Pakistani Panache in McMurray with M’n’SS Boutique
Fatima Mian and her daughter have a new favourite clothing business in town. And, it’s also a reminder of home. M’n’SS Boutique is a Pakistani home-based clothes, jewellery/accessories business. And, one that is fast becoming a household name. Founded by Mariam Yousaf and Saniha Sami, who are sisters-in-law, the business was launched last June.
“M’n’SS is such a cool concept for Fort McMurray. It is a go-to when it comes to clothes for me and my daughter. We get compliments all the time. I feel trendy yet comfortable in their stylish clothes. They help me pick out the outfits as well,” Fatima notes.
“To have Pakistan’s top brands in our town at an affordable price is a treat. Plus, I’m a big fan of their western jewellery collection. I highly recommend M’n’SS to everyone,” she adds.
M’n’SS made its community debut at last year’s Ladies Luncheon, hosted by the Northern Lights Health Foundation (NLHF) during Festival of Trees.
“We really appreciated having M’n’SS Boutique participate in our Festival of Trees, Ladies Luncheon fashion show, says Cindy Amerongen, Executive Director, NLHF.
“They brought an extra dimension of colour, style and energy to the show, and helped showcase the multicultural appeal of special clothes for special occasions. As soon as the upbeat music started, the audience had all eyes at the stage – and then – WOW the dresses with gorgeous shimmery fabrics on the lovely models had everyone clapping in delight,” notes Amerongen.
“The Fashion Show committee really enjoyed working with M’n’SS Boutique,” noted Jessica Lipton, Events Manager, NLHF.
“The ladies were well organized, and eager to show a variety of designs and coordinated jewellery that accented the beautiful dresses. We can’t wait to see what they present at the next luncheon!” enthuses Lipton.
So what does the M’n’SS stand for? Mariam, aka Maria, who works for a local law firm’s corporate department - explains.
“M’n’SS is an acronym of our first names. “M” stands for Mariam or Maria, I go by both. “N” for Naveera (our main contact in Pakistan) and “SS” for Saniha Sami.”
The inspiration to launch M’n’SS came to Mariam when she was laid off last year. She found that to be the perfect opportunity to fulfill her dream of launching a small business. Along with Saniha (who is married to her brother), the ladies started on the project.
“Our community is small and resources can be limited here compared to other cities. There was an obvious struggle to find Pakistani clothing/accessories here. We did our market research; and there seemed to be sufficient demand to start this business,” continues Mariam, who has been in town for 10 years.
“Luckily my older sister Naveera, who resides in Pakistan was already in the clothing business, and wanted to expand into Canada,” recalls Saniha.
“Our main goal was to have these products available with reasonable prices,” comments Saniha, who moved to Fort McMurray five years ago, and is taking continuing education courses at Keyano along with being a full time mom.
The ladies not only launched to the Pakistani diaspora’s delight, but exceeded cultural boundaries and expectations. Their collection was received well by everyone. And, they also gave back to the community during their Eid event by supporting four local charities: Markaz ul Islam, The Salvation Army, Fort McMurray Autism Society and the Fort McMurray SPCA.
“Following that event we had an amazing opportunity to support the NLHF by participating in Festival of Trees, where we got to showcase our own designs at a sold out Ladies Luncheon event. It felt amazing to be able to help such different causes within the first year of our business and we definitely plan to continue,” Mariam enthuses.
“We would like to thank our community for being so supportive. McMurray might be small, but it has a big heart unlike any other city. Our next exciting product launch will be soon. Stay tuned,” she says.
Follow @MnSSYMM on Twitter, and like them on Facebook: M’n’SS Designs.
Vanessa Chauhan, Miss Universe candidate rocked an original MnSS boutique outfit at the Ladies’ Luncheon hosted by NLHF (photo supplied).
Saniha Sami (left) and Mariam Yousaf are MnSS Boutique (photo by Kiran Malik-Khan).