Sisterhood Boutique helps young Somali women grow professionally, personally

The Sisterhood Boutique in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood was created to help young Somali and East African girls find jobs and prepare them for the world outside their sometimes insulated Minneapolis community.

"I wanted a place that brought girls in the community together,” Khadra Fiqi said.

Fiqi came up with the idea to sell secondhand clothes and accessories to give teens their first experience in the professional world.

"This is the newest immigrant population to Minneapolis,” Fiqi said. “There are a lot of barriers to economic success for young women in this neighborhood."

The girls learn basic concepts like marketing, networking and merchandising while getting hands on training in running their own business. They even take sewing lessons so one day they'll be able to sell fashions they create themselves.

"I feel like for East African girls it’s hard to own our own stores,” Fiqi said. “People don't expect us to do a lot of that. Being that we are doing that is amazing."

For teenaged girls, interest in clothes is always in fashion. And using that to empower young women could mean a brighter future is all sewn up.

The girls do 4-month internships at the store then get help getting a job or applying to colleges. So far, about 100 have gone through the program, and they hope to help even more next year.

For more information on the Sisterhood Boutique, visit them on Facebook at