Naba Faizi/ Girl in the Headscarf
Naba Faizi/ Girl in the Headscarf
Naba’s work first came to my attention when someone I had met at a gathering, had posted her pics on social media, wearing Girl in the Headscarf brand. Initially I had thought she was the one behind the brand.When I next met her, I asked how she managed school and a business, to which she replied: “That’s Naba.”
Facts straightened for me, I still maintain the same respect which had originally permeated me to ask the question. It is a great joy to present through my platform, people who are inspirational personally. Naba, definitely, from among them.
Naba Faizi loves anything that brings out her creativity. She also loves to connect with other women and learn, collaborate, and get inspiration from them. Girl in the Headscarf is a way of using her voice through art but also connecting with other great women who are on the path to leadership, mentorship, entrepreneurship and everything amazing!
Other than art, she loves writing, reading sufi poetry, caffeine, exploring nature, and all things that bring out the old-soul in her. She has a Masters of City Planning from the University of Utah.
Inspiration behind Girl in the Headscarf
It all started out with my best friend, we both love old bollywood and all things vintage. I thought, why not design a shirt for her birthday with a bollywood movie scene and some good old dialogue? Guess what? She loved it! Then I thought,
“Hey I love doing this, and I love designing, and always find myself doodling something relative to the muslim-desi experience.“
So I decided that I want to start an Etsy shop. All I knew was that I love this and I am going to open up my own shop! I also started my own blog around the same time, so I thought of putting it all together and making it a brand. That is where the name started, ‘Girl in the Headscarf’. I wanted to blog with some sort of anonymity with a name that was iconic. I found the two as a way to share a piece of myself. I hope that this provides a space of creativity, healing, inspiration, and growth for anyone who may come across my art or blog.
Story behind the brand name
Girl in the headscarf was chosen because it stood out to me. It was a way for me to put myself out there without really being known in a sense. I started out blogging with that name and ended up linking it to my shop as a brand. My experiences and thoughts in my blog sometimes ended up translating into my art, so it kind of all came together in a sense.
Creating art and challenges faced
Getting lost in the process and losing motivation were the two challenges that I experienced. I started this during college and didn’t always put as much focus into my work and shop. I have learned to be forgiving with myself that this too was a part of my process of not having motivation or inspiration to create anything. Sometimes, when we force something too much it just drifts away. Creativity is something that comes in waves. I realized, some things are organic while others are deliberate. Having a goal to open up a shop and sharing my art while also profiting from it is a deliberate choice and there is a lot of planning that goes into it. But creating art that is meaningful and not just for the sake of creating it, is something that comes naturally. It comes in moments of inspiration, pain, growth, vulnerability, joy, gratitude and everything else with the human experience. I understood that this process of being stagnant is okay.
Community’s role towards rising entrepreneurs
The community at large has the potential to create a positive impact on your business. If you have a supportive community around you, you can have a great network. It’s always appreciated when community members share your work on their social media or in their circle of family and friends. One of the most rewarding parts of having your own business is the connections you can make and all of the great people you interact with along the way. It’s important that we support each other’s growth and cheer each other on. Not only will this create a circular economy but it also creates motivation when your work is appreciated. If you know of someone who has a business whether it is just started or its been running for a few years, show them your support. There are many ways you can support a business, purchase an item, give them a shout out on social media, share business cards, and even sending a kind message about their work can really create a positive impact for a business owner. I always appreciate any kind gesture or support I receive from someone regarding my work. If you own a business, give a shout out to someone else who also has a business. Start a positive trend that it’s great to promote other businesses and appreciate one another. Each of us have something worthy to contribute.
My vision is sharing love of chai, Bollywood, South-Asian culture, and the Muslim experience all through art. Hopefully everyone can find a little piece of themselves in some way. If you bring yourself into your work, others will feel that and gain an experience or movement in their heart, soul, and mind.
Advice for upcoming entrepreneurs
The advice that I have given myself is the same that I would give to anyone else. I always want to make sure that I am keeping myself in check and speak to myself with love, respect, and kindness. Starting off with questions such as, “ Why am I doing this? What is the goal? What am I aiming toward?”
Here is what advice I give myself as my process grows and evolves.
- If you love it, do it!
Put ‘you‘ into anything you work towards, invest in, or build. Do it with all of your heart and soul, this is in itself a process, you may get caught up in other distractions (numbers, followers, self doubt etc) but take a step back and ask yourself why you started in the first place? And what keeps you going? What is the aim? Goal?
- Be vulnerable
Scary word, I know. Trust me, it won’t be so scary once you get into it. With putting your work out into the world comes a lot of vulnerability. Vulnerability helps you grow. Be okay with being vulnerable. There is a lot of trial and error, but you never know what is going to work best for you until you try your best and see what happens. Trust the process.
- Full time or side hustle?
You don’t have to have all of the answers. You can decide as you grow through your journey and what works best for you. Whichever you decide, remember that this is your journey to learn, grow, and evolve. This includes learning from others who have experience and not being afraid to ask questions. Make sure you have a ‘plan‘ of some sort and chip away and work through trial and error. Start small before jumping into anything big. Once you find your groove, you will be able to flow through the process much better.
- Go for it! Create goals and a plan.
Whether this is full time or a side hustle , if you have this awesome idea, write it all down, create goals and a plan that comes with it. Discuss this with someone you trust and has your best interest. Someone that will give you honest advice and criticism where needed. Do your research and look into opportunities for workshops to gain some knowledge and tips from those who were in the same place as you. There are a lot of great resources to learn about entrepreneurship.
- Do not compare to anyone but yourself
Don’t get caught up in the numbers of social media or followers, don’t pay attention to the numbers. The Instagram algorithm is not your biggest fan. It does not matter if another page has 17.5K and you have 50. What is important is organic growth, I want followers that actually appreciate my work and are genuine. I do not want anyone who finds no meaning in my work. Quality over quantity. Own it!
- Focus on experience not numbers (they are important but this is not the purpose)
Numbers are not important, the experience is. Those who appreciate your work also invest in it in some way or another. Whether it is buying your piece of art or sharing your post on social media. Numbers are an important way to track progress and growth but if you focus on just that you may get caught up and lose focus on your vision. The experience, customer service and satisfaction is what will lead to a solid network of happy customers. With happy clients comes more happy clients and so on.
Finally, make Dua throughout the process and pray Istikhara. Then trust in Allah and Bismillah!