Apparel firm Asiya eyes female hijab sportswear niche

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 moves to manufacturing early next year.

“Our mission is to help more girls play sports,” said Fatimah Hussein, a Ramsey County 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 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.

Read More: Star Tribune

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