My name is Mariam Ouedraogo and I am a first-gen student, currently attending NYU‘s business school, studying Business, Technology, and Entrepreneurship. I am constantly working to push my small modest fashion brand that started in Newark, NJ into a global brand that will inspire millions of sisters to be unapologetic in their hijab/niqab/jilbab (in Sha Allah).
I was inspired to wear my jilbab in my sophomore year of high school, after seeing a younger sister exiting her middle school wearing an abaya. It took me weeks to muster up the courage to finally take that step since I attended a uniform wearing highschool. I soon realized that this wasn't an experience unique to me. Many sisters around the world struggle to wear hijab and I want for my brand to be that extra push of motivation that a sister may be looking for.
When I posted me in my jilbabs many sisters contacted me via Instagram about how they were inspired by me. It didn't stop there! These sisters were even interested in buying the jilbabs from me. I was so shocked that sisters were willing to buy the jilbabs so I told my mother. My mother then advised me to start a business and pitch it to my father who invested in the first batch of 300 jilbabs Ouéd Collections has ever sold and much more!
As a daughter to an Ivoirien 🇨🇮 mother and Burkinabé 🇧🇫 father, my parents always made a conscious effort to remind me and my siblings that we could become something greater than the city we grew up in. That we could become LEADERS. And Alhamdulilah, I have been able to impact lives and inspire others as a business leader at a very young age.
You are never too young to create a change. Entrepreneurs of the world are people who see a problem and don’t wait for the next person to fix it. Every single one of us has a little entrepreneur in us but it takes courage, ambition, and determination to follow through and build your vision with the guidance of Allah.