Spotlight On: Anisa Amin

From being an astronaut, to a mom and now coming in all shapes, sizes and colors the good ol’ doll is still a household favorite. But, for some girls Bratz/Barbie still don’t represent them. Until now, meet the founder of MAZA World.

The founder Anisa Amin is a 29 year old Afro-Caribbean mother of two girls. Amin is making sure that the modest woman is represented, and she told us here at Pray, Say & Slay,

“Our company is MAZA’s World and we are passionate about bringing forth the fascinating world of modest fashion with a focus on diversity. We have recently launched the MAZAdolls brand which is designed to bring your girls dolls which look like them. They will be beautiful, modestly attired and of diverse cultures and ethnicities, thereby reflecting our cosmopolitan world.”

“MAZA is the name of my 6 year old daughter and it stands for MARYAM ALIYAH ZAHRA AMIN.  My daughter has been a great source of my inspiration and it is for her sake that I wanted to mold a world where her beauty and her joie de vivre would be welcomed and celebrated.”

Amin hails from Trinidad & Tobago and is extremely proud of her Afro-Caribbean heritage, it has even been a huge inspiration for pursuing her passion,

“As a Black Muslim woman wearing hijab,  I have on many occasions been at the receiving end of discrimination from both Muslims and Non-Muslims but despite this, I have always maintained a strong sense of my identity...”

Amin continues to tell us the inspiration that sparked MAZA’s World and how her way of life keeps the inspiration going,

“The idea came from a desire to instill self confidence, modesty and self love within my two daughters. I decided to restyle their dolls so that they can be more relatable as young Muslim girls. I subscribe to Islam as my way of life. My religion does not allow for oppression and encourages us to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves and to be their helpers against injustice, bigotry and prejudice. My religion has greatly encouraged my passion because I am in a way bringing this message  to people with my vision and my products.”

Hijab means so much more to me than the fabric draped around my head. It's how I present myself to world. It is a marker of not only my compliance with God's commands, but also my sense of dignity and self worth. I don't ascribe to the idea that hijab is supposed to conceal our beauty; rather our beauty shines through modest fashion, which allows us to express our personalities, whilst remaining faithful to our morals and values.”

For Black History Month, MAZADolls celebrated various Black Muslim women who are game changers in their careers. When we asked what the founder thinks when she hears “representation matters” her response was awe inspiring,

The words "representation matters" are everything! I think the importance of these words only truly dawned on me once I became a mom. I realized the severe lack of representation of people of color in cartoons, animated films, children's literature ... and it frustrated me! I wanted my children to see positive images of people who looked like them, and unfortunately my choices were few and far between. Positive identity reinforcement through the media is pivotal to building self-esteem within children. This is my main motivation behind MAZA dolls. My daughters can now play with dolls with whom they can relate, and therefore grow in confidence as Black Muslim women.

Amin appreciates all parts of her inter-sectional life as a Muslim, a Black person and especially as a woman.

Women are the foundation of our societies and the respect or lack thereof that is  afforded to them distinguishes a progressive from a backward society. [Women have the ability to embrace diversity because diversity is an integral part of who they are. Mothers, wives, fashion designers, doctors are all expression of the unique greatness that was bestowed upon women.] I am extremely proud to be a woman and as such I am fully tapping into my creativity derived from the unique perspective of being a Muslim woman and entrepreneur.”

We can’t wait to live in a MAZA World and wish them the best of luck in all their endeavors!

For more follow them on Instagram and like them on Facebook @MAZAdolls

Pray, Say & Slay Team