Marwa Atik’s passion for the veil (hijab) and her eye for fashion helped inspire the launch of her company, VELA, in 2009, and her veils are now highly sought after by women all about the world. The veils are not only well-made, but many also incorporate fun accents, like ruffles and zippers, as well as images and designs, to help each woman express her own personal style. Marwa is beautiful inside and out, and 0h-so talented, so we are proud to feature her in our “We Love This Babe” series today. Scroll on to find out more about Marwa, her company and so much more.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is a mix of timeless pieces, streetwear and high fashion. I don’t have one style I particularly stay with. I can go glam one day and then heavy outerwear the next.
You are an advocate for empowerment! What does that mean to you?
To me, that means speaking out and sharing my vulnerability in my personal platform and being an example for other women in my business platform and finding power through my voice. My goal is to inspire and make women believe they can be, do and accomplish whatever they want. If I make another fellow woman feel inspired to accomplish a dream she’s been scared of doing, then I’ve done my job at advocating for empowerment.
Who are your favorite people to follow on social media right now and why?
I love @lvernon2000. She is a plus-size Muslim feminist influencer. I love her insightful posts and I learn something new every day. @StellaSimona’s page in general is so aesthetically pleasing and I love how she is a business owner and a mother (gives me hope…lol). Lastly, I love to follow my girl @mariaalia for style inspo.
You’ve had your brand VELA since 2009! How has social media influenced your brand at all?
Social media played a pivotal role since VELA founding days. At the time, I was 18 years old, really young and inexperienced. I had to quickly learn how to grow a business, and having a Facebook page and Instagram page helped shape and tell VELA’s story. Social media offers the power of turning a product into a brand by sharing the company’s personal message. I found more people resonated with my story and followed along the journey to where VELA is today, and those same customers have been with us since 2009.
What do you hope to achieve with VELA?
I hope that VELA will continue to be a globally recognized brand where women can find all of their modest needs. I also want VELA to be a space to find impactful stories and imagery that empower women in their daily lives and encourages them to be a part of the brand.
Who are some women that you admire?
I admire my mother and my sisters the most. We all shared the same household growing up and they each have a type of strength I admire to be. I admire my friends like Stella Simona, who turn more into mentors who help me feel like I can accomplish my goals and aspire to be like them and are open to sharing their knowledge with me. Currently, I admire Ilhan Omar for being one of the first two Muslim women to ever elected to serve in Congress. I can only imagine the level of pressure she was under and how she strived and pushed herself regardless of pushback she may have experienced—that’s so empowering!
What do you love most about your career?
I love that I get to connect with women around the world and they share their stories with me in how VELA scarves make them feel confident. That makes all of the long hours worth it.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A veterinarian, but then I realized I don’t really like all animals, just cats. Haha!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
My inspiration can come from so many different things, oftentimes it’s when I am style-forecasting and predicting future trends. I am looking at runway shows, analyzing colors in the market and paying close attention to design. From there, I draft a theme of what my next collection will be and begin to design from there.
How do you start your day?
I wake up, then go straight to my computer! My first start to my day has to be emails, so that I can quickly look at my tasks and map out my day better. After that, it’s coffee and something to eat while I do about an hour of work, then I hit the gym and come back to start my official work day.
Do you have any new projects coming up that you can share with us at the moment?
Yes! Currently I am collaborating with a talented painter to create a collection of digital prints. We drew inspiration from felines: leopards, tigers, lions and how every woman is a powerful feline, and together as a pack, we are a strong force. It’s going to be a storytelling collection with bold phrases written on it. I can’t share with you everything yet, but it’s going to be epic and I’m excited really for it!