Your Name: Maisha Abdul-Rahman
What do you do?: I am a Fashion Designer
What's the name of your company: Maisha Abdul (clothing company)
Where is your company located?: Montréal
How did you get started in your field?: Well, I moved to Montreal about three years ago to pursue my Masters degree in civil engineering. When I arrived, I realized that people aren't as warm as back home so I had difficulty in socializing and making friends. People don't really talk to each other on the streets, etc.
So, I purchased a sewing a machine with the hopes of passing time and curing boredom. YouTube was a very helpful tool in setting up and learning the basics. I eventually started making my own outfits and then, gradually, people started requesting that I make them outfits. That's how I started Maisha Abdul!
Tell us a bit more about your company: Specifically, I hand-make stylish clothing with African print fabrics.
How did your education and previous experiences help you to become what you are today?: Come to think of it, I've always loved selling! I remember back in Wa, when I was in class 4 or maybe 5 , used to melt sugar in a hot pan and put them in paper cones and sell to my class mates. Sometimes I would buy a bag of toffees and sell them just to make extra money to buy the things I wanted. When I was in KNUST, I sold cupcakes and springs for my Auntie. All these experiences have in a way shaped me to become who I am today.
Is there anything else you are working on at this time?: Well yes, a lot, I love learning new things so I am always learning something new at every point in time. I am also a civil engineer at a prestigious firm in Montreal.
How do you define success?: I believe success is doing exactly what you planned to do, even if you fail. When you fail, you learn something new.
Who are your heroes and why?: My father, he is one very hardworking man.
If you had to start your career/company over again, what would you do differently?: I wouldn't be too trusting. Looks like everyone out here is in for what's good for them. You need to stay woke!
What are the top qualities you would require in someone who wants to work with/for you?: An honest, patient, hardworking and committed person.
What advice would you give to students, young professionals and aspiring change makers/entrepreneurs?: To keep going. It gets tough...Very tough. But never give up. You started for a reason.
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