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.
We are two sisters by blood and best friends by bond. AYEINA (apart from carrying a meaning of “MIRROR” (in urdu)) is a combination of our names – AYEsha and samINA.
Ayeina is a hub for Muslim lifestyle, art and parenting – with gratitude and Positivity being a huge part of it all through #AlhamdulillahForSeries
Since we welcome guest posts from Muslims all over the world, Ayeina is not only about us. It’s a community of diverse Muslims from around the globe who not only strive to make their lives better but also help others improve their life here and the hereafter.
What inspired you to start working from home? Did anyone in particular inspire you?
To be honest, we didn’t start a blog as a business but it soon turned into one due to the demand of it. And with the need of hiring more people into the team, business became an essential part of the website.
Are your family supportive of you being a working mother?
Yes alhamdulillah. Our work hours are flexible – which means it revolves around the needs of our families. Yet, we wouldn’t have been able to do it all without their support.
Both of our husbands handle a large part of AYEINA. From technicalities to logistics, from printing to shipping etc. And most of all – being our cheerleaders! That moral support is priceless. Allahumma baarik lahum.
Although outside this circle, we’ve had fair share of opposition one way or the other. But alhamdulillah for the support within our homes.
You are part of a team; would you say it is better to be part of a team rather than working independantly? Pros and cons of working as a team?
The list of pros would be endless.
The responsibility is not on one shoulder and hence one person doesn’t get blamed when something goes wrong. We all share the burden and it becomes manageable. If one is overwhelmed, the other tries to take over.
Alhamdulillah – can’t imagine how we would have handled it without the support of other team members.
Perhaps the only con is that sometimes all of you don’t always agree on one point and you think that you could’ve done things better yourself but it definitely teaches you how collaborations can bring something unique to the table and how teamwork only enhances your abilities as you get to focus on what YOU do best.
What are the main challenges you face as a mum, a blogger and an entrepreneur?
Self care! When you’re making sure that everyone gets their rights and your blog and business is doing well, you forget that you have personal needs as well. Sometimes you may forget to even eat anything or sleep because there are constant to-do lists going around your head. And caring for your own self goes way back into the list (which should NOT be the case – hence working on it in shaa Allah).
Describe a typical working day. Are there specific times in the day that you work on your business?
Nopes. It is extremely flexible. Which is a good thing and a bad thing both. Good because sometimes you don’t feel like working or your kids/spouse/parents/siblings/friends etc. need you – and this helps you adjust your goals flexibly.
Bad because it means there isn’t much consistency then. Sometimes we end up meeting our goals, most of the times we don’t.
But perhaps that’s ok because success is from Allah – if we are to sacrifice things that actually matter, to get that success – we won’t have anything in our hands by the end of the day.
What are the pros and cons about being a working mum from home?
Pros – mentioned above. You can be there when your need arises because you don’t have to ask someone for a leave/break etc. You’re your own boss and your own employee lol.
Cons – like mentioned before – self care and inconsistency. It’s a huge challenge. Because the little time you may get for yourself either means you take care of your own needs or you indulge in your hobbies/business.
A lot of mamas handle them both amazingly but we’re still learning the balance of self care while rocking the business/blog. We’re still very new to this as AYEINA isn’t even 2 years old.
On your toughest days, what helps keep you motivated?
On toughest days, we either try to outsource or take a break. Because sometimes pushing yourself forward in those times can do more harm than taking a break. Cutting back on social media can be a huge relief actually. By automating and outsourcing that part of the business, you feel like a huge responsibility lifted off of your shoulders.
Otherwise, thinking how we started this as sadaqah jaariyah for ourselves keep us going.
Where would you like to see your blog and business in the future?
We plan on releasing a lot of products that we’ve been working on since forever (even before AYEINA came into being). For eg: a mealtime magnetic book for kids, an Islamic coloring/activity book for adults, and in shaa Allah a colorable version of our gratitude journal somewhere in the future. For now, we are focused on translation works of #AlhamdulillahForSeries gratitude journal for Muslims (Arabic is done alhamdulillah while French/German/Urdu/Malay etc. are under construction :D)
What advice would you give to mums considering taking the step of being a working mum?
Although we’d love to say – utilise time after Fajr, collaborate instead of compete etc.
But we’ve mentioned those points in other interviews often so here, we’d focus on one thing only (something that we’ve had a lot of people come to us for).
If immediate family members (parents, spouse etc.) don’t support you in your passion (blog or the business) then try convincing them before diving into the vastness of this field.
Sure, you can do it alone as well. Not doubting your abilities here. BUT entrepreneurship is a LOT of work on its own and without the support, you may constantly feel emotionally exhausted – something that is NOT good for your business in the long term. May be you’ll ace it at first but may be you’ll give up too soon.
If you want to take it along with you for long, get the support of those who matter to you. It doesn’t have to be a choice between the two. You can love both and work on both.
Support gained through love will go a long way as compared to the support gained through quarrelling etc.
You can read more about Ayeina in my previous feature: Saturday Spotlight: Ayeina. You can also download some special Alhamdulillah for Series freebies exclusive to my blog: #AlhamdulillahForSeries Freebies. And don’t forget to pop over to their blog to learn even more about them and their Alhamdulillah For Series: http://www.ayeina.com/
JazakAllah Khair to Ayeina for taking the time out of their busy schedule to answer my questions! If you are a muslim mum with a business and would like to feature then drop me a message in sha Allah.