Name Nadia Aboulhosn @nadiaaboulhosn
Trade Blogger, Model, and Designer
Nadia Aboulhosn is a voice to be reckoned with. She's won over countless fans and brands alike with her real talk, real style, and sense of humor. Her plus-sized design collaboration with retail giant Boohoo put the brand back on the map, and showed off Nadia's ability to translate that real talk to very real sales. She's serious about her business without losing sight of where she comes from, where she's going, and how to kick back and laugh at it all. Read on for a little insight into how she does it all, and then some.
Please sum up your current mood in a Drake lyric.
What's at the top of your to-do list today?
Spend as much time with my family, be well off enough to help others, make sure I'm happy and not just content, be in the best health as possible, and to keep creating.
What was your very first job and what skill did you learn there that you still use today?
I actually first had a job at 14 years old. My father's friend, a Lebanese man, had a Middle Eastern restaurant in the food court of a mall. He gave me a job and I worked at that same place until I was about 22. It taught me work ethic, it taught me how to speak to people even when I'm uncomfortable, and it taught me that I had to be my own boss. It really was one of the major things that shaped me into who I am today. I have a crazy work ethic because of that job.
What were you doing in life just before you started your blog?
I was trying any and everything to try and express myself. I was still working and going to college full-time. I originally was going to go into studying for journalism to bring awareness to Middle Eastern issues.
What's the last interweb rabbit hole you went down?
Honestly, I'm barely on the internet unless it's for work or social media. The internet is so much of my life because it's my work so I try to stay away as much as possible!
Have you ever found it challenging to maintain your voice while working with brands? Who are you still itching to work with?
I use to feel that way until I worked with enough brands. Like, I'm already blunt over social media so if they're choosing to work with me now, they already know what I'm like for the most part. I'm very understanding and know already going in about compromise. I very much have my own vision, but at the same time I know that their are certain designers I can learn from, and people at brands I can learn from, so I try to make it a learning experience rather than "I'm Nadia Aboulhosn, this is my project, and you have to listen to me." I don't work that way. Most brands also want me to feel comfortable. They let me style a lot of my shoots or choose how makeup and hair will be. They have general ideas and I usually approve before it all goes live. They want me to be happy with the product because if not, my followers and fans will see through that.
What do you wish more people understood about what you do?
That it's a lot more work than taking pictures. There's a whole business behind it. I do a lot of work people don't see. I spend most of my day locked in my room answering emails or pitching myself and ideas or just creating things. It gets really lonely. I don't try to glamorize my life, like, "Oh look! I have so much money and I'm so cool because I'm overseas on a project." When I travel, I'm lucky to get one day off for leisure. You start questioning people around you and their motives. There's no fulfillment in people just knowing who you are. The fulfillment comes from helping people and your community. I hear all the time, "It's so cool you're like Instagram famous!" and I'm like um, no. I'm not, and [Instagram fame] is not what I want to be known for.
Which parts of your business come the most naturally to you? What skills have you had to work overtime to develop?
Creating outfits and styling come naturally. I had to work on overtime to take down my social media a notch—not ranting as much, trying to keep it more professional, and show different sides of myself.
Your collaboration with Boohoo drove unprecedented sales and engagement, which can be hard for even the most popular bloggers to pull off. What do you think you do differently that made that work so well?
I think there were a lot of different factors. I think there was anticipation from my followers because it was my first line, and they had been patiently waiting, unlike me. I think the price point helped because it was so affordable. I think that the "inbetween" and "plus-size" girls constantly want new and fresh product because clothing isn't as accessible to them as it is smaller sizes. I have another collection with Addition Elle, a plus-size Canadian brand, that releases in September for Fall with a higher price point, so fingers crossed it does well. After that, I promised myself I'm going to be doing clothes for all sizes, like I've wanted to from the beginning.
Any advice for girls who want to get in the game?
Work hard, don't give up. When you get no's, keep working until you get a yes.