Modest Trends’ is a clothing business stocking fashionable items targeted at young Muslim women aged 16-35.
As owner and lover of fashion Rifhat Qureshi explains:
"it's all about mixing fashion you'd find on the high street with items that match Muslim beliefs and values. It's about empowering women to have more freedom in how they dress".
The business was born out of Rifhat’s journeys to Dubai and Morocco, where she noticed fashion styles very different to those offered here in the UK.
Despite Cardiff’s diversity, for 43-year-old Rifhat there were just not enough options in the city, so the mother of three from Grangetown opened Modest Trends, whilst already working a separate job as a full-time Enterprise Officer.
Rifhat tells us that she launched Modest Trends in April 2019, and currently employs 1 staff member, explaining:
“I had a business premises and things were going very well, but due to Covid I decided to close the premises to focus on the online store”.
Speaking of the business’s difficulties she says:
“I was experiencing issues with organising my inventory and driving traffic to my website. I had heard about the DIA from an event I attended at Cardiff University but thought it only applied to big businesses. Then they contacted me at the start of 2020 to explain how they could benefit my business - by performing a ‘health check’ and developing a project with me”.
Following this, and despite all the disruptions caused by Covid-19, the DIA held meetings with Rifhat, returning the results of the Health Check by the end of May.
Talking of the collaboration, she tells us:
“the DIA provided me with a full report on some of the areas for improvement and came up with good suggestions as to how they could help.
The Health Check has helped me understand where improvements in my business can be made, and they also provided me with a solution to my inventory problem, which now helps me manage and control stock and figure out margins”.
The team also provided the business owner with ideas for future collaboration projects, and as Rifhat tells us:
“without the DIA’s help I would’ve continued to run my business inefficiently. To other businesses I would say that it’s a great opportunity to find out how data can help you, even if you’re a small business or start up like me”.
Of the DIA she says:
“I felt the team were really easy to communicate with, listened to my business problems, and understood what I was trying to achieve. I would like to thank Linda, Sachin and the DIA team for working with me. I learned so much and am looking forward to working on another project together soon”.
With things now very much on the up for Modest Trends, they hope to build a team to work on the e-commerce store and provide a one-stop shop for Muslim women to buy a whole range of different clothing.
Rifhat is proud to share that thanks to the DIA she is now working on rebranding and launching the online store, with a real focus on ethical sourcing and manufacturing, working with UK based designers to create the new clothing line.
Her plans to grow the business and create employment opportunities for Muslim women demonstrates her desire for the business to be rooted in the community it serves. We wish Rifhat and Modest Trends the very best of luck!