Meet Mona Kattan, businesswoman, co-founder of Huda Beauty, and founder of The Dollhouse, a luxe full-service salon based in Dubai.
Mona has always loved entrepreneurship and creating things, which is what made her so passionate about starting a business of her own. Mona wanted to start a salon before she went to university, but was advised by her father to finish school first. Mona studied Finance at the American University of Sharjah, so that she could have a better understanding of business. After graduating, she wanted to start her salon right away, but her dad suggested that she have experience in the field, so Mona took a job in Finance for a year, before realizing that it wasn't for her. At 24, she started a PR agency, which helped her to get familiar with branding and marketing, understand how companies work, and helped her build a great network.
A year later, Mona started The Dollhouse with a friend, which had come together perfectly. She did PR for The Dollhouse in its early days, and would run concept creation and strategy, guest list management, and promotion. She was very involved and hands on, taking care of even the smallest tasks, but in the end, she had so many exciting plans for The Dollhouse and Huda Beauty, which forced her to stop micro-managing and work on the bigger picture.
Mona loves grooming even more than she loves makeup, she's obsessed with the entire process. What motivated Mona to start her own salon, was that she could never find one that was just right. "I could never find a salon that had great nails, great hair, awesome henna, and amazing massages all in one place" says Mona.
A typical day for Mona always starts with coffee. She'll run through all of her messages and see what's urgent, then set up an action list and plan out all of the really important pending tasks and projects. She spends her first half of the day working on Huda Beauty, and focuses on The Dollhouse in the afternoon. When she gets the time, she likes to come up with cool ideas for her social media accounts and create fun content for her Instagram. In the evenings, Mona will read a book or listen to an audiobook. To keep stress at bay, she has a standing weekly massage appointment. "If I miss it, I feel off balance," Mona says of her routine, "and I have to get a blow dry and my nails done weekly too. Having my nails done is a must, you can tell the state of my life by my nails - If my nails are a mess, I'm a mess!"
When coming up with new business ideas, Mona credits her ability to spot opportunities. "When you notice something isn't being done, that's when you need to take action," says Mona.
When Mona helped Huda create Huda Beauty (read more here), it started with Huda creating unique lash designs that were unlike anything else. Mona felt that there was potential to create a great brand, and that it would be a chance to turn Huda's blog into an empire. Mona never wants to create something that was already done, unless she felt she could do it better, and really add value to it, whether that be better quality, better price, or better access.
Looking forward, Mona only wishes to continue growing The Dollhouse and Huda Beauty. As both business are expanding quickly, Mona and the team have so many plans, and she wants to keep moving forward in a positive direction. Mona told me that while there isn't too much she can give away about upcoming projects, she's very excited for everyone to try the new Huda Beauty foundation that will be launching later this year and for The Dollhouse to open two new branches in Dubai.