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- Huda Kattan, the beauty influencer and self-made millionaire behind the cosmetics line Huda Beauty, spoke to Business Insider, with her sister Mona, on their advice for aspiring influencers.
- Huda has a net worth of $610 million, according to Forbes, sourced primarily from the cosmetics company that she runs with her family.
- In the interview, the sisters shared their tips for influencers who want to start a business, saying it’s best to "just start," to "surround yourself with a good group," and to "get your legal work right from day one," among other pieces of advice.
- Click here for more BI Prime stories.
35-year-old Huda Kattan, the self-made beauty mogul worth over $600 million, is one of the most successful influencers of all time and has a whopping 38 million Instagram followers.
Kattan’s rise started in 2010, when she launched her blog. That was well before "influencer" was considered a job title and the same year that Instagram debuted. Her empire really began to take off when she started her makeup line in 2013 (when she couldn’t find false eyelashes to buy, she said).
That cosmetics company, Huda Beauty, which she started with her two sisters (Mona and Alya) after quitting her job in finance, has become her main source of wealth. It has catapulted her net worth to an estimated $610 million, according to Forbes.
"Today, Huda Beauty sells more than 140 products from eyeshadow pallets to lip gloss, which bring in at least $250 million in annual sales," according to Forbes. "Private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners acquired a small minority stake at the end of 2017 in a deal that valued the company at $1.2 billion."
Huda Beauty is sold through the major cosmetics retailer, Sephora, and the Kattans now have a Facebook Watch original series, "Huda Boss," which follows their personal and professional lives.
In an interview with Business Insider, Huda, the CEO of Huda Beauty, and her sister Mona, shared their tips for influencers who want to start a business.
1. Just start!
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"One piece of advice that Mona gave me, which to me still holds true, is to start," Huda told Business Insider. "I think a lot of people overthink things," she said, and remembers writing down names of popular beauty bloggers she wished to be like, in a journal when she first launched her blog. She said she initially thought, "that could never happen" and told herself to "be realistic."
"I think it’s really important just to get started," she said. "Know what your goals are, know your north star, just be diligent, relentless."
Huda said she doesn’t think it makes sense to compare yourself to people who are on their "day 100" when you’re at your "day one."
2. Surround yourself with a good group and get a ‘cheerleader’
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The Kattan sisters agreed that what’s helped them the most throughout their success in business has been having a good group of people around them.
"You need a cheerleader," Mona said, as Huda quickly confirmed that your "group" doesn’t have to be family like theirs is. A close friend or mentor can work too, because when you get into entrepreneurship, you need to "have someone cheering you on because it gets so rough," Huda said.
And if there’s no one to turn to, cheer yourself on, Huda said. A fan of journaling as a form of self reflection, she said that writing down thoughts and ideas can help when you feel lost.
"I think sometimes you need to find your own way of cheering yourself on, too," Huda said.
3. Get your legal work right from day one
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One of the worst mistakes the sisters have seen people in the industry mess up on – especially startups, they added — is when a company’s accounting and legal services aren’t set up properly.
"Get your legal work right from day one," Mona said.
The sisters said that straightening out the legal aspects of their business was something they worked to take care of early on, and Huda added her early interest in studying law helped with that.
"A lot of people think good lawyers are expensive," Mona said. "But bad lawyers are much more expensive in the end. Not having that right will screw you up later on."
For more on the business of being an influencer, and a breakdown of how they make their money, check out these Business Insider Prime stories below:
- An Instagram influencer breaks down how much brands pay for sponsored posts, starting at 10,000 followers
- $300 million Cameo hired a TikTok exec to lead its international expansion, as the celeb shoutout app looks to add Bollywood and K-Pop stars
- Netflix’s rivals like Amazon and Hulu are slowly eating away at its US market share, and Disney Plus is about to take its seat at the table