KhaleejiGirl (KG) interviews Maha from @HausofM
Meet Maha, owner and founder of @HausofM. She is a native New Yorker with a passion for fashion living in Bahrain. Check out what she has to say about coping with the culture shift in terms of the clothing industry on the island.
KG: Please state your name, where you’re from and your occupation.
A: My name is Maha Rajput and I am from New York. I am a fashion designer and image consultant.
KG: Please describe the journey that led you towards being in your current occupation.
A: When I was about 5-6 years old, I knew that I was destined to be in the fashion industry. I would play dress up when I was a toddler and ever since then my love for fashion evolved into a passion. I have worked as a style consultant for numerous American clothing brands, and with that experience I decided that I wanted to pursue my path in starting my own personal styling side business. With that being said, from a very young age, I knew that I wanted to be a fashion designer. I had always dreamed of having my own clothing brand. Today, I can say that I have achieved my dream. I have my own clothing brand known as Haus Of M. Although it took many hurdles, and hardships, I was willing to risk everything to pursue my dream. My dream of having my clothing brand is just in the beginning stage. Within this dream of mine there are numerous goals I need to achieve. I am unstoppable.
KG: Was it an easy journey that led you here?
A: It most definitely wasn't an easy journey that led me to where I am today. The reason I say that is because truth be told, when I was living in New York, I did love my job because I was so damn good at it, however; I was just living to survive. I wasn’t living for myself. I was in a really tough place and I knew I had to make major changes in my life, which is why I had decided one day without thinking twice about it that I would move to Bahrain. My parents had relocated to Bahrain in 2016 due to their job relocation and I personally was sick of living in the states, I decided to take the risk and restart my life in 72 hours. I packed whatever I could fit into two suitcases, sold my furniture, gave my cats away to my sister and got on the flight. I knew absolutely nothing about Bahrain, let alone how the fashion culture is in Bahrain. Although it was a major shock for me, I knew I had a challenging and long road ahead of me. The summer of 2018, I arrived in Bahrain and launched my clothing brand in Spring of 2019. I can assure you that when I say it wasn’t an easy journey for me, I’m glad it wasn’t. It’s a blessing in disguise as to all of the hardships I was in that led me to my future path.
KG: What was the biggest motivator that led to creating a clothing business of your own?
A: I believe that it was my destiny, the support from my parents, my self-confidence & perseverance.
KG: I understand you developed a website to sell your clothing which is pretty impressive! Please state the name of your website and explain why you chose to create this instead of selling your clothes in a store?
A: The name of my clothing brand is known as Haus Of M and I developed a website called hausofm.co. I chose to go towards the e-commerce route because I wanted to test the market first and see what the feedback would be rather than just taking on a bigger financial risk and having my own boutique in today’s current economic stage. That’s not to say that I won’t have a boutique one day. There are a number of goals I need to accomplish first for my business in order to reach that step of opening the doors to my boutique.
KG: Will your clothing line tailor to a different demographic of women of different tastes and sizes or are you limiting it to just the kind of clothing that you enjoy wearing?
A: Haus Of M caters to a niche demographic of women. Those who are fashion forward, daring and value one of a kind designs. Currently, I carry sizes from UK 36 to UK 40, some items are a size UK 42. Due to the fact that Haus Of M is a ready to wear brand, I do offer a free consultation and fitting for any item you love before making your purchase. Haus Of M also offers a wide range of custom designs as well. Depending on what you are looking for, it could be for an event or if you are looking to have certain custom pieces made for your wardrobe.
KG: Why did you choose to create a clothing line dedicated to just girls instead of men and children too?
A: Haus Of M is a ready to wear bespoke contemporary meets luxury womenswear brand. I decided to create a clothing line that is designed for women because of the purpose of what it stands for. The purpose being that, I want my clients to feel confident and ambitious while looking beautiful in every piece designed for the HOM woman. I have created my own version of what bespoke is defined as. Every piece that is designed, is created only once and never replicated in another size or color. This means that every piece that is created for each collection, is a one of a kind and you will be the only one that has that specific design. As of right now, my main demographic is towards women. Who knows, maybe one day I could design a “Mommy & Me” collection - one that is designed for a mother & daughter.
KG: Do you see yourself as a trend setter?
A: I most definitely see myself as a trend setter. Due to the fact that I have always been trend forecasting, I am always ahead of the game. I study fashion on a daily basis like my life depends on it.
KG: What are your plans for the future in terms of the clothing line?
A: The future plans for Haus Of M are growing on a daily basis in all components and to go international. I am currently working on a new collection, which will launch next summer. I plan on moving from Bahrain within the next 10 months, where I can focus on building my business to the scale that it needs to be at. Once I move, I plan on opening up my boutique in the first two or three years from now. However, for now I am working towards my dream of having my own fashion house & boutique one day. Hence my brand name, Haus Of M.
Q: What advice do you have for a younger @Khaleejigirl who is considering following your footsteps?
A: My advice for a young @Khaleejigirl would be to know that no dream is ever too small and no idea is ever stupid. You can always achieve whatever your heart desires when you put your mind to something. Always remain strong, confident and never give up on your dreams. When you want something in life, whatever it may be, be resilient and relentless.
Q: Do you have anything else you’d like to add that may be important for the KhaleejiGirl audience to know?
A: I believe that we need to start empowering women more, especially expat women that live in Bahrain. I believe that we shouldn’t corner women who aren’t locals just because we are looked upon as “different”. I believe that it is extremely important to support small expat / local businesses because it truly makes a difference. At the end of the day, there should be more kindness in the world and we as women should always uplift one another.