Apparel Firm Eyes Female Hijab Sportswear Niche

By Neal St. Anthony
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) 29 Year old Fatimah Hussein is the CEO and co-founder of “Asiya”. “Asiya” is creating a line of sports hijabs that makes exerting one’s self in basketball or volleyball or other sports more comfortable without conceding modesty.

MINNEAPOLIS

The vision of a Somali immigrant and her Minnesota-born business partner to outfit the growing ranks of Muslim-girl athletes through a line of customized sportswear is set to move to manufacturing early next year.

“Our mission is to help more girls play sports,” said Fatimah Hussein, a Twin Cities-area social worker who has volunteered for years with East African girls. “Girls who play sports are more confident and do better in school … and (are) more ready to compete to a get a good job.”

Hussein, 29, is CEO and co-founder of Asiya, named for a historical Islamic woman who was wise and just.

Asiya plans a line of sports hijabs that makes exerting one’s self in basketball or volleyball or other sports more comfortable without conceding modesty.

Asiya attracted media attention last year with a sportswear-fashion show and it raised $100,000-plus in working capital this fall through the Minnesota Cup emerging-business competition and Kickstarter. Asiya has hired a local contract manufacturer to make its lightweight, sweat-wicking hijabs.

Asiya’s co-founders, who Minnesota Cup judges named the winner of the social-enterprise category, say there are no American companies producing sport hijabs or team active wear designed for the “modest-apparel” market for Muslim girls who play team volleyball or pickup basketball.

Co-founder Jamie Glover, 32, is a veteran corporate marketer who took a couple of years off to earn an MBA at the University of Minnesota. Her friends joked when she signed on with Asiya that it didn’t exactly look like “a billion-dollar idea” or “a get-rich-quick business.”

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