Styling hijabs is not as simple as the step by step procedures promised by some modest fashion vloggers. We speak to Hijab stylist Manchester based Uzma Chaudhri who reveals the secret behind her success.
Whilst many turn to social media to find hijab fashion inspiration, Uzma Chaudhri, became a hijab stylist after she was approached by women who admired her own intricate creations that she designed on herself.
Uzma explains how she turned a hobby into a full-time career.
She said, “I began creating elaborate hijab styles on myself in 2010. After a few months, people within my community started to approach me and ask if I would be able to style their hijab for them for an occasion they had coming up.
“I soon realised that I possessed a degree of natural design talent.
“There was a niche in the market for such a talent and the demand was high and ever increasing.”
Uzma embarked on developing a business venture as a young mum with twin daughters who were only three-years-old at the time. She also runs one-to-one hijab training sessions and masterclasses in Manchester, Birmingham and London.
“I was quite hesitant to begin with as I felt I may not be able to juggle the responsibility.
“However, with encouragement from my family, I opted to take the plunge and to take a lead in this market.
“The rest as they say is history and I really enjoy my work and have a passion for making my clients happy and look good.”
With the ongoing expansion of modest fashion on the high street, Uzma says she has seen a huge surge in clients wanting hijabs styled for special occasions and parties.
“Within the first year of my work, there was a huge influx of clients who wanted to dress up their hijabs for occasions. Party styling is extremely popular. Girls want to be styled for their graduation ceremonies, family weddings and even birthday celebrations.
“Women are now realising that hijab and looking good are not mutually exclusive.
“The hijab has always been stylish in my opinion. Modesty and fashion can go together hand in hand.”
As well as hijab styling, Uzma is also a makeup artist, an area she fell into inadvertently after numerous requests from clients who did not want to travel to two different artists when getting ready.
Styling brides is an integral part of Uzma’s work. She revealed brides can often feel pressure to remove their hijabs on their wedding day.
“Many women are of the opinion that the hijab may not look good with their bridal gown. But I offer the option to keep within the Islamic concept of hijab and at the same time remain within modern fashion.
“The bridal hijab requires more precision to make it appear flawless and impeccable. The pins should not be visible and the jewellery needs to be placed in such a way that it doesn’t move.
“Some clients prefer to keep their look super simple and use just one scarf and no jewellery. Whereas others have requested to use three scarves and up to three pieces of jewellery too!”
A conscious part of Uzma’s business is ensuring her profits go to charity.
“When I started this business, I did it with the sole intention of being able to help others with the money that I make.
“All the money from one-to-one hijab training and group masterclasses go towards helping those less fortunate. Alhamdulillah, the money has gone towards helping children with their Quranic education, water pumps in villages in Pakistan and for the past five years, over 1000 people get fed per week in my father-in-law’s village in Pakistan from the feeding project we run there.
“I thank all of my clients, past, present and future for providing me with the ability to help others less fortunate.”
This article features in the May Issue of Asian Life North West here
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