(CNN) by Gabriel Kinder – During a hospital shift, Hilal Ibrahim noticed that a patient’s blood got on her uniform. The hospital stocked extra scrubs for her to change into, but because her hijab was also soiled, she had no choice but to go home.
This is just one incident in Ibrahim’s more than 10 years of volunteering and working at Park Nicollet Health Services, in her hometown of Minneapolis, that inspired her to design headscarves that meet the unique needs of the healthcare industry.
“I couldn’t find an appropriate headscarf that was affordable, that was sustainable, that was beautiful,” she told CNN. “No one was making it, so I had to make something.”
Ibrahim, 25, is also the founder and CEO of Henna and Hijabs. She started the fashion headwear company after graduating from high school.
While working in the hospital, she saw that when a patient or employee needed to replace their hijab, the only option was a white hospital blanket.
When Covid-19 hit, Ibrahim said that her hospital co-workers feared the hijabs they wore around patients could carry the virus to their families.
“In addition to the emotional and physical stress of everything that’s happening now, Muslim health care professionals have to think ‘am I going to bring this home with me?'”