Beauty business an eye-opener for Dubai entrepreneur

Money and me: Sara Abdulrazak, managing director of the Sisters Beauty Lounge, ventured on the entrepreneurial path with the backing of her mother.

Sara Abdulrazak ventured on the entrepreneurial path with the backing of her mother, Shirin. Eight years ago, her mother saw a gap in the local beauty market and opened the first Sisters Beauty Lounge branch in Jumeirah. The concept grew out of a need for combining beauty services at one place. Armed with her work experience and the success of the first branch, Sara Abdulrazak decided to leave Dubai Holding, where she was working, and opened the beauty lounge's flagship branch at The Dubai Mall. At the store, customers can get a quick manicure, pedicure, a luxury facial and massage along with a haircut. The UAE national is now the managing director of Sisters Beauty Lounge.

How would you describe your financial journey so far?

Fortunately I jumped on the wave of the thriving beauty business where we were able to use the business's profits to keep expanding and opening more branches. It has been [an] eye-opener to handle the finances of a business that is one's own in comparison to spending the money of a large organisation. Let us just say an employee of a company gets a lot more sleep at night than a business owner.

Are you a spender or a saver? Why?

Unfortunately I am a spender. I love to spend on my loved ones, be it birthday events, gifts or spoiling my niece and nephews. There is just too much love to spread. It is also hard to save in Dubai, being in a city of great temptations and plenty of places to spend your money. However, I only spend what I am able to afford and will never fall prey to many financial institutions that try to push us to spend more than we can.

What is your philosophy regarding money?

It is most important to secure your future, be it an investment or share in a company or a nest egg that you put money away into. Getting old broke is not fun. Work hard in your youth, save money and then you can retire in comfort and peace well deserved. Also most importantly, do not spend more than you make.

Did you make any financial mistakes along the way? How did you recover?

Fortunately with the backing of my mother, a shrewd entrepreneur and business woman, I am fortunate to not have made any major mistakes with the business. Small financial decisions in error have occurred when I first joined the company due to lack of experience, but it was never anything large. For example, paying an individual upfront and they were not able to deliver. I am sure this occurred too many times during the crisis when people were closing down their companies and leaving the country.

Do you believe in planning for the future? Why?

You never know what the future holds and what situation you will find yourself in. Having money saved away in any form is a safety blanket for life.

Is money important to you? Why?

Other than survival, money is important to me to be able to experience life to the fullest and be able to provide for my future children to have a good life as well as my relatives who grow older and are not able to provide for themselves. It is a cycle of life that we live in where we are given good lives as children and then do the same for our parents and our own children.

What is your idea of financial freedom?

To have a comfortable home and ability to travel the world, while still being able to provide my future children with the best education and eventually my parents, the best medical care.

What do you enjoy spending money on?

It is usually my loved family and friends. Other than that, it is definitely a trip abroad. A life without travelling to new places and new cultures is a very dull life and we need to get out every so often and live in it.