BU alum launches modest and fashionable clothing brand to counter social stigma – The Daily Free Press

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Ameera Hammouda said she was “born to be an entrepreneur” and has dreamed of having her own clothing brand since she was a child. Now it is his reality.

Ameera Hammouda at the IDEA Con Startup Conference held at Boston University on February 26. Hammouda, a BU Questrom alum, has wanted to have her own clothing store since she was a child and is now CEO and founder of Ameera – a modestly styled clothing brand that strives to challenge social stereotypes. COURTESY OF AMEERA HAMMOUDA

Hammouda, a 2018 graduate of Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, is the CEO and founder of Ameera, a clothing brand that caters to modest style and strives to challenge stigma and norms. social. Hammouda said she wanted to combine fashion with a higher purpose within her business to serve a certain community and raise awareness.

“Especially modest fashion, there’s such a stigma with this whole community and how they dress and it’s like, ‘oh, she’s downtrodden,'” Hammouda said. “So I was like, no, I can show people that people choose to dress that way and it can be beautiful and empowering.”

Hammouda officially launched her brand in June 2021 and rebooted her Instagram account, which she says was previously dedicated to her jewelry business. Her business is completely online, she ships internationally, has done a few pop-ups, and hopes to do her first pop-up in New York this year.

“I’m a little scared of getting too involved in fashion and trends because then I feel like I’m losing my own creativity,” Hammouda said. “My personal style was so important to me that I was so into clothes, and I didn’t have a lot of clothes.”

Extra care and time is put into its products to ensure that its clothes are worth selling and can be versatile, she said. In the future, she wants to release more styles, but for now, she has released a colorful variety of blouses, pants, and scarves made of “biodegradable, machine-washable silk and carbon-positive hemp fabric”, according to the Ameera website.

In addition to her brand, Ameera has also launched a newsletter, Ameeracan, to combine her passions for writing, fashion, and open a place to discuss modest fashion in the lifestyle of Muslim women that we don’t have. really talked about before, she said.

“Change all the stigma and change all the fake news or anything around these women… [Ameeracan] can be a place where I can discuss these topics,” Hammouda said. “And also, I realized that being more of an expensive brand, it’s a way to allow more people to interact with the brand that might not have been able to.”

Ameeracan has “room to grow” and the newsletter isn’t exactly where she said she wanted it to be, but remembers, “you have to start somewhere.”

Hammouda also said that aside from making the clothes, she has a “hand in every aspect” of her brand and has learned a lot from mistakes and things she didn’t expect.

“It was really tough, especially as an amateur, as I don’t have any formal training in fashion,” Hammouda said. “I think that’s definitely one of the biggest challenges, but like I said, I’ve found some amazing people who can help me answer very specific questions like ‘what kind of stitch do you want? -you? And I say to myself, what? I thought everything had the same point. “

She said she also received a lot of support from friends, family and BU teachers, mentioning Peter Marton and Jodi Luber.

“I first met Amira when she showed up in my business school entrepreneurship class,” said Marton, a senior lecturer at Questrom. “I was immediately struck by her level of determination, creativity and thoughtfulness.”

Marton also said that one of Ameera’s strengths is her authenticity – she doesn’t just mirror movements like other entrepreneurs.

Luber, associate dean and associate professor at the College of Communication, said she first met Ameera when she was the only student at Questrom to take one of his classes.

“Behind this incredible style, however, is an extremely talented and focused entrepreneur who is serious about business. She has guts,” Luber said. “I listened to her talk about distribution, manufacturing costs, production and supplier relations as if she had a team of 20 people behind her, and she had to learn all these things on her own.”

Luber said Hammouda’s success is credited to an “untapped niche” she has found in her brand and what it represents is “meaningful to a lot of women.”

“There is obviously a very specific target audience that I speak to and hope to amplify their voices, particularly women of certain faiths, who choose to dress modestly,” Hammouda said.

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