What is Once Upon a Dua?

Once Upon a Dua (OUaD) is a family-owned brand creating Scandinavian-influenced, faith-inspired baby products for modern Muslim families looking for exquisite items that celebrate their values.

Based in London, we are a husband and wife duo. We have created a collection of highly-giftable baby and children’s products that make it easier for families to introduce meaningful conversations around faith, and find space for togetherness within their busy lives.

As parents ourselves, we felt the frustrations of trying to find beautiful, meaningful and safe baby and childrens gifts. So, we made it our mission to make it easier for other parents. The aim was to make buying gifts for your family and for your loved ones to be a joyful experience, offering items of exquisite quality that could be loved, treasured and appreciated by all family members.

We are very grateful our designs have already been recognised for quality and beauty, and that only strengthened our motivation to keep making a positive change for future generations – in the way we lead our business and our lives. Being parents ourselves, it is essential for us not to just say it – we do it.

About our name

Dua, in the Arabic language, means prayer. The idea for this business came from a desire to make a change, do something significant, and create a legacy. We wanted to achieve this for our children and, through our products, support other families in achieving the same goals. By creating a supportive environment in the home, where values of love and faith are embraced, we encourage ourselves and our children to dream big, make plans, pray to Allah and work towards fulfilling them.

That was our story – we had a dream. A dream to inspire faith. We prayed hard. We worked hard, and found ourselves moving mountains to achieve it.

Faith moves mountains

You will find the symbol of a mountain in our logo and throughout our brand. Mountains serve as a reminder to ourselves and, we hope, to others, of the power of faith. Faith can move mountains, give strength in moments we think we have none left, offers a broader perspective, and humbles and elevates us at the same time. It gives us optimism that there is so much more to achieve and hope that we will get there.

They (the 'mountains') are also a special place that have played a prominent role in history and in the lives of many of the Prophets. They tell stories from historical times and are symbolic with many significant events taking place on them. So, you will keep seeing this image [stylised A] throughout our branding and designs as we continue to

Dream big.
Make dua.
Move mountains.


The story of Jayda (CEO, Founder)

I've always wanted to do something that would impact the world for the greater good. I'm a graduate in Math, Science and Psychology, and later became a qualified Maths teacher. I thought teaching would give me a work-life balance so I could be there for my kids when I became a mom.

Boy, was I wrong... I didn't have a life outside of the teaching world!

Plans and life

And then, just as I was blessed with the news of becoming a mom, I had to give up being a teacher due to my many health issues during my first pregnancy. However, alhamdulillah (praise be to God), this gave me time to discover my creative side, where I could explore my business ideas. I did become a self-taught bridal, henna and make-up artist, and later I ran a personalised gifts business. However, as a mom to young kids, I never envisaged I could make my dreams of creating a company that would really make an impact.

“...the pebble that was about to send ripples into the ocean”

Little did I know, things were about to change their pace. I became pregnant for the 3rd time, and our daughter beat us all to heaven before I could even hear her say "Mommy". I was only a few weeks away from giving birth after an extremely difficult pregnancy, and my older two were only 3 and 1 at the time. Her passing was unexpected and the trauma stayed with me. The sudden loss and pain left me in pieces, unable to say her name or talk about her for almost 3 years.

As I learned to live with the pain, and accept Allah's plan to be greater than what I could comprehend, I changed and grew as a person, and it strengthened my beliefs. Our faith teaches us that no matter the pain or trauma we face, there is a silver lining. This realisation is what helped to heal me and turn my pain into purpose. My daughter was the pebble that was about to send ripples into the ocean. She gave me a greater purpose in life and a need to do something more meaningful. As faith was an unwavering part of our home, her loss strengthened my passion to always try to instil these values in our children in fun and meaningful ways.

5 years later

Fast forward to my rainbow baby a few years later. That was the worst pregnancy and labour yet, and to top it off, it was in the Covid pandemic! My husband had to literally be at my beck and call. So along with looking after me, he also had to look after the needs of the older two children, and learn to cook for the first time! I was grateful he was able to work from home thanks to the lockdown. However, just before I gave birth, the stress and pressure of everything at home and with his work, resulted in him deciding to leave his job, walking away from a role and a company he loved working at for over 12 years.

