Turning a passion for beauty into a billion-dollar business hasn’t been straightforward for the Kattan sisters. With a background in finance, they had the right foundations to turn a blog into a social media wave that spawned a global business.

I joined them onstage at the Sharjah Entrepreneurship festival to hear more about this family business is turning into an empire. Huda Beauty is available online and in hundreds of stores including Sephora across the world. The almost-always-sold-out false lashes, which launched the Huda Beauty empire in 2013, were born when Kattan couldn’t find what she was looking for in the market— so naturally, she decided to make her own. Today, the beauty maven boasts an entire range of products including liquid lipsticks, highlighter palettes, false nails, and collaboration with Tweezerman.

According to her Linkedin profile, Kattan landed a gig working as the exclusive makeup artist for Revlon before joining Instagram. During her time there, she worked with a number of luxury brands including Cartier and Mercedes. The Dubai-based beauty mogul topped Instagram’s inaugural Rich List as the highest-earning influencer on the entire social media platform. The Influencer Rich list, which was created alongside a celebrity Rich List using an Instagram scheduling tool called HopperHQ, reports that Kattan earns up to AED 66,000 for a sponsored post— although it’s worthy to note that she doesn’t do these often. In the same week, she was also christened one of Time Magazine’s 25 most influential people on the Internet, alongside J.K Rowling and Kim Kardashian West.

In my discussion with them we covered:

  • Why bootstrapping your business can sometimes be the best way to begin
  • How to make the change you want to see in the market
  • To invest and spend your time strategically
  • Why social media was a catalyst for their success
  • The product development and expansion plans they have for this year and beyond
  • If you want to venture into business, sometimes your family can be the best foundation for scaling a business

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What’s been a turning point in your career or business? Have you had support from your family or bootstrapped your business? I’d love to hear your one big take away from the interview!

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