Tarik Houchar, 2010 Anthill 30under30 Winner

Tarik Houchar, 2010 Anthill 30under30 Winner

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Tarik Houchar, NSW (b. 1988)

Name: Tarik Houchar
Age: 21 (Born: December 1988)
Gender: Male
State: NSW

Hijab House isn’t your average clothing store for Muslim women. Oh, far from it.

It’s 21-year-old owner, Tarik Houchar, says the Sydney store is “committed to the modern, fashion-loving Muslim girl. It provides fashionable, modern hijabs and Islamic fashion in a fun, exciting retail environment.”

Some of these words might seem at odds with hijab, a style of clothing that covers the head and, in general, is supposed to project modesty, privacy and morality.

But Houchar clearly knows where the lines were drawn and what young Muslim women want. He combines a keen sense of style and color with cultural sensitivity to put Hijab House’s offerings right on the edge. You can call it a “hijab boutique” without a tinge of irony.

And the store is thriving because of it. Houchar says he sold 2,400 hijabs only two months into the store’s debut earlier this year. The reaction to Hijab House led to a spot on Channel 7’s “Sunrise” show. The store has a website, but it was just a placeholder at the time of this writing.

The store in Bankstown’s Centro Mall, funded “with the help of family and friends,” overcame a few obstacles. Certain legal requirements before the store could open were tough to meet, Houchar says, and he had to overhaul the business’ design and branding because some felt they had too many Islamic elements.

But Houchar stuck to his dream, and the young man certainly knows how to create a buzz. He said a summer fashion campaign was the first time a Sydney hijab store used a teenager in the photo shoots. “The products were beautifully presented, and for the first time, we were showing people what a modern, Australian Muslim girl looked like.”

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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.

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