Ramadan is officially here!!! Muslims all over the world are harboring down for a long month of fasting, prayer, delicious food, meditation, more praying, introspection, and celebration!! The holy month has been equated to Christmas, and has been described as “the Islamic version of Christmas.” But it is so much more than that, it isn’t about the hunger, thirst, or even presents. There is a global connectedness among the Muslim community during this time, a magical experience in itself. Whether you are a “Ramadan Muslim”, a practicing Muslim, deeply religious, or not there is no denying this month is sacred. Personally, I am not a deeply religious person, nor am I a highbrow academic on the subject, so feel free to correct me if I am mistaken or misunderstood. The goal is to celebrate the Muslim culture and the holy month and hopefully inspire and educate others along the way. It is a strange time to be a Muslim, especially in the western world, it’s even more peculiar to be a “modern Muslim.” I hope to learn from this series and continue my efforts in sharing the connectedness with others outside of our communities. It is important to covey the mutual respect for one another and gain understanding during this time. So let’s begin this Ramadan Series!
Maybe it’s my inner nerd, but I have a strong love (addiction really,) to stationary, unforgettable accessories, and packaging. I am a huge fan of collecting beautiful notebooks, it’s like collecting art to me (I mean it’s similar…right?) I am also a keen stationary tourist, notebooks and pens make the perfect souvenirs! A notebook bought on a trip will forever remind you of that vacation every time you write in it, it’s like reliving the trip all over again! I know I am not alone in my stationary obsession, so it is an absolute pleasure to introduce the first designer in the Ramadan Series: The Pampered Muslimah. Sarah, the creator, is actually an elementary school teacher (totes adorbs!), and shares in my obsession for all things stationary related. She started off about a year ago creating and selling decorations for Ramandan and Eid. What started out as a project to inspire her daughter for Ramadan, turned into a full design venture and a small business in itself.
I found The Pampered Muslimah through Instagram and was immediately infatuated with every product and accessory. Sarah started designing and selling stationary because she noticed a need for more mainstream faith based items in her community. An inspiring initiative I can definitely get behind! Sarah said to me, “I started designing stationery and accessories partly because it’s something that I love to use on a daily basis, but also because I noticed that there really isn’t much of it out there for Muslimahs when it comes to this type of product, especially in Canada. Clothing, jewelry and hijabs are readily available. There’s no shortage there. I wanted to find a unique way to incorporate Islam into our everyday lives; to bring it into the mainstream in a fun and modern way. Stationery and accessories like tote bags and notebooks are things we use on a daily basis…therefore we are able to always keep our faith close to our hearts. I view my brand as a way for me to spread the beauty of Islam, to spread it’s message and help people to keep it close.”
When asked what keeps her inspired and motivated to keep designing and creating her flawless creations, Sarah said, “I’ve always loved designing things, especially graphic design…For years I’ve been designing my own posters and fun worksheets for my classroom… So I started dabbling more seriously in graphic design last summer and realized I really enjoyed it. Couple this with the fact that I have an obsession with anything kitschy and cute!” She also mentioned she gathers a lot of her inspiration from the sisters in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, who have done an amazing job of bringing Islam into mainstream pop culture there. Safe to say that’s a trend both Sarah and I would love to see flourish in this part of the world as well.
Sarah was immensely sweet and generous enough to send me some of her incredible products. With Ramadan starting, her package could not have arrived a moment too soon; and let me tell you this stationary set is one of my favorites to add to my ever growing collection. Not only are the products totally adorable, but each one is incredibly modern, aesthetically fresh, and still completes the task of bringing a spiritual consciousness at hand. Post-it notes and pens inscribed with prayers and quick remembrances, along with a “Dear Dua Diary” brought me comfort. And with Ramadan here if you want to send a care package, or an Eid gift, then The Pampered Muslimah has got you covered.