Muslim Lifestyle Expo 2016
If you've been following me for a while, you know I went to the Muslim Lifestyle Expo when it was first launched last year. Thankfully the venue last year was in Coventry, so very near my in-law's place.
The Muslim Lifestyle Expo aims to bring together muslim based brands to meet with muslim consumers. Since the Muslim Lifestyle Market is so huge, it makes sense to have a space to discover muslim based brands you wouldn't normally discover.
This year, they decided to hold it in Manchester which is close to my parents' place (do you see a recurring theme here yet, save on a hotel room haha!).
We got up a bit late on the day so didn't end up leaving till 12.30 from London and it took us 4 hours to get to Manchester with a 20-minute comfort break in between. We missed most of the talks as we got there so late, poor hubby had to put up with me whining the whole trip, but we weren't shelling out £80 for a hotel room for one night and nor was hubby prepared to travel on Friday after a tiring week at work.
Anyway, when we finally got there, we went inside the venue. Honestly, it was bigger and better than last year. I didn't see any of the same exhibitors as last year, so it was so nice to make new connections.
I won't go through every brand that attended, you can see a full list of exhibitors on the MLE website.
I'm focusing mainly on fashion, beauty and yes even Maternity based brands in my round-up.
Islamic Imprints is an art gallery that specialises in Islamic based art. I was struck by not only the traditional artwork we're used to seeing but also the incredible artwork that is so original that I had to do a double-take to make sure it wasn't part of a Star Wars exhibition!
My favourite was the mosaic of the Kaaba with lots of colours all around it signifying the people all around it.
The price point is between £20 over £1,000 for the bigger pieces but there is something for everyone. If we had the space and budget, I would have bought a piece.
You can find out more about Islamic Imprints here.
Osra Exclusive is a Malaysian based company that sells scarves and clothes. I bought a grey chiffon scarf for £7 from the birthday money from Mr. T as it was my birthday on Sunday even though we went on Saturday.
It is absolutely huge and I can't wait to style it!
I walked past this stall twice, the first time my husband pointed out that it was only for pregnant women, but the second time, the designs caught my eye and I got chatting to Rina the owner and her colleague and decided to just ask more about the brand.
And no, this isn't an announcement of my pregnancy, I'm unfortunately not there yet, but In Shaa Allah (God willing) soon.
Indi Mamma is for asian and non-asian pregnant and post-partum women who want to look stylish but don't want to compromise modesty or privacy. The tops that I saw have a south asian kurti flavour, with some of them featuring discreet zips on the chest area for breast feeding and also ties to pull in or let out the top as your belly grows or shrinks.
I also love how stylish they are, and whilst you don't have to be pregnant to wear the designs, they're ideal for mothers who want the yummy mummy look whilst still being comfortable.
Rina also very kindly gave me a goody bag of baby products but since I don't have a little one, I'll be offering it to my friends who have babies instead!
The price point for the Kurtis is from £16, Punjabi suits £38 and Glamour range from £55 which is coming soon. Rina has said the website will be available in the next couple of weeks, but you can sign up to be notified of when it launches so you can buy the suits.
This is such an interesting brand, and I am so passionate about promoting and nurturing women based businesses in the UK.
You can find out more about the brand here.
Islamic Moments is a company founded by Sabah Nazir a mum of 4 who decided to start the company in 2004, with a focus on muslim led design products from 2011. The products include greeting cards, notebooks and exclusive to the expo, candles and mugs!
Sabah very kindly gifted me with a notebook which I'll showcase here:
I'm really excited for when they start selling the candles and mugs on their website because I have never seen anything like that before and I can;t wait to purchase them.
You can find out more info about Islamic Moments here.
Heavnly Delights was of course my favourite stand because of all the sweets! We picked up some halal marshmallows, flavoured marshmallows, pick and mix sweets and gelatine powder. Let's just say, my husband went a little crazy trying to get us to the £10 card limit haha!
The sweets taste delicious, are HMC certified and available to buy online. The brother who was serving us was so helpful and sweet as well as being incredibly knowledgeable about the products.
The problem is whether any sweets will survive for our younger guests when they visit haha!
You can find out more about Heavly Delights here.
Esse Aromas has a range of scented cards that you can put in your car to make it smell nicer. I really liked the oudh based smells, and for £6 we picked up 4 packs to hang in my car and Mr. T's. They smell incredible, so I'm interested to see how long they last as normal car fresheners just give up the scent after a couple of days.
They'll also be introducing reed diffusers and scented candles soon, which I am so excited to try out. Hubby won't let me burn candles much, but he is partial to a Reed Diffuser, so I may be able to persuade him!
You can find out more about Esse Aromas here.
So that was my round-up which I hope you enjoyed and I am so looking forward to more events like this!