This is the second instalment of our series featuring inspiring female entrepreneurs, people whom we are proud to call PARTNERS. Behind Eaqlia Studio is mother-daughter duo - Khadijah and Shikin. It’s no surprise that running a business with no experience is challenging. Read on to find out how this mother-daughter pair empowered each other, and also their many female customers. Something awesome awaits you too!
So tell me, what is The Eaqlia Studio and what’s so special about this place?
Shikin (S): Our amazingly cosy studio is almost like a lifestyle haven. Apart from the fitness aspect, we also have beauty (e.g. Facials) and also a space for females to hangout (Props Avenue). It’s something rare, or yet to be seen outside, other than us.
The Eaqlia Studio - Fitness aims to create a more comfortable and conducive setting for workouts. Props Avenue is for other sisters to gain and share knowledge or even build sisterhood among one another. Girls' Hangout @ The Studio is a space for females to hangout (and go all bitchy!). Kidding!
What’s your reason for starting The Eaqlia Studio (TES)?
S: Well, I wanted to let women find comfort in exercising, to be able to relax without being worried of the harsh judgement they might face outside. You know lah, people anything also post on social media, later anyhow also kena STOMP! They can dance, scream or let loose in the studio and whatever that happens here, stays here! It’s a therapeutic space, you gotta see it to believe it!
Khadijah (K): Before TES, I had more than 30 years of working experience. But I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014 and had to quit my job. I was slowly recovering throughout these years, and in 2015, my daughter, Shikin, graduated from school and she wanted to try her hand in business. . So I decided to support her decision by being part of the venture!
Before TES came to life, Shikin had just graduated from NAFA in Fashion Merchandising & Marketing in 2015. Her mum, Khadijah was slowly recovering from cervical cancer contacted in 2014. Both were not fitness enthusiasts and TES was something new to them - However the mother-daughter duo decided to just take the risk and go for it.
Having past the 2 year mark recently on March 1st 2018, it was quite an experience for the both of them. From jumping into the wide unknown, to learning to paddle and brave through it all, the duo has grown a lot together. Constantly tackling new things and going against the currents, these daredevils were resilient enough to make it till today.
What would you say are the barriers faced as a female entrepreneur?
S: I think that women usually treat each other as competitors, while I believe we should always empower one another. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, so women should band together and complement each other in order to move further in life.
Also, my age. I started this business at a young age of 22, and I must say, people did not take me seriously. In my line of business & target audience, I have had to deal with the older generation and they were not open or willing to listen to me - just because I was younger than them. Maybe I wasn’t convincing enough lah... But I have managed to persevere to the end and brought TES to where it stands today.
The most fulfilling thing in doing this business in your opinion?
S: Seeing how women connect with each other. In TES, I have seen women who have built lasting friendships, created memories and shared positive energy with each other. Everyone is watching out for each other, not just in a weight loss journey, but also leading each other towards sculpting a better self.
Who is your inspiration?
S: My mum is definitely my inspiration. She is also the backbone of the business. You can call her my number 1 cheerleader, but she’s also the first to correct me if I’m wrong. She’s always pushing me forward, giving her best and everything that she has for her children. Also, she works hard to earn her own, and isn’t fully reliant on anyone. And I think that’s very important as a woman to not be fully dependent on someone in life.
Working together as a mother-daughter pair
S: I feel that there’s advantages and disadvantages in working together with my mum. Advantage is that there is always someone to fall back on. So if there’s a problem, there will be a family member there to guide you. Maybe my mum can’t tell me exactly what to do to solve the problem, but at least she will be there to advise and give her opinion. We definitely got closer than before, because we see each other everyday, at home or in the studio.
K: It’s difficult for me! It’s so much easier to scold or talk to other people. Sometimes when I talk to my daughter, she would make a face and I don’t like it. Laughs But spending so much time with my daughter is great. I used to send her messages on the phone if I wanted to talk to her, but now I don’t need to!
Ending off with a message for International Women’s Day
S: Happy Women’s International Day! May we women keep empowering one another to a better and successful us. Advice for women considering pursuing a career as an entrepreneur - Just go for it! Make your way towards your dreams and set achievable targets so you won’t feel disappointed.
I realised that even if one does not have experience, it is okay. Taking risks might be scary, but having someone beside you makes things easier! We all know that famous saying: “The closer you are, the harder it is to work together”. I beg to differ now that I've spoken to this Gutsy Duo! It was heartwarming to see how close this mother-daughter pair are. They might have conflicts, but at the end of the day, they know that they have each other!
The Eaqlia (pronounced as Arc-lia also known as Mind in Arabic) Studio established on 2016, was created as a platform for the ladies community to get slim without the gym. Named Eaqlia as they believe that fitness is not just physically, but mentally as well.
Together with Advocado, The Eaqila Studio is offering a special deal this March - 2 fitness passes for the price of 1 at a special rate of $15. You don’t wanna miss the chance to exercise in peace! Claim your passes here!