Q. Who is behind the Little Maysoor brand? What is your story as a family brand?
A. We initially started the Little Maysoor in 2014 and we were inspired to undertake such a task due to the importance of learning the Arabic language in our religion. I embraced Islam at the tender age of 19. Three years later, I travelled to Saudi Arabia to study the deen, which included 2 years in an Arabic institute. During this time, I faced so many challenges, mainly because I began learning the Arabic language in early adulthood as opposed to as a child.
Q. What inspired you to start the brand?
A. As parents, we did not want our children to have to face the struggles and difficulties that I personally endured trying to acquire the Arabic language, so we felt it was important that we give our children a head start by incorporating the language into their childhood so that it would be second nature for them when they got older. As time progressed, the desire to share this gift with other people’s children in the Ummah led us to begin this amazing project to try and teach the Arabic language to children all around the world.
Q. What was your first product and how did you go about producing it?
A. Interestingly enough, our first project/product was an animated cartoon. The animation was about the importance of praying entitled, ‘Have You Prayed?’ The whole idea behind the cartoon was to teach the Arabic language and elements of the grammar in a fun and easy way by by-passing all of the rules which can oftentimes be boring and monotonous. It was at this stage that a family member suggested we make the animated videos into books – so the focus changed from animated cartoons to books. As we were in the process of writing the book, we then decided to produce plush toys which eventually arrived in the UK in 2015 in time for the Eid celebration.
Q. What have been your proudest moments in the business?
A. We have had numerous proud moments since the inception of Little Maysoor. One of the most memorable moments was when our plush toy products actually arrived in the UK. This was because, in essence, this tangible product that we were holding in our hands initially began as an idea bouncing around in our heads. Then that idea went through numerous rigorous stages up until the final product was finally produced. This is an amazing process and, once the product is finally ready to go to market, you get a huge feeling of achievement and it was definitely a very proud moment.
Another proud moment in our business is when we actually make a sale! It goes to show that all of those doubts we had – ‘Will the product be successful or will it be a failure?’ – are alleviated as you now feel validated to some degree. It’s that feeling of joy, knowing that somebody else who doesn’t know anything about the journey, the initial concept, the difficulties that you’ve had to endure, the amount of money that you have had to spend on the product to bring it to market, sees your product and buys into the brand. It’s a tremendous feeling that has remained consistent from our very first sale in 2015 up until this very day. Every time we make a sale, it brings much joy and it’s a tremendously proud moment for the whole Little Maysoor team.
Lastly, another proud moment is when we receive positive feedback from our customers, whether it be a video of their child reading our books or a picture of a child holding and embracing one of our toys or simply a message from a customer explaining how our Arabic speaking toys have helped their child learn a few sentences in Arabic.
Q. What are your hopes for the future of Little Maysoor?
A. Our hopes for the future for Little Maysoor is to be the leading online teaching Arabic resource for children all around the world. We plan to have an extensive range of bilingual books for children of all ages from toddlers all the way up to early teens. We plan to have an array of animated cartoons that will be available on a subscription basis too. We would also like to increase the range of plush toys that we sell including different races, ethnic backgrounds and we would also like to really find innovative ways to connect the children of the Ummah to the Arabic language Insha’Allah.
Download the Little Maysoor Arabic language pack for FREE here