Podio Preston has had the pleasure of talking to local entrepreneur, Adam Sheth, about his new venture, Jewels of the Ummah.

The online marketplace sells Islamic art, fashion, beauty products, home décor, novelty foods & personalised gifts that reflect Muslim values, traditions and modern way of life. Read the interview with Adam and Podio Preston’s business editor Julie Lightfoot.

What made you set up Jewels of the Ummah?

The Muslim way of life has been the focus of learning, human understanding and common good for centuries. And yet in recent history, the actions of a tiny percent of people claiming to represent this religion have cast a shadow over us all. Jewels of the Ummah is our way of helping this shadow to recede. I want to bring together different communities on something that is most common– commerce. The UK is full of creativity, with many people choosing to start a businesses than ever before.  If we can get Muslim-friendly lifestyle products into a single website & target the young generation of Muslims globally we could create something extraordinary.

What makes the business unique?

We offer a different experience to other websites; every seller has their own brand store where we showcase the story behind the seller & what inspired them. We’ll also feature blogs from sellers on all different topics.

We believe Muslim friendly products go beyond just halal; we say ‘faith & modernity go hand in hand’.

Why young Muslims?

As a young Muslim myself, we are bored of shopping in the same high-street stores, weaving through products that we ‘can or cannot have’. We’re looking for choice, something different & unique to suit our faith-driven lifestyle. Saying this, we’ll not only have Muslim shoppers. I’ve spoken to many non-Muslims who are equally excited to see what Jewels of the Ummah will offer, after all we all have a Muslim friend that we never know what to buy when it comes to gifting.

General creativity within food itself within the UK is amazing.  Sellers creating this Artisan food need to understand the potential of targeting this market.  It doesn’t have to be Halal certified – as long as it meets the criteria of consumption we can all enjoy trying something new.

What is the vision for the future?

For me, the ultimate goal will be to take a share of each sale & create the Empowerment Fund; working with a well-known charity to provide micro-finance to poor individuals in third world countries to start their own business – and help support their families out of poverty.

Where do we go?

We are currently testing the platform we’ve built but are looking to launch by the summer.  We urge designers & makers of lifestyle products to join our platform. It’s an opportunity to gain great exposure to a rapidly growing, internet savvy audience. Visit JewelsoftheUmmah.com, you can have a look at our pre-launch website and, if interested in joining as a seller, you can complete the interest form.

Anything else you want to tell people?

We are looking for jewels of the Ummah – Ummah means human nation in Arabic.  When you Google ‘Ummah’ it says that Ummah refers to the Muslim nation.  However, when Prophet Muhammed referred to the Ummah he referred to the human nation.  There were hardly any Muslims then.