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Business in the Spotlight – Asateer Scarves Interview & Review
Asateer Scarves – More to the story than meets the eye.
In this new series called Business In The Spotlight, we highlight Muslim owned or Muslim catering businesses to understand the human story behind the brand.
I’ve “known” Nadia since 2009.
Of course, we’ve never met.
In this brave new world of internet friendship, it’s really an upgraded version of being Pen Pals.
Despite living an ocean apart, Nadia and I have had a good friendship Alhamdulillah.
She’s been there for me in good times and bad.
When she told me she was starting a new business for luxury Hijabs I was all ears.
Asateer means Story in Arabic, and if you’ve ever glanced at Nadia’s blog or even her Instagram, this lady is a storyteller and traveller.
Based in Dubai, but from Pakistan, she too married an Indian (albeit mine’s British born).
And she has actually managed to visit India which I never have #pakistanivisaproblems.
The Story Behind Asateer Scarves
Asateer Scarves is an online boutique for premium scarves.
They launched on 10th October 2017.
Creating scarves for smart, creative, professional Muslim women.
Colours meant to inspire and elevate whilst recognising we all have professions, so they have plain colours too.
I WANT THE WHOLE COLLECTION!
INSPIRATION STRIKES IN MALAYSIA
Masood and I were vacationing in Malaysia a year ago.
During our 15-day stay, I had the chance to closely interact with the friendly locals, sample their delicacies, and observe their fashion styles.
I noticed how fashionable Malaysian women are!
They’re educated, appear confident, hardworking, and love colourful clothes and scarves.
Comfortably wearing satin and silk in the country’s year-round tropical climate and they manage to look so stylish!
With so many branded scarves options and I thought, why don’t we have the same in the UAE?
As women who work hard to become financially independent, we deserve to look our best from head to toe.
This inspired me to start Asateer Scarves.
BUMPS IN THE ROAD
Every business has bumps in the road, and it’s important to talk about them.
After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Nadia’s obstacles centred on the fact that people thought the market was flooded with Hijab companies.
I know this because just before I got married my mum and I were going to start a Hijab business, but after looking at the competition we decided against it.
In the end, Nadia’s stayed true to her vision that the smart, creative and financially independent Muslim women don’t want to look like everyone else.
After all, a cheap hijab doesn’t go with that Michael Kors bag that I see every other Hijabi wearing!
The fabric is high quality.
As Nadia explained to me, the UAE is a small and expensive country that imports all its fabrics which drives up the cost.
So, they need to charge more to make a profit.
Shipping from the UAE to the outside world is expensive.
But, they’ve managed to partner with courier companies that charge the least shipping rates.
They’re a small family based start-up with day jobs, families etc.
Looking at their social media accounts, you wouldn’t know that at all!
They provide such high-quality consistent images, you’ll be dreaming of where to wear your scarf!
WHAT MAKES ASATEER SCARVES UNIQUE?
We like to think of Asateer Scarves as an experience.
A personal one.
We like to remember each person who purchases with us and build relationships that lasts.
We will guide you from the moment you reach out to us to make your purchase, help you make a decision, like your own personal shopper who will craft a special shopping experience for you.
Fabrics are carefully chosen.
Scarves are cut, stitched, tested, and labelled ourselves.
We do not mass produce or import ready-made scarves.
We create our own so that you get unique pieces.
Because of this, each scarf type comes in a limited number of pieces, and we don’t mind. We are here to try and make the best scarves we can, not the most scarves we can.
Once you select and the scarves, we iron-out any creases, fold and pack them in special custom-made Asateer Scarves boxes.
We like to insert a little “Thank You” note, and seal in a hint of fragrance (a little experiment that we’d recently started: try to send you a scent of Arabia through the scarves).
We then tie the box with a white ribbon.
Finally, we send your scarves off for shipping with lots of love and duas.
The special packaging and the option to add a personalised note make Asateer Scarves ideal gifts, too!
Nadia shared a wonderful story about a customer from Australia buying some scarves from Asateer Scarves for her grandmother who was visiting the UAE from Kuwait.
The Asateer team decided to surprise the grandmother with a personal delivery that made her day!
THE CHARITY ELEMENT
Anyone can start a business, but to start a business with the intention of helping others and serving a community, that really intrigued me.
My mum always said to me when you intend to start a business, give a portion to charity and Allah will always look after your business.
That’s why I love the fact that Asateer Scarves works with Nusratul Masakeen a charity organisation in India that is based in Hyderabad and Mangalore.
It was set up in 2012 and is registered under the Societies’ Registration Act of 1860.
Its primary focus is to improve the quality of life of destitute elders primarily in the rural areas through its welfare projects by providing free rations, Ramzan Kit, free medicines and consultations.
They have also helped several poor families to arrange weddings for their daughters, as well as provide Scholarship Programs for their children.
We believe in an honest and ethical approach to the way we conduct business, and also in giving back to society.
So each time you purchase a scarf, you’re helping someone else improve their life and gain sawaab, insha’Allah.
I know you’re all here for the awesome pictures of the scarf.
Nadia very kindly sent me and a few select bloggers a scarf of our choice.
I pretty much stopped wearing colourful Hijabs a while ago as people told me to be more serious as I got into my 30’s.
Nadia told me to do what I want, so I chose something similar to what I used to wear, a bright unapologetic floral print.
As soon as it arrived, it made me feel feminine and beautiful.
This is how the scarf came packaged, in this gorgeous box with a ribbon securing it.
Inside, in beautiful tissue paper with an Asateer Scarf sticker was the actual Hijab, neatly folded and crease free.
The gorgeous Asateer label was visible and really makes it feel more luxe.
A few days later, I was due to meet fellow blogger Nishi V and I asked her if she would mind doing a Photo Shoot for me.
She thankfully agreed and on a dull drizzly day, laughed at by a toddler we tried to take some photos to justify the beauty of this Hijab.
HOW MUCH ARE THEY?
Most of the scarves are £21 with the silk ones around £41 which are expensive but as explained in the post, it’s hard to source fabric this good.
I’ve already ordered 2 more which I will share on Instagram as part of my birthday present from my husband Alhamdulillah.
But since the shipping rate is a flat rate up to 3 scarves and then the shipping price goes up so you can buy 1 for you, 1 for a friend, 1 for mum etc.
SHOULD YOU BUY?
If you’re looking for good quality premium Hijabs for yourself or for gifting, then I would highly recommend Asateer Scarves.