My Muslim Mums in Business series focus’s on inspirational Muslim women, who are balancing the art of motherhood along with running businesses.
Please introduce yourself and your business.
I’m Aminat OdunEwu-Seese. I was born in Nigeria but raised in Chicago. I currently live in Abu Dhabi with my husband and son. I have an MSc in International Development and International Political Economic so aside from my business, I am very passionate about current affairs, politics and minority advocacy. I own the Striving Flawlessly brand which consists of Striving For Clarity(SFC) and Striving For Modesty(SFM). SFC is primarily an online site/blog that is geared towards sharing stories about being better Muslimahs and Striving For Clarity withing this dunya. SFM is a curated modest clothing boutique that specializes in carrying modest clothing for all women. People often ask what “Curated” means. Essentially, it’s like a curated art gallery. We don’t carry any and just every thing but a select few items that represents our brand and customers. It also means that a majority of our products are limited. Once it’s sold out, we’ll rarely re-manufacture it. It helps to keep our products exclusive ;).
What inspired you to start working from home? Did anyone in particular inspire you?
I started SFC because I felt like I had a story to tell and I loved reading the stories of other Muslimahs. The main thing that inspired me to start SFM was how hard it was for me to find modest clothing that appealed to my taste and fit what I believe Islam requires. As far as working from home, it’s what fits my family best. With my husband’s career, it’s important for me to have a flexible schedule and owning my own business allows me to do that. It’s also ideal for the vision I have for my family. I want to be around my son(and inshaAllah future children) as much as possible.
Are your family supportive of you being a working mother?
My family is very supportive. There are times doing a collection launch where I become increasingly busy and they are very understanding of my time constraints. My husband is my biggest sounding board when it comes to making decisions. Alhamdulilah, I’m blessed that I do have a supportive family when it comes to working and being a mother.
Describe a typical working day. Are there specific times in the day that you work on your business?
A typical working day for me is pretty much non-stop. I start my “official” work day around 8am and usually work late into the night. Of course there are breaks. I take time to feed my son, play with him and just have some one-on-one bonding time. Being that I work from home, I have the flexibility of stopping to handle other tasks like preparing meals, creating our family schedule, etc. I have very specific times that I allocate to the different areas of my business. I allocate time for social media engagement, time for learning about a different aspect of running a business, working on new products, etc. Every thing has a set amount of time allotted to it. It’s how I stay on top of things.
What are the pros and cons about being a working mum from home?
The Pros are definitely the flexibility and being able to be around my family more. There’s only one con for me and that’s balance. When you work a regular 9-5 outside of the home, for the most part, once you leave the office, you’re done working. For me, I always feel like the work never stops. There’s no “off” button.
On your toughest days, what helps keep you motivated?
My goals and aspirations are what keep me motivated. I aim to have SFM become a household name with physical locations. So even when things are tough, I know I need to push through to make reach my goals. I know that Allah-SWT- is always guiding me so even if thing’s get tough, I need to exercise “sabr” and persevere through.
Where would you like to see your blog and business in the future?
In the future, I want SFC to be the ultimate online community for Muslimahs wanting to do better in life. For SFM, I mentioned above, I’d like to have physical stores, primarily in the US and Nigeria. We’re hoping to expand from clothing and become a complete lifestyle brand.
What advice would you give to mums considering taking the step of being a working mum?
One advice I would give is to first think about what your vision is for your family and what your vision is for your career. Are you able to reconcile the two? I never want to feel like I’m taking away from my family to work or that I’m taking away from my work for my family so I try to ensure that they mesh well together. Also, do what makes you happy! Don’t just work to “work” or because there’s pressure on you to not be a stay at home mom. If you’re loving what you do, then even when things are difficult, you’ll be able to push through and persevere.
JazakAllah Khair to sister Aminat for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions! Take a look at her website: Striving for Modesty. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.
If you are a muslim mum with a business and would like to feature then drop me a message in sha Allah.