What It Really Takes To Be…A Mumpreneur

BY Naomi Chadderton / Jun 4 2019 / 18:19 PM

Founder of multi-award-winning creative photography & videography brand Fishfayce and dedicated mother, Zeina Abdalla proves that you can really have it all…

What It Really Takes To Be…A Mumpreneur

In a nutshell, my job involves... coming up with new concepts, business development and marketing my business. I oversee day-to-day activities with my team and plan details for upcoming projects.

When I was little, I wanted to… work in the fashion world and run my own business. I was very ambitious and hardworking. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial itch – even when I was a kid, I loved fashion – I’d even design friendship bracelets and sell them to the kids at school. In university, I started my own fashion brand which then moved onto working at the headquarters of Aldo and then BCBGMAXAZRIA. When I moved to Dubai, I worked in PR and soon after started fishfayce. I didn’t end up in the fashion world directly but I’m lucky to have them as clients. I guess in the end, I got the best of both worlds.

I got into this industry… by chance. The idea of fishfayce was born when I was planning my wedding and brainstorming for alternatives to traditional photography. I wanted an interactive photo booth where guests could photograph themselves and be a part of the wedding. When enthralled guests started asking how they could have the technology at their own events, I knew I had a business model on my hands.

Zeina Abdalla

I love what I do because… I get to be creative, travel, work with dream clients and meet new people.

The best part of my day is… taking my daughter to work. I’ve started to take her to the office and meetings with me every day. I get to spend time with her and she also gets to meet new people.

The hardest part of my day is… finishing all my tasks on my to-do list. I feel like it never ends and because my work day is split in half (I work from 8:30am-1pm and then again from 8pm-11pm) so it takes me double the time to finish my work. However, I do power through it and it feels excellent to tick tasks off my list at the end of the day!

The aspect of my job that always surprises people is… it’s not as glamorous as it looks or sounds. When I first started fishfayce, I was extremely hands-on and worked 24/7. I didn’t have a social life, worked non-stop and barely slept. Also, people always think being your own boss is great since you get to have flexible work hours etc. However, what most people don’t know is that you actually end up working more than you ever did and you can never really switch off. Because I love being my own boss and what I do, it doesn’t bother me and doesn’t feel like work. The only part that is tough is completely switching off when I am home with my kids. This is something I’m still trying to figure out.

The three skills that help me succeed are… positivity, resilience and hard work. You have to make things happen for yourself and not wait for it to happen for you. If you want to do something, then you have to go after it. It’s ok if it fails or doesn’t go as planned.

The biggest change in my industry at the moment is… the speed that things happen and evolve in. Because of social media/technology, things are moving extremely quickly and you need to do things in real time. 

My role models are… Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow. I’m so impressed with the companies they’ve built.

The one thing I wish I’d known when I started out is… to never cut corners. It’s easy to make decisions that seem easier, but it ends up taking double the time when it’s not done right the first time.

Anyone wanting to do my job should… begin by getting experience in the corporate world/industry. I came from a PR background working in an international PR first which gave me a solid foundation in the work force. I learned a lot, worked hard and moved my way up.

In 10 years’ time… I’d like to build more businesses and continue to do what I love.

Watch our Quick Fire Questions With Yara Shahidi here