Updated: May 23
Mariam Ouedraogo runs the up-and-coming modest fashion business, Oued Collections. In this heartwarming interview, Mariam describes her experience as a young Black Muslim entrepreneur and how she constantly picked herself up after multiple failures. She incites inspiration to anyone who listens to her and beautifully defines how her love for Islam helped her remain steadfast in the cutthroat world of business.
Here are a few snippets from the interview that I found illuminating:
As a black Muslim woman in business, what difficulties did you face?
“An entrepreneur takes on a risk and brings on life…Being an entrepreneur is a mindset…as a black Muslim woman in business I have to trust myself.”
“Most important thing I learned was to make dua and trust myself. You prayed tahajjud, you prayed istikhara so why don't you trust yourself.”
“If you don’t stand for something you fall for everything.”
How does being a Muslim help you face these issues or help you in your business overall?
“I pray istikhara, I pray tahajjud like for anything…As Muslims, a lot of us have this idea that we shouldn’t make dua too much, we should wait for a special moment, but if you look at the lives of the prophets, they called out to Allah (SWT) whenever. I do tahajjud 2-3x a week.”
“With business, you are always gonna have problems, you're never going to run away from it…You are going to make mistakes, but the best thing you need to do is to adapt, learn from the failure, and pick up again. Entrepreneurship is literally about failing, getting up again, failing, getting up again, etc.”
“Every time you fail, you learn something new. You just have to learn to fall in love with failure, make peace with it, make peace with the struggle.”
“Allah tests those he loves. It makes you look at tests from a positive perspective, like wow Allah (SWT) really chose to test me with this thing because He knew it would make me stronger.”
What advice would you give to other aspiring, black Muslimahs?
“I think that it is very important for us to advocate for ourselves and fall in love with ourselves.”
“Take care of yourself…We need to learn how to spend on ourselves, and love ourselves.”
"Why isnt your perspective of yourself just as important as others?”
I encourage all to listen to the interview recording attached below!
Mariam Oued, Freshman in Business, Technology & Entrepreneurship - Stern