On this extremely wet and windy Saturday in NYC I decided to forgo working on my thesis project to head into Manhattan to go to the Pearl Daisy pop-up shop. Between school and getting a full-time job working within the United Nations sphere (more on that another time!) it was a nice time out, catching up with a friend and getting to meet the ever-so-sweet Amena of Pearl Daisy.
Amena, a British Muslimah of Indian (Hyderabad, just like my friend!) origins, came to fame on Youtube (channel Amenakin) with her hijab tutorial videos. From that first hijab tutorial she has since garnered over 140,000 followers on her channel, which also includes make-up videos, chats and vlogs, including one about World Hijab Day and funny ones about her current trip in the United States. Her Instagram @pearldaisyltd, which is where I discovered her, has more than 105k followers!
Since then Amena, has established her own company, Pearl Daisy, which has a boutique in Leicester, England, as well as an online shop at Pearl-daisy.com that sells scarves, hijab ‘gear’ (underscarves, etc.) and modest clothing. After traveling to the USA for the botched International Muslimah Fashion Week debacle in Hershey, PA (apparently the girl who was setting it up scammed everyone out of their money and canceled the event the day before!!) Pearl Daisy went to the ICNA Convention and then headed down to Bowery on the Lower East Side (I love that neighborhood, even if it is a bit gritty!) to open a pop-up shop for the day for NYC’s Muslimahs.
In person Amena is just as kind and beautiful as she is in her videos; she met with customers and fans at the back of the store and graciously took photos and answered questions. Gracious and graceful are the perfect words to describe her: whereas I was a frizzy mess from the weather outside, she was perfectly composed (perhaps the melodic British accent added to it!) in a beautiful tutu dress.
Most of the girls at the event were Muslim and hijabi. Yet despite the fact that I am unsure of my religious affiliation and am not a hijabi I felt at ease. I have always wondered why I feel such a draw to the Middle East and these topics and, besides the fact that I am very interested in learning about different cultures, I also am interested in Islam, and I want to keep learning more about this religion which, at its core, is every bit as feminist as I am.