Us, together

SubhanAllah, who would have thought this would be a blessing for us as a couple and for our whole family? I remembered the statement to never underestimate Allah’s timing, because He will give us what we need, not what we want. After the birth of our 4th child, for the first time, my husband actually turned his attention to my dreams and I could finally start building this vision into a reality.

One thing to know about my husband, the “King of Surprises” is that he loves giving surprises! I had a newborn, it was in the pandemic, and we had two other children to tend to, but on my birthday, he surprised me with a business. Talk about timing!! He found a way for me - for us - to build on this dream without having to start from scratch, just as our youngest turned 3 months.

Good things to come

So, here we are today, working on this company that has evolved in its ideas, and won several awards along the way. Alhamdulillah, we are grateful for our achievements and excited for what's to come!

The story of Ash (Co-Founder, Director)

I was an IT Manager, working in the city of London for an award-winning UK fund management company. It was the stuff of dreams, but i gave it all up!

This was October 2020, and the world was in lockdown. Businesses were shutting down, and there was mass unemployment everywhere. With so much uncertainty in the world and everyone feeling worried about their job security, I made the long and hard decision to quit my job after 12 years of service.

Burnt out

It was not an easy decision because I actually loved my job, i worked for a great company, and I was on a very attractive salary. So it almost seemed liked madness to throw it all away, but that's exactly what i had to do. All I knew was my wife & children needed me and, I was struggling with showing up for work and being there for them without feeling exhausted and burnt out trying to juggle between the two. Jayda's health was soo bad that she was bedridden pretty much throughout her entire pregnancy. So overnight i became like this single parent trying to hold on to a full-time job and take care of the family simultaneously all at the same time.

Jayda had already been through a lot in the past mentally, physically and emotionally during her last pregnancy. We had to deal with the sudden loss of a stillborn child so close to her due date, the effect of which led to Jayda going into long-term depression that lasted over 3 years.

And now she was pregnant with our 4th. The doctors said she was considered a high-risk due to her extremely poor health, and she was also bedridden which meant she couldn't even get up by herself, let alone run the house or take care of the children. So it was in the midst of all this that made me decide to quit my job with no backup plans.  Little did I know, this was actually going to be a blessing in disguise for us later on. Subhan-Allah, how we plan and how Allah plans things for us. Allahu-Akbar!

The start of something great

So, just after our 4th child was born, rather than start looking for work again, I started looking into helping Jayda pursue her lifelong passion. It was always her dream to start her own company to do good in the world, and until now, I could never devote myself fully to support her due to my own work commitments.

Jayda, however, always had this dream of running her own company and using it to create a legacy. She wanted to create a business for good and through it fund orphanages, hospitals and help the poor and destitute, especially women and children. She would often say, "Wouldn't it be amazing to be the answer to the prayers of all those people in poverty and hardships, and to help alleviate the pain and sufferings.” She felt she could be their answer by starting her own business and helping people through it. And I too wanted to help make maximum impact on the lives of those people, by supporting Jayda with fulfilling that lofty aspiration and be a part of that legacy.

So this was my time to finally give back to Jayda for all those years she supported me in my career and for all the sacrifices she had to make as a result of holding back her dreams.

From Our Family to Yours

So here we are today, with the world's first Scandinavian-influenced, faith-inspired baby brand. Our purpose for creating Once Upon a Dua, was to inspire conscious connections by encouraging conversations, nurturing confidence, and infusing joy into a busy family life! We wanted to enrich the lives of modern Muslim families by creating moments of togetherness through considered design.

As parents and business owners, we understood the frustration of trying to find baby gifts that were beautiful, meaningful and safe, so we created a highly-giftable collection that did just that!

So, in hopes of empowering you to have meaningful conversations that inspire faith and bonding with your little blessings, we welcome you to our family at Once Upon a Dua!

With love, from our family to yours,