- Zaheen Chowdhury
Muslim-owned Memphis Businesses: Amasi Decor
Amasi Decor, a company which sells elegant and modern Ramadan and Eid decorations began when Suha Dweik and Saja Farrah, two Palestinian-American mothers, noticed a need in the American Muslim community.
The two met in 2014 and clicked instantly, becoming fast friends. “Suha and I really bonded over Ramadan and Eid experiences growing up in America and that's something we wanted to carry on with our kids,” recalls Farrah.
After her first child was born, Dweik says “I wanted to make sure Ramadan and Eid are super special for my kids. ... I started looking for things to decorate the home, and really, there wasn’t much out there. So, I started making my own.”
Farrah says, “We weren’t able to find it [decorations] anywhere and people weren’t selling this. We noticed that we weren’t the only ones interested in this, ... other people are as well. So Suha and I decided on taking it a little more seriously and turning it from a hobby to a business. ... We were so excited to offer this to other families and share the spirit of Ramadan with other families as well.” Dweik adds, “We wanted to create excitement around our Muslim holidays.”
The two began Amasi Decor, which aimed to provide North American Muslim families with elevated, affordable, and effortless Ramadan and Eid decor. Dweik and Farrah wanted their decorations to be something that brings excitement and celebration around the Muslim holidays.
When discussing their products, the two women emphasize the versatility, convenience, and aesthetics of their products. Farrah says they tried hard to achieve the great quality of their products. “We want you to use it year after year. We want to help create family traditions and keep the excitement going, year after year.”
“A big part of our mission is that we really want to be able to make Ramadan and Eid special for Muslim families, especially in North America. Our ultimate goal is to make Ramadan and Eid mainstream here and help families create traditions around our Muslim holidays for generations,” says Dweik.
Another big part of the mission of Amasi Decor is giving back. Dweik and Farrah have partnered with Rise Against Hunger, a nonprofit hunger relief organization. Farrah says, “A portion of every purchase that is made through Amasi goes to Rise Against Hunger. It fits with the spirit of Ramadan and that's a part we're really proud of.”
When asked about how COVID-19 has affected their business, the two women describe a lot of pivoting. They have had to reorganize and reassess their products and company and adapt to the times we are in now. However, they are extremely proud of what they have accomplished and look forward to improving and learning.
Farrah’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and designers is, “To just start somewhere.” She says, “If you are passionate about something and if it's something that you love, it will grow organically. ... For Suha and I, starting a business has definitely been a growing process. There's definitely been a learning curve and you learn as you go.”
Dweik adds on and says, “Don’t be afraid of failure. You’re not going to learn if you don’t make mistakes and that’s okay.