Catching dreams in the beauty world

Hanifa Ambadar, Founder – Female Daily Network (FDN)

For someone who always had a clear plan, even as a child, Hanifa Ambadar is in a happy space as a successful entrepreneur, working for women. “I think people who know me best would describe me as a dream catcher, and a very persistent one at that”, says Hanifa Ambadar, founder of Female Daily Network (FDN, the largest online community for young Indonesian women. Its primary portal, FemaleDaily.com, provides beauty-related content to help women navigate an industry with more available products than any other retail vertical.

Hanifa, Southern Illinois University graduate, majoring in Marketing also holds an MBA from Maryville University of St. Louis — John E. Simon School of Business, in Management Information Systems & Marketing. She lived the ‘American dream’ for a decade but then Hanifa and her husband decided to go back home for good, in search of some exciting pursuits and grow Female Daily Network, leaving the house, the cars and his steady job.

While in the US, she was often inundated with requests about the latest American fashion trends. In 2005 she started FemaleDaily.com but Hanifa has been an avid blogger since 2000, one of the few early players in the Indonesian blogosphere. The website soon attracted its first major ad client, and was named Indonesia’s Best Blog for Women.

Hanifa has also worked in fashion retail and her strength is in the editorial; setting up the editorial direction, finding compelling topics to be featured, interesting angle to be written and making sure that everything is up to the mark.She loves de-cluttering the house which works for her as a stress-reliever and is a mother of two kids, aged 12 and 7 yrs.

High point in career

“I never worked full time and in corporate setting before, so it’s been a long learning process for me, challenging myself every single day :). But judging from how Female Daily increase its size to 37 people, growing traffic and number of clients, receiving series A investment, getting into Endeavor Entrepreneur program and other acknowledgements, I would say I’m not too shabby. Witnessing how the team evolves and grow as a professional as well as an individual is also very rewarding for me. Female Daily is a community of women, we now have 250,000+ registered users and visited by more than 2 million women every month. So every time I meet them or every time people tell me how useful Female Daily is to them always giving me the high that keeps me going. Being an entrepreneur is a long journey so we have to celebrate every little milestone and enjoy the process. So I would say everyday is a new high point!”

Most challenging assignment so far

“When we first established as a company in 2009, the concept of doing a digital campaign for the majority of brands was still a foreign concept. So it was a challenge to convince them that it was time for them to move to digital where their potential customers are. Once we convinced them, it just didn’t registered to them that there is cost involved in doing campaign in the Internet even though it’s something they can’t physically touch. Now the challenge is on how to keep up with the trend, how to keep a young mind in this fast-changing digital world so we stay relevant to the everyday life of Indonesian women.” 

Greatest inspiration

“My mom, my grandma, my mother in law are the definition of strength, faith and love. They are fearless and have huge impacts to everyone around them. Their support to me is never ending. They are my superwomen.” 

Most important milestone in life

“I have many life-changing milestones that make me happy and of course giving birth is one of them. But I think the one milestone that changed my path was when I moved out of Indonesia to live by myself right out of high school. That experience taught me a lot. I learned to trust myself, to live independently, to become a more open-minded person, not taking things for granted. Being an Indonesian in the States kind of made me feel like an underdog, which turned out to be good because it drove me and forced me to work harder. It has also given me the opportunity to explore and eventually found my passion. I think I am a changed person because of it. It’s true what they said, things happen when you move out of your comfort zone.” 

Women are the better halves. What does it mean?
“I believe a successful marriage is when the spouse thinks the other spouse is the better half!”