Jameela is a wonderfully joyous woman with enough smiles to lift any spirit. But spreading good cheer is just the beginning when it comes to her willingness to improve the lives of others. Her jewelry brand, Alora Boutique, donates a portion of proceeds to disadvantaged women, but also strives to inspire those that buy and wear her pieces to empower others. It is this sense of community that inspired her latest venture, SheEmpowers Women's Day Market. The event will bring together some of Calgary's best local female artisans, complimented by music, small bites, and refreshments at Inglewood's Festival Hall on Thursday, March 8th. In anticipation of the event, I asked Jameela to share her style and sensibilities in an interview and photoshoot featuring two of the jackets that will be available for sale at next week's pop up.
I've been the happy recipient of your dedication to local and ethical brands. Please tell me a little bit about why supporting slow fashion is important to you.
Everything I was wearing with the Two Button Overcoat was either made in Canada or purchased consignment. The top and skirt are by Canadian designers and the shoes were actually purchased on consignment from WINS! Of course, the jacket is Anneke Forbes and the jewelry is Alora. I like to support local and ethical brands because the alternative, fast fashion, goes against my values which include equality and respect for the environment. I prefer to support brands that employ people at fair wages and use sustainable materials in their designs. I believe that capitalism can be a part of positive change and that is why I vote for change with my dollars.
As the designer and owner of Alora, why do you do what you do? What is important to you as an entrepreneur with the power to make a difference?
Alora adds beauty and meaning to people's lives while enabling them to positively contribute to their community. We do this by creating all of our pieces with a meaning, using recycled materials where possible, and working collaboratively with local, women-focused charities. As an entrepreneur, I believe the value I bring to the marketplace can be used for good in this world. I love sharing my designs with others and helping other women do better in life while I am at it.
I’m excited to be participating in next week’s SheEmpowers market! What inspired you to create the event? Why should people attend?
At Alora, we always want to inspire our customers to give back. I am personally inspired by all the strong women in our community and International Women's Day is a great way for all of us to celebrate them. It is also a great day to highlight all the women in our community that need help. The charity that will benefit from SheEmpowers is Women In Need Society. They do a lot of great work to help vulnerable women and their families in Calgary live better lives.
People should attend the SheEmpowers market to support local, female-owned businesses, be inspired by our fierce female key note speaker, Shashi Behl, and contribute to a wonderful cause. My favourite quote is "we rise by lifting others" and SheEmpowers market is the embodiment of that quote.