IN PARTNERSHIP: Mirna Trad is an individual with an unwavering spirit, determined to succeed.
Despite the obstacles she faced, she has gone on to write two impactful books, using her own life experiences to inspire others.
She’s also set to launch her own skincare brand later this year. In this interview with Emirates Woman, Trad shares the highs and lows of her entrepreneurial journey and how she hopes to help others all around the world.
Talk us through your career.
My career started at a very young age due to financial issues in my country and family. I started as a waitress at the age of 14 and continued working in the hospitality industry until I graduated from college. I then moved into the corporate world working for hospitals and construction companies and that lead me into a managerial position, but it didn’t fulfil my potential and dreams. However, I was afraid to take the first step, but once COVID-19 started it was a sign that I needed to focus on myself and fulfil my goals. Thus, I decided to make my first dream come true – becoming an author. Due to the lockdown, I wrote my two books in a short period.
The first book, After Midnight, is a biography of my life as a working teenager. The second is Viva, which tells the story of a young woman facing the challenges of following her dreams to success and the problems she faces with her family and society. Currently, I’m deeply committed to two important subjects I’m passionate about female empowerment in the Middle East and animal welfare which still needs a lot of education in this region.
My plan is to organize seminars in the future, be it virtual or live, related to these two subjects. I’m also establishing my skincare brand which will be organic and cruelty-free. The brand is inspired by natural beauty and the resources of the tropical environment in countries such as Thailand and Nepal. The brand, which will be called ‘Everly Ever After’, is also dedicated to women all over the world.
How did your childhood shape your outlook on life and approach to business?
Since I was a teen, I was convinced that I would never achieve anything without a fight as my family’s financial situation wasn’t perfect. I was also working in the hospitality industry, especially in the night scene, in a country that takes advantage of young women that are trying to make their lives better. Thus, these situations shaped me to be a very goal-oriented person that faces any challenge head-on, trying to find the best solution to succeed. Viva is a story of a young woman facing challenges to achieve her goals to be successful and the problems she faces with her family and societal pressures. The young woman comes from a family that struggles with financial hardship. In order to escape this quickly, she marries her husband, but it ends up being an unhappy marriage. It tells the story of her finding her feet, focusing on her dreams, and believing in her potential, leading her to financial stability and independence. The choice is hard, especially for a young woman where main duty in society has been to make others happy; her parents and siblings as a young girl and then her husband and children as an adult, disregarding all her hopes and dreams.
What inspiration do you hope people take from your books?
My mission is to shed light on the issues that all women are facing, especially the taboo subjects that no one is highlighting in the region including depression, addictions, and the effect of “fake” social media. I am to give hope to others by sharing real stories and ideas for a brighter and more successful future for women in our region. I also hope to aim to shed light on the serious issue – one that is close to my heart – of animal cruelty that many humans neglect most of the time. The ideas explored in my books are inspired by my own experiences in life. Unfortunately, no one at the time helped me realise that I am not alone and gave me the strength I needed to continue with my fight to reach my goals, so I hope I can be that inspiration to many.
What is a philosophy that you live by in your professional life?
My philosophy is not to be afraid to live up to your dreams and focus only on your goals. Those who love you will be by your side and toxic individuals may try to disrupt your plans, but they will never succeed. Always trust yourself.
What are your plans for building your own business?
I have started this from a passion of mine which is natural skincare. Going back to our roots in nature, my brand will avoid using chemicals that are bad for our health in the long run. Thus, I started building a connection with suppliers mostly in tropical countries that are the richest when it comes to organic herbs. The brand is also focused on helping women in their communities. We are now focusing on the marketing side of the business, which focuses on the importance of using organic products, which are also cruelty-free. We aim to have our products available online before the end of 2022.
“In my opinion an entrepreneur is one who dares to follow their dreams.”
How has your life impacted the message you hope to share with others?
My rough start as a teenager made me an activist for women’s rights, especially in the Middle East. It led me to write my books to highlight the issues that many women face on a daily basis. On my social media platforms, I also focus on many taboo subjects to show women they are not alone and that they will be able to make it someday. Part of my work is also dedicated- ed to my infinite love of animals since they don’t have a voice to express the injustice they face. These matters led me to base my future company on helping women and making them my suppliers, especially since I had to match it with products that are cruelty-free with no animal testing.
Looking back over your career, can you tell us about three challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The first and the biggest hurdle I’ve had to overcome was going against society’s rules. I’ve had to free my thoughts and forget the bad situations that I encountered as a teenager. The second is putting my feelings aside when it comes to business. As women, we can be sensitive creatures and to survive in the business world, we must be tough. Finally, the biggest challenge has been to put me first and then help others along the way because as I grow, my help will be more impactful and meaningful.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, what have been the key milestones?
As a writer and through my social media platforms, I have been able to help many women by sharing my experiences. I have received numerous messages sharing their experiences and their thanks. Being able to help people is the biggest milestone.
Do you have any mentors who have helped you throughout your career?
My inspiration has been from the strong women working in different fields. It made me think about myself, focus on becoming the person I have always dreamt of being and forget about the negative thoughts, to learn about my potential and how to develop it.
This is The Entrepreneur Issue – what does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
In my opinion, an entrepreneur is a person who dares to follow their dreams and will do everything in their power to make them happen.
September’s – The Entrepreneur Issue – Download Now
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