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The BoF Podcast: Huda Kattan: ‘Being Different Challenges Norms, but Different Is Brilliant’

OXFORDSHIRE, United Kingdom — Huda Kattan, the founder and chief executive of Huda Beauty, credits the ascension of her brand — currently valued at over $1 billion — to being weird, she said onstage at VOICES 2018.

After years of going by her middle name Heidi, Kattan was fired from her first job out of college and realised she couldn’t go on without embracing her true personality. “I had no choice but to accept who I was. I wanted to be fully me, totally and utterly weird,” she said. “Being different challenges norms, but different is brilliant.”

In less than three years, Huda Beauty has become one of the fastest-growing beauty companies in the world, stocked by global retailers like Sephora, Harrods and Selfridges. The beauty influencer and entrepreneur’s line is on track to do $400 million in retail sales this year and she’s the 60th most-followed person on Instagram, with 29.5 million fans.

“We’re competing against conglomerates with billions of dollars, people telling us we didn’t have a chance,” Kattan said. “How did we not only compete but dominate with so little resources? We embraced our weirdness.”

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