For those of you that haven’t heard my news, I recently became brand ambassador to Mini Muslim Playground, a new up and coming online Islamic Toy Store. I am so pleased to be able to work with the lovely sister Allya in spreading the work about the products available for Muslim children and took the opportunity to ask her a few questions so my readers could get to know a bit more about her.
My name is Allya, I am 31 years old, happily married and I live in East London with a gorgeous cat who has a very big mouth which keeps me entertained! I love my quiet life, in my corner of the world, with my two beautiful families, (my own and my in-laws), and would describe myself as a very homely lady. Let me start off by telling you a little about my own family… my father, a true inspiration. He had a stroke when I was around 15 years old and I was in High School. His whole left side was left paralysed and his life went from active and working to completely idle and bed ridden. This time was probably one of the hardest times in my family’s life; it affected us all. I was in High School visiting the hospital every day after school, not leaving my dad’s side until the last minute was up at visiting hours, and still faffing around with my dad’s pillows and bed to ensure he was comfortable the whole night. Watching my mum look after him like he was a baby; what a strong willed woman Alhumdulillah. She is my role model, an amazing patient, gentle and one of the most decent women I know. Though this time was one of the toughest, my dad turned his life around – he picked himself up, turned to Islam with 100% commitment and whilst living with him every day I heard him making dua for absolutely EVERYONE we know, naming each one… It would sometimes bring tears to my eyes. I have two older brothers who are both happily married and a gorgeous new addition to our family, Eesa. The coolness of his parents eyes… Alhumdulillah!
I got married to my husband in April 2015. As mentioning this, I have just realised it’s been nearly 2 years since we have been married… how time flies ma sha Allah. Marrying my husband was probably the best thing that happened to me. I truly appreciate him and the things he does for me, especially after my first marriage in 2008 was a complete shambles that left me a broken woman for years. After going through something like that, and not imagining something like that happening to you, to then find somebody who adores and loves you for who you are is one of the nicest and most humbling feelings in the world. He is my rock. I couldn’t have asked for a better husband and in-laws who are also my family and the nicest people I know. The Hyderabadi cooking is a bonus of marrying my husband – all I am saying is if you haven’t tried Hyderbadi dishes – you are missing out! We had a new addition to the family in June 2016,my chubby niece Safa – she is absolutely beautiful, and now you know why my characters names are Safa and Eesa for Mini Muslim Playground! You can check out the video here:
Mini Muslim Playground came about in December 2016. It had been an idea in the making for around two years, but life got in the way. I got married in 2014, my Husband joined our existing business, we bought a house, we both got busy with our families, and nearly two years had flown by. I was at my Khala’s (Mum’s Sisters) house in Birmingham when I finally said to my husband “That’s it! I am doing my Islamic Toys business and I want to do something different and unique with it”. That’s where it all began – the next few days was about choosing the name, sorting out the logo and getting in touch with lots of suppliers! The name and the logo credit goes to my husband – he would be sad if I don’t mention this… haha. Both our families were blessed with the first babies in the family on both sides, Safa and Eesa, and this motivated me more to start up the business and make it a success. So logo and name decided, I went ahead and bought our domain name. Still a little hesitant and anxious about starting up a whole new business, I then received a phone call from a Sister asking if I’d be interested in buying a bulk amount of stock as they were closing down the company. I took this as a positive and felt as though this was a sign from Allah for me to carry on and start the business, giving it all the energy and drive that I had. Starting any new business has its own obstacles such as finances, the branding and the way I wanted the business to be built. It is a project that is so close to my heart and I wanted it to be what I imagined.
Alhumdulillah a month and a half on from starting the business, I am blessed to have introduced a number of different products to the website. The feedback has been absolutely amazing! I have 3 amazing Ambassador’s, suppliers that are willing to help in any way and I am building great relationships with some lovely customers of mine. I am working on two or three new product ranges that will be launched sometime this year and this is the exact route I wanted to go down; my own products but not taking away from the other amazing Islamic learning tools available through all the other products.
My vision for the future of the business is to sustain a steady growth, introduce more of my own products and to in sha Allah be happy with anything Allah gives to me through this. I have always been a humble individual and like my little quiet life in the corner of this world. All I aim to do with Mini Muslim Playground is reach as many Muslim parents to help them with the necessary tools to give their children the Islamic learning tools that we didn’t have when we were younger.
For anybody who is willing to start a business, I would firstly like to offer you the chance to have a chat with me, I would be happy to help in any way I can. Business is tough, it always is and will always have its ups and downs which you need to be prepared for, but there is great satisfaction in having your own business especially when it’s as rewarding as Mini Muslim Playground is for me. If you have an idea, I say go for it! It’s a risk but in sha Allah always make dua, reach out to Allah for help and HE WILL give it to you.. He is the most Gracious, the most Merciful…
JazakAllah Khair to sister Allya for taking the time out to answer some of my questions. Make sure you follow Mini Muslim Playground on their social media to keep up to date with them and any launches of future products!