When 26 year old Sarah Al Dabbagh graduated with a degree in early childhood education from Simmons College in Boston she returned to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to start her career in education. But while working as a kindergarten teacher, her passion for event planning crept up and, what started out as a few events here and there, progressed into a fully-fledged wedding and event planning business, Lace Events, where she began working full-time two years ago.
But it wasn’t until the rise of photo-sharing app Instagram that her popularity soared — she currently has over 38,000 followers — turning her into a pseudo-Saudi Martha Stewart (she’s even been featured in Martha Stewart’s Weddings magazine). “After weddings or events that I do, the followers seem to increase drastically,” she says in the video above.
Through Instagram, she has been able to market herself and her brand, gaining clients from across the Middle East. Her popularity reached new heights this year when she was nominated and won the ‘Best Young Saudi Business Woman’ by Sayidity magazine — one of the region’s leading women’s publications.
In this short video, Al-Dabbagh shares her journey up to this point as well as a few tips for maximizing Instagram for your startup. Just this month, Instagram announced the launch of paid ads on user feeds; we’ll have to wait to see when these ads will be enabled in the Middle East.