Mitwalli, entrepreneur, television presenter and Kiva ambassador.
Discover her travel style tips, her tips for social media
domination and her most memorable celebrity interview.
You have interviewed some of the world's most famous
names, what is the most memorable interview you held and
memorable interview was with Sir Richard Branson. I'm always so
intrigued by the psyche of an entrepreneur, a business owner, an
achiever and what do they do in their everyday life that makes them
different. I like to know what makes somebody tick, what makes them
successful, what the common denominator is between someone who is
successful and someone who is not.
One thing that
fascinates me is how most millionaires and billionaires are always
on the go! I asked Richard Branson in my recent interview with him
"when will he retire", and his response was "I'm not done just yet.
There's still so much to accomplish." He's a billionaire who
doesn't necessarily need to work for money anymore, he can afford
to take the rest of his life off, but he chooses not to. He chooses
to still wake up every morning early, attend his board meetings,
communicate with his team, and come up with new ideas.
I also love
celebrity interviews; it's always intriguing and interesting to see
what their real persona is like. We see them on the big screen and
we see all these different characters that they portray, but I'm
always so intrigued to see who they are at their core, and that's
what I'm able to do when I interview some of these celebrities,
getting up close and personal with them.
The worlds of social media and digital are always
changing and evolving, how do you use those platforms to build your
brand and reach out to your audience?
This is really
a very interesting question because the world of marketing has
completely changed and evolved over the last 10 years. Conventional
marketing how we used to do it on TV, radio, and print has
completely evolved and those areas of marketing are suffering now.
New media, which is what we call social media, has become the most
popular source of how consumers find out information. Consumers are
no longer reaching out to the papers and instead reaching out to
social media, which provides an amazing opportunity for SME's and
small businesses to create their own news.
personally reach out to my audience has been through a very organic
and natural approach. I very much live by the philosophy "the more
you educate, the less you need to sell." I like to educate my
followers through what I actively do on my channels, for example
sharing a public speaking course, or my book collection. It's
amazing to see the amount of screenshots that I get through
Snapchat; it shows that my followers are really engaged with that
You are the Middle East ambassador for Kiva. Tell us
more about your work at Kiva and the importance of female
found out about Kiva from Oprah and of course I'm a big fan of
Oprah. Kiva is a microfinancing platform for people who are living
in third world countries who don't have access to methods of
finances i.e. a bank, credit card, or a loan. If someone is
entrepreneurial and want to set up businesses, they would submit an
application through Kiva.
For example, a
woman who would like to set up a tailoring business needs a sewing
machine and fabric but she doesn't have any money or the materials
to get herself started. How is she going to raise the funds? This
is where Kiva comes in. Lenders on Kiva can help a woman like this
start a business by lending as little as $25 and 100% of every
dollar you send goes to funding loans. The platform gives people
the opportunity to be more, to do more in the society and for their
community, when they just don't have the funding.
I'm a big
believer in education and in empowering people so they can make a
start for themselves. It's in our nature as humans to not always
appreciate things that are actually given to us for free. We
appreciate more the things that are earned. That's one of the
reasons why I specifically love Kiva; its empowering people to earn
for themselves. Go to kiva.org for more information. Set up an
account and lend whatever you can, even if it's lending $25 (100
dirhams) to someone. That 100 dirhams can go a long way.
Travel is a huge influence for you. What style tips have
you picked up from your favourite destinations?
When I was 18,
I said to myself I need to explore the rest of this world, so I
actively started traveling from then. I did my Europe trip, I've
gone all over the Americas, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan and I guess
my biggest travel achievement was when I traveled to Antarctica. I
went and stay there for an entire week! Yes it was one of coldest
moments of my life, but it was definitely really rewarding,
especially seeing the whales and the sea of penguins; it was an
is so different and I learn something new from every single
destination. Going to Japan was life-changing. I would say the
Japanese culture was one of the most interesting cultures for me.
Not only their style, but also their mannerisms. It's so impressive
how respectful and polite Japanese people are. When they walk down
the street, there's no such thing as walking and smoking because
they believe that smoking while walking will disturb the people
behind them. Going into the metro, they have this policy that
phones need to be on silent and you get fined if you take a call.
