Sagal - Muse Avenue

For full podcast interview, listen here: iTunes // Spotify

Who is Sagal
I come from Kitchener, Waterloo, and I went to school in Business specializing in marketing. I got into entrepreneurship right after graduation through the Launchpad program at Laurier University. I always knew that I wanted to marry my artistic side to the business knowledge I gained through school. First, I started an illustration company, and then tried to start a modest fashion company that lasted three months, and then moved onto Muse Avenue magazine. This was the time that I started working for NEXT Canada, my 9-to-5, after hours I focus on Muse Avenue, for a year now.
What made you study Business?

I went into Business to be safe. I was always a planner, since grade 8, I was already thinking about what career path I wanted to take. I hated science, or anything that I would cry myself to sleep every night, so Business studies seemed like the right fit. From grade 9 onwards, I started taking business classes and by my final high school year, I qualified for the Business program. If I didn’t have to take the safe route, I would’ve went into an Arts program. But, I’m glad that I got into Business and specialized in Marketing, because it really helps me today.

How did you start Muse Avenue

It started from a pivot. I first started entrepreneurship in 2016, with an illustration company making visuals for brands. That was a passion, but after two years, I was no longer passionate about it. Then, I wanted to start a modest fashion company, targeting the western muslim women, away from one-dimensional view of what we want. That idea only lasted three months, because I did not have any of the skills to create a fashion company, like creating samples, contacts with manufacturers, fabrics picking, it wasn’t anything that I was interested in. The passion to create something for this group of women, was always there. In the midst of me trying to create that modest fashion company, I also created a magazine called House of Malia Magazine, to see three ways of styling the clothing that I was making. Along with stories from muslim women in the western fashion world. No one was talking about the clothing, yet everyone would email me about the representation seen on the magazine. I realized that creating this magazine fueled my passion and interests far more than creating a fashion company.

Why a modest muslim women magazine
I grew up in suburbia Canada, where I related to magazines like Teen Vogue, and artist like Taylor Swift. That is what I used to see all the time, and tried to relate too. When Instagram came out, with a flood of women who looked like me, I felt like I didn’t have to fix myself to fit social norm, I realized there was a space for me. Instagram users creating stories that resonate with me, but there was no magazine at the time with all of these women’s fashion, stories, and beauty content for the western muslim women. We have specific needs, and that is what I wanted to cater too, that’s how Muse Avenue came out.

On pivoting as an entrepreneur
One of the greatest advice that I ever got is that, your customer is always right. They will guide you, if you listen to them. When you talk to your customers consistently, that is when you’ll know to pivot. You will get words from them on what they want, and if what they tell you is different from what you originally envisioned, that is okay, pivot. Change is a good thing, if you’re not consistently changing in the entrepreneur world, than you will never make it.
Representation in the media
For me it is about inspiring and empowering this group of (muslim) women, that have been forgotten in our society. I want young girls growing up, to able to say that they don’t know what it is like to live in a world where they are not represented because Muse Avenue exist and I got to see myself on it. Secondly, I want to bridge the gap between target market needs and what mainstream brands are providing. Right now, to use H&M as an example, you will see a visible muslim women walking around. Either H&M, or Zara. To use H&M as an example, they came up with a modest line a little while ago. They only released it in the eastern side of the world, while the rest of the western world was waiting around for that line to reach us. It’s about making it known to these brands that we are also your target market. We are here, and willing to spend the money, but you’re not targeting us. It’s about being able to walk into an H&M store, and seeing posters and marketing ads consistently represented, outside of holidays like Eid. We should be able to see ourselves represented on their brands, as much as we see any type of girl.

With Muse Avenue, it’s about supporting brands in better understanding western muslim women. We know what we want, let us help you better craft your material to reach us.

What is the revenue model of Muse Avenue
I would like to stay on the Business-to-Business side (B2B). We are looking into sponsorship from brands with an align value to ours, we always look for partnerships. We also do consultancy, and (native) advertising that are authentically delivered as a story.

How would like to be remembered
I’m an extravert and introvert, I don’t want to be famous. Upon leaving this earth, I want these groups of (muslim) women to not wonder where they need to find representation, not needing to look elsewhere to be inspired.

Three words to describe yourself
Artistic. Thoughtful. Ambitious. 

1 comment

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