I've Got This "Totally Covered"

Hello everybody :) In this post, I speak to Nasifah Chowdhury, the Owner and Founder of Totally Covered. More than the focus of the actual products, I am interested to know her journey. She tells me how the home business started, how it developed, and how she plans to drive forward her late mother's legacy. The Totally Covered products range from anything from £5.00 to £30.00. Contact details can be found at the end of this post :) 

S: What inspired you to start Totally Covered and why this particular niche market?
N: My cousin brother sells scarves in London and he persuaded my mum to take 14 scarves and see if they sold. Alhamdullilah it took off and we were stocking up to 400/500 thereafter. The idea of handmade products came soon after.

S: How was the work organised and divided?

My mum used to make handmade pin cushions and Tasbeehs/Bookmarkers and then we started making Hijab pins - I started off with more of the admin work online but as my mother's health deteriorated over time, I slowly took the business in to my own hands.
S: That's really great :) So how did the idea come about for you to make headchains? (or 'Jasmine Chains' as I like to call them) Tis an Aladdin reference :)
N: In terms of my current most popular products (headpieces/handpieces) I couldn't find any in the market that I liked and could wear as all were very bulky, so I decided I would start to make my own simple styles. I started making one off pieces and was then later approached by a customer asking for a customised order to match her outfit for Eid, and then low and behold it escalated to what TC is today Alhamdullilah *smile*

Handmade bookmark

S: Yes, I agree. I feel as if this whole heavy head jewellery is becoming a bit ridiculous. Hence why in Citizen Khan, they parody the 'Hijaabi Barbie' personality. I think less is more. I don't like it when girls compare and compete themselves to other girls and are like 'Omaaggaaaaad!! TOTALLY HOT scarf style!!! Got to master it!!!" Be you. No one will be you. And you'll never be them.

N: I probably wouldn't have had the brain capacity to create all these handmade products if my mother didn't teach me, so I am very grateful to her for having such a creative mind!

S: Haha, passing on her pearls of wisdom right? What do you believe is your USP?
N: Originality personally; I create my designs to make them my own, and if it's been done by others I make sure I either do not sell it or I do it differently. Customers then know they won't find my products anywhere else and it keeps me one step ahead of the game. Sorry! Hope this is making sense?
S: No no! Carry on! :) What is your favourite piece and why?

N: Oh that's a really hard one! I have to admit I do love every single piece and feel super proud when I see them worn at weddings or events (they always look so much better on!) but it I realllyyyyy had to choose...then I suppose the Akbar set; due to it's uniqueness and elegance.

S: Ah interesting! I'm going to be completely honest and say that I prefer the opposite; a really small, fine chain. So, how do you see TC developing?
A DIY: Necklace becomes Jasmine chain :) 
N: At current I'm very eager to expand in to the clothing range also; to provide customers the ability to purchase a complete outfit at one store without having the need to search far and wide matching up colours and designs.
S: It IS tricky trying to match up scarves with outfits, and then you have to run to the material store to find some co-ordinating fabric because the scarf with the outfit is just not wide, or opaque enough to truly cover. And the last thing we need is a fringe to slip out and say a quick 'Hello' to guests at weddings. Not good at all :(  
You have really achieved quite a lot already Nasifah, and it has been great speaking to you :) I hope TC goes from strength to strength inshaAllah :) Lots of duas and good luck with your venture :) Your mum would be proud :)

instagram: totallycovered_tc


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