Posted on Sep 16, 2019
Haute Hijab Staff
What can we tell you about Haute Hijab's Melanie Elturk that you don't already know? Our intrepid CEO is the heart and soul of this company and its commitment to Muslim communities. She looks at hijab as not just a piece of fabric on a woman's head, but as a choice to wear one's faith publicly with grace, style, confidence and strength.
Melanie's passions to empower and uplift Muslim women and communities are not only well known among HH customers and fans, but throughout Muslim circles in the U.S. and beyond. What we love about her in the office, though, is not just her fierce work ethic, but her incredible empathy, kindness and concern for all those around her.
We also love her loud personality and sense of humor! Did you know that in addition to being a fierce competitor in all games, she is also into scrapbooking? Or, that one of her favorite things about founding a Muslim-owned company is one of her husband Ahmed's favorite things too? (And we're not talking about having a prayer space, though they share that in common too!) Get to know Melanie as she answers 15 fun (and a few deep) questions in our ongoing summer (now fall) team-focused series – "15 Things You May Not Know About ... "
Melanie in New York City!
1. What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
This would have been such a different answer five years ago, but since I get to do so many of the things I love in my position at Haute Hijab, I just like to relax – have a chill day out in the city with no particular plans, stopping to shop, eat and relax. Or, I have a chill day at home reorganizing my closet and putting outfits together or getting in quality time with my closest friends – nothing better than deep convos with those you love most!
2. What are your hobbies? What are your dream hobbies?
I wish I could get back to scrapbooking – I’m so behind! The last scrapbook I made was from our time in Chicago. That was ten years ago 😭!
3. What is something you hate doing?
4. If you could eat something on an endless loop, what would it be?
Pad See Ew with chicken for SURE!
5. What feeds your soul/when are you at your happiest/best?
A feeling of accomplishment or that I’ve made a difference in someone’s life. Also, when the sun is shining down on me on a crisp autumn day as I look up at the colorful trees #FALLFORLIFE.
6. Who do you look up to the most and why? (living or dead)
Gosh, so many – how can I not say the Prophet Muhammad (saw)! His actions and deeds dictate my entire day. The resolve of Malcolm X, the compassion of Mother Teresa, the groundedness of Oprah, the tenacity of Sophia Amoruso, the wisdom of Maya Angelou, the integrity of Dave Chappelle, the courage of Rosa Parks, the intellect of Khadijah (RA), the confidence of Muhammad Ali and the playfulness of Will Ferrell.
Melanie and Ahmed back in the day!
7. If you could go back and change something in your life, what would it be?
Have you not seen the Butterfly Effect!? If I went back and changed something, I could end up a widowed cat lady with one good eye.
8. What is your biggest challenge in life?
Pleasing those I love most.
9. What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?
I was baptized! I have a God mother and everything. I was raised by a Catholic mother for the first part of my childhood, and I still remember going to church. I have to admit – I miss Christmas 🙈
10. What is that big dream thing you want to accomplish in life? Or if not one thing, a few things?
You’re looking at it! 😉Haute Hijab, in case that wasn’t clear, haha. Hamdulilah I’ve been so blessed to have checked off a lot of boxes on my list of personal goals. I’m absolutely living that big-dream-thing everyday 🙏🏼
11. For the Muslims at Haute Hijab – what is your favorite or not-so-favorite thing about working at a Muslim-owned company?
Favorite – HAVING A SHATAFA/LOTA IN THE BATHROOM. And, also having a dedicated place to pray that isn’t a makeshift area you have to rush and pray in before someone walks in and it gets awkward. Not-so-favorite – everyone knows when I’m on my period. 😂
12. What does a typical Friday night look like for you?
In a stupor on some street corner wondering what just happened the last five days.
Melanie with her mom and two brothers at her law school graduation.
13. What’s the strangest or most fun family tradition you have?
My family is brutal. It’s the reason I have such thick skin. Sometimes we just sit around and roast each other until someone cries, LOL!
14. Cat person or dog person (or some other kind of animal)?
Both! I love them equally for different reasons but NO PETS IN MY HOME THANK YOU NEXT.
15. If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be and why?
Keep it light, and keep it moving.