Soukaina of Meltoo interviewing Fatma Al Mulla

Melltoo, a Dubai based startup, organised a workshop for budding entrepreneurs, fashionistas and bloggers, titled Instagram Entrepreneurship: The Key to Succeeding in Style.

Speakers at the event included Fatima Al Mulla – founder of the FMM Brand, Ayesha Siddequa – founder of the FF Brand and Latifa Al Shamsi – founder of the ByLatifa Al Shamsi Brand.

These women have been running their businesses successfully in the region, and had some great tips for people looking to venture into the fashion business via the online route.

Some interesting bits from Mulla’s interview and panel discussion with all three:

Tricks of trade:

Not everyone will understand or support you. But you need to believe in yourself and remain steadfast.

Mulla: “When I told my dad I want to design t-shirts, he got me a booth at Global Village.”

“Be patient. Believe in yourself and your brand. Don’t allow negative comments ruin your day.”

Shamsi: “Be consistent. Even if you fail, still keeping going. If things go wrong, let it be. Start again.”

Always have a plan B and keep options handy. Always.

Mulla: “The first time I made my t-shirts, my supplier left. Just left. So always have a plan B.”

Stay abreast trends and happenings in the industry you are in.

Siddequa: “Follow people who like the things you like. Step One.”

Hashtag is an important element. Know what works and is trending.

Mulla: “With Instagram, you have be specific and consistent.”

Your business account on Instagram needs to have a little bit of your personality and glimpse of your life. Most importantly, you must know where to draw the line to keep business and personal lives separate.

Shamsi: “Put a bit of yourself. You are your brand.”

Interesting to note:

Stay relevant when it comes to hashtags. Relevant and current.

Shamsi: “For me, a white wall with one floral painting is better than a floral wall with one small white painting.”

Enjoy what you do. When work becomes fun, it is half the job done.

Siddequa: “Go crazy. Have fun. Do something creative. Think outside the box.”

Breaking news:

FMM by Fatma Al Mulla will be hosting a fashion show for her brand in September 2015. It is tentative but we are uber excited already!

P.S. Another GREAT inspiration I met at the event was Sharene Lee, co-founder, Melltoo Market. And here’s what you need to read to know what this woman is an absolute rockstar!