By Rohma Sadaqat
Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Believe in yourself and don’t be discouraged by failure, is the message that Sara Al Madani wants to get across to female entrepreneurs all over the UAE.
The entrepreneur and fashion designer, who is also a board member of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, spoke to Khaleej Times about how the government today increasingly supports women in the business sector, but that there aren’t enough women taking advantage of those opportunities.
“I think the initial piece of advice I would give women starting their own business, is to believe in themselves. If you don’t believe in yourself, any other hurdle will discourage you from continuing,” Al Madani said.
“Don’t be scared to fail, because failure makes you who you are. Always learn from your mistakes; they aren’t there to hurt you, but to actually strengthen you. Be kind and share any knowledge you have with the people around you. I firmly believe that when your surrounding grows, you grow with it.”
Al Madani’s entrepreneurial journey started when she was just 15 years old. She recalls how she wasn’t initially interested in fashion, but was struck with the idea of modernising the abaya.
“I wanted women to be able to wear the abaya, maintain their modesty, but also be extremely fashionable,” she said.
Al Madani further recalled how she didn’t want her parents to fund her business. “I wanted to be able to grow it bottom-up by myself. I didn’t take any financial support from anyone, but instead found other ways to make money — by selling my electronic products and sweets that I would buy initially.
My brand has come a long way from the initial store I started in Ajman. I now have my own store near the Sharjah Ladies Club and my brand has changed from being called Rouge Couture to Sara Al Madani Fashion Design presents Rouge Couture.”