For Ras Al Khaimah-based Emirati influencer and entrepreneur Mona Tajarbi, the road to success wasn’t easy. She was juggling a full-time job with a family but had the impulse to do something more, and with extreme focus on her vision and determination to override all obstacles, has now firmly established herself in the world of beauty blogging and started up her own brand, Blink.
Mona who now has over 500,000 followers on Instagram and has won several awards, credits the support of her family and friends for her accomplishments and in an online world increasingly shaped by influencers, says she would never promote a brand unless she completely believes in it.
“I was the first female blogger from RAK, and my content was really for the people of RAK, because they loved to see my experiences - whether it was to do with salons, make-up or other things.”
From starting out with the aim of serving the RAK community, her philosophy now is firm as far as brands are concerned. “If I’m convinced about a brand I will do it from my heart. I have to be convinced of what I’m doing, then I can transfer the same experience to my followers.”
Mona is all praise for the experience of being a woman entrepreneur in the UAE. “It’s a fantastic and wonderful experience being a female entrepreneur. I really find that there are many supportive government entities, and of course our leaders are always with us. They always give us positive vibes.”
Her blogging journey started in 2016 when her family and friends “started to accept” that she wanted to do something along those lines. “I saw that they are appreciating what I’m doing, so I started to explore more. I started my blogging career by showing only half of my face - people just knew me by my voice.”
After a couple of months, spurred by people’s reactions to her posts, she decided to show her face. “I believe that when people are looking at your face, they can understand and be convinced more. They see your expressions and know that you are talking with faith - so that really matters. Also, I thought that in the future I might have collaborations with many people who want me to show my face, so why not convince my family from now itself.”
Starting out in this field wasn’t easy for Mona but she admitted she was ready for the challenge.
“Whenever you start from scratch it’s really difficult to complete something that you started. It was very hard to go from one hundred followers to one hundred thousand followers. But I challenged myself that I will reach what I want. My husband was very supportive actually.”
One of the challenges she faced was people who found the concept of a lady being a social media influencer hard to accept. “But in my case I tried my best to never lose my customs and traditions,” she said, adding that her genuineness was what drew people to her.
She came upon the idea for her brand, Blink, during the Covid pandemic.
“In March 2020, work from home was announced. I was pregnant at that time with my second baby and I was sitting at home because of the Covid; I talked with my husband and said that if I have a business at least the people would order online while sitting at home during Covid times.”
Simplicity is at the heart of her brand whose name was inspired by the suddenness of occurrences during the pandemic.
“I love to be simple, with simple make-up, simple lashes and very nice, light colours; I decided to start my beauty line Blink - because I believed that everything changed in a blink, like what happened with me in 2020! I was working since the beginning of the year on some of the lashes and the styles, but after my delivery I was able to communicate more with people outside of UAE, especially in China and Korea and Europe. I’m still working on many exciting things.”
She spoke about why she is in love with lashes. “I believe when you wear lashes without make-up, your face will look cute (laughs).”
Mona is one busy lady - apart from working as an influencer she is also an Ambassador of Awareness for Smart Cells Middle East. “I am so happy to be a part of it because at that time I was pregnant and I do believe stem cells are really important to save your child’s life in the future.” She is happy to have had a positive impact on people through this position. Mona is an Ambassador of Hope as well for the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Foundation. “People who want financial support can apply for it through the program we have in Ras Al Khaimah,” she said.
Mona encourages one and all to visit RAK and support local enterprises like restaurants by the seaside. She also is all praise for Jebel Jais, the highest point in the UAE. “I do love to go places which are really special and operated locally, so we can support them as well,” she shared.
What kind of life lessons have you learned from the pandemic?
You have to be safe and healthy for your family and for your kids. Also, I found many good friends in this pandemic and I do believe that in this situation if you find friends, it means they are real.
You have two children as well as a full-time job. What inspires you on a daily basis to balance and manage it all?
I have a full-time job from 8am-4pm in a government entity. After that I am doing my work as an influencer. It’s really hard to manage between the two of them but Alhamdullilah my kids they are small but supportive - they know that their mother is working! But what actually inspires me to complete what I started is my struggle. When I started out to be an influencer it was really a dream. Anytime when I’m down and I’m having negative vibes, I remember the struggle, and that gives me power because at that time it was the real Mona working on herself.
MAKE-UP TIPS FROM MONA
*Choose the best lash shape that will match your face without make-up
*Choose very light and nice colours which are really basic
*Lipstick should look very natural (this is for everyday use)
TUTORIAL REQUIRES ‘CALMNESS’
How long does it take to film and post a make-up tutorial?
Of course the viewer sees only a minute, or two… or ten… actually it takes one to three hours. I make many make-up tutorials, sometimes with make-up artists who are friends and it takes time because you need to do transitions, sometimes there are mistakes while filming the video, so one has to concentrate, and the whole thing is really difficult - it requires calmness!
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