Annada is a well-known art/fashion brand on the island and its founder, Nada Alawi, shares her journey and achievements with us.
OHLALA – Tell us a bit about yourself and your fashion brand.
Nada Alawi – I am the founder and the creative director of Annada. The core of my brand is to transform art into fashion accessories and lifestyle creations. I am passionate about creating happy gifting experiences for people and companies to help them feel good and to transfer that feeling to their clients; through art and fashion which consequently impact their lives and expressions. I am also part of the advisory board of The Royal University of Women, College of Art & Design. In the past I held several positions. I am a former board member of the Economic Development Board (EDB) and a former board member of the Bahrain Bourse where I was head of the Executive Committee. I also held the position of President of the Rotary Club of Salmaniya in Bahrain and several board positions there as well as other positions in my 13 years as a member of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO).
OHLALA – What have you achieved that makes you the proudest in your career?
NA – I am proud of every part of my career. I have built a strong base in my business. I like that because my personal value of continuous learning has given me the ability to grow and explore different ideas and expand my company.
OHLALA – What do you think was the biggest challenge you had to face?
NA – Every phase has its challenges, but to overcome them, we have to investigate options and take action to move on to the next stage. I always say running a business is as exciting as the challenges on reality TV.
OHLALA – How do you feel about having conquered so much as a woman?
NA – I enjoy seeing women succeed, and I enjoy befriending these women. I love relationships where there is a nice exchange of knowledge, information and opportunities.
OHLALA – What’s your motto in life?
NA – Just do it (it’s easier said than done).
OHLALA – How do you balance your personal life and work?
NA – Everything comes at an expense. You choose what you want and go for it.
OHLALA – What do you do that allows to you disconnect from work?
NA – I love travelling and discovering new places. I also enjoy good food, reading, writing and outdoor walks in nature, and I think these activities help me disconnect from work and recharge.
OHLALA – What are your future plans for Annada?
NA – Annada is a growing brand with a flagship store, a gallery space and a production atelier for its beautiful products. My brand is stocked in many locations such as Saks Fifth Avenue in the Middle East, The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Dahesh Museum of Arts in New York City, and other places. Our next step is to expand the brand and to franchise the Annada Store and replicate the brand’s successful business model in other countries.
OHLALA – What piece of advice do you give to young ladies out there starting their careers?
NA – Well, I would say work hard and smart. Learn, and apply. Take action because action speaks louder than anything else. And then, of course, make sure people who matter know about your work.