Eliza Noordin had problems finding a suitable hijab and clothing for playing sports.  “What we have here in Malaysia are very fitted and not flattering for people who have problems with their figures,” she said.  

Noordin founded Nashata to empower modest women to have an active lifestyle and be more confident about working out. Based in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, she began with a simple online store that offered one hijab and a simple top. “We started off with a website, and it grew from there,” she recalled. 

“We are an internet-based company, and overseas markets are key to our business,” Noordin said. She estimates that 60 percent of her sales are from foreign markets. Singapore, the United States, Europe, Australia and the Middle East are key markets for Nashata.   

“Our online store, email services, accounting system and many other tools that we use to serve our customers are all cloud-based,” she said. Nashata accepts payments through global gateways including PayPal, is active on social media services, and attributes much of her website traffic to simple Google searches. Her team also spends a lot of time using WhatsApp and online chat powered by Czech Republic-based Smartsupp to convert customers in Malaysia, Indonesia and other markets who tend to “require more of a personal touch.”

Today she employs 8 full-time employees and contracts with associates from other countries. Her philosophy for success is to “understand your market well and make customers happy at all times.”