I name every hijab design after a strong Muslim woman, but for my last line I named them after strong Indigenous women. Just like Muslim women, I feel Indigenous women share a similar stereotype. No one talks about the incredible things they do, and often, they just focus on negativity.
Wedad Amiri, Edmonton based entrepreneur – Owner of Afflatus Hijab
I’m the owner of Afflatus Hijab. Afflatus means “a sudden divine rush of inspiration,” and that’s exactly what creating the company was for me. After struggling forever to find modest clothing that fit properly and looked good, I decided to be the one to do something about it and created my own line.
The whole thing with Afflatus is that I wanted to sell these things, but I also wanted the company to stand for something. I wanted it to be about women’s empowerment and about de-stigmatizing mental illness within our communities.
I use my platform with the brand to shed light and open up conversations about mental health: a cause that is so important to me is because I worked for the city of St. Albert to de-stigmatize and raise awareness about it in their schools, and saw the impact of a deeper understanding on people first-hand. During that experience, I realize just how much people struggled with their mental health and how important it was to talk about it. Since I started and opened up areas of dialogue, I’ve noticed a lot more people becoming comfortable with talking about mental health. I’m not saying it’s because of me, but in general, the more spaces we have to talk about it, the more people are okay with starting conversations and I think that’s so cool.
And as for women’s empowerment, I name every piece after a strong Muslim woman to raise awareness and positive representations. But for my last line, I named the pieces after strong Indigenous women. Just like Muslim women, I feel Indigenous women share a similar stereotype. No one talks about the incredible things they do, and often, they just focus on negativity. So for this last line, I named the pieces after amazing Indigenous women and had a Metis girl model them and be the face of that campaign. We can always make space for each other to tell our stories.
Would you like to share your story with us? Tweet it to us @Your_Ampac with #salamneighbour #hellomuslimneighbour, submit via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Instagram and Facebook.