Former Utah Royal helping Afghan refugee renovate dream textile store // GoFundMe

Former Utah Royal helping Afghan refugee renovate dream textile store // GoFundMe

Former Utah Royals FC player Annie Hawkins is attempting to rally the community to transform a humble storefront on State Street into a refugee’s dream business. 

Hanifa Javardi came to the United States six years ago and has defied the odds. The single-mom runs a textile business which employs 26 other women who work from home. Hanifa provides the sewing machines and the materials which create a doorway to independence.

A sewing shop to call her own was Hanifa’s dream, now it’s a reality. She’s leased a space, but it’s not all she knows it can be just yet. This is where Annie comes in. The former professional soccer player now does renovations and when she heard Hanifa’s story, she decided to get involved.

“We know how hard it is to run a small business and wanted to come alongside her to help build up her dream,” Annie wrote on GoFundMe. “We will be donating our time and design skills to create a beautiful and functional space for Hanifa to not only create, but grow.”

Annie started a GoFundMe asking the community to get involved in the project by donating towards the costs of materials. She wants this remodel to affirm for Hanifa that the community has her back. After all, like Annie says, “It’s always more fun to build something as a team, as a community.”

To view the GoFundMe, please visit:

Stuart is the founder, writer and wrangler at several sites including Gastronomic SLC, Utah Now and, The Utah Review; Stuart is a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune and has worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.