Speaking to Mthayel about her career trajectory is like a breath of fresh air. The 26-year-old Emirati exudes confidence with a healthy dose of modesty, is completely selfless in how she addresses her social media agency Tkhayyal, and her general ethos in life is at once insightful and inspired. “Being an ‘influencer’ is a privilege. It is an honor to be given that title from someone,” she says.
“I was one of the very few Emirati ladies who posted pictures of my face when I first joined Instagram six years ago,” she adds. “The internet was a taboo subject back then, but I was breaking the norms. It drove my family crazy, but that’s my philosophy in life: never live with limitations.” She counts the opening of her company as one of her proudest moments. “I put my heart and soul into opening Tkhayyal. It was never about how successful it was but about staying true to myself,” she shares.
She is also refreshingly honest about how her path to success was sprinkled with struggles along the way. “In 2014, I decided to build an agency that would enhance brands’ social media channels, but with a total lack of knowledge came my first big failure. My ignorance and ego meant that, after a year, the company folded,” she admits. “I took as many courses as I could and tried to learn as much as possible about running a business, and, after a couple of years and a lot of life lessons, I decided to pick it up again. We reopened in October 2018.” @Mthayelalali
Photography by Aasiya Jagadeesh