April’s – ‘The Gratitude Issue’ – Download Now
Ten years ago, sisters Maryam and Muna Saeed took a leap of faith to launch their very own abaya brand Al Mraikn creating modern designs to empower women to feel confident in themselves.
Can you talk us through your career?
Al Mraikn is a family business between two sisters. We established our company to create abayas and dresses by myself and my sister Muna in 2011. We started our company from scratch. It was hard for two ladies to create a working environment of their own without anyone’s support, taking the huge risk of becoming businesswomen. But we believed in one another and we managed to create our own company and own line. We started with a small shop and four employees. From there it began to grow into creating our own factory, joining the biggest fashion events and becoming partners in huge e-commerce websites and working with influencers and bloggers.
What inspired you to start your own fashion brand with your sister?
My sister Muna is my biggest inspiration. In our business, I’m the heart and she is the brain. Our secret of having a successful career and brand is that we keep our divisions separated – I do the designs and she is the CEO. Our divisions are separate, yet we are also connected.
How has your brand evolved since it launched?
Our business evolved because we focus on four main factors – communication, commitment, division and keeping up with changes. We are always open up for new ideas, new journeys and never afraid to take new risks. In any business taking risks might be a huge step to take but believing in one another and having confidence in our work we evolved.
What does Al Mraikn represent?
Al Mraikn represents the powerful modern Arab woman. Our goal from day one for our clients to feel empowered and confident but yet practical. If you notice in our designs, we mainly focus on creating an outfit that would make the client feel feminine and elegant.
What sets Al Mraikn apart from other brands?
The abaya industry has grown exponentially in the last five years, but since we started our business 10 years ago, we’re ahead of the curve. We established a database and we’re incredibly connected to our clients, which is key in our business. We cherish our clients, we listen to them and we gain their trust – this sets us apart from other brands. Along with creating our own fashion line inspired by our culture, adding small creative touches to our styles also makes us stand out.
Who would you say your mentors are in life and how are you grateful for them?
Our mentors are key female figures in the United Arab Emirates who we consider to be our spiritual leaders. Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Al Ketbi is our biggest mentor given her connection to the woman field and how she made the women of this nation feel proud of themselves and made Emirati women be part of many sectors that we have never thought of becoming part of them. Her Highness Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum is also the queen of our hearts. Her Highness represents the kind and caring part of the Emirati woman and shows that as ladies we can all grow together all over the world by giving chances to people. Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi is also a true living example of a powerful woman. She stands up for woman rights and teaches the next generation that they can be successful, independent, kind and smart women. For that, we are grateful for these powerful leaders.
We’re all about female empowerment, as are you. How do you help empower women?
We aim to make our clients feel empowered by loving themselves and being confident in what they wear. Being the women they really want to be forging their careers, studying or being a mother. Whatever they do, we hope that wearing something timeless will help them stand out and feel confident in themselves.
How do you want to inspire others?
We aim to inspire the younger generation. We aim to encourage young ladies to have their work and be independent, powerful and intelligent ladies. We often get emails from younger women who would like to star their own businesses and we give them full support and hope to be an inspiration for many more.
This is ‘The Gratitude Issue’ – how do you practice gratitude in your life?
The most important thing any person should be grateful for is the blessing that we have and thanking God for that. We are grateful to live in a safe and developed country. We practice gratitude with our employees and clients every hour of the day because our employees are the heart of our work, we make sure that we make them feel loved and appreciated for each and every single detail. And, of course, to our clients for having trust in us and our work.
Feature image & images: Supplied All abayas by Al Mraikn, All jewellery by Shamsa Alabbar Jewellery
April’s – ‘The Gratitude Issue’ – Download Now
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