Haute Hijab

Haute Hijab is a direct-to-consumer commerce company that is building a next-generation modest fashion brand starting with the hijab. It aims to celebrate and empower the hijab-wearing woman by designing innovative products fueled by an obsession with superior service and craftsmanship.

Haute Hijab

Melanie Elturk

Founder & CEO

Location:

New York City, NY

Year Founded:

2010

Industry:

eCommerce, fashion

What first inspired you to build Haute Hijab?
I started Haute Hijab in 2010 with my husband for two reasons. 1) It was (and still is) hard to find hijabs as an American Muslim that made me feel confident and beautiful and I knew I wasn’t alone, and 2) Girls like me needed role-models in hijab they could look up to so we created content centered around elevating and uplifting the American Muslim woman. I’m an attorney by profession so my husband and I did this part-time as our side-hustle until our brand got so big that we decided to quit our jobs and move to NYC to focus on the brand full-time in 2016.

Why is now the time for Haute Hijab to exist?
By the year 2030 one-quarter of the world’s women will be Muslim yet there is not a single global brand to represent them. We are excited to be the global brand that finally represents this very important woman in today’s society.

What’s the biggest obstacle you are facing right now?
Scaling – we have an amazing model with the customers that exist today, but as we grow, we need to scale in all aspects of the business – supply chain and production, our team as a whole, marketing efforts and in-person events.

Which opportunity that you are currently working toward is most exciting to you?
I’m most excited about our product roadmap and really rounding out the categories in hijab that are missing like athletics, bridal, accessories like pins and hair scrunchies, etc., there’s so much more to create!

When did you realize you were really onto something with Haute Hijab?
It was the first week after we got a facebook page up testing this idea. We had over 1,000 girls follow us (this is back in 2010 when facebook business pages first started) and they were so vocal about what they wanted in a modest fashion brand. I knew we hit a chord with this demographic of women who had been ignored by the mainstream for so long.

Who do you look to for inspiration in your field and why?
For building a brand, I really look to Ralph Lauren. He’s successfully built a brand around a lifestyle that is so recognizable and cohesive across so many different verticals. He’s the holy grail of fashion for me.

What is your favorite life hack?
Listening to motivating speeches in the morning while I’m getting dressed and putting on make-up has been such a great hack. I bring that exuberance and motivation with me into the workplace each day. It’s such a productive hack that gives the rest of your day purpose and energy.

What is your favorite work hack?
Get HUGE headphones and wear them when you really need to plug-in, even if you’re not listening to anything, lol. Gives others the cue that you’re focused and they should get your attention in another way.

What’s one piece of advice you would give a fellow entrepreneur?
Keep your intentions pure at every turn.

What do you want to be known for?
My contribution to elevating and uplifting the Muslim community.

Words to live by?
Everything happens for a reason.

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