Huda Kattan, a social media influencer – turned – entrepreneur, is taking over the beauty industry by building a $1.2 billion beauty brand. Her extremely popular online presence has catapulted her into creating a fantastic beauty brand that rivals long-established beauty companies and challenges non-inclusive beauty standards.
Born and raised in Tennessee to Iraqi parents, Kattan graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a degree in finance but no passion for pursuing a career in it. Reflecting on her life at the time, Kattan started thinking about her impact on the world. “If I do something I’m not passionate about, how am I going to impact the world? And if I am not changing the world in some way then what the hell am I doing?” (CNBC). Fortunately, her sister, Mona, convinced her to go to school to study makeup as it was always a passion of hers. After she got her certificate, Kattan and her husband moved to Dubai, where she started her blog, Huda Beauty. Huda Beauty eventually developed an incredible presence on social media and Youtube. At this point, Huda started creating products of her own, including false eyelashes, for fun which Mona wanted her to start selling. With a loan from her family, in 2013 Kattan launched her lashes which were received with a booming success, proving the prowess Kattan has as an entrepreneur. “[The lashes] sold really fast and it was successful. After that, we knew we had a lot of work to do.” Kattan says (FastCompany).
Kattan pushed her brand forward, learning everything about the business from manufacturing to packaging as they went, and Kattan’s apartment doubled as her warehouse in Huda Beauty’s early days. With Kattan’s determination, skill, and passion for her business, her company blew up over the next five years. By 2018, Huda Beauty offered 140 products in diverse shade ranges, and revenue reached $400 million, doubling every single year. One of the keys to her success was the fact that her followers span the globe. Even Artemis Patrick, the chief merchandising officer at Sephora, said that “It’s rare for one person to be relatable across so many countries and cultures” (CNBC). Huda’s unique power to be authentic on the internet is a testament to her ability to translate what her followers wanted in her business. Her followers have always been Kattan’s top priority, and she never lost sight of that. Huda Beauty scrapped a new concealer because of imperfections in the formula, even though it cost the company $10 million. Kattan takes the high commitment that she makes to her customers very seriously, and makes sure that her products are the best they can be.
Due to all of Kattan’s hard work, she has an estimated net worth of $550 million and landed on Forbes list of America’s richest self-made women in 2018, proving that by following and working hard on her passion, Huda Kattan made a more significant impact than she could ever imagine.