Maple Grove Business finds a niche to sell hijabs
5:04 p.m.Monday, August 29, 2022
A Maple Grove company is helping meet the demand for clothing for the world’s fastest growing major religion. Batul Walji launched the Hijab Shack to meet the needs of Muslim customers.
The Hijab Shack, located inside the Star Banners building on 85th Avenue, offers a variety of fabrics, patterns, and colors. She determined the business was needed after struggling to find quality hijabs for her daughter.
“I needed a store where people could walk in and smell the fabric and see how they liked it,” Walji said.
Special attention for Walji was making sure she had comfortable hijabs for active kids.
“I’ve always wanted to offer clothes for girls, especially teenage girls who find it hard to wear modest clothes,” Walji said.
In addition to hijabs, the Maple Grove store also offers a variety of long garments called abayas.
“Abayas are mostly worn by long, loose and colorful women,” Walji explained.
There are styles and types for a variety of occasions, from weddings to casual wear.
“Girls like to wear pants and stuff, so we have jumpsuits,” she showed us.
Hijab solutions for the medical field and beyond
Walji started his business three years ago, just before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was a struggle,” she recalls.
Her daughter worked as a nursing assistant at the hospital during the height of the pandemic. Walji recalled her daughter coming home telling her about the difficulty of wearing personal protective equipment with her hijab.
“Every night she would come home and cry. And she said, “Mom, that’s the hardest thing to do,” because she had to wear a mask, she had to have a shield, she had to have a stethoscope.
Walji has found a solution, designing hijabs that have an open ear, making it much easier to wear masks and use medical equipment.
She also discovered that her head coverings weren’t just for Muslim customers. She says about 10% of her business helps women who may have lost their hair to cancer and other medical conditions.
“I feel blessed to be able to offer this to clients,” she said.
This summer, Hijab Shack was one of the few businesses in the northwest suburbs to receive a $10,000 Comcast RISE program grant for women and minority business owners. The funds will help Walji with the production.
“It was the best thing ever,” she said.
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