INTERVIEW WITH BANA ABUJABER
Get to know one of Amman’s top fashion enthusiasts and influencers. Known for her great style, Bana Abu Jaber, founder of @SideNoteBana, was named Living Well’s annual Fashion blogger of the year in Jordan. Bana spent seven years in the United States between studying, interning and working before returning to Jordan, where she was born and raised. She talks to us about her blog and shares a few pieces of advice on styling.
Congratulations on winning Living Well’s annual Fashion Blogger of the Year award. What was the start of @SideNoteBana? Tell us about your blog.
Thank you! I have always been a fashion fanatic, and I have a degree in both fashion and business. It was when I moved back from New York to Amman, that I decided to become a fashion blogger. Living in New York, I witnessed fashion rise to new heights through social media. I felt I had the platform to construct my fashion identity from anywhere, so that’s what I did. I essentially wanted to bring back the magic I felt in New York and keep it alive in Amman, which @Sidenotebana really helped me do. The one rule I live by when it comes to my blog is to be someone every girl can relate to. I love inspiring women in terms of fashion and style.
Your work is very much related to fashion and we love your style. Can you share with us three styling tips?
1- Don’t look like your trying too hard.
2- Do mix and match!
3- You don't need a massive wardrobe of designer clothes to be a great dresser.
What is a typical day for Bana Abu Jaber like?
A typical day for me is waking up around 8am, I have my breakfast in bed while I check my social media pages and answer/follow up any e-mails that I have.
I always squeeze in some time to spend with Henry, my dog. I then head to the gym for an hour at 10am. I am either working out with my personal trainer or attending bikini bootcamp class. I schedule my meetings between 12pm and 2pm. Photo shoots are usually done at around 4pm. I then spend the rest of the evening with my family, friends or attend events. I am usually in bed by 11/11:30pm.
We can see you love to travel! What’s a favourite destination in the Arab region, and outside of it, and what do you like most about them?
In the Arab region would be Beirut, Lebanon. I love that it offers everything - the beach, mountains, nightlife, great food and shopping.
Outside the Arab Region it would be the Amalfi Coast. I have spent a few summers there and the more I go, the more I fall in love with it. Each town has its own unique character with stunning views wherever you go. There’s so much to see and it never gets old. Oh and let’s not forget Italian culture, its my absolute favorite.
Do you have any specific Jewelry item that means a lot to you? What is it and who gave it to you?
Yes! A ring. I don’t remember how old I was, but I was really young. I had gone to the jeweler with my mom; I think she wanted to get something fixed. So while she was getting that done, I wondered off and spotted this gold ring that had a flower on it. I don’t know what got into me but I was adamant I was getting it. I remember throwing a fit because I really wanted it. My mom finally agreed! They had to make it smaller to fit my tiny fingers. I still have that ring and I wear it every time I go out. I wear it on my pinkie obviously as it doesn’t fit anywhere else. So basically it was a ring I gave myself at a very young age.
Simple jewelry or statement jewelry, which one do you relate to more and why?
Both. It really depends what I am wearing. But if I really had to choose it would be simple jewelry, I think it just goes well with my style. I love having on a statement outfit, so I think simpler jewelry works better.
If you were a piece of jewelry which one would you be and why?
I would definitely be a ring, not sure why it’s just always been like that. I love a hand that’s stacked with simple, elegant rings. I find it very attractive.
What about your HJ customized Duo Rings, what subject did you choose and what is the story?
My mom and I share almost everything. I am always borrowing her jewelry. So I thought if I had her initial R (in Arabic) placed on the ring next to my own initial B (in Arabic) it would be something she can wear too!
Last but not least, what are your favourite hangout places in Amman/ Jordan? Any hidden gems?
Currently one of my favorite spots would have to be Rumi Café in Jabal Al Weibdeh. I love the outdoor seating as well as the ambience. They have great coffee as well as delicious desserts. And most importantly it is a dog friendly café!
Follow her on @SideNoteBana