THE UNSTOPPABLE ARAB WOMAN – H.E. SARA AL MADANI
She has been an entrepreneur ever since she was born, selling candy to other kids and massages to family members around her. She is the founder and CEO of many businesses, including a restaurant and a fashion couture. She is also the youngest member of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. If you have not guessed already, her name is H.E. Sara Al Madani. I am more than honored to have her with me today as I always look up to real, genuine people who believe in themselves and make their own roadmap to success. It is also my constant endeavour to feature such people in my segments who may have a positive influence on others.
The first time I met Sara, I was struck by her confidence, what she said and how she spoke. She presented herself in such a clear and self-assured way, and I directly knew this woman is a force to be reckoned with. When she was just 15, she opened her first store, a local fashion business that was inspired by her desire to transform the traditional Abaya. She asked herself: Why can’t I make an Arab woman be part of the fashion industry with the Abaya on instead of just under it?
Soon afterwards, she began experimenting with the details and designs of Abayas, and she earned the title “The Abaya Engineer.” Mixing tradition with fashion is always risky and very rarely acceptable, but Sara’s success made her stronger and ready to take on other things.
I could immediately tell that she had a passionate and competitive spirit, and that is why I was not surprised when she said she opened her restaurant because some chefs simply told her she could not because she lacked a background in Food and Business. So what did Sarah do? She went home, googled ‘how to open a restaurant,’ and opened one. As simple as that, or at least that is how she makes it seem.
Moreover, because that was not enough for the Renaissance woman Sara, she later opened a creative consultancy that sells creative ideas to other businesses or people. “A lot of people say I work hard and nobody notices. That is not true,” said Sara. “There’s someone somewhere paying attention to you, so don’t stop.”
There’s so much you can do as one individual, and we all have ideas and dreams, but the challenge lies in giving them shape and life, and that is where Sarah comes as an inspiration. She has broken many stereotypes, which she attributes to finding her true purpose in life: helping others. That was her “Aha” moment – the moment that made her a lighter, happier, and more positive person. According to Sara, the minute you break the stereotype is the minute you shine, discover and unlock yourself. Here’s a little-known fact to most of you. Do you know who owns the biggest caviar farm in the world? It is an Emirati woman. A woman who did not settle for being just a woman in a man’s world.
Sara finds that she is blessed to be in the UAE when it comes to women’s rights because our rulers have made it clear that women come first and belong everywhere and that is what makes her happy and helps her feel like she is supported.
She believes failure is a missing ingredient. If you know what it is, then you have the ingredients to start all over again. She advises people to take what goes wrong and make it fix you, not damage you even more.
Her biggest accomplishment? Her son. When you become a mother, you sit down and say, “what was I thinking?” To Sara, all her businesses and everything she is done is nothing compared to giving life. Her son and her staff inspire her to do bigger and better. She is responsible for over the homes of over 75 people, so needless to say she has a lot on her shoulder.
For the million dollar question, her work life balance, Sara says that is a myth, and there’s no such thing. Instead, you create the balance and always give as much as you can. It is the quality of your time together rather than the quantity. Because if you are not happy, you carry negative energy around and pass it on to your kids.
Sara says she is inspired and motivated by so many people, but no one compares to his Highness Sheikh Mohammed, and I fully agree with her when she says his energy is unbelievably contagious, and that his aura is so strong. When he leaves the room, it is like you have a piece of him on you and you do not have to physically meet him to feel it.
You must watch the video for yourself, or my writing would just get longer…
Sara taught me so much in this short time I spent with her for this segment. It was like a session that gave me so much positive vibes and good energy. I hope she did the same to you, and I hope you felt inspired and motivated to carry on as a woman living in this day and age.
I would like to hear your stories. How do you break stereotypes and live with a purpose every day?
Love and Health,