With the Covid-19 pandemic, many students have plenty of free time to try new things. For some, such as senior Nahima Delaney, this means launching a business.
“I decided to launch it now because I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time, but I just kept pushing it off,” Delaney said. “Since it’s been pretty hectic the last few months, I decided I might as well do it now because life is too short to wait.”
Nahima’s boutique is a small, black owned business focused on finding and designing clothes that are comfortable and affordable.
“I was inspired to start my boutique because I have always had a love for fashion, and I wanted to launch my own brand,” Delaney said. “Later on I plan to create clothes to showcase the beauty of being Black while also creating a modest line.”
While she received support from friends and family, Delaney did the majority of the work needed to create a successful business herself.
“I designed my website all by myself and purchased the products by myself,” Delaney said. “I had one of my brother’s friends make sure I did everything right, and she gave me tips here and there. There’s a lot of things that go into making it run smoothly.”
Delaney’s first line features four products ranging from $10 to $20 per item. The boutique only ships to customers within the United States. Friends and students have purchased items from Delaney’s first line.
“I bought the baggy flame pants because I felt like it was important to support small businesses, especially because the pandemic might make it more difficult for them to get customers,” customer Maya Davis said.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created challenges for small businesses as they tend to receive fewer customers and distributing goods is more difficult.
“COVID has made it so much harder to ship items to customers or get them shipped to me because of how much longer everything takes due to the pandemic,” Delaney said.
Delaney also co-owns Muslim perks, an Instagram page that creates a safe space to spread and discuss religion, with senior Munira Sharif.
“The goal of Muslims perks is to spread the religion of Islam and give dawah, which basically means inviting someone to embrace Islam,” Sharif said.
Muslim perks has helped Delaney develop useful leadership and business skills that have helped her to open her boutique.
“Co-owning Muslim perks has helped me business wise because it just reminds me that I was put on this Earth to create things purely and have fun with it the way God intends,” Delaney said.
As her business expands, Delaney hopes to create lines that cater to a variety of different people from different backgrounds.
“I want to create a line for Muslim women,” Delaney said. “It’s so hard for us to find modest clothing because no one really has us as their target market and if they do it’s at a really high price.”