Dr Lamees Hamdan is the founder of Shiffa, a Dubai-based organic skincare brand. In the first part of her exclusive interview with VERTIGO Luxury Magazine, she talked about her successful cosmetics business, the philosophy of Shiffa and her personal beauty goals. Today, in the second part of the interview, Dr Lamees Hamdan talks about her life as a mother of four, her activities for the Guggenheim Museum and her competitors La Prairie, La Mer and Sisley.
Who are your clients?
Most of our clients are ex-La Prairie and La Mer users. They love to use Shiffa because it’s organic and they’re getting better results. Many people think that only vegans use Shiffa products, but that’s not the case at all. Only a very small percentage of our clients lead a totally organic lifestyle. 98 per cent are just normal women who used to buy La Prairie, La Mer and Sisley. They say they get up in the morning and their skin glows.
How did you convince clients of La Prairie, La Mer and Sisley to change?
By word of mouth. We were a small company and had no advertising budget. When Sephora Middle East opened their first shop in Dubai, they included Shiffa in their range of beauty products as a niche brand. In only two months, we became their number one skincare brand. If you can give your clients the results they want, they will talk about it. Many of them don’t even know how pure and organic our products are. They only know that Shiffa is a natural brand, but it’s not . There’s a lot of market and marketing confusion.
You live in Dubai and Los Angeles.
Yes, I do. And I also have houses in Europe. I live in Dubai and I’m from Dubai, therefore I can say that it’s a multinational country. I always thought of Shiffa as a global brand and not as a Dubai or Emirati brand.
What new products are you working on?
I want to launch an organic make-up collection. Therefore, I’m looking for a company specialized in make-up that can create a new make-up collection based on my formulations.
You have a family with four children and you are a successful businesswoman. How do you cope with stress?
I meditate every day for at least 20 minutes, which makes me feel overwhelmed. Moreover, I have a massage and a hot bath or a steam once a week. You have to prioritize things and manage your time in a proper way. But I also do give myself a break without feeling guilty. If you recharge, you become more creative.
Do you think that in ten years, Shiffa will be an internationally successful brand like Estée Lauder?
Yes, I think so. Shiffa is the premium luxury organic brand. It is produced by a doctor, not by a lab or marketing people who say what’s hot and what’s not. It makes a huge difference if you’re dealing with a founder who has tested everything herself and wants the best for her client’s skin. Marketing campaigns are a strong tool, but often they’re not honest.
You are an important Middle Eastern art collector and a board member of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. How do you promote artists?
It’s very important for me to support Middle Eastern artists. I’m the coach of the New York Guggenheim Middle Eastern Circle. We export talents to international audiences, for instance in New York, where they can exhibit their work. Moreover, I love to collect art because I love to be surrounded by beautiful things at home.
DR LAMEES HAMDAN, FOUNDER OF SHIFFA
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INTERVIEW WITH DR LAMEES HAMDAN and “MOST OF OUR CLIENTS USED LA PRAIRIE AND LA MER” by editor-in-chief Yolanda Di Mambro is part of a series of exclusive articles on business women in Dubai published by VERTIGO Luxury Magazine.
Don’t miss the 2018 collector’s issue of VERTIGO Luxury Magazine featuring the best luxury beauty products of the year tested by our team in collaboration with a dermatologist.