CAIRO - Finding Islam three years ago, Amanda Redmond, a native of eastern Canadian city of Nova Scotia, has launched a new business for hijab fashion to help her fellow Muslim women find appropriate clothes according to her faith.
When you feel something is right and you're not doing it, you think about it all of the time, Redmond told The Chronicle Herald.
I knew I wanted to do it and it was nagging and nagging, and I didn't know why I wasn't wearing the hijab and fully converting to Islam.Hijab: What's It All About?
After I made the change, that was the kind of freedom I got.
Getting stuck in a New York airport three years ago, Redmond found Islam accidently three years ago at a New York airport.
Stuck in the airport overnight, the soft light of the airport mosque called the 23-year-old Canadian in.
It was 3 am and sleep was unlikely, so she picked up a copy of the Qur'an and began to read.
She was taken aback when the words of the ancient text resonated and she found herself nodding in agreement.
The values it teaches and what's written in the Qur'an all make sense to me, Redmond said in a recent interview.
I've always had a fleeting interest, and I wasn't any religion to start with, so the more I learned about Islam, the more it made sense to me.
Choosing Islam, she decided to wear veil a few months later.
I dabbled for a couple of months, and then one day it was just me, she said.
It felt right. But then I found it really difficult to find the appropriate clothing I felt comfortable with, on a modest guideline.
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one's affiliations.
There are more than 4,000 Muslims living in Nova Scotia.
Muslims make around 1.9 percent of Canada's 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the Christian-majority country.
Aspiring to offer her fellow Muslim women a modest fashion, Redmond started her small business on a Facebook profile.
It really baffled me that there was nowhere else in all of Atlantic Canada to buy this stuff, Redmond told The Herald.
I wanted these things, all of my friends bought these things and there are other women here who are asking for these things, so why aren't they here? I guess I'll do it.
Titled Al-Qamar, or The Moon, her new business was named after the 54th sura of the Qur'an.
Last September, she launched its official online store and has now garnered more than 1,200 Facebook fans and a growing reputation as a go-to shop for Muslim women.
The shop offers an assortment of contemporary clothing and accessories for veiled Muslim women.
Al-Qamar has shipped to buyers across Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and even Sri Lanka.
Operating in a tight niche market, Redmond said it is important that her products stay affordable and that she doesn't saturate the market with duplicates.
I'm focused on bringing in 10 or so of each item, she noted.
There's a small pool of women here, and if everyone has the same thing, it's pretty obvious.
I want to stay focused on contemporary, modest clothing for Muslim women, se added.
Juggling school, work and the demands of her online business, Redmond is focused on her next goals; growing the network of Muslim women in the region and opening up a brick-and-mortar retail shop.
It will take time, but I'm patient, she said.
People who know me know I don't just jump into something without doing my homework.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net