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Meet the Muslimah Sellers of Etsy

Brooke Benoit tracks down some of the best sister-owned shops on the Internet’s favourite place to buy handmade.

I know many folks think that shopping on Etsy can be a very dangerous thing. There are just far too many unique and wonderful things on that website! But it’s actually an excellent shopping practice to buy from independent sellers and small-business families, as the products are exceptionally made to last a long time, often made with eco-green considerations in mind and directly support individuals in a fair-trade manner. Best of all, there are now many Muslim sellers on Etsy and your purchases from them can go towards supporting families striving to have deen-based lifestyles. Here is a selection of some of the great Muslimah sellers working via the Etsy platform – go ahead and window shop!




Ink And Ocean owned by Fehmida Shah



BB: What do you sell?
FS: Mostly downloadable art and cards and some paper goods.




BB: What is special about your items?
FS: I hope that my products are unique to me, as I have designed and created all of them. My paper goods that are not downloadable are either fair-trade or made from 100% recyclable materials or both. All are printed using environmentally-friendly inks.




BB: Why do you do/make what you do?  
FS: After a day’s work, it’s lovely to just escape and have a creative outlet. I love the creative process and the ability to share my passion with a worldwide audience. I can make something I enjoy doing and have the opportunity to share it with others instantly.




BB: Any advice to wannabe Etsyians or craft sellers?
FS: Whether you want to sell on Etsy as a business or a hobby, I would say get familiar with the whole Etsy shop process and ask for help – there is lots of it out there in the form of books, articles and forums. Choose your Etsy username wisely to reflect your business as this can never be changed. Put in the time to market your products on other social media networks and blogs. Be patient. Like any other business, you have to work at it and it takes time.




Winged Pony Kawaii Jewelry owned by Siegret Chappell



BB: What do you sell?
SC: I sell kawaii (cute in Japanese) jewellery and accessories.



BB: What is special about your items?
SC: They are for grown up women or little women who like cute, quirky or dainty things. I try to keep it simple so they can be worn with everyday clothes as a small statement of quirky cuteness.



BB: Why do you do/make what you do?
SC: I have had this urge to build and make from a young age and making jewellery has become a manageable outlet. I sell so that I can afford more supplies (aka supporting my other strong urge to shop)!



BB: Any advice to wannabe Etsyians or craft sellers?
SC: Following the Etsy seller handbook is really the easiest way to get close to success.




Yarncoture owned by Maryum Karim


BB: What do you sell?

MK: I sell hand-knit and crocheted accessories for men, women and children, as well as unique items for your home.


BB: What is special about your items?
MK: What makes my items special is that Allah has blessed me with this talent. Before I started doing this I couldn’t have dreamed that I could make the things that I am able to make now. The designs that I choose are classics – items that you will be reaching for again and again that never go out of style. I also like to choose designs with a lot of elegance and style, that goes for the items I make for both women and men. Everything that I make is done with lots of love, care and professionalism to the best of my ability.




BB: Why do you do/make what you do?
MK:  It all started with an “attempt” to repair a very special blanket that my oldest son was given during his stay in the hospital. I remembered that I knew how to crochet from my childhood so I was able to repair it (terribly). My mother sent me some knitting needles and some yarn and an ancient “how-to” knitting book. After failing at understanding the basic instructions I was given, I went online to see if there was an easier way. Alhamdulillah I found a site that made things much easier and I began knitting! I began to make lots of blankets and my family told me “you should open your own store!” – so I did! My work gives me so much peace and it’s very rewarding to see someone absolutely love and appreciate something you made!




BB: Any advice to wannabe Etsyians or craft sellers?
MK: I would advise them to do their homework! Research the market you’d like to get into and see if it can be a lucrative business for you. Research packaging, your logo and most of all your pricing, which should reflect how much time you put into your work, as well as the cost of materials. Also, be original! The last thing Etsy needs is another shop that looks like another and another and so on. If it’s something that you truly love doing, it will show in your work!




The Olive Tree Soap Company owned by Sobia Hussain




BB: What do you sell?
SH: I sell luxury artisan bath and body products which are vegan and free from harsh chemicals. My products include artisan soaps, lip balms, natural deodorants, lotion sticks, argan oil, hajj/umrah unscented products, unique party favours and gift sets for all occasions.




BB: What is special about your items?
SH: My goal is to provide the community with carefully handcrafted skin care with your health and planet as priority, while offering a natural alternative to the conventionally mass-produced products on the market. All my products are vegan and halal, they are free from alcohol-sourced ingredients as well harsh chemicals such as SLS, phthalate and paraben. The Olive Tree Soap Company is proud to be animal-cruelty free.




BB: Why do you do/make what you do?
SH: Since I was young, I have been very passionate about science and art. The two interests never intersected until I discovered soapmaking in my adult years. Making artisanal skincare products and designing its packaging is a fine marriage of chemistry and my personal form of expression. It’s as though it was meant for me. I’m so grateful to be in this field, alhamdulillah.




BB: Any advice to wannabe Etsyians or craft sellers?
SH: Don’t be intimidated. If there is something you are passionate about and would love to share with others, do your research in your field and see how others are selling their products. Do not solely rely on Etsy to be discovered. There are over 1 million sellers on Etsy so it’s easy for your shop to get lost in the large crowd; you will need to work hard to get your name out in other venues such as large events, local fairs, blogs, features and product reviews. Be ready to leave your comfort zone to promote your business and what you have to offer. Do it with class and integrity. It’s really a fine balance. If you don’t start, you’ll never know.





