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.
My name is Amina, I am a mum of two kids, newly graduated in BA (hons) and run two Instagram pages. One of my pages is a personal page just about new ways to keep kids busy in an interactive way which allows us as a parent to facilitate activities which are generally easy set ups but also engaging for kids and keep them well entertained. During this lockdown I decided I wanted to set something up for myself and began a new business page called The Bow Shop, where I hand make hair bows and other hair accessories for little girls.
What makes your business different from your competitors?
What makes us different from our competitors is that we are always trying our best to cater to our clients. We try as much as possible to customize our items to best suit our customers. We aim to continually update our items and design. Finally we are a business that solely believes in team work, being a small start up, we try our best to support other small businesses as much as possible through collabs and giveaways so that ultimately we can grow together.
What inspired you to start working from home? Did anyone in particular inspire you?
As a start up, there is very little financial benefit from starting your own business venture. For me, I have always been a creative person and I just wanted to have a creative outlet for myself. I enjoy making beautiful pieces for my little girl and love the fact that it can put a smile on other little girls too. I’ve also been lucky enough to have so many women around me who have been able to raise kids and get on with whatever they want to do in life, they have never seen kids as a deterrence and neither do i.
Is your family supportive of you being a working mother?
In terms of moral support, alhumdulilah I’ve always had all my family there for me. Whether it’s been with working a job or doing the bows, alhumdulilah all members have always been supportive and motivating regardless of whatever my decisions have ultimately been.
What are the main challenges you face as a mum and an entrepreneur?
Main challenges are that it can get hard to find focus on things other than your work. I hardly spend much time on my bows as the kids are around me at all waking hours, however because I have so much on my mind about what I want to do, sometimes it feels like although I’m with them, I’m mentally not with them. Though its hard and maybe not a typical business structure… I try to space out the time I work on my bows so that the kids are not affected or feel second.
Describe a typical working day. Are there specific times in the day that you work on your business?
No. One thing I feel important to me is having a flexible structure. Mental health and kids both are important. I love working on my bows but this is not a full time thing. My daytime is mainly with the kids and once they are asleep and I feel “awake” enough I work on my bows. There are some nights where I wont work at all and others I will work for an hour or two. I would love to say I have a set structure but I don’t and I don’t push myself to have one either. I don’t believe that just because everyone does something a certain way means that that would be the only way to do things. This is a format that fits me… so long as I make my orders in time and in good quality, I have no pressure and I enjoy what I am doing alhumdulilah.
What are the pros and cons about being a working mum from home?
Pros – working from home means that for me, my timings are completely flexible and fit around my family. Being able to have that control on what you want to do. Having that creative outlet. Spending time with kids and family.
Cons – forever cleaning up all the little pieces from the floor.Your mind becomes a forever to do list switching between house needs, kids needs and bow needs.
On your toughest days, what helps keep you motivated?
Rest – sometimes it’s just important to step back and take a breather… run a hot bath or do a face mask or maybe even go for a run (I don’t run but generally do the first two), something that just moves me away from kids and bows to clear my mind, feel fresh and come back a lot more energised.
Where would you like to see your business in the future?
I would like to see my business enable me to continue doing what I love doing which is being creative. I don’t mind about whether it gets big or not so long as I get that opportunity to make even a few people some beautiful pieces I would be super grateful. One thing that would be important to me is to regularly have my business bring awareness to different charities and poverty. I would like my business to slowly have an ethos of holding regular charity events ie raffles or other competitions to support and remember those who are less fortunate and hopefully help them grow as we grow inshallah.
What advice would you give to mums considering taking the step of being a working mum?
Don’t think of your kids as something which stops you from doing what you want to do. Being a working mum is not easy but it’s also not impossible. Be easy on yourself, throw away the book that says that you have to do things a particular way to run a business and instead just push yourself to be that working woman that you want to be, the way that best suits you and your family at home. Also, if you are to start a business then first start it for yourself rather than for financial gain or other reasons, it takes over a full year to have a business fully set up, sometimes even longer, so be patient, give yourself time and just enjoy the journey.
Thank you sister Amina for taking part in my series. If you’re interested in knowing more about Amina’s work, then visit her on Instagram: The Bow Shop.
If you are a muslim mum with a business and would like to feature then drop me a message in sha Allah.