Source: MONARCH | EBONY SAFIYYAH
In November of 2019, Sister Ebony S. Muhammad, Publisher of Hurt2Healing Magazine and Web Designer of MODIC Design, decided to step out on faith in a way she had never imagined.
Every year members of the Nation Of Islam, their families and supporters come together to raise the Annual Saviours’ Day Gift, a token of love and gratitude for the several decades of service and dedication of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, The National Representative of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, did not want those donating to come out of their pockets, but asked that they raise the gift. This was so that there would be no hardship in giving towards The Saviours’ Day Gift. Although Sister Ebony had donated every year, she decided to raise it by featuring talents and gifts she had never showcased before.
“I’m discovering the incredibly unique gifts that Allah (God) has deposited within me. I never imagined that this level of design and creativity was present. It’s deeply humbling. Ideas come to me, spontaneously. I could be reading or working on something else and the inspiration for a product or design comes through, and I follow it. It’s an emotional and spiritual experience that quite honestly overwhelms me. I’m just grateful, utterly grateful,” she described.
With this in mind, she decided to launch a full brand and marketing strategy that would feature at least three phases. “I wanted to feature all of these beautiful gifts, however, I knew that pacing myself and releasing each product line in phases would be a smart move. It would also create an ongoing effort with raising my Saviours’ Day Gift beyond 2020,” Sister Ebony shared. By Allah’s (God’s) grace, she not only reached the Saviours’ Day Gift goal of 2020, she exceeded it.
Even during the global pandemic, the Pestilence from Heaven as referred to by The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, her efforts did not waver one bit. Sister Ebony doubled down in her creativity and remained driven, inspired and motivated to reach her goal!
“The 2021 Saviours’ Day Gift season, which began in mid 2020, was very trying. We were and still are in the midst of the Pestilence from Heaven where going out has been very limited. So I utilized this time to refine my craft, the brand and the power of social media to drive attention and support to assist my Saviours’ Day Gift donation. I was very fortunate to have supplies and materials delivered to my home. I was not going to allow not being out at the ‘Buy Black’ markets to slow me down when there are many other avenues available to showcase MONARCH. By Allah’s (God’s) Mercy, it worked out in ways I couldn’t have imagined”, she expressed.
MONARCH currently has four Phases: Phase I – Genuine Leather Goods, Phase II: Clutches & Tech Cases, Phase III: Therapeutic Candles and Phase IV: Organic Coffee Brands.
With the exception of Phase IV, all of the other Phases feature products that are handcrafted by Sister Ebony.
Back to Phase I – Genuine Leather Goods
MONARCH has evolved its leather craft to now feature wallets in various styles and sizes, including minimalist card wallets, zipper wallets and bifold wallets.
“After watching a master leather craftsman deconstruct two designer leather wallets, I was stunned to witness that only 30-50 percent was actually leather. The rest was cardboard, cheap nylon and cardstock. These wallets retailed between $340 – $1,270 and they were mostly paper! Seeing this compelled me to design a collection of 100 percent genuine leather wallets, with no fillers, for a fraction of the cost. I want to provide a quality experience with a designer appeal, all the way through”, Sister Ebony conveyed.
MONARCH’s wallets are made with vegetable tanned calfskin. This particular cut of hide has a soft, supple texture that is also durable for the constant contact and usage of a wallet. All of their wallets are made by hand by Sister Ebony, which includes but is not limited to being hand cut, saddle stitched, sanded, burnished (finished/polished), edge coated, sealed and stamped with the official logo.
“Again, this was a creative experience I had never attempted before. I didn’t know I could achieve this level of detail and focus. Constructing leather wallets, on any level, was the farthest thing from my mind. It was the experience of receiving that inspiration and following it, challenging myself or rather giving over to the unseen gifts and talents that Allah blessed me with. I wanted to see what He put in me that I was being pulled towards, and it put me in a state of awe. It’s not me, it’s what He put within me to express His Glory and to bear witness to His Power, His Love. It’s calming, euphoric and therapeutic,” she detailed.
Not only did MONARCH launch genuine leather wallets, they also launched their very own line of All Natural Leather Care to help maintain the luster, appearance and condition of the wallets. Each product in the kit, including the polishing cloth, is handcrafted by Sister Ebony. The cleaner, balm and sheen are all skin safe and only contain 3-4 ingredients. The full list of ingredients and application instructions are posted on the product page.
Each wallet comes with a soft case enclosed within a matte black box, a supply of their Leather Balm and polishing cloth.
“Packaging and presentation is everything to me! It’s all in the details. I love a beautiful reveal, because it’s part of the experience, the MONARCH experience, where each person who receives our product feels as though that order was specially designed for them. It feels personal, thoughtful, customized and consistent”, she expressed.
“I am so in love with what I do, with what I’m witnessing. I imagined something like this would be a far-fetched accomplishment, but not anymore”, she stated.
“It has only been by the Teachings of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad given to Him by Master Fard Muhammad, the Guidance of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Divine Class of the MGT-GCC (Muslim Girls’ Training and General Civilization Class) that I could tap into these creative talents and skills. Our How To Sew classes have awakened a part of my spirit that was dormant but obviously quite ready for activation”, she concluded.
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