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Creative Muslim Women Toronto Meet Up

September 29, 2015 1 Comment

Creative Muslim Women Toronto Meet Up

The Creative Muslim Women East-enders group met at Kaamilah boutique past weekend.

Creative Muslim Women Meet up

The event was attended by:

  • Maryum Zahed, founder of restaure. Their goal is to revive vintage furniture into modern beautiful pieces  Check out their beautiful furniture pieces here: facebook, Instagram
  • Iman Khan, Manager of Online Operations for kaamilahonline.com.
  • Sundus A, founder of Silk of Paradise, a home to breathtaking accessories, home decor. Take a look here: facebook, instagram
  • Nobera Chowdhury, a Counsellor and Life Coach, who assists Muslim women in experiencing inner peace, true happiness and contentment. Here’s where you can find her:  Facebook, and her website
  • Asma Nakhuda, founder of Pearl Amour Jewels - a birthplace of dainty, modern, everyday jewelry and jewelry for bridesmaids or weddings. Get a sneak peek into her creations here: facebook, instagram
  • Farheen Khan, founder of Kaamilah, an author, a crafter and a homeschool mom (Think I got the order right? ;)) Follow her on facebook and instagram - and of course on Kaamilah!
  • Hafsa Khizer, Artist, photographer, designer, and author. Get a sneak peek into her multi dimensional talent! Click here: Instagram and facebook
  • Hafsa Taher (me!), a paper crafter and artisan at HafsaCreates. Experimenting new techniques and media, follow her journey here on instagram and facebook
  • Afsana Reshmin, a teacher by day, a crafter by night (and lunch breaks at school :)). Follow her beautiful creations and sneak peeks into her adventures with twin toddlers on facebook and instagram
  • Sukaina Walji-Karim, an artist by profession and passion, and a mom of one. Follow her art on facebook and instagram.
  • Fathima Jafar, a banker by trade, Fathima began designing her own event invitations to reflect her individual personality and style. Take a look at her creativity here: facebook
  • Farhana Jogiat Khote, social worker by day, and a foodie by day and night! You'd think so when you see her scrumptious dishes on Instagram! Disclaimer: Do NOT click here  if you're fasting ;) 
  • Sobia Hussain, a jack of all trades! Sobia is a professional soap artisan and creative director of The Olive Tree Soap Company. Also the Editor of Muslim and Contributor for international publications including: Halal Foodie Magazine, My Halal Kitchen, Halal Gems and Productive Muslim. Get a sneak peak into her life, as she juggles the roles everyday: Facebook, Instagram







Sobia organized a creative challenge game where each team was given random craft supplies and were to make something creative out it it. The final products was to be presented to the remaining group and Sobia and Hafsa judged the creations based on creativity, presentation, and bonus points for making more than one product.


P.S: Did I forget to mention FOOD? :)

Now on to the final activity of the day! Everyone was asked to write down one challenge they were experiencing with their business/creativity. The questions were grouped in four buckets - social media, work life balance, business growth. Then the topics and solutions were discussed in the smaller groups after which it was presented to the bigger group, as a whole.

Social Media

  • Use Hootsuite to schedule social media (Recommended by Hafsa Khizer)
  • Best times to post noon-3pm, Some research suggest 9am / 9pm.
  • Share sneak peeks into your business - whether it is how you make something, a photo of your work space.

Work -Life - Business balance

  • Scheduling time for work, and time for family, helps in maintaining a balance between the you, mentioned Sobia (of Olive Tree Soap). Sobia is moving into a studio space for her soapmaking (wohooo!), and excited that this physical move will help maintain focus. She went on to suggest, taking weekend off work/ business (so did Hafsa Khizer), being totally in a mom-mode during that time. Setting a routine also helps.
  • Nobera encouraged us to focus on our emotional wellbeing. When we are burnt out, we are not benefitting anyone - not even ourselves.
    • Take regular breaks, and downtimes. Say no to tasks that don’t fit your life goals.
    • Prioritize, by finding a niche
    • Spend time to do the internal work and find a direction for your business.
  • For artists, inspiration doesn’t come always when you schedule it in. Sukaina referred to one of her custom orders she worked on, where she was asked to make a memorabilia for a friend’s daughter. As an artist, you have empathize what the customer might be going through to make an item that is so touching. It was very emotional experience for her. She had to take a weekend off, off from family and life, to focus and throw herself into it. (Click here to see the final product)

Business growth

  • The best way to get started is just do it! Sukaina (Art by SWT) suggested experimenting different styles.
  • Hafsa Khizer suggested selling online to start opens your doors to 7 billion people (Not that everyone’s your audience, but you get the idea :))
  • Be genuine and sincere in your marketing. Share as much or as little of your life, as it feels comfortable. Some example of good newsletters: http://wellnesswithyasmin.com/ and
  • Brainstorm who your ideal customer is. Maryum (Restaure) referred to this example in her discussion:
:-Specificity doesn’t necessarily refer to a product or product category even. Rather, Anthropologie focuses on a specific customer. The brand then caters a wide variety of products (from clothing and towels to books and gifts) to the specific customer.
The company culture refers to the customer as “our friend,” a term which, you get the sense, is probably somewhat true. Anthropologie really does know its customers on this “friend” level. Even more impressive, they aren’t so much “trying to sell” to their friends, as they are trying to create a full, shopping experience.” Source

  • Regarding pricing, “Don’t cheat yourself by pricing your products too low”, Asma (Pearl Amour Jewels) advised the group. Calculate the cost of your supplies, the time and effort spent on it. Also, it helps to research the market for similar products. Maryum (Restaure) mentioned when a customer loved her furniture piece and then asked her for a discount, her first thoughts, “Oh you like it? Really? yes, of course”. She mentioned it takes practice to restrain from saying it to the customer. Instead now, she asks if she can call back at a later time. This gives her time to decide how to reply.
Resources to check out: 

A BIG thank you to all the attendees, and of course to Emma Apple, the founder of Creative Muslim Women group for bring such amazing talent and creativity under one (virtual) roof!

1 Response

Sukaina Walji Karim
Sukaina Walji Karim

September 29, 2015

Loved meeting everyone at the meet up Sunday. Thank you for the recap very helpful.

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