One Northern Virginia entrepreneur who found her niche through modest women’s clothing plans to open a second store in Tysons Corner Center by mid-July.
“My goal and focus is 100 percent on modesty,” says Fariba Sharifi, owner of Ayna Modest Boutique in Potomac Mills mall.
Ayna means “mirror” in five languages.
“I picked the name [Ayna] because to me, the reflections in yourself as a woman relate to clothing,” says Sharifi.
The boutique offers high quality clothing that appeals to someone searching for a more formal look. The clothing includes hijabs, dresses, and everyday outfits.
Sharifi says the popularity of her store is leading to the second location. Sharifi credits the fabric, colors, and style of the clothing for the positive reactions she’s received about her clothing.
“There are a lot of women who just want to dress up modestly,” she says. She and her sister came up with the idea of opening a store four years ago, after reflecting on the difficulties they faced as Muslim Americans when it came to finding appropriate clothing.
“I felt like there was a need for a store like this in Northern Virginia,” Sharifi says.
The duo started in her sister’s basement in 2020. They promoted the clothing they made through Instagram and TikTok before renting a space in Springfield as the clientele became larger.
After Sharifi’s sister moved out of the U.S., Sharifi says she was left to take over the business. She says she moved it to Potomac Mills in September 2021, and received a lot of encouragement from the mall to do so.
“I did face a lot of challenges as a single mom with three kids,” says Sharifi, as she reflected on the obstacles she encountered when first starting Ayna. “But I don’t take them as difficulties or challenges: I take them as learning processes.”
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