Six dynamic women answered our call after hearing about our search for every day women from our communities to model two new Haute Hijab collections. Over the course of two wonderful days, we got to know these women as we took photos, conducted interviews and shot video to share our new Bamboo Woven Print
collection (and an exciting new collection dropping soon) with you. We had a blast talking about the positive threads that we weave into our lives with these wonderful women!
Throughout the month we’re featuring interviews with the ladies modeling our Bamboo Woven Prints
. Because trust us – you NEED to know these women! So let’s meet Halimah DeOliveira! She is a three-time award-winning author
and brand strategist. As the CEO of Be You In HD, LLC she enjoys providing proven strategies, tools and resources that “empower women of faith to start, sustain and scale six- and seven-figure businesses” that create a positive social impact on their local and global communities. Halimah also can be found hosting Boss Hijabi business workshops, the Boss Hijabi Preneur Podcast
, other online webinars, promoting her books or touring with her “Not Without My Hijab” stage play.
Find her on social media @beyouinhd across all social platforms or by visiting her website
. We caught up with Halimah about the hikmah
(wisdom) in wearing hijab, why being a visible Muslim helps those she encounters and what motivates her to empower women.
Tell us about being a visible Muslim woman – is it something you think about when putting on your hijab and entering the world, what it means to be visible?
Being a visible woman is very much a conscious decision. I think about the colors I wear and the way I carry myself while I’m wearing it. This reminds me of a time when I was younger, and in many cases I was the only Muslim some people may have ever encountered. They learned Islam through me. I remember it being very important not to downplay the reason I wore it, and I carry that with me today. One of the people I met became Muslim as a result of our encounters. Imagine if I downplayed what being visible meant?
Why do you choose to be “visible” (meaning identifiably) Muslim with your hijab?
I choose to be visibly Muslim first and foremost for my creator and myself. The older I get and the more I learn about myself and Islam I understand the hikmah behind wearing hijab. Surah Ahzab, Ayah 59 emphasizes wearing hijab so that we may be known. In my opinion, this is helpful in many ways: One, of course, is for our protection. The other helps us today. Where the news and media portray us in a negative way, through hijab we can show society a different narrative. It’s a form of dawah (sharing the faith).
What do you love about wearing hijab? Or what is your struggle/challenge (if you have one) in wearing it?
Bamboo Woven Print - Blazing Prowess
The Blazing Prowess Hijab features a bold abstract floral print with vivid tones of blue and pops of orange on our sustainably produced and ultra-soft bamboo woven fabric. It features all of bamboo's powerful benefits including built-in sun protection, breathability, anti-bacterial properties and superior moisture wicking for a fresh, comfortable feeling.
I struggled with hijab when I was younger for the exact same reason I loved wearing it – the irony! When I was young I didn’t want the responsibility of being the ambassador for Islam in my group. As I’ve gotten older I realize how I missed out on many opportunities to open the door for other visibly Muslim women to walk through because I was ashamed to wear mine. Alhamdulillah, I returned to wearing hijab almost seven years ago.
The beauty is that on this journey, I have met many women who have been through the same plight and are reconnecting to faith and now wearing hijab. I also have met young hijabis who are embarking on the next phase of their lives – going to college and starting their work careers – and making the decision to stand firm in their belief in hijab or forgo it like I did. I’m grateful to be a guide for “What not to do” – the path not to take because of what you give up by pushing down your faith. Removing hijab doesn’t just change the way you look outwardly; you suppress who you are inwardly as well.
What do you want our Haute Hijab community and Muslim women everywhere to know about you?
Hijab is a journey, and just like iman (faith) rises and falls, your journey with hijab will have some good days and some bad. Bithnillah, it’s a commitment and a choice you get to make everyday to submit to Allah (S) and be rewarded for your dutifulness to your Creator and not succumb to the pressure of conforming to what society sees as beauty or as the norm.
When are you at your happiest, content or really feeling yourself?
I’m at my most happiest when I’m being my most authentic self. I’m at my most happiest when I’m around other women and empowering them to be their most authentic selves.
Check out Halimah's video on Instagram!
What do you do or how do you manage when you’re feeling low or down?
When I’m down I read the Quran and read stories of the mothers of the believers who came before me and all they endured. I remind myself of my “why” – to empower women to be their most authentic selves and live their best lives. I even sometimes read my own book, Not Without My Hijab: 11 Steps to Reclaiming Your Faith. I remind myself of how far I’ve come. I remind myself how returning to wearing hijab was so difficult that it took me seven years to finally do it. That usually lifts my spirits and allows me to keep going.
When you heard about our call out for everyday women for this photoshoot, what motivated you to take part?
My first motivation was my love for Melanie and her passion to empower more women to love who they are unapologetically. My second motivation was to add my love and light in the space. A woman tells a story through her eyes and in the way she carries herself. She introduces who she is before she even opens her mouth. I pray through my eyes other women see hope and a woman thriving in spite of hardship and adversity. Ameen.
How important is it for Muslim women to see themselves represented in these types of campaigns?
It’s extremely important. Women need to see themselves in every sense of the word. As an author, I had the opportunity to put my photo on the cover of my books. The single reason I did it was because we do not see many visibly Muslim women on the cover of books. Perhaps why we don’t see as many Muslim women authors. We have to see it to be it. Insha’Allah we will see more Muslim women in positions of power changing the world.
Halimah lights it up with her smile!
Now’s your chance! What do you want the world to know about you? What do you want to plug about the work you do or your goals in life?
I’m Halimah DeOlIveira, CEO of Be You In HD, LLC a Business Consultant Firm for Women Owned businesses with an array of services for startups and veteran businesses.
I’m a mom, business strategist and three-time author: Jennahs First Hijab, Not Without My Hijab Pray & Grow Rich: A Faith Choice.
I am the creator of the @notwithoutmyhijab play/project, founder of the @bosshijabisociety – an online platform for professional women – a philanthropist and growing more into myself everyday!!! My focus is to use entrepreneurship for the empowerment and advancement of women and girls of faith. My 2021 goal is to help 1,000 Women of faith start, sustain and grow profitable businesses through my one-on-one or group coaching programs.
You can learn more about what I do and how I can possibly help you with your business/personal goals by visiting my website here
What do you want your legacy to be? What do you hope to do while you're here on earth, living your life?
I want to leave the world better than I found it. I want my children and their children to inherit a world that embraces them for exactly who they are, a world where they don’t have to change or conform who they are to be successful. I want people to see a person who loves God and loves life and inspires them to do the same; that despite what society says, I can love being Muslim and be successful in a world that doesn’t necessarily see the value in that.
And most of all I want to leave a legacy that is well pleasing to my Lord, that builds my beautiful home in the akhirah (hereafter).