Today we’d like to introduce you to Jomana Siddiqui.
As a graphic designer, Jomana Siddiqui spent years designing custom stationery for clients. In 2011 after receiving an Eid present in discounted old Christmas gift wrap, it became obvious that there was a need for accessories specific for the Eid holidays. She wanted to create products that served underrepresented American Muslims without falling into cultural stereotypes. Back then, it was a stark landscape that modernEID helped refine into one that celebrates American Muslim modernity. With the mission to get children (and grown-ups) excited about the holidays, and encouraging families to start new traditions with products that were specific for them done in a modern way, modernEID was born!
Since 2011, bringing underrepresented products and holidays to the masses has always been their driving force. modernEID was the first to collaborate with a major American retailer, Macy’s, in hosting in-store Ramadan and Eid events. After several collaborations with Macy’s and then later Saks Fifth Avenue, our products were soon carried by Jet.com and then Walmart.com.
In 2019, after years of arduous work of pushing for representation, modernEID products were sold in-store at Macy’s and Walmart Canada (online). Beginning in 2011 as just decor items for Ramadan and Eid, modernEID has evolved to offer gift-giving products as well as Home textiles and decor expanding to ALL celebrations. The company’s philosophy is to be constantly evolving with the trends in the market, to avoid stereotypical imagery often associated with Ramadan & Eid (e.g., middle east specific), and to be original and innovative in the products designed.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Absolutely not! While every business struggles with getting their products recognized or out to market, we were faced with the additional hurdle of convincing retailers that we not only carried products for underrepresented holidays but there existed an entire customer base (American Muslims) that were being neglected. Lack of understanding and sometimes xenophobia made it an uphill climb with retailers. In addition, we were creating products for an industry that was practically non-existent which means having to also market to an audience that wasn’t used to having such goods before. It took a bit of creativity in marketing efforts. Finally, as many businesses experience, we have had to deal with increase of counterfeit and intellectual property violations from newly formed competing companies. Being a trailblazer inevitably means you become the mold that is copied for those that follow. However, with every obstacle we were able to overcome and continue to push unique design for all.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a graphic designer and owner of Pences Design Studio and retail stationery shop modernEID.com in Fullerton, California. I also love to share my creative tendencies for DIY, Food, and business on the lifestyle blog: A Happy Blog. While I began my design career in the event/wedding industry and have evolved the business to branding and retail product design. I am always looking for ways to learn (and master new things). I design all my products, oversee production and packaging while also mastering product photo-shoots, videos, editing and creating social media content. As a designer, I love to study emerging trends and create products that are on trend or emerging in the decor market.
We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
While my work is in the design industry, I actually studied Neuroscience in college and was on my way to get my PhD in Chicago. Various life circumstances led me to return to SoCal and yada yada yada I fell into design. While I embrace my creative side, it’s that science background in me that keeps me to constantly learning and researching better ways to run my biz.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.pencesdesignstudio.com & www.moderneid.com
- Instagram: @ahappyblog & @moderneid
- Facebook: Facebook.com/moderneid
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/modernEID