Sisters Natalya and Reem Kanj may have found their success on social media, but it’s their decision to support other bright stars in the region that motivated them to launch their own talent agency Ego & East.
What inspired Ego & East?
We launched Ego & East to offer talents a nurturing space to feel secure and well managed with full transparency intact. It was actually born out of a negative experience that we had whilst signed to another agency. We thought it could be done better and we believed in it so much that we just created it.
How has the brand evolved?
We have been working really hard to make it more than just a talent management company. We believe in good management, good energy and cultivating that through an overall positive message on our social media and brand ethos. We recently starting offering playlists to share our taste in music. We’ll be launching a product line very soon and we collaborate with peers in the industry to share book recommendations, for example.
What have been the highlights so far?
Cultivating our ethos into the brand has been our biggest highlight, we knew what we wanted when we started Ego & East and it’s progressively reflecting that every day. Making our talents happy and participating in shaping their careers is such a nice feeling. What challenges did you face starting out? Working with your sister is not an easy process from the offset, it definitely was a challenge. But we’ve grown to understand each other’s strengths and find a nice flow.
How your personal experiences with social media help shape your business?
Our experience as influencers puts us in a position to better understand the talents whom we represent. It allows us to put ourselves in their shoes and really gauge what their expectations are for the outcome. What have you learnt about each other from working together? We’ve learned each others’ strengths, we’ve learned how to collaborate and be efficient, but mostly we’ve learned how to celebrate each other in a completely new way.
What would you say to someone who is looking to turn their social media channel into a career?
Having an end goal is essential, you have to know why you’re doing this and what you want to get out of it. We always strive to educate our talents that it’s not just about the numbers, it goes beyond that. Having substance and a clear path for your next move is just as essential as garnering a million followers. For us at Ego & East, it’s all about going from Content to Commerce.
How do you predict the world of social media marketing evolving in the region?
We definitely think it’s here to stay, and as the years progress and the industry itself matures, social media will be a space for key messaging and education. It’s all about utilising it for good and absorbing it in ways which make you feel good, however, that starts with the individuals’ take on it and not only what the app offers. You have to make an effort to filter out what you want and don’t want.
What is your favourite place in Dubai?
We love going to the beach. It’s the best part of living in this city.
Which brands can we find in your wardrobe?
A lot of Reformation, we love their sustainable approach to fashion. & Other Stories for basics and vintage Levi’s.
Is there something you borrowed from each other but never gave back?
Natalya claims I ‘gave’ her a pair of Gucci loafers. Reem has been kind enough to adopt several pairs of my sunglasses.
With this being our sisterhood issue, how can women support each other more in this industry?
By just that, giving support. It’s so cool when we show up for one another, share in each other’s success, find ways to collaborate and just be happy for one another’s success and growth in general.
– For more about Dubai’s lifestyle, news and fashion scene follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram