Women

In Conversation with Yasmin Ben T.

July 8, 2017
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In conversation with Yasmin T.
Photography by Sakina K.

A good foundation is key – whether it is values instilled in children or a base for your make-up. And Yasmin bhen excels in both. A regular super-mom, she raises three young children and manages her home business of bridal make-up and costuming, all while indulging in a tub of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy (possibly to calm the fire in her belly).

Separator.

Life was a cacophony of sights, sounds, smells and experiences

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What was life like growing up for you?

Life was a cacophony of sights, sounds, smells and experiences. I was raised by my maternal grandparents and was the only child at home so there was no shortage of attention. I lived for adventure and was usually out gallivanting or playing with my schoolmates and our gang of neighbourhood kids.

Wildly independent and headstrong, I started working during my school holidays when I was 14 so  I could buy myself a Sony Walkman and not trouble my grandparents for it. Well, actually they said a resounding “No!” because they were worried it would affect my studies and influence my moral values. I must admit, my desire for experiences did turn most of their hair white. They were very clear in setting boundaries and mapping lines not to cross. The fact that they didn’t believe in sparing the rod definitely reigned in my ambitions somewhat. But I’ve almost always got what I wanted one way or the other.

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My day is split between their varying needs, running my household and managing my home based enterprise

Describe a typical day in your life.

As a mother of a teenager, a first grader and a preschooler, my day is split between their varying needs, running my household and managing my home based enterprise. My day starts at 6 am with Fajr namaz and making breakfast and then sending my kids to school and Hubby to work. I try to run all my errands, prepare lunch and complete any administrative matters before I pick the kids up from school just after Zohr namaz around 2pm. We have lunch together and after a short break we settle down to do homework or revision. I usually have clients coming over between, 5-7pm, so that is when the kids have their R&R time which usually is either swimming, going to the park, playing with their toys or games on gadgets or watching TV. Dinner is early, right after Maghrib/Isha namaz as the younger kids need their sleep and so I get them in bed by 8.30pm. This gives me time to wind down afterwards and spend some time with my teenager and husband. We usually watch some TV programs we enjoy together or a movie before heading off to bed around 10pm.

 

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The world is your oyster and opportunities are boundless

What advice would you give a young woman who wants to start her own business?

There is nothing out there that you can’t accomplish with some serious dedication and a fire in your belly. The world is your oyster and opportunities are boundless in this current age of technology which gives you a global platform at your fingertips. Just be true to yourself and invest in some solid market research before you embark on your epic entrepreneurial adventure.

 

We are all unique and will have our own unique parenting style

What advice would you give a mum-to-be or young mum?

I believe a new mum is the best mum stage in our lives. You get to spend all your time getting to know this little person, growing and learning with him along the way. Experiencing your first taste of unconditional love, pride, selflessness. It is tiring and trying no doubt, taking care of a helpless new being, but it is equally empowering and gratifying when you see him achieve milestone after milestone. I really miss the cuddling, snuggling and babyness of my kids. My advice would be this, we are all unique and will have our own unique parenting style. Do not fall into the comparison trap or following all parenting advice, you’ll go nuts! The internet is a fantastic go-to source but beware of information overload, it will only confuse you further. Trust your gut instinct and enjoy this new adventure with your little one. It’s a learning journey for all three of you, mummy, daddy and baby. Elders’ advice and experience is invaluable and still, you will have to gain knowledge for yourself through your interactions with your little one. No one knows him like you do. Welcome to the Mummies for Life Club! Membership is exclusive and has its privileges.

 

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The key is to prioritise

How do you balance being a wife, mum and business woman?

It’s tough. Tough, tough, tough. It requires military precision planning when it comes to managing my time and being on top of things both at home and at work, in my personal life and my professional life. As I work from home, there’s a lot of overlapping as it is shared common space. Sometimes it is difficult to carve out a designated space or time for a given task. The key is to prioritise. I plan my time in such a manner that my work does not eat into my time with my family. My family and their needs first, my work not more than 2-3 hours a day. It gives me great joy, and I am immensely grateful, alhamdulillah, that I am able to pursue something I am passionate about from home je na saathe Maula TUS nu farman uthawu naseeb thai che ane Maula ni khushi hasil  thai che.

