ALSHARIFA.COM, as a business idea, was conceived in early 2006. The market need for modest but modern clothing was the driver behind the establishment of ALSHARIFA. Kelly Lynn Alsharif, the founder of ALSHARIFA, a very busy mother at the time focused on the design of the swimsuits, while her spouse who happened to be on a corporate buyout helped with the marketing and manufacturing aspects of the business. The operation was a quick success due to the unique opportunity to be an early entrant into the Islamic Swimwear market, coupled with focus on providing high quality professional customer service, as a matter of corporate policy.
Entering the Islamic or Full-cover Swimwear market was not a coincidence. As a convert to Islam, Founder Kelly Alsharif recalls how she had greatly missed swimming after she started observing hijab (wearing scarf.) Kelly recounted: “I grew up on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River where I learnt to love water sports.” She later learnt that Islam encouraged both men and women to learn swimming as told directly by the Prophet of Islam. As such, she concluded: “there was no contradiction between Islam and what I liked most. There had to be a way to fulfill this need while complying with Islamic fashion requirements. The Islamic Swimsuit concept, as shown at ALSHARIFA.COM was the answer.”
The Islamic Swimsuit project has seen many iterative improvements over the past few years, thanks in part to the partnerships ALSHARIFA forged with national and international resellers of the product. Feedback from the field was used to continually improve the swimsuit offer. Today, ALSHARIFA can safely claim the top leading position in this market segment, based on annual sales volume and Google organic search popularity. Kelly adds that “it was not hope or luck that brought us to the market position we are in today, it was really the contribution of the different people we worked with, most notably the small businesses owned or run by women whose feedback was invaluable.”
ALSHARIFA draws inspiration from fashions seen around the world. ALSHARIFA steadily improves its offerings over the course of time, and seek out the best materials. ALSHARIFA strives to produce items that have good value, both in price and quality.
“Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to be my own boss. The vision changed over the years as I matured and eventually saw a need that I could fill.” Kelly also recounted: “ If I had a hard time finding items that were appropriate and affordable, I was certain other women must have had the same experience.”
For the foreseeable future, ALSHARIFA.COM designers are working on introducing new trendsetting products such as new swimsuit styles and modern tunics. “In the short-term, my focus continues to be on expanding our team, and scaling the business infrastructure to keep up with demand on our product and services”, Kelly Alsharif added.
“My job keeps me motivated, I love what I do. We have the best customers, plus I get to spend time with my family. I also really appreciate that I can support other women in their dreams, while staying creative”, Kelly concluded.