In addition to holding prestigious positions such as being appointed the youngest member of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and belonging to other top bodies, Sara Al Madani is also a fashion designer, a restaurant owner, a single mom and owner of a creative consultancy firm. The diverse experience of the self-confessed risk-taker is a testament to her spirit of taking things head-on through exploration with the “nothing is impossible” outlook. She chats with BTW about her brand Sara Al Madani Fashion and her other pursuits.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a very simple woman who is creative, curious and stubborn. I embrace failure because it creates who you are. I am a fashion designer, a restaurant owner, a single mom and I own a creative consultancy that sells creative ideas. I also hold these government titles: Board member at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Board Member at the shjSEEN Board of Trustees and Board Member of the SME Projects and Enterprise Council.
How did you establish Rouge Couture? And why fashion?
My brand was previously called Rouge Couture, now it’s
called Sara Al Madani Fashion design. I started my label when I was 15 years old. My vision was to make the Arabic woman and her own traditional clothes part of the fashion industry. To create a bridge between culture and modern fashion but yet keep it modest.
How has it grown over the years?
My brand is 15 years old, we grew up and evolved together throughout the years. We also changed and adapted to change because adapting is part of being successful.
How did you start getting involved with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry?
When you work hard, it pays off and your work will be recognized. In 2014, I was selected by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi as a board member at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, making me the youngest on the board.
What does it mean to you, to be elected the youngest board member?
It means everything, it means trust, vision, recognition and much more. I won’t deny that it’s a big responsibility but with this responsibility comes a lot of learning and experience. I might be the youngest on the board but I am heard, trusted and treated like everybody else. This is leadership.
What has the chamber allowed you to do?
We have to work in the board in an unselfish way for the sake of Sharjah and the chamber. We are also involved in taking, approving and making decisions that are related to strategy, finance and improvement.
What do you hope to accomplish in 2017?
So much, it’s endless. I want to grow more, learn more, help more and achieve more.
What challenge have you faced as a board member?
I am a fast Lerner, but my only challenge was remembering names of people in the government and private sector (laughs). I am partially dyslexic.
In your opinion, how has entrepreneurship evolved
in the UAE?
It’s growing immensely and the results are recognized. For Sharjah we have seen a double digit number change in the GDP in the past two years and that’s due to all the initiatives that were launched to support entrepreneurship. At the Sharjah Chamber and industry we launched an initiative called ShjSEEN that is creating a big movement for startups all around the world without any costs. To know more visit www.shjseen.org
What are some of your hobbies?
To be honest, I’m a daredevil and I love trying new things and doing different things all the time. I’m also an I adrenaline junkie so you’d see me do extreme sports. I don’t have one hobby because I love discovering things. I am a curious person.
Anything you would like to tell our BTW readers?
A journalist once asked me “What is your message to all the young dynamic UAE residents especially females that look up to you?”. Find your passion, believe in yourself, trust your knowledge, take risks and follow your dreams. Nothing is impossible. It’s all possible only if you want it to be. You
are your own wall so don’t stop yourself from proceeding towards success. And once you do succeed, please don’t
forget to help the people around you because success is based on two things, what did you do to help yourself and what did you do to help others.”