Encounter 4: Nafeesa & Khadeeja Salar of SALAR Events & Design

Nafeesa and Khadeeja are not just our friends, they are family and blood, simply with a different set of parents. We love, adore and respect them for everything they are. They are one of the reasons we were inspired to create Mode-ste and they are versatile women that we look up to for support, aid and advice whenever we're in need. 

We admire people from all walks of life, but the WOMAN platform was built to showcase those women around us that inspire us to be the best versions of ourselves. Women that trigger in us a burning desire to speak of fondly for hours on end, are fit for this series; Nafeesa and Khadeeja are just that. It can't be described, but every time we think of them, our hearts are filled with joy and thankfulness, that we've had a chance to connect and have meaningful relationships with such amazing women.

Nafeesa and Khadeeja are involved in numerous social, religious, academic and business endeavours that ensures their place in the legacy of Montréal Muslims and the Ummah as a whole.

Nafeesa and Khadeeja are visionary entrepreneurs and the creators of the new and revamped SALAR Events & Design brand, an innovative leader in event planning and design. From weddings to major social gatherings, their eye for style, impeccable taste and refined creative vision leaves every event set up for success and ultimate class. They tailor your requests and fit them into a seamless design with an unmistakable essence of their own personal values and taste, while ensuring their clients expectations are exceeded.

What makes their event planning and design business extremely innovative and successful is truly the roots, that is Nafeesa and Khadeeja. So let's take you through some of their accolades.

Nafeesa, an academic and visionary entrepreneur has a degree in Education from McGill university and has her hands in several social organizations. She takes interest in philanthropy, education, fashion and design. One piece of work we would love to focus on is the Zubaida Award that she received which aims to celebrate the accomplishments of Muslim women in Quebec, Canada. Nafeesa simply exudes positive energy in everything she does and associates with. She is the founder and CEO of Salar Event Planning, a company she launched in 2011. This new year marks the launch of their new brand as they take their company to the next level and focus on expanding their projects and portfolio.

Her partner in crime, assistant and younger sister is Khadeeja. She is equally inspiring, beautiful and eager to make a difference around her and the community at large. Like Nafeesa she is heavily involved in social endeavors. She studied Architecture and Interior Design at a premiere school in Montréal after she realised her love and passion lay in this field during her first trip to her parents’ homeland. In addition to architecture and design, Khadeeja takes fashion and style to heart. Her motto is “Dress to Express”.

Nafeesa and Khadeeja, we thank you for being who you are and we thank you for having such a positive influence in our lives and the lives of others around us.

Let's start with an intro Nafeesa and Khadeeja. Who are you, besides SALAR events & design? What is your relationship and how did both of you fall into the planning and design scene?:

We are two sisters who have a passion for everything related to arts, design and fashion. We are blessed to have a bond and a relationship dynamic that helps us complement each other. From a young age, we both took interest in the artistic field. I, Nafeesa, went on to pursue Education (classroom management gave me the experience to manage pretty much anything, haha!) while working on various side projects and Khadeeja studied architecture and interior design to broaden her horizons. From a young age, we were both involved in projects like community activism, planning community events and weddings for friends. When we saw how much interest and passion we had for this field, we decided to take things to the next level.

What are your long terms plans with SALAR events & design? Additionally, can you share any exciting future plans for both of you?:

We believe that any work and business endeavour that we engage in needs to have a greater purpose than just money making. Our work should benefit not only us but also the people we work with and the community at large. We are focused on building a legacy that goes beyond the present. We won’t reveal everything just yet, but we have some great projects coming your way, you can stay on the lookout by following us on our Facebook page and blog!

How would you describe your own styles? What are some of your favourite points about each other's style?:

We both have a different and unique approach to style. We also believe that no amount of money can buy style...you either have it or you don’t. Fashion can be bought but style is both priceless and timeless.

Nafeesa: “My style in two words: comfortable and classy. I live a very active lifestyle, so comfort is key. Modesty in fashion is important for me and something I wouldn’t compromise on, hence why I’m such a huge supporter of Mode-steMy thoughts on Khadeeja’s style: Anybody who knows her, knows she has great fashion sense! I simply love her creative take on style. You can literally put this girl in a thrift shop and she’ll come out looking like a million bucks! Style evolution is an everyday thing with her and she really has the unique ability to mix & match and work combinations...and always with great results! Oh and...she is obsessed with shoes. Now that I mention shoes - comfortable heels are a Godsend.”

Khadeeja: “I don’t want to label my style in one way, I like to keep it versatile. My outfit choices can depend on the occasion or my mood. Always remaining unique and modest is important to me. I love this quote by Coco Chanel, it pretty much sums up my outlook on fashion: “Everyday is a fashion show and the world is the runway.” My thoughts on Nafeesa’s style: She has a very simple and elegant style. Some important factors in fashion for her are modesty and comfort. If it doesn’t feel good, she won’t wear it. She knows how to perfectly dress-up or dress-down an outfit. She really loves flowy skirts and long dresses but trust me she can pull off a sporty look for days! I usually try to push her outside her comfort zone, like by telling her to wear less black, her favorite colour in clothing!

How do you balance your careers, activism and personal time? What advice can you share with our readers?:

The most important thing to keep in mind when juggling various commitments and pursuing different passions is to prioritize amongst them. Event planning for us started out as a hobby. When we realized how much we loved doing it, we made it a priority which resulted into launching our own company. Balance is key to success but it’s never easy,; for us, it’s an everyday conscious decision we make and a constant learning experience. And as long as you have a true passion for the things you do, you will find and make the time for them.

Who is one of your day to day inspirations, the classical unknown hero in your life that everyone needs to know?:

The prophetic example is the number one inspiration for both of us. His wife Khadija (r.a.) was a woman entrepreneur and her story of unconditional love, commitment and faith in God is truly inspiring. In a world where leadership positions are predominated by men, she was a successful entrepreneur and like her, we strive to change the status quo. We’ve always encouraged and supported the women around us in pursuing their dreams and ambitions. Of course, our parents and some of our close friends are a great source of inspiration and motivation for us, we are truly blessed to be surrounded by such beautiful souls. You guys yourselves, Aicha and Bilal, are a great source of inspiration for both of us.   

Usually wearing a headscarf (or hijab) is a sign that a woman is trying to project modesty. Why do you wear the hijab, what does it mean to you and why do you dress the way you do?:

Our hijab is a symbol of submission to God first and foremost. The way we choose to embrace it is with modesty and style. For us, hijab goes beyond simply dress code. We feel modesty is not only about dressing a certain way, but it’s also about demeanour, attitude and action; it touches upon the way we hold ourselves and also how we relate to others.

Nafeesa and Khadeeja work for their places in this life and the next. They do everything to extreme precision, take care of every detail and then do they put their trust in Allah. We only hope to take from them their way of living.

You can check out their work:

SALAR events & design: www.salareventplanning.com 
FB: www.facebook.com/salardesigners 
IG: www.instagram.com/salardesigners
Nafeesa: www.instagram.com/nafeesasalar
Khadeeja: www.instagram.com/khadeejasalar

Nafeesa Salar is wearing: Pleated Tunic in Light Gray

Khadeeja Salar is wearing: Essential Tunic in Gold


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