Motherhood is a full–time job, a nobel job that transcends race, language and religion. This Mother’s Day, SG Lifestyle’s Column Editor, Angela, interviews , Founder of GLOWco Activewear and GLOWco Move, to find out how the energetic 31-year-old mum of two strikes a balance between running a business whilst raising a family.
SGLS: You used to work in the biomedical industry before you switched to fitness? Why and how did you make the switch?
Nawal: Upon graduation, I started working in the R&D sector, specialising in research on cancer stem cells. However, being in the laboratory day in and out wasn’t something I enjoy and hence I switched to an arena I love, which is fitness. I started a ladies-only fitness class to create an environment where women could come together and get fit together. I gave myself a year to do this and I haven’t looked back since.
SGLS: What is the rationale behind the name of GLOWco? What were some of the challenges you faced when you first started and how did you overcome them?
Nawal: Glowco is short for “Glow community”. I was inspired by my students’ post-workout “after-glow”, hence the name. I started GLOWco activewear with modern, modest Muslim women who love fitness in mind and put together a small team of designers who understand how tricky it can be to create sleek activewear that doesn’t restrict movement whilst staying covered.
It took a lot of time and revisions to ensure that each item in the activewear range was perfect. We were communicating with our manufacturers round the clock – perfecting the choice of material, structure, quality, functionality and so much more.
After the launch, it was all about marketing and getting the word out there. We organised fitness events, pop-up stores and roadshows. These were new to me but my team and I worked very hard and it paid off.
SGLS: What do you think is the unique selling proposition of your range of activewear? Which is your best selling item?
Nawal: The GLOWco Afterglow Series is very popular and is always sold out. The reason is because it checks all the boxes for everything modest and functional. All the activewear tops come with a zip as they were designed with breastfeeding mummies in mind. The slacks also come with slits on the side for ease in mobility whilst keeping to the theme of modesty. In addition, the range is made of sustainable, breathable fabric.
I priced the activewear range such that they are affordable, without compromising quality. My team also maintains good relationships with our suppliers and manufacturers. The more business we give them, the better the prices they have to offer so we pass the savings on to consumers by making our activewear affordable.
SGLS: How do you balance running your business and raising two young boys?
Nawal: Motherhood is harder and messier than I imagined it to be. But there is really no better job in the world. Raising and moulding a tiny human empowers me. I found it hard to strike a balance when the GLOWco brand was growing, so I got my children involved! I brought them to work with me sometimes so they could see me in my work environment. By taking them to work, I also escaped mum-guilt, as I got to spend time with them as well.
SGLS: Who inspires you in business and in life?
Nawal: My husband Qader. He is my rock and encourages me to follow my dreams. Not only is he an amazing father to our boys, he also has really good business ideas! I am thankful for him.
In celebration of Mother’s Day, Nawal and her team are giving an exclusive deal to SG Lifestyle readers. Use discount code: SGLIFESTYLEGLOWCO to get 10% off when you cart out at . This exclusive promo is available only online and ends on 31 May 2021. Terms & Conditions apply.
GLOWco’s physical store is located at: Yo:Ha Tampines, 6 Tampines Street 92, #01-19, Singapore 528893
Interview by: Angela May Tan, Column Editor & Writer
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