Please introduce yourself
‘AYE’ is to AYEsha and ‘INA’ is to SamINA (Together known as AYEINA)
Founders of AYEINA – Two Muslim mom bloggers, countries apart, with hearts as one. Sisters by birth and best-est of friends who are commonly known as the “twin-ninjas”.
Ayesha - a mum of 2 (with 3rd coming soon in shaa Allah) is 30 years old, living in a joint family (with in-laws) in Pakistan and studying Islamic psychology from Islamic Online University.
Samina - mum of 1 is 26 years old, residing in Dubai, UAE and studying Advanced Arabic from Islamic Online University.
Tell us a bit about your business
AYEINA as a whole is an online space for Muslims to reflect – a community of people trying to strengthen their Islamic identity and make the best of both worlds.
It started simply as a blog and soon turned into business with #AlhamdulillahForSeries gratitude journal launch. AYEINA is only one and a half year old right now so total newbies here :D
We started #AlhamdulillahForSeries as a digital series which was later turned into a book due to public demand alhamdulillah. But instead of just making it into a gratitude book, we turned it into a journal because that's what the series aimed for - to make it interactive for people to be more grateful and blessed as a result in shaa Allah.
This is one of the reasons, we turned it into a Biyearly Contest as well - to bring Muslims from all over the world through the power of Alhamdulillah. Gratitude bringing us all together and exuding positive vibes on a universal level.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced?
Before this gratitude journal, we designed a meal time magnetic book around the series but it never came into existance because of the risks that were involved in the process. High amount of personal investment plus having to trust some printing company (somewhere in China) with such huge amount. We struggled to find a manufacturer for this and asked around but got no help.
We'd like to specially thank Zanib Mian who went out of her way to help out alhamdulillah. Although it wasn't something we were looking for, we really appreciate her help amidst the time of need. In the time when others rejected to offer any kind of help. The designs are still sitting in drafts until we figure out all the logistics of it in shaa Allah.
We knew it would take time so we simply moved forward. Something which was slightly easier to achieve. And ended up designing and printing this journal instead. Finding a trustable printing company was a massive task for this one as well.
How do you balance it all? Family and work?
We usually work when the kids are asleep or along with the kids when it comes to artsy stuff (it's so much more fun - caution: also messy). Alhamdulillah for extremely supportive husbands who help out in terms of website design, shipping etc. Yet it's a lot of work sometimes which is why we ended up hiring interns who help us out in tiny tasks here and there. And not to mention all the lovely volunteers who contribute every now and then.
We still struggle to juggle so many roles as both of us are also students (Islamic psychology and Arabic language). So outsourcing and lowering your expectations and standards can be a breath of fresh air in such times. Everything doesn't have to be perfect and you don't necessarily have to do what everyone else is doing.
We let our intern (more like our sister) handle some of the social media accounts and other little marketing tasks to lift off the burden from our shoulders. She carries them beautifully alhamdulillah.
Have you got any advice for aspiring mumpreneurs?
1) Utilise the time after Fajr. Utilise every minute of it. The amount of work you'll get done in that time will leave you fulfilled for the rest of the day. That barakah has no comparison with any other time you may get. Doing all at night usually drains you out because your brain isn't ready for creative work when it's so tired after the whole day of work (I am editing this at 1am ironically :/ So the advice is for me first lol)
2) Journal positivity. Comparison will knock at your door the first day you'll start your journey towards entrepreneurship. So it's extremely important to celebrate your tiny achievements. Keep a gratitude journal for it or make a gratitude wall, a positivity board - anything really. As long as you are grateful, your blessings will increase. This way - little will become enough. Which is very important for you to be able to progress without comparing it with anyone else's progress as no path is the same.
3) By this time, this will definitely sound like a grandma lecture :p but hey! Collaborate instead of compete. Can't stress enough on it. You will only rise up by lifting others up. So help people out and you will see it come around. Some may use you. Some may ignore. Some may benefit. No matter what, you'll see yourself flourish as a result. Exude positive vibes and it will attract positivity around you as well.
P.S. This doesn't mean that you get bit by a snake twice. This means that you will want for your brother what you want for yourself and as a result, Allah will make your path easy too! Because you don't only build relationships this way, you build trust, love, unity and most of all connections! You build a community - an ummah that wants good for each other just like they want good for themselves!
This is what drives the idea of AYEINA's tagline - "Believer is the believer's mirror". And this is why we recently made a page on AYEINA called "Let's collaborate" - because we love to collaborate with anyone and everyone.