Three years ago Nor Amjadi‘s daughter, Nadia, was in grade school. As the pair shopped for clothing, they quickly realized that many of the clothing designed for young people was all too revealing for their Muslim religion, which values modesty. The shirts were too short and the pants too low, usually showing Nadia‘s midriff. Having gotten by with purchasing longer items in the past, the Amjadis came to the conclusion that something must be done in order to maintain their religious standard of dress.
Amjadi would often travel to her native Malaysia to purchase clothing items with the intent to sell them to like-minded individuals abroad, but usually instead being sold, they would collect dust in her closet.
“I finally asked my husband, can we open a store,” says Amjadi. With his help, Hayaa‘ Clothing became a reality.
“My daughter says that I got [the store] because, mommy cannot keep quiet.”
Translated into English, Hayaa‘ means modesty and modest apparel is what the shop specializes in. From jilbabs (long, button up jackets), to abayas (long dresses), tunic tops to hijabs (head coverings) and scarves, Hayaa‘ carries everything (even swimwear) to cater to the culture‘s desire to keep oneself unexposed in public.
“After [having the shop] for one year, I asked my husband if we could do another year,” says Amjadi, “That was two years ago and our lease is up next year.”
In addition to imports from Malaysia, India, and Pakistan, Hayaa‘ has its own brand of clothing, which uses both American textiles and craftsmanship. “I‘m proud to say I‘m supporting the U.S.,” says Amjadi. Hayaa‘ Clothing also carries a line of blackseed-based, paraben-free body butters, scented with essential oils.
Amjadi, not being one to sit idly by, taught herself wire working and creates her own line of one-of-a-kind hijab pins. The pins, which range from simple beaded patterns to ornate wire swirls with dangling gems can only be purchased at the store, located in Bowers Plaza on El Camino Real. “It‘s my hobby,” says Amjadi of the pins, as well as her handbags. Although with her jam-packed schedule, Amjadi hasn‘t completed enough to start offering her handbag creations for purchase.
“I‘m having fun – on most days,” says Amjadi with a big smile and infectious laugh.
Hayaa‘ Clothing offers a wide selection of items ranging in sizes from small to 3x, and the prices are quite reasonable. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is at 3095 El Camino Real in Santa Clara. For additional information visit the Hayaa‘ Clothing Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HayaaClothings, Ebay store, http://stores.ebay.com/hayaa-clothing, or call (408) 246-3170.