Mona and Huda Kattan
Mona and Huda Kattan Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: The key to starting a brand is to have a clear vision of the product being created, sisters and businesswomen Huda and Mona Kattan said at the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit during a session titled ‘Becoming a beauty entrepreneur.’

Sharing their journey to success in the cosmetic world, the Iraqi-American beauty bloggers said staying focused and having a purpose have helped them along the way.

“I think you know once you start a business, a lot of the time you set a goal and then eventually the goal moves. Ten years ago this had been a dream surpassed. Now my dreams are much bigger, so I’m still 100 per cent a dreamer and setting higher goals,” said Huda, who this year made it to the Forbes’ list of most successful self-made women.

With over 29 million followers on Instagram, the founder of billion-dollar cosmetics brand Huda Beauty said when launching any business, opportunities are not exactly the same and it is important never to be someone else.

“The reality is specifically in the time we live in, everyone wants to start a business, whether it is a fragrance, make-up brand, clothing brand, or even bake shop, there are so many businesses people want to begin, I think given the industry and ability to acquire customers easily through social media, people really want to do that,” she said, adding, “Never try to be someone else, [it’s] always better to be at best at number two.”

Discussing their newly launched perfume line Kayali and how they created the identity of the brand, Mona said they didn’t want to differ the brand from the Huda Beauty make-up line.

“I think when creating a product, you have to have a vision of what you want it to be. Huda had a clear vision for Huda Beauty and when we created Kayali — it also had a vision,” she said.

When asked how important Instagram was for them to expand their reach and their advice for young women launching their career, Huda said: “The reality is you need something different. If you are learning from brands and individuals, chances are others also learning to do those things as well and you could be lost in a sea of very similar content.”

She said what stands out is “finding a unique perspective and finding something different. It is hard but you need to be diligent, persistent, continuously create content that is uniform and something that has voice for who you are.”

Mona said a lot of people work hard for a couple of months and then give up in a year’s time. “Overnight success needs 10 years, but eventually you’ll get there,” she said.

“For ourselves, our goal is not a number to hit, in terms of revenue, we have a purpose underneath it all, and when you have it driving you, you never give up. Our purpose is bigger than what we want to achieve,” said Mona.