Huda Beauty launches first-ever pop-up in London

The makeup mogul posed for photographs with fans at the event in London. (Getty Images)
Updated 01 December 2019

Huda Beauty launches first-ever pop-up in London

DUBAI: Huda Beauty has opened its first-ever pop-up store — and Iraqi-US makeup mogul Huda Kattan chose London’s Covent Garden as the coveted spot.

Until now, Huda Beauty products have been available online and through brick-and-mortar retailers like Sephora, but the Kattan sisters — including  Global President of Huda Beauty Mona — chose to occupy their own space in London for a limited time during the festive season.

“You guys know I have been obsessed with London for ages, it really holds a special place in my heart and I literally couldn’t think of a more exciting place to have our first ever pop-up!” Huda posted on the brand’s website recently. “I really wanted this to be super special, so my team and I are pulling out all the stops to make this the most fun and immersive pop-up ever.”

“We’re setting up in London’s Covent Garden, and you’ll be able to get your hands on everything from our cult and newest products to limited edition pieces that we created especially for you guys,” she added.

Kattan is based in Dubai, where she runs the Huda Beauty brand and films episodes of her Facebook Watch reality show, “Huda Boss.” She jetted to London for the launch of the pop up on Friday and kicked it all off with a special photoshoot.

“Yesterday was so insane! We kicked off our FIRST EVER pop up! (sic),” she posted on Instagram, alongside a video of her performing a robotic dance onstage at the opening of the pop-up, as fans screamed in the background.

“We wanted to do a huge robotic thing to bring our photo shoot to life, but then I got so nervous! I felt everyone’s energy and it was incredible! My team worked soooo hard on this! Almost 1 year of planning but I couldn’t be happier (sic),” she added.

The pop-up store will be open until Dec. 26 and wary shoppers can even book a shopping appointment to avoid any potential queues.

Huda ranked in the top 40 of Forbes’ 2019 list of the wealthiest self-made female entrepreneurs in the US, with a net worth of $610 million. Clearly, if the crowd of screaming fans at the pop-up launch is anything to judge by, she’s doing something right.

Farm to table: Lebanese initiative ‘From the Villages’ celebrates local talent 

Updated 20 October 2020

Farm to table: Lebanese initiative ‘From the Villages’ celebrates local talent 

DUBAI: In an act of solidarity with Lebanon’s villagers, farmers and local artisans, a group of innovative Lebanese graduates are operating an online platform that provides a wide array of their homemade products and crafts to those residing mainly in Beirut, as well as other cities across the country. 

At a time when a number of businesses were closing down, “From the Villages” was born from the COVID-19 lockdown in May. It all started through a fateful conversation between a few individuals who wanted to share good quality produce and foods from their southern, fertile village of Deir Mimas with others.

“Because people in their villages don’t find markets to sell (at), we thought why don’t we sell this food online?” the e-platform’s managing partner Hani Touma told Arab News. “By using technology and having a platform, they can sell their products and reach a wider range of customers.” 

The team designed their website and launched a couple of days later, with a few available items. Today, its offerings have expanded and clients can access a variety of 25 product categories, which include herbs, dairies, jams, olives, syrups, distillates, soaps and pottery. An eco-friendly project, all of the products are minimally packaged and locally made by nearly 50 artisans and farmers, living in 20 villages, mostly from the south.  

“We’re working with real household people,” said Touma. “Some of the ladies that we work with are 60, 70 years old and this is their only job. It started as a fun project and now it’s growing. We’re helping a lot of the suppliers and they’re having regular income, although it’s going up and down because of the economic situation in Lebanon.” 

Prior to the spread of COVID-19, Lebanon was already suffering from decades-long mismanagement and a financial crisis, in which citizens couldn’t access their bank savings, unemployment and inflation spiked and the Lebanese Lira devalued exponentially. 

In addition, Lebanon stands far from its full potential when it comes to local agricultural production as it imports more than 80 percent of its food items. The efforts of Touma, his business partner Sari Hawa, along with their tightly knit team of experts, are amongst the latest aiming to cultivate a culture of homegrown food concepts through grassroots initiatives.  

“Now, even the products imported have started to be missing from the supermarkets,” explained Touma. “I think this was why ‘From the Villages’ grew very fast, because people were not able to find some of their food – like jams, for example. They were all imported from outside. But now, you have a local product available directly at your doorstep.”

Following the deadly Beirut port explosion on Aug. 4, the “From the Villages” team suspended operations for a month and is currently slowly picking up again by carrying out deliveries twice per week. “Everything is working against us,” said Touma, “but we’re trying to stay on the ground and fix everything.”