She’s a Malaysian celebrity with millions of fan. Every time she appears on screen, her adoring fans immediately rush to buy whatever she might have chosen to wear that day – such an iconic lady.
Noor Neelofa Mohd Noor or popularly known as Neelofa is a stunning actress, television presenter and a successful Muslim entrepreneur with over 5.8 million followers on Instagram. She is the face of fashion firm Naelofar Hijab, her family-owned company. In just a short period, the company has become one of Malaysia’s biggest hot-selling headscarf brands.
Beauty with brain
Neelofa or her full name, Noor Neelofa binti Mohd Noor was born in Pasir Mas, Kelantan to parents Mohd Noor and Noor Kartini. As the third child of nine siblings, she inherits her mother’s beauty, who has Pakistan and Arab blood. She first came to screen when she was awarded Miss Teen Malaysia in 2010/2011.
She received her Bachelor International Trade and Marketing education at Sunway University College. With her background in business study, she then became involved in ventures involving contact lenses, nutritious drinks, and small gigs before Naelofar Hijab was launched.
Naelofar Hijab, local headscarf empire
Neelofa took a road less-traveled when she founded Naelofar Hijab as she yearned for something that’s more sustainable. She identified a gap in the modest wear market and came out with a brilliant idea.
In 2014, she launched her own line of affordable stylish headscarves catering to women of all ages. Having her own business is a relevant move as she believes life as a celebrity won’t last forever.
Naelofar Hijab brought in a revenue of RM50 million in 2015, in sales with 10% of it coming from international purchases. Naelofa headscarves are available at its flagship store and through a network of 700 distributors nationwide. They sell online and ship to anywhere in the world. Their goal to be a global brand is seemed to be achievable as the distributors are coming from Singapore, Brunei, London, Australia, Netherlands, US to name a few.
Being a celebrity in the entertainment industry, it gives her the advantage to market her products and present herself as a brand.
It’s all about hardworking and determination
Neelofa stated that a big part of her success is by entering the demand market at the right time. It is estimated that Muslim consumers spent billion ringgit on modest clothing and it’s expected this market to account for more than 14% of the global fashion market by 2019.
Her business started when the market demand is high and with her hardworking, she manages to sustain the business till today. Indeed, in any success story, there must be the ups and downs. Given her celebrity status, one cannot escape from controversies and backlashes. She learns from the lessons after each controversy or backlash so she knows not to make the same mistake in the future.
Neelofa has landed ambassadorship roles with companies like Lancome and Swarovski and was inducted as a director for an airline company, Air Asia.
In between these commitments, she is in the midst of planning to develop her hijab brand locally and internationally.
Women should be bold and strong
Neelofa who prefers to have a cup of tea and a good book at night for ‘me-time’ hopes to inspire a new generation of female entrepreneurs in Malaysia. A woman should not just make money but also to have good confidence in themselves. Be strong and not necessarily rely on men.
Neelofa who was listed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia 2017 under Retail and E-commerce category wishes to expand her business ventures in the property sector, an industry where woman figure is hard to see.