Our TeamMeet the wonderful ladies of Zahara's Boutique
In appreciating what we’re trying to do here at Zahara’s Boutique, I think it’s important that women hear the story of how I came to open the store in the first place. Hopefully, through hearing my journey, you’ll fall in love with the clothing we sell just like I did five years ago.
I first discovered the lines that Zahara’s carries when I moved to a coastal town in Florida in my forties, where the summers were extremely hot and humid. The clothing I was used to wearing in Canada was not breathable in this new climate. I quickly discovered that linen was an absolutely necessity to staying cool and comfortable.
Later on around the same time, I got a phone call from my Mom who had just been diagnosed with auto-immune hepatitis. As a result of the steroids she had to take, life was miserable because she felt that the weight gain was making it difficult for her to find clothes that made her feel good. I brought her to Florida to try on the new clothing lines I had found… she felt amazing! When I moved back to Canada, I couldn’t find these same styles anywhere. Despite being a different climate, I had come to learn that linens are extremely versatile and the health benefits transcend any weather conditions – Read our blog post on Reasons to Love Linen. I realized that there was a space in the market for this type of fashion here. Even though I loved the styles myself, it was my desire to help my Mom feel beautiful again that really inspired me to open Zahara’s.
The name ‘Zahara’s Boutique’ originates from the idea of the Sahara Desert as a place where heat and protective clothing is essential. As a strong supporter of linen and gauzes, the Sahara Desert aligns perfectly with the styles and materials I was looking to sell.
While helping my Mom, I also found myself discovering ways to combat my own frustrations of dressing in different styles as I age. I know I still feel 35, but I don’t look 35 anymore and I struggled to adapt my look while still feeling beautiful both inside and out. These clothing lines make me feel feminine, stylish, and confident in who I am just as they helped my Mom. I said to myself one day, “I can’t possibly be the only one going through this!” It seemed like a perfect opportunity to open a store and to bring these clothing lines such as Bryn Walker and Grizas to other women going through a similar experience.
Starting up a business is full of trials, but the rewards are far greater than any tribulations we’ve experienced. Like the other women who work at Zahara’s, I am truly satisfied when I see a woman leaving Zahara’s with the confidence and beauty she has had in her all along, now equipped with the tools to look as fabulous on the outside as she feels on the inside.
Like her colleagues, Heather adores the atmosphere of Zahara’s Boutique. “It doesn’t feel like a job”, she says, mentioning the airy and bright space with its high ceilings. As a people-person, Heather comes to work everyday enthusiastic about putting outfits together for customers and seeing the smiles on their faces. Zahara’s is like “a fashion show every day” she says. The most satisfying aspect of her job is working with the customers, especially when they step out of the change room looking fabulous. To Heather, it’s crucial that customers at Zahara’s know they will receive an honest answer when asking her opinion. Zahara’s Boutique represents a place where friends come together and staff bonds with customers unlike any other shopping experience.
Leigh fell in love with the materials and comfort of Zahara’s clothing over a year ago and has thrived in the positive atmosphere of the store ever since. “I love working at Zahara’s,” she says, “from the people who work with me to the customers who come in… I started working here shortly after my separation from a 22-year marriage and it has helped me a great deal with starting a new, positive life.” Leigh finds her job at Zahara’s satisfying both from a staff-to-staff and a staff-to-customer perspective; it is very rare to love the people you work alongside and enjoy your relationships with customers at the same time. In that regard especially, Zahara’s is a truly amazing place.
For nearly three years, Petra has been helping women who come into Zahara’s Boutique discover looks that they feel good in, which in turn adds joy to their lives as well as hers. To Petra, it feels like sisters helping sisters in a big, wonderful walk-in closet! What more could you ask for! When asked why Zahara’s is so important to her, she says, “having been surrounded by boys for much of my life, I love celebrating femininity all over again.”
Mireia has been working at Zahara’s for two years and could not imagine working anywhere else. Like Petra, she loves coming to work everyday in what she considers ‘every woman’s dream walk-in closet!’ The beautiful chandeliers, chic décor, and endless options of clothing and jewelry make it impossible for her to find fault in the work environment. And the fresh homemade fudge at the front counter is not to complain about either! But to Mireia, Zahara’s Boutique is about far more than appearances. The Zahara’s team of women is like a family to her, all of whom inspire her creatively and allow her to be her true self. It’s a close-knit community at the store, where everyone who works and shops there shares a genuine camaraderie. When asked about the most satisfying aspect of her job, Mireia says, “It’s extremely rewarding to be able to help a woman find clothing that reflects her personality and lifestyle; I love seeing how happy and beautiful the whole experience makes them feel!”
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