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  • Yasmeen Mannan

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: ANIMFASHION

AnimFashion, founded and owned by PVS student Aymen Aliye ‘24 and his younger brother, Muhammed, is a custom clothing brand. Yasmeen Mannan ‘24 interviewed Aymen about the business, his goals, and his aspirations.


Yasmeen: Aymen, this is your first year at not only Pleasant View School, but also in Memphis. Can you introduce yourself and talk a little about your background? 


Aymen: My name is Aymen Naser Aliye. I was born in Ethiopia, and I lived a couple of years there, lived a couple of years in Italy, and lived most of my life in South Africa. I just came from South Africa around the end of February. 


Yasmeen: What is the name of your business, and what do you sell?


Aymen: I have an online store called AnimFashion. I basically sell customized clothes – clothes that I make myself and customize myself. 


Yasmeen: Why clothing?


Aymen: I don’t know, really, I have other businesses…but I thought it would be something that people would like. Since I was a child, I have wanted to customize my own shirts. I would think it was really great to make something not other people were wearing, something that was only mine. So I guess I thought other people would also like that. 


Yasmeen: Okay, so you got the idea when you were younger, but when did you and your brother actually end up starting the business? 


Aymen: This year. 


Yasmeen: And what inspired the both of you to start it together? 


Aymen: Well, actually, we didn’t start it together. I started it, and I didn’t have much time to handle the business because it needs a lot of work, so I gave it over to my brother.


Yasmeen: What is it like having your brother as a business partner?


Aymen: I would say it’s actually not bad. It’s actually nice because unlike other siblings, me and my brother are quite close, so we get along a lot even though we fight once in a while, and I think that’s normal. But I would say I actually like it. 


Yasmeen: And how do you divide roles or split responsibilities between yourself?


Aymen: I would say my brother takes care of most of the business. I mean, I created the store, I founded everything, I set up the whole accounting part of it, but my brother takes care of the advertising side and the fulfilling side. So, I would say it’s about 50/50. 


Yasmeen: What would you say are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from being in business? 


Aymen: Life is hard. You won’t succeed until you fail. If you succeed without failing, I don’t think you will savor or enjoy the good part of life responsibly. You know, they say, the way money comes, money goes. So, money comes easily to go easily. If it comes hard, it doesn’t go away easily, if you understand what I’m saying. And I think you shouldn’t give up. You should never be afraid to ask other people for advice, and you should put your pride and your ego aside if you want to succeed. Because if you are always proud, and you don’t ask anyone for advice, and you act like you know everything, the truth is, you don’t know anything.


Yasmeen: It’s a good life lesson. What advice would you give to people who either want to start a business or already have one?


Aymen: I’m not going to lie, I don’t know much about it – it’s only been about a year that I’ve been learning about it. But what I have learned is don’t give up. You’re not going to succeed on the first try. You’re going to fail multiple times, and you have to get back up again. Trust me, you won’t succeed the first time. It’s so hard. If you think on your first business you’re going to be making a million dollars, it’s not that kind of thing. You don’t just become a millionaire overnight. You fail, you succeed. If you ask all businesspeople around the world how they got to where they are, they worked hard for it, you know? They went through tough times, and there’s been examples – if I started now I won’t stop, honestly – but that’s how it is. Also, take advice. Don’t be afraid to ask people who are better than you. If you have pride in yourself, don’t do that, don’t think that I won’t ask because they’re going to think I’m small. If you do that, you’re going to stay there for the rest of your life. You’re going to be at square one your whole life. You won’t move up. 


Yasmeen: Again, really great advice. Who or what motivates or inspires you? 


Aymen: The who is people who are rich. And for the what, I’ve always wanted to help with charity work, and to see people who are homeless and things like that really hurts me. That’s one of my biggest plans: to help the poor. I mean, there’s how many? Millions? Billions of people who are poor? And, it’s like, you don’t need to give them a fortune to make them smile. But you can give them a meal. It could be duaa. A single duaa could carry you to Jannat-al-Firdaws, you never know. You know, in Islam, there is a good jealousy, like when you’re jealous of someone because you want to become good like them, but you don’t wish anything bad towards them. 


Yasmeen: Like, not Hasad. 


Aymen: Yeah, you don’t wish anything bad towards them. So, I was jealous of people who are at 14, 15 years old, they’re paying their parents’ mortgage. And I was like, what am I doing with my life? I’m going to college… when there are people who are making money that are like four years younger than me. It’s like, you get angry with yourself, and then you channel that anger in the right way, and then you motivate yourself to strive for higher. And I guess, it was a big part of my life, the way I grew up, was sharing, so I guess that’s also one thing I really want to do. 


Yasmeen: Good answers. Okay, last question: What are your goals for the future, whether for the business or personally? 


Aymen: Business? Honestly, I’m (not sure if I’m going to keep it. It’s not looking so good, mainly because advertising is not easy. And people nowadays, for them to trust a business is like, mad hard, like you don’t just trust some random person doing something and be like, yeah, ok, you know what I mean? They won’t just go with it – they have other people who will do it for them already. So it’s hard to gain people’s trust. Business, honestly, as I said earlier on, you try. You fail. You try again. So it’s a constant trial and error. You learn from this. If this business goes well after some time, Alhamdulillah. If it doesn’t, you close down, you start off another one. You learn from your mistakes. And for my future? Honestly, I want to be rich. As long as it’s Halal, of course, I want to be rich. And that’s about it, I guess. To help – as I said early on – to help the poor is one very big dream of mine. 


Yasmeen: Do you have any last comments or anything else you want to say? 


Aymen: I would say, thank you. You actually said no, let’s actually do this. Thanks for actually giving me a chance, for interviewing me. I think it will help my business. 


Yasmeen: Yes, of course… This is a really unique endeavour you’re taking on, and also, you are doing the sweatshirts for our senior class, so I appreciate it a lot. Thank you for your time. 


For any business inquiries, email aymenaliye@gmail.com. We encourage you to visit the Instagram page @animfashion and make your custom purchase today!



Muhammed Aliye poses in front of a makeshift Grizzly bear.

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