Hana El Awadi
on Her #HanaGoesLocal Campaign and How She Became a Blogger
When we think of icons who made 2017 a memorable year while we procrastinated by staring at our phones until we passed out, we think of Hana Elawadi, who fed our addiction to social media by giving it a whole new meaning. Through her #HanaGoesLocal campaign, she has made adapting to our current economical situation seem much easier by introducing us to brilliant local brands, which offer the same quality of imported products, but for a reasonable price tag that doesn’t siphon the economy further down the drain. Elawadi tells us what first compelled her to blog, how she manages to survive a cramped schedule and spills the beans on her skin care routine!
Your campaign, #HanaGoesLocal has made a massive buzz this year. What first inspired this movement?
This campaign was pure coincidence. I decided to post a picture supporting a local designer friend of mine, Nuniz, who has been making incredible handmade leather bags since the flotation of the Egyptian pound. Coming from the fashion industry, I knew how hard it was to get noticed as a local producer in the industry. I remember I captioned it something along the lines of “The dollar has crushed our Egyptian pound and there was nothing we could do about it, so this is our time to support and shed light on the incredible local talent based in Egypt,” and finished it off with #HanaGoesLocal. I guess I was lucky enough to cover an issue that everyone was interested in.
What are some of your favourite local brands?
After working on #HanaGoesLocal for almost a year now, I have come across so many brands I hadn’t known about in the past that are just as amazing as the ones I knew prior. As mentioned above, ‘Nuniz’ is one of my absolute favourites; ‘Jazzy Eyewear’ and ‘Nile Eyewear’ are amazing, too! I am also in love with the most basic comfortable clothing from ‘Cottonball’, and I find ‘Reem Jano Jewellery’ exquisite, to name a few.
We heard youíre not compensated for highlighting these brands on your social media pages, yet you put so much effort into them. What do you aim to achieve?
Yes, I don’t make any money from #HanaGoesLocal products being highlighted on my social media. I am more interested in giving my followers something real and genuine, and being able to offer them content that is useful.
After having your second child, you created a social media campaign called Help Hana Lose 10kgí which ended up sending you to Thailand. Tell us more about that.
That hashtag will continue to haunt me for life, I guess! [Laughs]. I didn’t end up losing 10kg, and fell off track. It was a great experience though, and it taught me a lot of insights on what a “healthy lifestyle” is. One tip that I stuck to is having a glass of warm water with a dash of lemon juice every morning on an empty stomach.
How did your lifestyle blogging journey start?
I first used social media platforms as a means to market my Jewellery designs and take orders through them. I then realised that people were not just interested in my line of work, but also in my lifestyle, and so I decided to give it a try. At first, I would just post random pictures, but that always left me feeling empty. After the #HanaGoesLocal campaign went viral, I feel more comfortable sharing my pictures on all my platforms.
Youíre originally a jewellery designer. Have you left that behind?
I still do custom made pieces by order.
How has motherhood changed your career and lifestyle in general?
It was hard at first when they were babies, but now with both of them in school, I have a lot of free time in the morning, so I just make use of all that time in creating the content needed, since my job requires a lot of planning and managing. It’s a balance you need to create for yourself to stay sane!
As a mother of two, how do balance between social and professional life?
Family always comes first, and then I just fill in the rest when I know I have the time to do so. Honestly, I am a very homey person; I would choose to spend time with my family over anything in the world, and that’s why I don’t show up to all the events I get invited to!
Do you participate in any charity programs you can tell us about?
I give back in many ways that I prefer to not talk about.
In most of your televised interviews and online photographs, youíre almost always ëbare-faced,í yet naturally stunning as ever. How do you take such great care of your skin?
Thank you! Honestly, I have always been a bare-faced girl. I just find myself most comfortable in my own skin. I actually think that when I do apply make-up, the result just doesn’t end up looking like me. My routine is so simple: I use a face wash, then a toner, followed by a face serum and a moisturiser, and voila! There you have it. I use a wide range from Eva Cosmetics, a local and brilliant skin care line.
For stay-at-home mothers who want to make a living, do you advise lifestyle blogging as a profitable business?
Definitely, if this is something they enjoy or are good at, and as long as they have something to offer that would prove useful to their audience!
And again, this could be fashion related, mummy-and-kids related or maybe even about food! You will always find somebody who is interested in a topic you have to offer.
A word for your followers?
Love yourself. Don’t be a follower. Be who you are; who you are is enough. And never forget to be kind.