Difficult experiences show you a lot about yourself and make you stronger, correct? This was the case for Mariyah, founder of Her Health First. After going through two difficult miscarriages, she felt completely alone and abandoned. All she needed at that time was the support and tolerance of the community, but she couldn’t find what she needed, so she decided to create a safe haven for women who go through similar experiences. She launched an online platform to support women’s health issues, mothers and mothers-to-be in Dubai and Her Health First was born.
The journey of an entrepreneur
Mariyah is the mother of a mischievous two-year-old boy, who keeps her busy most of the day. She had always been fond of design and creativity, so she studied design management at the American University of Sharjah. Her background as a designer contributed to her technological knowledge, and now she frequently uses software and applications like Adobe and Canva . She’s also keen on learning how to use and utilize the latest technologies to help with her designs and running the website. She says:
“I think it very important for businesses and companies to be aware of the basic technological tools, to improve and grow and to reach more people as well.”
Mariyah’s entrepreneurial journey started with the idea of creating a women centered health platform that covers beauty, women’s health and fitness. She saw an opportunity for bringing women and health experts together through an online platform. It started as a Facebook community of women among whom were mothers, so they could share useful information like the best hospitals to deliver in, which doctors to visit, finest clinics and similar topics. Then, she started collaborating with health and fitness experts, and began doing events that started off as small gatherings in cafes and later on expanded to large-scale events with sponsors like NMC hospital and Aster clinic.
“The idea of Her Health First started to grow; when women started to connect with women’s health and fitness experts, in a very casual environment.”
Mariyah foresees great potential for the platform; she feels like the knowledge can be transferred online and not only through events. “So, women can actually visit the website and see news, videos and articles related to women’s health, fitness and beauty. I see Her Health First growing to be the first female oriented online health portal in the UAE.”
The digital journey of the women’s health platform
Mariyah believes that websites are crucial for small businesses’ digital identities. In her words, “a website is like the face of the company, it’s where the logo, contact information, products and services details are. It’s the ultimate way for your audience to stay in touch and connect with you.” Moreover, websites portray what’s happening in your company in terms of updates and news, and in today’s world everybody is using websites to connect with brands.
“When people search for you, they want to see a neatly represented professional and get a feel of what you do. What could be better than a website to do that job?”
When it was time to launch their first event, Mariyah decided to build a website so that women and sponsors could find a professional digital identity for Her Health First, where they could sign up and see the event’s photos.
But, building a website from scratch was a bit confusing at first, “so, I started trying website building tools until someone recommended GoDaddy and I went for it because it was so simple and user-friendly,” she explains.
“GoDaddy’s Website Builder is both budget-friendly and straightforward. Even if you’re not a web designer you can simply create an account, sign up, and as cheap as 70 dirhams a month you can build your website while sitting at home with a simple drag and drop tool.”
As a designer, she believes that the templates are appealing, and the website looks professional and visually pleasing. “I was happy with the quality of the website, and the process of building was a simple drag and drop that I fell in love with,” she says.
Her website was up and running before the event. She launched the website more than a year ago with GoDaddy. In addition to GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing, she also uses domain name and professional email for correspondence from GoDaddy.
Ever since its launch, HerHealthFirst.net has successfully acted as an online portfolio for potential sponsors to check the services and previous events. That’s why Mariyah decided to take her website to the next step and create a one-stop destination that has all the information that people need, whether it’s about beauty, women’s health, fitness, pregnancy, top lists for clinics and hospitals and health related events happening in the region. Mariyah is working with a website designer to create and design the new website and add content, she expects a very busy year ahead.
Set your ideas to sail
As an entrepreneur and a mother, Mariyah shares her recipe of success: “First of all, get a journal, write down all your ideas and sketch them up. Even if it may not make any sense to you now, they’re your pathway to success.” Then, she suggests investing in online courses and online resources to attain new skills. According to Mariyah, the next step is to put those skills and learnings into practice and test your abilities by pushing yourself to the right direction to get things going.
I think in today’s environment almost everybody has the chance to be an entrepreneur in their own way. When you focus on your skills, you can utilize them to start your own business.
Although she sometimes struggles to juggle between work and taking care of her home and baby, her secret to accomplishment is two words: time management. “You should dedicate some time for yourself, even if it’s 15 minutes while your baby is in bed at night. Get a pen and a paper and write down your ideas and explore the ways to implement them. It can be as simple as starting a Facebook page or group to help the community with anything that you know.”