[5 minute read]
I was inspired to create REFLECT jewellery after going through some very testing times in my life. Serious complications with my health, a baby to take care of on my own and financial difficulties pushed me to the limit of what I thought I could bear. At one point I was so unwell that I was completely unable to look after myself and needed full time care.
My business - Desert Rose Boutique - really suffered as I was unable to dedicate any time to it. Entrepreneurship is challenging enough, but with the issues I had, even the smallest action became impossible. The long held dreams I once had about my business slowly slipped away as I battled to regain my health. I lost a lot of money, further adding to the stress I was under. The short lived periods of time when I was feeling somewhat better, I spent with my son because that’s all that really mattered.
To say that it was a very testing time is quite an understatement! The period in which my health severely deteriorated were honestly the darkest days of my life. My son - who was 16 months old at the time - would cry out in distress for me, which broke my heart into a million pieces. He would sit by my bed with tears in his eyes, refusing to leave my side. But I could barely move or even open my eyes - let alone give him the comfort he was searching for. Those memories still haunt me until this day.
Throughout my pain and loss, I found myself remembering Allah (swt) more often and making dua to Him in a way that I had never done before. For the first time in my life, I felt like I understood what true tawakkul was. I was completely helpless, broken and in desperate need of my Creator above anything else. This stark realisation was humbling but also liberating, as I learned how to better place my trust in Allah (swt) despite the utter fear I felt in my heart.
Likewise, the notion of sabr took on a completely new meaning for me, as I realised it was more than just a word one says to others who are facing difficulties. In fact, I realised just how hard it was to *actually have sabr* when faced with momentous trials and identified that it was definitely something I needed to work on.
Despite the trauma of what I had been through, I reminded myself to have shukr for the countless blessings I *did* have. They are too numerous to write down here, indeed as Allah (swt) says: “Which of your Lord’s favours will you deny?”
This positive mindset was absolutely key in helping me to move forward despite the challenges I was facing. And it's from these life changing experiences that the idea for REFLECT jewellery was born. I already had Desert Rose Boutique, and even though it wasn’t in good shape, it was the perfect platform to launch the idea.
Recognising the incredible power of faith in healing, I created REFLECT to help Muslim women from all walks of life feel stronger, more positive and connected with their faith through something as simple as wearing jewellery. The powerful reminders featured on every piece were specifically chosen by me to encourage more patience, gratitude and trust in Allah (swt), whilst also reminding to follow dreams with dua and action.
Alongside the powerful reminders, I designed every piece of REFLECT jewellery to feature the desert rose - a rare and distinctive flower which blooms in the desert, bringing colour and life to the barren landscape. Thriving in such challenging conditions, this wonder of nature perfectly symbolises the unique strength, beauty and brilliance of every woman who wears REFLECT jewellery.
We all need reminders to strengthen our connection with Allah (swt), because we forget and we make mistakes. And so if REFLECT can help to remind someone to make dua, to say a word of thanks or help them feel a bit more positive (especially in these difficult times), then it's a blessing I'm sincerely grateful to Allah (swt) for and all praise is due to Him alone.
Although my struggles with my health are not over, things are so much better than they once were alhamdulillah. The fact that I can even write this is a huge blessing that was once out of my reach. And despite the harrowing tests I have faced, I have emerged as a stronger person with a wholly different perspective on life, which I hope will serve me and others better.
However, this is not to say I have everything worked out; on the contrary, there are days where I seriously doubt myself and feel rather overwhelmed by everything. Days where I question if I have made any progress and moments where, quite frankly, I feel like a failure #truestory.
But I've realised it's totally okay to have those moments, to sometimes feel overburdened by life and its challenges - as long as we don't stay stuck in that mode. Indeed, it's in these moments we should remember to turn to Allah (swt) more because He is the source of all healing, help and comfort.
Alhamdulillah, I'm sincerely thankful for the wonderful support and love you have all shown REFLECT jewellery. When I launched the collection amidst the most difficult of circumstances, I could never have imagined the response it would go on to receive! The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with many of you commenting how beautiful the jewellery is and how much it's helped you or a loved one to stay strong and positive during testing times.
Alhamdulillah, I've received so many du'as for the success of my business and it really is the best feeling to have such a kind and supportive community. As mentioned earlier, entrepreneurship is challenging and can feel impossible at times (especially with a young child!), which is why I'm truly humbled by your support and want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart - it means more to me than you can possibly imagine!
If you have made it this far, I would like to thank you for your time in reading the story behind RELECT jewellery. If you have found it helpful in any way or if you would like to share your own story, I would really love to hear back from you! You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org - I promise to read every message insha'Allah.
I've learned so much over recent years and although I can't summarise it all here, the one key message that stands out above everything for me is that true contentment of the heart can only come from the frequent remembrance of Allah (swt) and pursuit of everything that pleases Him. If we genuinely try to keep this foremost in our minds at all times, then we will insha'Allah prosper both in this life and the next.
Founder & Creative Director
Desert Rose Boutique