If a smile is a window into the soul, then local entrepreneur, Maissa Fattal, has wants to clean your windows. Maissa tells TOAD about her products and her goodwill.
Please tell me about your new line of products?
Ibtisama is the first Smile Lounge in the region to offer express teeth brightening sessions over-the-counter or to be used at home. Our concept also covers all the aspects of a beautiful smile from bright teeth to smooth, plumped lips. The products for teeth brightening carry our brand and are made in the US. They come in several flavours and colours. We hope people will care for the beauty of their teeth as they do their hair or makeup. Ibtisama makes a bright smile accessible.
Ibtisama means ‘a smile’ in Arabic. In your words, what is the significance of a smile?
I think a smile is the window of the soul. It’s where the first expression of any emotion is perceived. A smile warms the heart and is contagious. That‘s why it needs to be pampered and maintained like any aspect of your health.
You are a lawyer by training. What led you to pursue this niche market?
Yes I am a passionate barrister from Geneva with cases as diverse as murders, thefts and child custody. When I came to the UAE three years ago, I had in mind to pursue my career in the legal field, when I suddenly fell in love with the idea of Ibtisama. I have always cared a lot about my skin, hair and makeup, but I could never find adequate products to pamper my smile, so I created some. Going to the dentist for teeth whitening scares me because of the pain and sensitivity you may encounter. I created a painless whitening system that one can do in the privacy of her own home.
Did you face any challenges as a female entrepreneur?
I faced many challenges as a young person new to entrepreneurship, in a foreign country where the bureaucracy and the way people work are radically different. My greatest challenge as a woman is to handle my business and nurture my 18-month-old son on an everyday basis.
Tell our readers about your CSR efforts?
As an ambassador of smiles, it’s my mission to draw a smile on the faces of communities that have lost theirs. I have Syrian roots, so on October 2, when it is International Smile Day, the daily sales at Ibtisama will be dedicated to the people of Syria.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Fri-Sat 10am-midnight. Dalma Mall, Mussaffah, www.ibtisama.ae (02 555 9272).