Entrepreneurship is no easy deal. It all starts based on an idea; the idea is brought to life and if it's a good enough idea, profits follow through. However, entrepreneurship also means having to assume and unwillingly embrace all the downfalls and losses that come along with it. The entrepreneur has to constantly juggle marketing, financing and promoting their business. What if alongside all these, they had to be a student as well? Well yes, it sounds very intimidating but some students have brilliantly managed to pursue their dreams of owning a business that promotes Islamic fashion, alongside dealing with their relentless coursework and assignments.
Owned by Aydha Mehnaz, “a biochemist in the making” and an undergrad student at North South University Dhaka, Minazification started out as a YouTube channel. Ever since, available on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and of course YouTube, Minazification has evolved to be an extremely popular platform for Hijab tutorials, Hijab fashion and makeup tutorials tending to both hijabis and non-hijabis. When asked what inspired Minazification, Aydha Mehnaz replied, “I believe the beautiful life we are blessed with is too short and if we have something worth sharing which people find interesting, whether it be something small or something big, it should be shared. When I started out with a few tutorials, the response and appreciation I received were overwhelming; I started receiving requests for making more tutorials and was even asked for advices unrelated to fashion.”
The one woman army that Aydha Mehnaz is manages Minazification on her own. She thinks of Minazification as a communication portal where women embracing hijab, both in Bangladesh and worldwide, can connect through their love for fashion and more. Aydha believes that the key to a successful business lies in the perseverance to continue, to move forward despite all the hate mails, snide judgements as well as endurance through the inherent pressure of attempting to remain a good student.
With the increasing number of women incorporating their faith in hijab, hijab fashion is becoming a growing market in Bangladesh. At such times, women are on the lookout for boutiques invested in incorporating a fresh outlook within beautiful designs, which is the exact definition of Veiled Glamour. Veiled Glamour began its journey on July 2012 with the motto “My hijab, my pride”. “My sisters and I realised that a lot of women tend to think that maybe once they started wearing hijab, they could no longer be fashionable. We wanted to change that thought. We wanted to create designs which would be modest yet trendy and share them with our Muslimah sisters,” explained Sarah Masud. Sarah is one of the founders of Veiled Glamour, and is currently studying BBA at North South University, Dhaka.
Veiled Glamour offers the whole lot required to complete an elegant outfit incorporating hijab: pashminas, scarves, abayas, hijab pins and more. When asked about how to maintain a balance between all the strenuous studying and managing Veiled Glamour, Sarah said that time management and determination is very important, along with setting the priorities in the correct order. She added, “The support from friends and family in times of need is extremely vital in order to keep a business running.” Veiled glamour is available on Facebook and also circulates various events like the IRA fair and Zakat fair.
Islamic fashion, however, is not only for women but men as well. Deen Calling brings a wide range of t-shirts and sweatshirts for men, incorporating Islam in each of its product with a creative twist. Waheed Rahman, CEO and founder of Deen Calling who's currently studying Biotechnology Engineering at International Islamic University Malaysia, said, “Deen Calling is just our way of restoring our pride in Islam, but being creative at the same time.” Waheed believes managing Deen calling has proactively taught him of the aspects of creatively maintaining a business -- from production to branding.
Entrepreneurship can be a huge responsibility, but with the right support and a lot of determination, is completely doable even for students! In return, it only adds to a person's list of skills: multitasking, time management and definitely leadership. So if you're up for it, start working on your dream of owning a business without delay.