Sunday, 22 May 2016

AN EXCLUSIVE WITH MARIAMTRISH


Hi, I would like to introduce a series on the blog to you all which I call “THE MODEST MERCHANT”; I am bringing in “THE MODEST MERCHANT” to this platform to make it easier for lovers of modest clothing, hijab, and hijab accessories to find a trusted merchant. I find it necessary to create this platform because I know some people out there still find modest clothing not easily accessible; you would agree with me that it could be challenging to find a perfect modest outfit for occasions. I will be featuring different “MODEST MERCHANTS” whom you can contact for your modest fix.

Allow me to introduce to you our very first MODEST MERCHANT, Mariam of the MariamTrish Collections.

Tell us about yourself

I am Mariam Adewumi Lawal. A civil engineer, entrepreneur, shopaholic and a fashion stylist. I am from kwara state.

What is the story behind MariamTrish Collection; when did it start and what inspired you?  

Alhamdulilah, MTC started during my undergraduate days, even though we had no brand name then. I have always been a business minded person. I used to find it very difficult to get unique and nice long skirts and dresses for my daily use and occasionally for faculty dinners in school, which prompted me into buying fabrics and designing them to suit my taste. I have been helping my sister to sell clothes and shoes in the hostel since back then.

 
The journey to brand MTC started during my youth service, late 2013, when I was posted to Lagos. People have always loved my scarves and always requested for them; fortunately, I was able to get where I could buy them (scarves) in large quantity. I decided to go into scarves and veils business because; firstly, it is not capital intensive when compared to wears, and also because I do bespoke tailoring. I opened my Instagram page @Mariam_Trish few days to my birthday, April 25th 2014, and posted some pictures of the scarves I bought. Ma shaa Allah, I was overwhelmed with the response I got from people, the rest was story and that was how MTC started.

How was it like when you started and how is the enterprise now??

When the business started, MTC was basically into sales of Chiffon Scarves, Veils and bespoke tailoring. Our customers started asking for different types of Scarves, Hijab pins, Abaya, Caps,Turbans etc, they wanted everything Muslimah. We had to expand our business and therefore started selling different types of Scarves in terms of their materials and sizes (Chiffon, Viscose, Cotton, pashmina, Jersey, Jakard, Silk Scarves etc).

We added Brooches, Hijab pins, Sunglasses, Hangers and many more just to please our lovely customers. We also introduced Hijab accessories as well as tutorials for those who do not know how to use them. We introduced RanaHijab which is the super cute Hijab for corporate outfits. Now the business line keeps increasing. MTC is now into bridal veils and styling; this started late 2015 and alhamdulilah we have designed nine bridal veils and also done three bridal styling so far. The latest products added to our collection are Necklaces & Hand bracelets, but we will be introducing Caps and Turban soon In sha Allah. 

 


Is delivery limited to Nigeria?

Delivery is worldwide not only in Nigeria. We deliver anywhere; I have delivered to places like Ghana, UK. Our delivery package includes ‘doorstep delivery’, ‘state parks’, it all depends on the customer’s choice. We are working on the ‘pay on delivery’ method for our customers within Lagos. 

What are the lessons you have learnt since you started MTC?

The first lesson learnt is that nothing is too small to start, with God by ones side, a step forward is all it takes with a passionate and strong mind which is not willing to give up. I never imagined we could go this far within the short period. Secondly, I have learnt one need to be very patient when doing business because you get to interact a lot with different people with different views and character. I also try to treat all customers with lots of respect and never look down on anyone as such customer could be the one to uplift ones business and lastly to always put trust in God and have faith that all is going to be well.

What does modest fashion mean to you?

Modest fashion to me means a woman not revealing parts of her body and yet still looking chic. It does not necessarily have to be only Muslim sisters, modesty applies to all women. However Islam preaches and instructs women to cover their head and all their body, except for their faces and hands. Therefore to me a non-Muslim who is not covering her head but her outfit is not revealing is modest according to her religion requirements. May Almighty Allah make it easy for us all. Ameen

What is your relation like with customers; how do you interact with them?

I have met super lovely and nice customers even though I have met only few personally; they have trusted me with their money and patronized MTC. Nonetheless, it has been quite challenging to satisfy them all as some customers want things to go their way always. One has to be very patient when dealing with customers and also try to please them. I interact basically with my customers on Instagram, BBM, WhatsApp and through phone calls, I have the privilege to have met very few of them. Most customers pay for orders and their orders are delivered to their various locations through public transports or Express couriers depending on their preferences

Do you get criticisms from customers or other entrepreneurs? If yes, how do you deal with such criticisms? 

So far I have never received any criticism from other entrepreneur but I know there will be, it’s just a normal occurrence for business. Everybody can't like you, Lol.

Conclude with whatever you would like other people to know about being a self made entrepreneur. 

A thousand miles starts with a step, all the challenges and downs we face now is to build us up for future challenges.

Thanks for your time, Mariam.

1 comment:

  1. Barka Allahu fih in sha Allah sweetmi...ameen
    May almighty Allah continually see you through. Iyalaje worldwide lol

    ReplyDelete

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