Refugees Sunshine success

Nadir Ashan with aunt Sohaila Samadi. (supplied)

Gerald Lynch

A family of Afghan refugees has opened the doors on its traditional fashion store in the Sunshine Plaza.

Business is booming at Afghan Luxury Collection, with the store boasting a wide range of traditional Afghan and Middle Eastern women’s clothing.

Nadir Ahsan and his family arrived from Pakistan two years ago, and had earlier fled their home in the Afghan capital Kabul when the Taliban took control seven months earlier.

Having run similar businesses in Kabul, it is no surprise to see Mr Ashan open a new store soon after finding his feet in Australia.

“We had experience in running fashion businesses in Afghanistan and connections into the industry, so it was just a matter of sourcing the goods,” he said.

“The other challenge was finding a place to establish the business. I found this place in the Sunshine plaza and we signed a three month temporary contract. We have just extended that for six months,” he said.

Nadir has worked in construction since arriving and he harnessed the knowledge of his Afghan friends who had started the businesses for which he worked to help launch his own enterprise.

“My Afghan friends in the construction business supported me to establish the business. They explained things like GST and insurance,” he said.

“We saw an opening for the business. Afghan people couldn’t buy traditional clothing locally. So, we opened the shop and it’s going well.”

Nadir’s aunt Sohaila Samadi, who helps to run the shop, say the business stocks a range of women’s clothing.

“There are wedding and engagement dresses as well as clothing suitable for a range of events and occasions,” Sohaila said.

Nadir’s mother Muslima Samadi said the local Afghan and Middle Eastern community had embraced the business.

“We have customers from Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and across the Middle East” she said.

“We have spread the word about our business in the local community and we promoted it on social media,” Muslima said.

The family – Nadir, Sohaila, Muslima and his sister and brother – live locally in Sunshine and say they have settled well into the local community.