I find the late hours are my most productive of the day. I always produce my best work late at night and I find myself working like a machine in a state of complete silence and concentration. I know a lot of women in senior positions that do similar, presumably because it’s the only time of day they are free from distraction. I can really get into THE ZONE, although I am technically ‘in bed’, I tend to not have any desire to sleep unless I have been managing or hosting an event. I simply cannot shut my brain down. I’ll focus on one or two bigger pieces of work or creative written pieces that have been requested that day and compete them. I’ll pop my laptop on the floor, put my phone on charge and go to sleep. 



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