Now that events, parties and weddings are firmly back in the diary, we met up with founder of Agendaat, Maya Al Mezal, to find out how Gather has helped her to develop her vision for a new online platform that works to support make-up artists globally.
What exactly is Agendaat?
Agendaat is a digital beauty directory that connects make-up artists with new clients. Currently, we have over 400 members, located in 34 countries worldwide – and the numbers just keep growing!
The launch of Agendaat really came at the perfect time. The majority of global covid restrictions have now been lifted and people are socialising and celebrating again. Of course, that means that the talented make-up artists in our community are busy again, which is fantastic when you consider the challenges they’ve faced over the last two years.
What does Agendaat mean?
My family is originally from the Middle East and in Arabic, the plural for agenda is ‘Agendaat’. For me the word agenda is synonymous with being motivated, organised, and efficient, and these are all qualities that I want to inspire in those using the platform.
What made you decide to develop the platform?
I studied architecture at university, but beauty and make-up has always been a passion of mine.
When I moved to Liverpool, I was captivated by the culture, art, fashion, and diversity here. I met lots of talented freelance make-up artists living and working in the city. From my conversations with them, I realised that there was a gap in the market for a platform that could not only connect them with each other but also help them manage their businesses more effectively and help them secure new clients.
I'm creative, I love to innovate, and to conceptualise. The skills I learned during my degree course helped me to approach the idea creatively but also make sure it was technically innovative and user-friendly.
Have you faced any challenges?
Being an entrepreneur can be lonely and it was difficult not having people around me that I could bounce ideas off. The events organised by Gather really helped – they gave me the opportunity to meet with like-minded people. I was apprehensive at first, but everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I learned so much, it was a fantastic experience and I’m still in regular contact with people that I met.
How did Gather support you on your journey?
From the very first moment I started working with Gather, the team not only appreciated, but understood the real-world challenges I faced.
Shift not only helped me to develop a strong foundation for my business, but also empowered me to focus on my professional development. I continue to use the learnings in the day-to-day running of the business and planning for what’s next!
How have you grown as a leader?
I’ve grown in confidence. Now more than ever I understand the importance of believing in yourself. I’ve also come to realise that any challenges I encountered along the way, have helped me to grow and evolve as a leader.
When you’re working for yourself – especially as a woman – you have to be resilient, and that means it can be hard to ask for help. Through my experience with Gather, I’ve learnt the importance of seeking support and guidance. Don’t be afraid, everyone has gaps in knowledge but there are so many opportunities to grow.
What’s next for Agendaat?
We’re currently in the process of testing the Agendaat app and finalising our launch strategy. Moving forward, I’m also going to be focusing on new and innovative ways to grow our community online, which includes making arrangements for the website to be translated into a number of different languages, starting with Arabic.
Do you have any other concepts in the pipeline?
Absolutely! I’m always coming up with new ideas. Whatever I decide to do I’ll continue to base myself in Liverpool. The encouragement I’ve received locally has been incredible – from Gather, from the council and the combined authority. I’m so excited to see what the future holds, and I know that I’ll be able to approach it with confidence.
To find out more about Agendaat visit and the app store.