Sara Sheikh started on her journey to popularize modest fashion styles when she launched her brand, Covered Bliss, in 2013. What began as a local source to find exquisite abaya pieces and unique household items has now, nine years later, transformed into a full scale fashion line with its own production facility.
Covered Bliss provides women with an abundance of options. Everything from kaftans, abayas, scarves, swimsuits, bridal gowns, formal dresses and household items with modesty and elegance at its core. Through her creations, Sheikh has been able to “support, uplift, and empower” women, and her Muslim community, by proving that modesty, high fashion and beauty can exist simultaneously. She is motivated by the fact that Muslim women have struggled for so long with the balance of being “modest and beautiful,” and hopes to provide much-needed relief and comfort through her brand.
What’s even more amazing is that her designs are inclusive and diverse, welcoming women from all cultures and communities to adorn them – and equipped with a variety of styles. Every garment created by Covered Bliss is “designed and carefully thought out before produced,” and crafted with the best quality material, and strong attention to detail.
Read as Sara Sheikh shares how she was able to scale her line into a successful business, spring and bridal trends that she believes will be huge this season, and what she hopes to accomplish next with Covered Bliss!
Jadriena Solomon: You launched Covered Bliss back with a strong passion to serve the modest fashion community. Can you tell us more about how the idea for the brand came about?
Finding fashionable modest outfits was always a challenge for me, personally. Plus, I was always asked about what I owned and the pieces that I wore from different women in my friend circle, so I decided to draw inspiration from what I owned and make it available to my friends and the audience beyond them. Eventually, I expanded the line to include formal gowns and dresses and more casual items like scarves and swimwear. And I always kept in mind the things I wanted to see included in the line, and the requests and needs of my customers and people within the modest fashion community.
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JS: You started off by selling clothing and unique household items to friends and family, and now have a full scale production facility for your items. How were you able to bring your ideas into fruition, and then scale it into a larger, successful business?
I have such a can-do personality, when I really put my mind into something. Initially, when I was importing some of the styles, I was dissatisfied with the quality of the garments. But because I had my own ideas of what I really wanted to see, I set out to learn how to design and produce my own creations. From there, I focused on learning how to market my business, and network with other influencers and fellow brands. Building satisfied reviews from customers, through the quality of our products and service was really key to scaling the business and reaching larger success.
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JS: Your brand was created with the mantra that modesty can still be fashionable. Your collections have shipped worldwide, been featured at BET Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, and more. And you create absolutely stunning formal dresses and bridal gowns. Was there anything that surprised you about the reaction to Covered Bliss over the years?
Oh yes, aside from the financial success, was the overwhelming love and reviews that we got for the styles and quality of our products. It has just been amazing. The number of referrals that we get from our customers is so humbling. It really has been such a great experience.
JS: What would you say are two spring fashion trends that you believe will be huge this season and why?
I feel like ruffle and puffed sleeves with ethnic prints and bright colors will definitely be trending this spring. Earlier this year, I noticed this trend on the red carpets of several award shows, as well as fashion shows from New York to Milan. The puffed sleeve, whether on a dress or a blouse, seems to be moving from a trend to wardrobe staple. And pairing it with the ethnic prints and bold colors will make it even more of a statement piece.
JS: What would you say are two bridal fashion trends that you believe will be huge this wedding season?
For this year’s bridal season, the trend is definitely 3D floral or feather accents along with a mermaid silhouette bridal dress. I love this style of dress and it’s a top pick amongst our customers and women all over the world. The silhouette is extremely flattering and works to elongate the body.
Our version of the mermaid silhouette bridal dress has an exquisite train that features a waterfall-like flow in the back. The train extends about five to six feet. And this bridal style of ours always makes the women feel grand yet graceful.
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JS: You’ve been able to support, uplift, and empower women from all communities with Covered Bliss. It serves as a great brand for Muslim women who are looking to balance modesty and elegance, as well as a great brand for women outside of that culture that want to look esteemed and elegant. What do you hope to accomplish next with your brand?
We are definitely working on creating more visibility for Covered Bliss, so that we can serve and empower a lot more women around the world. At this stage in my life, I would love to contribute more towards my philanthropy work so that I can continue to serve and support those who are in less fortunate circumstances.
I would also love to empower young girls to know that they can be anything that they want to. I started my career in the tech industry, so I want them to know that they can also become an engineer or an entrepreneur – they are more than capable of being anything that they want.
My coaching program, Sara Sheikh Business Coaching and Consulting, supports and empowers women to build and scale their businesses with the power of technology and automation. We help them overcome the fear of technology and empower them to leverage any tool or resource that will allow them to scale their business without facing the usual feelings of frustration and or discouragement.