Sara Al Madani: Emirati social media influencer in Dubai says failure is best school she attended
Dubai: Emirati Sara Al Madani, 35, dropped out of college, but that didn’t stop her from achieving name, fame and success in the UAE.
“Education and information are available everywhere. Life teaches you other things too. Ultimately, it’s your own motivation, ambition and persistence that drives you to success, ”says Sara, Dubai-based serial entrepreneur, blogger and influencer.
Earn money at age 15
Sara Al Madani says she started working when she was only 15 years old.
“My dad always told me that I was bigger than my age and that I would do things differently from other kids. I think I lived up to his expectations. When I was 15, I became an entrepreneur by launching my fashion brand specializing in personalized abayas for women, ”she recounted how she started it all.
With a father who spotted the difference in his daughter, was it he who financed his start-up at the age of 15?
His response was a quick no.
“I did odd jobs. I participated in public events. I also did modeling. Over time, I had saved Dh 25,000 and put everything into my business, ”said Sara.
“I went shopping for my family, bought candy from stores, and sold it for a higher price to my family and friends to make money. I have always had this entrepreneurial spirit. I don’t know where I got it from, ”she said.
People said that my career and my ambitions would end after the birth of my son … But it was actually the opposite for me. When I had my child, he made me want to do more.
– Sara Al Madani
Sara Al Madani graduated from high school at Sharjah American International School. She later enrolled at the American University of Sharjah where she studied directing and acting.
“At the end of the second year, I had to make the choice to run my own business or focus on my university. So I dropped out of college to pursue my dreams. And the pursuit of her dreams has taken her wherever she is now.
Years later, Sara returned there and completed her film studies at a university in the United States.
“Education is important, but if you don’t have access to the information you are looking for, it is useless,” she says.
Sara Al Madani started her fashion business with a fashion line in her name. She has created outfits for prominent clients and celebrities including Madonna (when the singer visited the United Arab Emirates in 2012) and Stephani McMahon (WWE Brand Manager when she came to Abu Dhabi for the Special Olympics), among others.
Change the appearance of abayas
Sara specializes in making custom abayas.
“When I was running a business at 16 and managing people in their 40s and 50s,” she recalls.
“My fashion business has reached international levels. For 20 years, I kept the company alive and then I moved on to other professions. For me, learning never ends, ”she said.
“I have never had any experience in fashion but I learned a lot about it by observing things around me.”
“I had a vision. I wanted to empower Emirati women by customizing the abayas according to their needs and style. It was a huge success.”
“I just changed the look of their traditional outfit,” she says.
In 2013, Sara got married. She divorced a year later, after the birth of her son.
“People were saying that my career and my ambitions would end after the birth of my son. They said [after that] your life changes, your dreams are stolen, you stop living, you just start to exist. But it was actually the opposite for me. When I had my child, he made me want to do more. Soon I created seven companies and ventured into industries that I had no prior knowledge or experience. “
Today, all of her businesses are generating good profits, says Sara.
“It’s not at all easy to run a business. There are ups and downs. I closed some businesses because they no longer serve my purpose. New businesses are popping up and I’m always on the lookout for something new and interesting.
After 2014, Sara diversified her portfolio and became a key figure in different fields such as fashion, beauty and entertainment.
In the same year, she was chosen by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, member of the Supreme Council and Sovereign of Sharjah as a member of the board of directors of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, this which makes him the youngest member of the board. Three years later, in 2017, she was selected to serve on the Board of Directors of the UAE SME Council at the Dubai Ministry of Economy.
After her success as a young entrepreneur and businesswoman, Sara was chosen to inspire women in the United Arab Emirates to be more active and self-confident in order to be successful in business. Recognized for her creativity and hard work, she is an honored speaker at many universities, colleges and institutes including Skyline University, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi University, Dubai Campus.
“I believe it is important to be an active member of the community, to inspire the younger generation and to continually share their knowledge and experience. That’s why I spoke in public, sharing my journey with anyone who has a dream and wants to see it come true.
In the face of adversity
In 2014, after her divorce, her business went bankrupt.
“It was a difficult phase in my life. Nothing seemed to be going well. One of the biggest fears of an entrepreneur is the bankruptcy of his business. And there, I was going through that. I decided to face my worst fear and rebuild my path from scratch. The good thing is you can learn from your mistakes – and I haven’t ruined it, ”says Sara.
“I told myself that I had to get back on the road. I started from scratch. So I can start over. Taking risks doesn’t scare me anymore, ”she said of the new resolve that failure had taught her.
“If you want to be successful, information is everywhere. I wentogle how to open a restaurant and started a restaurant. I went google how to open a tech company and opened a business. I read a blog once and became a blogger myself.
Believe it or not, this is exactly how Sara ended up opening seven businesses one after another.
“The UAE is one of the friendliest nations that supports entrepreneurs in any way they can. There is no excuse for someone not to do something they really want to venture into, ”she says.
Currently Sara Al Madani leads and manages five companies in UAE.
Social fish: A marketing, branding and social media consultancy based in Dubai and Los Angeles
Cupid proposal: An event company specializing in proposals, engagements and weddings
Hala Hi: The region’s first platform that allows celebrities to send personal and unique video messages to their fans
Aleksma: A new concept of electric hypercar – this one is in development and not yet launched.
Hello Beautiful : Home beauty services
The Madani family
Madani is the eldest of three children of her parents – father, Abdul Wahab Al Madani and mother, Asma Al Madani. His father is an aerodynamic engineer and currently works as a supply chain manager. Her mother Asma worked as a teacher and retired a few years ago. His son Maktoum is five years old and the apple of his eye.
Her younger sister Hind works for the government while her brother Hamad is an engineer by profession. Her family lives in Sharjah, but they stay in Dubai.
The roots of the Al Madani family are said to go back to Saudi Arabia. “My ancestors lived there years before the formation of the United Arab Emirates.”
What is success for Madani?
“The older you get, the more you realize that success isn’t just about doing something you love and making money from it. Remember that many rich people around the world are depressed. It is therefore important to share your wealth with those who need it. When you see their happiness, it’s very empowering, ”she says.
She said, “Understanding your purpose in life and being clear about it is essential. Letting go of the past, forgiving yourself for putting yourself in situations where you weren’t comfortable are all important feelings to address. This is when you start to have a relationship with yourself and know exactly what you want.
Be the lightworker
Sara claims she is a lightworker. “For the uninitiated, a lightworker is someone who transmutes darkness into light. These are often people who have endured trials or traumas in their lives and who understand that challenges are not meant to break them. Rather, they view these trials as an opportunity for insight and healing, allowing them to pass on their wisdom and experience to others. It’s me. I am an educator, a speaker and I want to transform lives, ”she said.
Sara says she has given 198 speeches in the past three years. She adds that she might be a millionaire today, but her real millions come from making other people happy and changing their lives for the better.
Message for other women
“If you want to be successful, you have to break the chains. Hold fast. Women are always afraid of what people will think or say. It doesn’t matter, in the end. You have to pay your bills. If you’re down, people won’t be there for you. So stay strong and avoid listening to people.
After that ? An electric car
Sara is working with her business partners to build a special electric car.
“It’s an electric car that I’m building in Europe with my business partners. We are working with the best world class engineers and designers to make this dream come true. “