PAQI Boutique is a small boutique located in Montreal, Canada.
I founded this brand with one goal only: create a positive environment that would lift the beauty in all melanated girls. Why? Well, because it was needed. As black women, I feel like we are often overlooked in people’s conversations about social injustice even though we face a unique blend of hardships.
Growing up in Montreal Canada, I constantly had to face the uncomfortable truth about the lack of diversity in my everyday life. I also had to accept the fact that I knew little to nothing about my African heritage. Which got me thinking... How could I ever become my authentique self if my roots weren't strong?
It was time for me to find a solution. I spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of change I wanted to see and decided to be that change. I wanted to fix a problem I knew many people of women color faced. I'd even say go as far to say a problem many westerners face: Ignorance. After brainstorming different ideas and concepts - PAQI boutique was created.
It's important to understand that young girls, especially in the early years, are like sponges. They absorb everything around them. Did you know that the concept of beauty appears in a child's mind before they can even speak? You now come to understand that young girls notice the lack of representation in the media. & yes, they also notice how they are different than their peers. So, what better time to start nurturing that TLC then now!
Keeping in mind my experience, I wanted to create something that would nurture self-love and confidence as early as possible. Which is why throughout the whole process, I kept every young princess at heart! I wanted a brand that would allow children to be children. A brand that would resonate three words: beauty, strength and uniqueness.
For me, these words perfectly represent the rich and diverse cultures found in Africa. A continent so underrated and misrepresented in our Western society. Yet, so beautiful, intricate and unique. A continent where my ancestors came from but I knew so little about. The diversity of cultures, clothing, modern cities, and natural landscapes that I never saw on the news or in our textbooks. Those are the roots I needed to water. At that moment, my clothes became more than just fashionable pieces, they became a statement.
It is at that moment that I truly understood that self love is the root of all love. On that note, let's show your daughter what makes her unique and beautiful. Allow her to open her mind & celebrate the beauty that is Africa.
& remember, by empowering our daughters today and teaching them about the world, we give them tools to become smart & confident women tomorrow.
Shadee Paqui, Founder of PAQI boutique