People are respectful of others, the space and the noise
In terms of
style, personally I love the Parisian style because I'm all about
simplicity. I'm all about less is more and I think the French do
that quite well. It's all about showcasing natural beauty rather
than being loud with colours.
What pieces of jewellery do you always take with you on
To be honest,
I'm a very minimalist traveler, unless I'm traveling for a specific
occasion, example Fashion Week, then yes, I will definitely dress
up and accessorize. I'll pack a couple of statement earrings when I
go out for dinner because I think that's the easiest way to dress
up an outfit. I'll always have an everyday bangle and to be honest
my Monica Vinader Signature bangle is always with me because it's
something I can constantly wear day and night and it works well
bring my classic pieces like stud earrings and a couple of
necklaces that I like to layer and play around with. One day I
might wear just one, and the next day I'll wear all of them at
What is the most memorable piece of jewellery someone
has ever given to you?
engagement ring. It's the most significant piece of jewellery that
has ever been given to me. My husband proposed to me on my birthday
with this engagement ring, and it's exactly the ring I would have
chosen. It reminds me of his commitment and the day he proposed
because it's just one of the most magical days of my
What is a day like in the life of Shereen
differ, but most of the time, I wake up, I get ready, I play with
my dogs and flip through a little bit of social media, but most of
the time I'm usually on the news sources. I'm a curious soul so I
have to know what's going on in the world. If it's a weekend,
that's when I spend time reading; at the moment, I'm reading a book
about the greatest speeches in the world, which I love.
weekday, I go to my office and that's when I get to speak to my
team. My business does various things, from talent management and
education with Onstage Academy to events and PR. My team are
usually working on a number of projects and there's so much
planning and organisation to do. We're either writing scripts,
preparing for filming or meeting with clients.
If I have an
engagement to present in the evening, then I'm usually getting
ready, to present or host something, or I'm preparing for a
celebrity interview, or I'm doing my research.
At the end of
the day, I go home and switch off and spend time with my husband.
We're both foodies and love exploring new places; you'll always
find me at a new restaurants or hotspot in Dubai.
What is your favourite place to dine in
restaurants with views of the Burj Khalifa. Every single time I
pass by Burj Khalifa, it has the wow factor - even though I've been
in Dubai for five years, it still takes my breath away. It
motivates and inspires me and shows that "anything is possible".
Dubai was built in 45 years and have a look at the infrastructure;
look at the buildings that they've created; it was done in such a
short period of time. If they can build Dubai in 45 years, what can
I build in my lifetime? It's so inspiring in every single way I
look at it. That has always been my favourite spot to dine in -
anywhere with the view of Burj Khalifa. For example, there's the
Tesoro Terrace in the Taj Hotel, the Oberoi, and Fortnum &
Mason which I love going to for high-tea.
How were you introduced to Monica Vinader and what made
you fall in love with the brand?
I was gifted a
rose gold bracelet by my friend Priya; it was a really nice gift
idea to receive because it's simple, adjustable to any wrist size,
and it was just perfect. That's when I started finding out
everything about the brand. I love the Fiji bracelet, I think it's
the classic style of the brand.
What I really
love about Monica Vinader bracelets is the fact that you can put
them on and take them off by yourself. I have so many issues
putting on and taking off jewelry, especially when my husband's is
away or I'm just by myself. The Monica Vinader range enables me to
put it on by myself. Some people may not really think about that,
but I think that's really important. I want to be independent, I
don't want to call anybody to help me with taking off or putting on
my jewellery - I want to do it on my own, and that's what I feel
the Monica Vinader offers.
If you could have one thing engraved on a Monica Vinader
bracelet, what would it be?
I already have
one engraving on my bracelet. I was travelling and I had it as a
gift so it was plain at that time and I was in Harrods in London.
My husband had work to do so I was roaming around and I realised
they had a Monica Vinader counter. There was an engraver and
although I didn't buy it from Harrods I was still able to have it
engraved. I asked for my married name "Mrs. Butler" to be engraved
on it. I'm proud, to be Mrs. Butler!