When talking to Mahjabeen Obaid, it is difficult to distinguish when she’s talking about her work and when about her home. The fact that she is in love with what she does is apparent because one never gets the feeling that she considers her work a burden in any sense. “I don’t consider my work as work. I consider it an extension of myself. I don’t even feel like I’m working. My work is me and I am my work whether it’s at ‘Towellers’ or at ‘Mahj Designs’. It’s who I am”.
She continues by explaining how time management and prioritization have played a key part in bringing a sense of balance to her life. “I’ve said this a couple of times and I’ll say it again. Working moms make the best moms because they focus on spending quality time with their children. Mums who wake up at two in the afternoon are not able to do that. I’m up really early and super focused in the morning. My husband and I take turns dropping the kids to school. Then I prioritize by the hour and make sure I’m home at a time that my kids see me enough.” Mahjabeen also talks about the virtues of taking time out to bond as a family. For her it comes from frequent getaways with her husband and kids and ensuring that the full two days of her weekend are dedicated to the family.
Mahjabeen is a big believer in emotional independence for women. “Working provides the emotional independence and in my opinion getting paid is the added bonus. While money is very important I believe that emotional independence is the most critical. You cannot equate happiness to finances but you can equate it to emotional wellbeing.” Mahjabeen is the Creative Director of her father’s towel business but in her heart she is a designer. And that, she feels, has taught her major life skills. “I’m a designer with degrees in graphic and textile designing. Being a designer encompasses everything. Interiors, textiles, designing towels. My work teaches me a lot of patience because being a designer you don’t always get it right the first time. You constantly have to make edits and play with design. What I think looks nice on the computer doesn’t necessarily look nice once the towel has been woven.” Just as you are supposed to be patient with life, Mahjabeen is patient with her work. When one thing doesn’t work, she gives another thing a try. Till you find the perfect pattern to go with the fabric, she keeps trying. In the end, one thing or the other always works even if it takes time.
Positivity about everything in life drives Mahjabeen every day. She hates self-pity and urges women never to feel sorry for themselves. According to her, one learns the most during the lowest points of one’s life. “It’s a process you have to go through. Nobody can turn around and say their life has been a hundred percent amazing. That is never true. Bringing yourself out of that low point in life teaches a person how to survive. It has taught me to be self-reliant.”
Mahjabeen works hard throughout the year and sees her hard work come to life in a textile show called Heimtex that takes place every January. For her, it caps up her year wonderfully and showcases mental and physical energy that has gone behind designing the towels. For her, every year when she puts out her company’s stall at the textile show is a miracle year.