 

My Deen has taught me to be patient and non-judgemental and to be grateful for the good, bad and ugly

How has being a muminah influenced your business style?

In the best possible way. I am honest and direct in my dealings with my clients. My Deen has taught me to be patient and non-judgemental and to be grateful for the good, bad and ugly. I welcome each client as if they are a guest in my home and make them feel comfortable and safe in my company. I strive to present the best version of myself and my business and hope that my endeavours are met with a positive response, Inshallah. I believe in what Moulana Ali says, “Courtesy costs nothing, but buys everything.”

 

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I am crazy about clothes!

One thing you’d be doing if you weren’t a Make-up Artist/Entrepreneur and why.

This is a tough question for me. I am a serial multi-tasker. My interests are so diverse and I am so incorrigibly ambitious, if I could have my way, my fingers would be in 10 different pies! There are so many things I probably would have done! I started applying Mehndi when I was in University whilst studying TV Production to make some pocket money. I took up a Make-up Diploma to complement my Mehndi skills. I wrote scripts and television concepts to pass time. I pack wedding favours and trousseaus. I read to preschool children who come from non-English speaking households, as part of a literacy intervention programme by MOE.

I started Glamourdoll.SG Saree Rental two years ago because I wanted to spend more time with my family and yet continue meeting new people and generating revenue from something I enjoy doing. I enjoy dressing ladies up, I love Indian fashion and so I live vicariously through my clients.

Now, if I weren’t a Makeup Artist/Entrepreneur, I would be a Fashion Designer. I am crazy about clothes! I have a good eye for colour, texture and shape but would definitely need to pick up technical skills like pattern cutting and sewing. I would probably also need to hone my ability to spot and develop trends and my drawing skills. But I pour all my passion into designing my own Ridas and building my collection of Indian formal wear for other ladies to enjoy.

 

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I owe my very existence, who I am today, to Maula’s ek nazar, ek ewi mithi nazar ke mari kaya paltai gai

Your favourite memory of Burhanuddin and/or Mufaddal Maula.

Burhanuddin Maula RA turned my life around, mane zinda kidi. I owe my very existence, who I am today, to Maula’s ek nazar, ek ewi mithi nazar ke mari kaya paltai gai.

During Maula’s Far East Safar in 1997, Maula looked me straight in the eye as I was doing Talaki and I felt a bolt of electricity run down my spine. I felt like Maula was listening to my heart’s voice. This was the first time I had ever done deedar of Burhanuddin Maula or be in such close proximity to him. My heart was aching with a love for Maula I could not express. I could only pray ke Maula mane parami lou, and not two seconds later, Maula smiled. His smile reached his eyes which still held my gaze, in what felt like an eternity for me, but probably was a split second from where Maula had to be next. That truly was the tipping point in my life. I am a very different individual now than I used to be at 17 and all those years before my first encounter with Burhanuddin Maula RA.

I had the sharaf of Aali Qadr Mufaddal Maula’s first Qadambosi only recently and here too I had an uncanny experience. Just before the bethak, I had done Burhanuddin Maula’s Ziyarat and had done dua with all my heart ke inshallah Mufaddal Maula shitabi Singapore padhare, hamne nawaze ane hamne aapni ziyafat naseeb thai. I also prayed ke Maula would ask me where I am from so that I could araz Singapore.

When it was my turn to chumo Maula’s haath mubarak, Mufaddal Maula TUS samne si mane puchu, ‘Bhen, tame kewa gaam si aya cho?” I was in shock! Maula aa gulaam ni dua suni lidi! I blurted out through my tears, Maula Singapore, aap shitabi Singapore padharo Maula ane hamne parami lou! Just like Burhanuddin Maula, Mufaddal Maula ye bhi tabbassum farmayu and I felt a familiar current run down my spine. Inshallah Singapore mumineen ni umeed shitabi mustajab thai Ameen!


 

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