‘I lost my daughter and turned grief into a global, Islamic lifestyle business’


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A former Birmingham teacher recalls a time she couldn’t even utter her daughter’s name. Not out of malice, but of intense grief.

Saying the name ‘Fatimah’ dragged back painful memories of unspeakable loss. Jayda Zaman suffered the loss of her daughter just weeks before giving birth. After years of grieving and trying to find meaning in her life, she harnessed the power of faith to start ‘Once Upon a Dua’.

The venture is an Islamic children’s lifestyle brand aiming to create meaningful connections between families. Their crocheted Hijabi dolls and dinnerware sets lasered with spiritual words have become such a hit, that after just one year they featured in Vogue and garnered multiple awards.

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Even non-Muslim families adore the products for their ‘Scandinavian’ style of beauty and simplicity. It’s hard to imagine such a pretty and positive brand stemmed from tragedy, especially when the power couple behind it, are the bubbliest people you will ever meet.

Born in Lancashire, Jayda moved to Birmingham working as a maths teacher. “I was teaching but still had an arty side, even in classrooms my walls had art on them”, she said, “I also self-trained as a bridal and makeup artist and set up personalised products.

OUAD founders Jayda and Ash Zaman (left to right)(Image: Jayda and Ash Zaman, OUAD)

“This started the idea of making things meaningful and personalised.” Jayda and husband Ash were expecting their third child when they lost the baby, she revealed: “We named her Fatimah and it was a sudden passing, I was a couple of weeks away from giving birth. I had a lot of ailments but she was healthy, so it was sudden.

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