Turning frustration into inspiration
As a busy mum living in the UK, the last thing Nazia Nasreen wanted to stress over was purchasing toys. But finding a single outlet with high-quality Islamic toys and books for her two children proved exhausting and, ultimately, impossible.
Instead of throwing up her hands in defeat, she realised she had discovered a gap in the market she knew she could fill. In 2014, Ibraheem Toy House, the first online Islamic toy store in the UK, was born.
Believing in your vision
When Ibraheem Toy House launched, it began with four products from two suppliers and operated from Nazia’s kitchen table – and it was not an overnight success. For two years, Nazia was unable to introduce more products to her store due to lack of capital, and she found balancing an online business with motherhood a challenge.
But, committed to her vision to provide a one-stop shopping location for Islamic toys and books to help children love and connect to their faith, she persevered. In 2016, Nazia was able to secure investments that allowed her to expand her offerings and operations, as well as increase her advertising options.
Connecting with your market
Though Nazia began using both Facebook and Instagram when she launched her business, she started using the platform’s advertising tools more frequently in January 2016 after sales became stagnant.
By advertising across Facebook and Instagram, Nazia saw a lift in both brand awareness, engagement and sales. She was also able to reach customers she wasn’t expecting to.
“Through one of our targeted ad campaigns, we reached a customer in South Africa who, though non-Muslim, purchased a mobile that recites verses from the Quran. After listening to the mobile while her baby was sleeping, she memorised them all. This is the most moving story I’ve heard since launching Ibraheem Toy House, and it was all possible because of one ad,” says Nazia.
In just four years Ibraheem Toy House has grown to become the world’s leading online Islamic toy store, stocking over 200 educational and useful products from 30 suppliers around the world, and with a staff of 10.
“I truly believe if it wasn’t for Facebook and Instagram’s marketing and advertising tools, we wouldn’t be number one in the Islamic toys market globally,” she says.
Nazia’s advice to other women entrepreneurs is to not take shortcuts to success, and to not be afraid of making mistakes because “you will succeed and you will fail”.
“Look out for your own business objectives and then try to achieve them by experimenting with different techniques. Don’t give up and keep yourself updated with latest technology trends in order to keep achieving your goals.”
Learn more about Nazia Nasreen’s Network: