New Beginnings at Silver Envelope
As a young child growing up in America I used to get amazing satisfaction out of making handmade gifts for my friends and family. There is nothing quite like the simplicity of a smile from someone you love. I loved to hand-print ‘Eid Mubarak’ across decorative ribbons and craft my own hand-made cards for the special occasion. At the time, very little existed for kids like me. This was my passion, my hobby and I absolutely loved it!! On the cusp of another new year, twelve years after the birth of Silver Envelope - the first Islamic stationery products company, we find ourselves at a cross-roads again with a new vision, a new hope, and a number of exciting initiatives in the pipeline. Insha'Allah 2013 will be the year of new beginnings.
And yet as 2012 ends, I can't help but feel a tinge of nostalgia for how it all began. How lucky I was to be surrounded by the support and guidance of my family and my faith, providing a safe space to nurture and explore my hobbies. I am reminded of the long and winding path life can take and the many lessons we have to learn. Nearly thirty years ago, with the guidance, support and inspiration only a family can provide, I started down a road that would come to fruition in 2001, with my first line of modest online offerings (3 Greeting Cards, and 3 "Eid Mubarak" ribbons). That same year, I took my crafted cards into a local masjid bookstore. I remember one older woman, in particular who was carefully examining them. I waited, waiting for a smile that would never come. After only a moment, she took them, started shaking them and emphatically declared how much she disliked them. And therein I learned the valuable lesson of both humility and the importance of family, community and faith in overcoming doubt and fear, and in carving a person's path forward. Stepping back on the verge of this new year, I am most grateful for my family and my friends who have blessed me with patience and 100% support for my childhood dreams. And for my faith that has guided me through the most difficult of times.
So, what new beginnings do I hope 2013 will bring? Insha'Allah, over the next twelve months with the "new" Silver Envelope, there will be new products unrolled, new gifts and cards given, and holiday party ideas shared. But, there will also be a concerted effort to feature some great voices in our community, to feature some fantastic designers and find new ways to help bind our community together through celebration. I have never felt that design and crafting should be just for the select few, it should be for everyone, from the mom in Morocco to the young designer in the states. It shouldn't take a PhD or advanced degree to feel connected to using your hands or to feel connected to creating beautiful faith-affirming cards with your kids.
Al hamdu lillah, there is so much that ties us together and there is a tremendous power in celebration that allows people to retrace, recreate and embrace that common bond. As I have watched so many brothers and sisters around the world who have been struggling, attempting to simply create a better and safer world for their children, my goals have been sharpened, my desire has been strengthened, and my resolve to work harder to help my community has been heightened. Every family should have the chance to smile, every young little girl and little boy should have the opportunity to feel that joy and support that I was blessed to have had as a child.
May the new year rejuvenate your friendships, your family bonds and bring your connection with your faith and Allah ever closer to you.