Meet Arieshae, the creator of The Hijab Closet.
Based in the UK, Arieshae has over over 25,000 followers since establishing her business in 2013.
What was the inspiration behind The Hijab Closet?
I have always loved fashion! I wanted to create a brand which was unique and offered innovative designs that were both modest and fashionable. While in the research phase of designing the hijabs, I took a lot of inspiration from Dubai and Malaysia. I’ve been to Dubai a few times and just fell in love with their version of modest fashion. I saw lot of potential in the “Hijab” industry and was excited about the trends Muslimahs in fashion were creating. I wear hijab myself so it was important to establish a business I believed in. My first priority was to create hijabs which I loved and would want to wear everyday. I couldn’t sell something I didn’t love.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business started? Describe your process behind creating a new hijab style.
I started designing and researching from the beginning of 2013 and then finally launched my company in December of that year. I created a logo to establish my brand’s name. With hijab designs, I first start with creating the initial design on paper. I then play with a few different fabrics to see which would best suit the design. Not all fabrics do justice or work with each design. Also, if i’m using embellishments, certain fabrics don’t work well so I make at least two to three hijabs as sample pieces and see what goes best. I have a small team which works with me in making the final products.
Can you highlight some of your most popular designs right now.
Our most popular hijabs right now are The Snood Hijab, The Embellishment Shawl, and The Arabian Knot. The inspiration behind all of these was to create variety in the hijab styles depending on the occasion. The Snood Hijab is designed to give you a fuss free hijab look. It’s designed as a tube so it gives the perfect ruffles and a great flow, perfect to daily wear. The Embellishment Shawl has a gorgeous embellished neckline, perfect for special occasions and evening wear.
What challenges did you face initially? How did you overcome them?
With any business, you face challenges. Ideas you had may not go according to plan. Designs I drew on paper sometimes did not live up to my expectations when the final piece came together. I had to go back to the drawing board and re-design again.
The initial investment and establishing yourself as an entrepreneur can be difficult as well. Just getting recognized and creating trust with your customers can be a challenge in the beginning. Word of mouth is very powerful alongside social media. Spending a few hours everyday promoting your business helps build a following and creates awareness. People slowly start to recognize your brand and what products and services your business has to offer.
We aim to encourage young women to wear their hijabs with confidence and never feel embarrassed no matter what setting they are in.
Did you find yourself changing personally in the process?
Yes, of course. You slowly become aware of how difficult the entire process is. You start to become stronger as you overcome the challenges in front of you. The journey has been quite stressful but also a learning experience. Hats off to all the women who are either in a business or thinking of starting one. You need determination and patience for any business to succeed.
What’s the best part of owning a business?
Being your own boss! It’s the best!!! I’m kidding. Seriously though, the best part is when you get positive feedback from your customers. When your products are well received and your effort is appreciated, it’s the best reward. It tells you that you’re on the right track! Not having to answer to a boss is a close second though!
What has been your proudest achievement?
Alhumdulillah we have successfully launched fifteen different hijab designs since our inception. I hope to continue with this trend inshaAllah. My company has also been given the opportunity to take part in a number of fashion events in the UK, which has helped us introduce our products to a wider audience and promote our designs.
Is it difficult to balance work and family life?
When I initially launched my business, I was single so it was much easier to get work done. Mind you, I was still working full time alongside running the business. Since being married and now having a 3 month old baby to care for, things are for sure more difficult. But I think if you have passion for what you do and you believe in your work, then InshaAllah you’re able to juggle everything. I strongly believe that women are capable of remarkable things! #Womenpower
I do have to sacrifice “ME TIME” to get everything done. I first make sure my responsibilities are taken care of which usually doesn’t much time for myself.
Advice to anyone starting off or interested in starting their own business?
The only advice I would give is, if you have passion for your work, then give it your best. Don’t give up in the face any obstacles. Have a strong mind set and give it your all. A few things to take into consideration when starting any business:
- Have a business plan.
- Look at the market. Check out your competition and learn from the best.
- Research your product including all resources, materials required.
- Factor in the cost. Will you be able to turn a profit?
- Learn effective marketing techniques and how to network within your target audience.
What is the bigger message you want to promote through your business?
I really want to encourage young women to embrace the hijab with not just their bodies but also with their hearts. My team and I want women to feel liberated rather than oppressed. We aim to encourage young women to wear their hijabs with confidence and never feel embarrassed no matter what setting they are in. That is why we also offer the option of custom made hijabs. We really want to infuse our hijabs with love and care so that our customers feel special.
You’re based in the UK. Do you ship worldwide?
Yes, we’re based in the UK and currently only ship in the UK. But if someone is interested in ordering hijabs from our website, they can email us and get a quote for shipping costs.
The Hijab Closet is currently having a promotional sale till October 23rd. Use the discount code Take 25 at checkout to receive 25% off on all orders inshaAllah.
For further inquiries, you can reach Arieshae at firstname.lastname@example.org