Q&A with Haifa Addas
Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Haifa Addas
How could you describe your career path in few words?
Beautiful and challenging “attached my bio” Started with product management then did the
whole 360 degree – from setting up businesses to a proper startup in an industry am
passionate about. I grew up with a passion and great sense of appreciation for beauty and
glamour. I was also lucky enough to be surrounded by women who inspired me on a daily
bases. My mother, a makeup artist and hair stylist, had an influence on me in every aspect of
my life. My grandmother, who was Miss Lebanon at a very young age and who still had her
hair and makeup perfectly done until her last days, was an example that a woman can take
good care of herself and her image at any age, anytime and anyplace.
As a child I lived in many different countries and learned many cultures - Saudi Arabia, the
Levant, Europe and Canada - which led to a multicultural upbringing in which I discovered
that the demand for beauty is universal. The desire to look good and feel good about oneself is essential for every woman.
As a teenager it was as if I was preparing myself for INSTAGLAM; I was always applying
makeup for my friends, cutting and dying their hair, recommending beauty salons and
hairdressers and makeup artists, and I would help them book appointments in different places
around the world.
As I grew up and entered the work life, I worked as a marketer for luxury brands like L’Oreal,
Lancôme, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani and Helena Rubinstein, and I worked with
celebrities for leading Pan Arab magazines, where I got to take care of the celebrities' beauty needs while they were in town. I also met so many talented professionals, each unique in her/his own way.
I truly came to understand that these professionals have visions, skills, abilities and ambitions.
Whether they were beginners or half way through their careers, these artists all have talents to share and grow.
Half way through my journey, It became pretty clear to me that no matter where, when, or
who, everybody needs to be pretty and glammed from time to time, and more importantly,
everybody has the right to look great and to feel great about themselves, regardless of their
age, circumstances and size of their wallet. Which is where the idea for INSTAGLAM came
in. An online portal that can bring beauty experts together under one roof, and closer to
INSTAGLAM envisions revolutionizing and simplifying the way we use beauty services,
turning around the usual clients-go-to-experts model the other way around. It is my vision and
my hope that as many people as possible, if not the entire world, can get a chance to enjoy the soul-enriching rewards of beauty and glamour. It is also INSTAGLAM’s vision to give artists
the opportunity to reach their potentials in every way possible.
What was your most challenging experience and it has changed your mindset?
There is nothing unusual I would say all Entrepreneurs go through the same
1. Criticism and self-doubt - ideas and doubts soon begin to ask yourself if you are
doing the right thing. This is a natural thing. Establishing a company is not an easy job.
2. Doing a lot of things at the same time: As you start a new business and you don't
have the human resources to help you, the 3 of us do so many things at the same time
and handle different segment of the business
3. Customer Loyalty - Even if you offer the best products or services available in the
market today, finding and keeping customers interested in the service is a big challenge.
Especially since there are many competitions today in the market.
4. Hiring staff is not as easy as it sounds, as a startup ; They must have the competence
to do the work, be faithful, love and understand your brand and be willing to wear
But I would say that the pandemic affected all of us in so many ways, re adjusted our
When you get surprised by unusual or uncertain context, what do you think?
Its always good to be faced with challenges to pivot and reevaluate your business its
good learning and experience builds strength and muscles
I learned few lessons along the way:
Believe in your dream. The road is full of ups and down, so believing in the business
and yourself is crucial. Perseverance, perseverance, perseverance.
Surround yourself with people, who share your vision, you are as good as your team.
Pace yourself. Entrepreneurship is a 24/7 job. Managing your time and priorities
correctly will set the pace. Balance is key.
Be open to change. Every business has a period of trial and error, so being flexible is
You will think about giving up many times. Walk away, get some rest and refocus.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to your community to plug in all the
available resources. You can also find a mentor to help guide you.
When choosing a partner, be very selective. Your best friend, your sister, or your
cousin might be great companions, but are they the right fit for the job? If you are
already in partnership, don’t feel stuck. Have that difficult conversation and move on,
letting go is part of the process.
What’s the key success factor for a female entrepreneur in cross cultural context based on your experience?
Honestly am not sure if its different for male but I think the entrepreneurial journey is the
same for both sex. That said, the UAE is a great place for startups. There is a vibrant
community in the UAE that is thirsty for knowledge and success, and also many
incubators and mentors willing to offer guidance and help. There are also plenty of
government and accelerator programs that you can apply for, you just have to know where
to look and have an unwavering passion for launching your business.
You need to have the passion for what you do and love it cause its not easy and it needs a
lot of work and dedication until you see any return on investment with your time and
Based on your experience, what’s the key success factor for a female leader / manager?
Persistence and hard work from every member of INSTAGLAM team, we are all aligned
and have the same vision, always looking forward. We look at every challenge as an
Always have a purpose or intention on why are you doing what you are doing
Educate yourself and read as much as you can about success stories and what it takes