Maple Grove Business Finds Niche Selling Hijabs
A Maple Grove business is helping to meet the clothing demand for the world’s fastest-growing major religion. Batul Walji started the Hijab Shack to cater to Muslim clients.
The Hijab Shack, located inside the Star Banners building on 85th Avenue, carries a variety of fabrics, designs and colors. She determined the business was necessary after struggling to find quality hijabs for her daughter.
“I needed to have a store where people can come in and feel the fabric and see how they like it,” said Walji.
Of particular focus for Walji was to make sure she had hijabs that were were comfortable for active children.
“I’ve always wanted to come up with clothing for girls especially the teenagers who struggle to have modest wear,” said Walji.
In addition to hijabs, the Maple Grove store also offers a variety a full-length clothing called abayas.
“Abayas are mostly worn by women that are long, loose fit and has colors,” 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 do have jumpsuits,” she showed to us.
Hijab Solutions for Medical Field & Beyond
Walji started her business three years ago, right before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That was a struggle,” she remembered.
Her daughter worked as a hospital nursing assistant during the height of the pandemic. Walji remembered her daughter coming home telling her about the struggle of wearing personal protective equipment with her hijab.
“Every night, she would come home and cry. And she said ‘mom, this is 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 came up with a solution, designing hijabs that have an open ear making it much easier to put on masks and use medical equipment.
She also discovered her head coverings weren’t just for Muslim clients. She says about 10 percent of her business helps women who may have lost hair due to cancer and other medical ailments.
“I feel blessed that I can offer this to clients,” she said.
This summer, Hijab Shack was one of a handful of businesses in the northwest suburbs to receive a $10,000 Comcast RISE program grant awarded to women and minority business owners. The funds will help Walji with production.
“This was the best thing ever,” she said.