An Interview with Jameela of Alora Boutique (Part Three)

Continued from part two here.

What topics most interest you?

Other than fashion and jewelry I really enjoy photography. I am interested in the story that a photograph can tell. I love art and also crafts. Scrapbooking is another interest of mine, but I don’t have a lot of time to do it! On my computer I have about 20,000 photos of my children waiting to be printed and scrapbooked!


Alora raising $1000 for the The Mustard Seed

Did you have a mentor in this work?

I don’t currently have a mentor. I would like one, but I try to surround myself with people in my industry that care about these things. If most of your readers are familiar with Calgary, then I am sure that they know that the fashion industry and sustainability industry are really, really small. I live in the heart of Oil and Gas country!

There are some great organizations doing great work in Calgary like REAP and Momentum. I am in a social enterprise business accelerator through Momentum right now and it has been super helpful.

Have you mentored others?

I have mentored through my University. I have only had one mentee, and I will be having another one in January. It is a great experience and I am grateful that I can help someone in their journey.

What are the importance of mentors in the fashion world for professional, and personal, development?

The importance is really having a network to lean on, the ability to share new ideas, and growing the industry. As for personal growth, I think that both people in the mentor/mentee relationship have ample room to grow when ideas are being shared and challenged.

The mother and daughter duo behind ethical jewelry

The mother and daughter duo behind ethical jewelry

From personal observations, more women than men involve themselves in the fashion industry by a vast margin of difference at all levels. Why?

Because women have better style! Just joking. I think that this is for a number of reasons, the biggest one being that women are socialized from an early age to be interested in “pretty” things. There is nothing wrong with that, but I think it is a factor. I also think that women understand what other women want. We understand what looks good on our bodies and we create things for us! A woman I know created a fashion line for women with really big busts because she could never find anything that fit her chest and waist.

I think women make things they like and then other women are like “Oh, I really like that too!”

What personal fulfillment comes from this work for you?

I really enjoy helping other people through my work and making people feel better about themselves. I love hosting workshops or networking events with “disadvantaged” women in my city. They are so happy that someone cares enough to give them their time and teach them something new.

The other thing is the look on women’s faces when they buy my jewelry and really connect with it. Each piece has a meaning and many of Alora’s customers will tell us that they wear a certain necklace to give them strength. Our customers will also tell us stories of jewelry they gave as a gift and the recipient cried because that was the message they really needed at the time.

My personal fulfillment really comes with me getting up every day and knowing that I am helping people and other people love the jewelry I make.

What other work are you involved in at this point in time?

Honestly, between the business and my two children, I’m not really involved in anything. I have a personal blog that I try to update once a week.

Any recommended authors or fashionistas?

Chinua Achebe is a master storyteller (Things Fall Apart) , Amma Ata Aidoo is also a beloved author of my country that I love to read.

As for fashionistas, I am in love with Jennifer Glasgow (a Canadian designer). Her dresses are spectacular. I also love Twiss and Weber. The cuts and prints of their work is out of this world!


Any recommended means of contacting Alora Boutique?

To contact us you can:

If you send a message or DM we will get back to you!

Any feelings or thoughts in conclusion based on the conversation today?

Yes! People have a lot more power than they think that they do. You can get up and make a small change in the world today through changing your habits or demanding answers from people and companies around you.

I think you have to live an authentic life and really start to care about the people beyond your circle.

Thank you for your time, Jameela.

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