Founder of Citizen Femme
I am so delighted to introduce you to Sheena Bhattessa, the founder of
Citizen Femme, the leading digital destination for today’s female traveller. Citizen Femme enables globetrotting women to better navigate the world around them!
What made you want to launch Citizen Femme?
It was on a trip to Turkey with a group of friends about 7 years ago. This is about the time Instagram was booming and people were tagging their travel more than anything. There was a huge curiosity to see where people are going, staying, eating. But it wouldn’t really lead to booking a hotel or restaurant, or buying something fashion or beauty, via the platform as I believed there was a lack of a trusted, authority source. It made me think, where would I really go to get that honest recommendation and know that I would not be let down. And who is really speaking to my demographic as a female traveller? This was the genesis of Citizen Femme.
We captured and recognised early on the power of the female traveller. My background in the hotel industry enabled me to notice their increasing power early on. This is someone who like me is looking to spend on excellent hotels and experiences but cannot afford to waste time or money. Citizen Femme offers a modern definition of luxury - which doesn’t necessarily mean spending more money, it means atmosphere, it means experience, it means so much more.
What is the best aspect of having your own business?
There are no rules. This is something I tell anyone that joins the company. We are ultimately having fun. As long as we each respect each other, the time and the work, there are no rules and we are here to explore and enjoy ourselves.
Who is your ultimate business inspiration?
There isn’t one single person. I love hearing success stories, what people do, how they have achieved them. The conversations I have with individuals, particularly women, are my ultimate inspiration. Since becoming a mum, inspiring stories from mums are even more so my ultimate business inspiration. How do they do it? (which incidentally, is the start of a new column!)
What advice would you give to future female generations?
Inequality is not there if you ignore it. Fight against the norm. Do what makes you happy and don’t fear failure. Where will you be in 10 years time?
I was taught something by a brilliant mentor years ago for one’s stages in life, and I would love to live by it. Learn, Earn, Return. I imagine I’ll still be deep in the earn phase, but I hope Return will be a really big part of where I’ll be in 10 years.