Muslamb Stationers owned by Cjala Surratt




BB: What do you sell?
CS: Muslamb carries letterpress and offset greeting cards, fill-in invitations and desk decor essentials such as notepads, sticky notes, bookends, stamps and pencils, the most popular of which are the “Hijabi Hard at Work” and “Study Dua” pencils.




BB: Why do you do/make what you do?
CS: I started Muslamb Stationers because I often had to doctor ‘Seasons Greetings’ and ‘Happy Holidays’ cards for Eid, walimahs or aqiqahs (I sent out many a tacky card with ‘Happy Holidays’ crossed out and ‘Eid Mubarak’ put in!). I was also tired of giving my money to businesses that didn’t carry any goods that reflected those holidays and special events that are important to me as a Muslim. So, I decided to create stationery goods that reflected Islamic values and embraced a quirky, fresh, fun and contemporary sensibility.




BB: Any advice to wannabe Etsyians or craft sellers?
CS: Etsy is a good platform to begin with; they have built in a lot of functionality for a seller to set up a shop easily. I found it beneficial for testing out my buyer demographic initially and a great means of garnering visibility as one gets the brand recognition and trust that comes with the Etsy brand.



Omee’s Boutique owned by Omee (Mona)


BB: What do you sell?
O: Reusable cloth menstrual pads, baby to toddler bibs and unpaper towels are my best sellers. I also sew and sell diaper bags, waterproof bags, pacifier clips, mitten clips, infant car seat canopies, nursing pads and a lot of other items. I take custom requests if readers have anything else in mind.




BB: What is special about your items?
O: Everything in my shop is handmade by me, with loving care and attention to detail. I sew everyday whenever possible. These days I am focusing more on eco-friendly products like reusable cloth menstrual pads, reusable snack/sandwich bags and unpaper towels.




BB: Why do you do/make what you do?
O: I can’t survive without something to keep my hands busy, so I sew when I can, when my toddler is napping and my husband is busy at work. I love beautiful fabrics and use what little free time I have to create items that can possibly become a loved and worn best friend.




BB: Any advice to wannabe Etsyians or craft sellers?
O: Etsy is an established marketplace that customers from around the world shop from. Having your own website in addition to a shop on Etsy will be great for you, but I would recommend starting out on Etsy. I currently only have an Etsy shop and hope to create a website of my own soon too insha Allah.




Research well and pick a nice name for your shop, price your handmade items well and once you are all set update your shop regularly and make a connection with your customers through either a Facebook page or an Instagram account. Make your customers happy, network with other sellers, promote your shop, keep improving and take your business seriously. It will be a slow climb but with time you will see good results and do great insha Allah.




SISTERS Etsyians!
Brooke Benoit: www.etsy.com/shop/Brookolie
Ke’lona Hamilton: www.etsy.com/shop/CreativeMotivations
Zainab Bint Younus: www.etsy.com/shop/AbayatLeatherAndLace
Maria Zain: www.etsy.com/shop/GardensofAdneen



Some of our favourite Muslim Etsy shops:
AlhambraAcrylics: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AlhambraAcrylics
ArchetypeZ: www.etsy.com/shop/ArchetypeZ
AyshBoutique: www.etsy.com/shop/AyshBoutique
HafsaCreates: www.etsy.com/shop/HafsaCreates
HaniyyaJewelz: www.etsy.com/shop/haniyyajewelz
INKhandcrafted: www.etsy.com/shop/INKhandcrafted
Islamicable: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Islamicable
Own Signature: www.etsy.com/shop/ownsignature
PathOfLightDesigns: www.etsy.com/shop/PathOfLightDesigns
SHOPNadiaJArt: www.etsy.com/shop/shopnadiajart




A collection of fabulous items from some of our featured sellers.

1. Yellow popsicle earrings | Winged Pony | £4.81




2. Mint IQRA bookends | Muslamb | £24.38




3. Resin gems multicolour jewel hijab pin | Winged Pony | £5.13




4. A5 “Hajj notes” notebook | Ink and Ocean | £2.57




5. Men’s alchemist artisan soap | The Olive Tree Soap Company | £4.17




6. Vintage inspired Ascot necktie | Yarncoture | £30.79




7. Hello business card | Ink and Ocean | £9.62




8. Folk Vision menstrual pad | Omee’s Boutique | £7.06




9. Dear Sister card – pink with gold envelope | Ink and Ocean | £2.25




10. Men’s fingerless gloves | Yarncoture | £23.09




11. Laundry stain stick | Omee’s Boutique | £2.25




12. Contemporary art cards | The Olive Tree Soap Company | £7.70




13. Diaper and wipes wristlet | Omee’s Boutique | £10.26




14. Wooden pastel bracelet | Winged Pony | £10.91




15. Brown everyday slippers | Yarncoture | from £14.11




16. Natural deodorant | The Olive Tree Soap Company | £4.49




In addition to writing and editing for SISTERS magazine, Brooke Benoit sometimes makes unique (and fairly spectacular) jewellery for her own Etsy shop, www.etsy.com/shop/Brookolie.