"I want to start my own clothing line, can you help me please?"
I do get these types of e-mails and messages a lot.
Most people who want to be entrepreneurs come up with the same reason for never getting started: "Where and how shall I begin?".
Below are more questions I want you to ask yourself.
Instagram Likes Don't Equal Success
You may be an absolutely famous designer among your friends and relatives, a bright blogger or IG star, but can you offer a commitment, be diligent, 24/7 hard-working and having no days off? If you say "no" to even one of the above questions, then your business should probably remain a hobby, not an income source.
Not Everyone Is an Entrepreneur
Can you live with uncertainty? Can you delay gratification? Are you persistent? Can you bounce back after disappointment? Can you find creative solutions to problems? Starting your own business is, quite literally, not for the weak of heart. You would need stamina to persevere in the face of the setbacks and failures they will inevitably face. Be honest about your desire to live the life of a not-yet-successful businessperson.
Even the Boss Takes Out the Trash
Working for yourself can be liberating - no boss to report to. But at the beginning there's also no receptionist to screen your calls, no cleaning service to tidy up your office and no technical support staff to solve your computer glitches. Can your ego handle the small stuff? If the answer is "no", then you may have problems adjusting to this new identity. I remember cleaning our 1st Annah Hariri office all by myself and never having an issue about it.
Is This All For Money And Likes?
If you main idea of starting own business is to have money or lots of likes and fame, then I would like you to re-think!
Forget about spending a little profit you (may) earn for Louboutin heels and a Prada bag. For minimum five first years of own business, you would need to invest all your savings and profits into the development and improvement!
For many entrepreneurs, success is about more than just making money. It’s about having an impact and doing something you love. When I reverted to Islam, I felt a deep need of doing something for this Ummah, of leaving a legacy. We are trying always to implement a fair trade at Annah Hariri. We support muslim brothers and sisters in need, offering them an opportunity to develop themselves and improve the situation of their families and extended relatives. We offer them fair salaries and comfortable working conditions with standard working hours, lunch breaks and holidays. Success isn't just a goal, it's a responsibility. And with your 100% commitment for the benefit of our Ummah, success will come from Allah.
Can You Do the Ihsan?
I have a dream! This dream is to see a strong modest wear brand run by Muslims and this brand being famous worldwide for its quality and service. I would like YOU too to have this dream too. When opening your own store or clothing line, let us aim to do the Ihsan (the best) and not just being an Instagram account shop. Let us not be afraid of using models with head coverings, without make up and excluding provocative posing. If we deliver the Ihsan, non-muslims will be attracted to modest wear brands even if the advertising campaign has a lady in a hijab!
Anything you do and especially if you do this for the society requires a total dedication. We have started in 2012 as a family business and now we developed a proper set-up with administrative staff, tailors, pattern-makers, embroidery specialists and quality control. And this requires a lot of time, resources, money and thinking to be invested. I see the job I am doing as a serious project: the Islamic clothes market is an emerging industry with a huge potential. But unfortunately there is no single Islamic brand recognized globally and catering to the fashion needs of the Muslim population worldwide. Muslim designers and companies need to develop in this direction and to establish global Islamic clothing brands. And this challenging task is surely not an overnight idea.
Figure It Out Yourself!
I have not spoken about machines you need to purchase, how many meters of fabrics to buy for your 1st collection or how to market your products... Because if you answer "yes" to all the above questions, you will figure out these baby steps yourself. YOU and only YOU would know by means of trying and error what will work for you. You will keep trying until you find the correct way. You will not quit at the 1st obstacle and will not blame anyone but move forward. And last bust not least
Do Not Forget Istikhara!
In this day and age, people doubt the effect of Istikhaarah and do not give it due importance. This is a Sunnah and a metod through one asks Allah to guide his heart towrds that which is correct.
Sa’ d ibn Waqas reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Istikharah (seeking guidance from Allah) is one of the distinct favors (of Allah) upon man, and a good fortune for the son of Adam is to be pleased with the judgment of Allah..."
Ibn Taimiyyah said, “He who seeks guidance from the Creator and consults the creatures will never regret it.”