Mississauga family invents brilliant inflatable lawn decorations for Ramadan

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The inflatable holiday decoration industry has blossomed to new heights recently, if the advent and popularity of that human centipede-style raccoon thing is any indication.

You'll see them everywhere in December when walking down the street, browsing online, or (in normal times) hitting up Canadian Tire for string lights — but they're all Santas, reindeers, snowmen, candy canes and other Christmas-themed blobs.

After witnessing how excited her children got when they saw the big, blown-up lawn decorations in her neighbourhood this past holiday season, Mississauga-based entrepreneur Basharat Rehman wondered why something similar couldn't be done for other holidays — notably Ramadan, which begins this year on April 12 and ends one month later.

So, she and her husband decided to do it themselves.

The resulting business, called New Traditions Store, launched last week, on Jan. 7, and business is already booming.

"We are the first business which has launched the idea of outdoor inflatables (think Santa and Rudolph inflatables) but for Ramadan and Muslim holidays," Rehman told blogTO this week.

"We wanted to use lawn decorations as a way to break down barriers between Muslim/non-Muslim communities and spread the joy that we experience during our holidays."

Three products are currently available for purchase on the site: An inflatable mosque, a crescent wreath and a reversible multi-use cloud and crescent for Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. 

Within just one week, the site has been flooded with orders from across Canada and the U.S. 

"Demand is much higher than anticipated and we are working with our suppliers to order more," said Rehman, whose company donates a portion of each sale to charity.

"One of the fundamentals of the month of Ramadan is 'giving' and part of our business model is to donate a portion of each sale to local and global causes on a monthly basis," she explained.

"For this month we are partnering with Nisa Homes, a local charity which provides temporary shelter for marginalized women fleeing domestic abuse and violence."