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Passion Pioneer: Meet Sabren Amin, fashion designer and founder of Acacia Studio


After seeing a gap in the market during the pandemic, Sabren started to piece together her fashion brand.

Sabren’s business all began after she designed herself a face mask that would fit over her headscarf. When she found herself inundated with orders, she decided to use her skills from her fashion degree for something bigger.

Combining the beautiful and the practical, her bespoke dresses for Muslim and modest women offer clients something the high street cannot. Here, Sabren shares how she turned her passion into a successful business.

What made you want to start your own business?

Acacia Studio is dedicated to creating bespoke dresses for Muslim and modest women who often can’t find what they want on the high street – especially when dressing for special occasions. When they come to my studio, we’re able to design something together that fits exactly what they need.

I’ve always had an interest in fashion – I love things that are beautiful and practical and also serve a purpose. But I never really thought it would be something that I would turn into as a career, I thought I was going to go into healthcare. When the time came to choose my degree, I had second thoughts, so I took some time out and started to experiment with different ideas.

Eventually I decided to study fashion. I knew I wanted to have my own brand one day, but didn’t think it would happen so soon. My business began pretty organically, when I started making face masks during the pandemic, because I couldn’t find any out there that I liked and that were easy to put on with my head scarf.

I made myself one that I could tie around my scarf, posted it online, and suddenly people were asking me if they could place orders. And I just kept getting order after order. There wasn’t much else to do at the time.

I knew I had skills from my degree that I wanted to use for more than just making masks, so I thought to myself – what else does a Muslim woman or a modest dresser need that she can’t find? And from there, I started working with my first client.

Credit: Noor & Zee

Was it difficult to figure out how to turn your skills into a viable business?

The majority of my degree was about creativity – there was nothing about how to run a business or how to manage your finances. So I’ve had to teach myself how to do that. I’m also trying to find other small business owners who I can learn from.

The bravest thing I’ve ever done is pursuing fashion as my career, because no one else around me is doing it.

That must feel really challenging at times…

Yes – the biggest challenge is not knowing what the next step is. While there is a sort of structure, there’s also a lot of trial and error. Sometimes what you think is the best move doesn’t give you the results that you want.

It’s also challenging to find people who are the right fit to work for my brand – whether it’s the kind of styles we want to do, the skills we need, the budget, or understanding of the brand and who we are here to cater for.

Credit: Noor & Zee

What’s a great piece of advice you’ve been given?

Not to take advice from somebody who’s not doing what you’re doing. Even if people genuinely have your best interests at heart, if they’re not in your shoes, then they can’t tell you what decisions to make or how you should be living your life. That advice has really stuck with me. Some people might say my passion is taking up too much of my life, but it’s the life I want.

What’s your superpower?

Biting off more than I can chew and then getting it done anyway! That’s the story of my life, but it always works out fine in the end.

Credit: Noor & Zee

How tech savvy are you?

The process of buying my domain on GoDaddy to kickstart my business was so quick and smooth. Having a website elevated my brand and the level of professionalism that it gives off to my clients. Now my clients know they can go to a site they trust and shop easily.

It’s like buying a piece of real estate on the Internet. I also set-up a business email address from GoDaddy – which is perfect as it gives my fashion brand more professionalism.

What do you hope changes for women in business?

I would love to change the amount of support we get when we decide to pursue a career. I think a lot of women often don’t have instant support when we first start. The beginning is the hardest part, when you’re convincing yourself to go against the grain.

I would love for women to feel more supported in that moment. There are a lot of moments where you might find it difficult because you second guess what you’re doing, and if you don’t see results quick enough, you might start to listen to what other people saying: get a regular 9-5 job, get married, buy a house.

Credit: Noor & Zee

What do you think is the best way to get a passion project off to a flying start?

Surround yourself with people who are on their own journeys, so that you can learn from each other. Also, try different things, experiment, explore, look out for ways in – such as interning or see if you can shadow someone who’s doing what you think you want to do.

You also need to approach it with a business mind. If you can turn your passion into a business, you can live off it for the rest of your life.

Thinking about building your own brand? Find all the inspiration and business advice you’ll need at marieclaire.co.uk/passionpioneers



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