Celebrating my Sister, the face of thowby
Posted on November 29 2023
Small steps fuel big dreams. The story of thowby is a standing example. From starting with the seed of an idea to drape women in abayas that bring out their best to establishing a brand that is emerging at the forefront of progressive modest fashion, we have come a long way in realizing a dream we saw less than a decade ago.
I have a few dear ones that stood by my side relentlessly when I needed moral support more than anything. When I captain our team, I keep the ship calm no matter what storms hit us because they are assured in me. In times like these, my sister Rima, who has been a pillar of strength, stood by my side and continues to do so even till date. Her contribution is remarkable and irreplaceable. Today, through this article, I'd like to take you behind the curtain to introduce a piece of my heart, my Sister Rima.
Rima, an entrepreneur with a business of her own, has been endlessly gracious in lending thowby her time as a brand model. The story behind it is one for the books — and hopefully one that will inspire business aspirants and dreamers from all walks of life to believe in the power of their potential.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit and a series of lockdowns slowed down businesses across the world, thowby was proud to be among the fortunate few startups in the UAE that continued to push through successfully through the setback. Of course, we were not immune to the ordeals of this new, complex situation our world was in and the pandemic did affect our business functions to a certain extent.
For one, we had to keep up with the pressures of staying active on social media and engage with our valued followers to sustain morales and marketing both. Online communication is an important tool to grow a business; utilizing it optimally has become a foundational part of most brands today. thowby is no different.
The thowby studio
Casual conversations and spontaneous brainstorming – as to how we hoped to overcome the challenge of keeping the brand active online – led us to try out a homegrown photoshoot session. The model was to be my sister Rima who, by the way, had zero experience in modeling, shooting or posing. She was also in her late 40s, an age society generally considers past a woman’s prime, especially when it comes to the niche field of fashion.
What Rima did have though was confidence and genuine enthusiasm to help move thowby along on its journey, despite pandemic-induced obstacles lining our path. That was all we needed to spark our ambitions.
Once the model was ready, so was the shooting equipment: a simple, single iPhone. A smartphone was all we used to kick off our brand shoot that would eventually become a success story so uplifting that motivated everyone at thowby like never before.
From modeling to shooting, editing, publishing, and marketing — every aspect of defining our brand image visually with Rima as the model was covered in-house. The team pitched in wholeheartedly and we learned everything on the go, just doing our best toward a dream we were all seeing together.
At the time, our in-house brand marketing only started as a small pandemic project, inspired by a lack of alternatives and an urgent need to keep the business running on track. We never imagined it would balloon into a big, brilliant operation here at thowby and lead us to become self-reliant vis-a-vis brand marketing. It makes us proud to continue building a brand that was all started from scratch, by ourselves.
Let's also hear from Rima about her experience -
"I have always been inspired by my sister and I look up to her. Her brand and this empire she built is fabulous and I cannot stop being proud of it. The Pandemic brought out of us things we didn't know we were capable of. I wanted to help her in her business through this time and one thing led to another and we played around with ideas and there you had it, I modelled for her brand knowing nothing about it. I continue to do that because I love my sister and I believe in her brand. We've come a long way and this experience has shaped me and helped me explore so many new things in life at an age where dreams take a back seat. I love being the model for thowby and helping with editing and other aspects of her business. We have lot of fun while shooting and we bond as a family in this beautiful collaboration every now and then."
Thank you Rima, I am forever grateful for a sister like you.
We’re still on a path of learning to do, be, and perform better (and we all know that road is never-ending). But we’re not complaining. Running a business is all about being open to gaining new knowledge. We’re still absorbing the best of how to market ourselves honestly and authentically for clients who are searching for their perfect abayas. We have come so far as to produce not just our static photoshoots but also our reels in-house — and hope to do the same with our future commercial/creative videos and other fresh forms of communication.
We’re getting there… like I said, small steps fuel big dreams. Self-belief is what keeps us going. Remember: if you are determined to do something, nothing can stop you. Being confident in yourself and your capabilities is the ultimate motto to live by.
We hope we can inspire people out there with our story. Of inclusivity. Of believing in yourself. Of starting a business and growing a dream.