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Q&A with Haifa Addas

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

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

anyone’s reach.

 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

different hats.

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

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