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Ibtihaj Muhammad


“Fencing has taught me so much about myself and what I am capable of. I want to be an example for minority and Muslim youth that anything is possible with perseverance. I want them to know that nothing should ever hinder them from achieving their goals—not race, religion, or gender.” —Ibtihaj Muhammad excerpt:

Fencing champion Ibtihaj Muhammad was born in 1985 in New Jersey. She discovered fencing when she was 13 years old and has gone on to earn numerous medals and accolades for her achievements in the sport. In 2016, she secured a spot on Team USA. In qualifying for the Olympics, Muhammad made history when she became the first Muslim woman who wears a hijab, a traditional Muslim headscarf, to represent the United States. She became the first female Muslim-American athlete to win an Olympic medal when she took home the bronze in the team sabre event at the Summer Games in Rio.

Muhammad has traveled the world for her sport, but also as a speaker at various public engagements or at conventions relating to sports and education. Often she would find herself frustrated with the lack of modern fashion that was modest in design for observant Muslim women. Seeing that void in the marketplace and with the suggestion and encouragement of her brother Qareeb, Muhammad founded her online shop Louella in 2014. Her e-tail shop offers an affordable fashion alternative for the Muslim market. Her brother helped connect her to a manufacturer in Los Angeles, where all the clothing is made. He now runs the manufacturing end and she and her sisters design the products. Starting her own business and working with her family has become another outlet for her talents. After she retires from her sporting career, she plans to transition to operate her company full-time.

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