Tailor made: Syrian refugee and Nova Scotia yoga teacher pair up on pants line
Rezan Iso and Anastasia Akasha Kaur hope to grow a business that makes a difference on Nova Scotia's South Shore.
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A Syrian refugee affectionately called “the tailor of Mahone Bay” is working with a yoga teacher on a clothing line they hope helps him establish deep roots in the small community.
Rezan Iso arrived in Mahone Bay about a year ago. His skills with a sewing machine and fabrics are already well known in the small South Shore community.
“He is definitely becoming a little bit famous. I don’t know if he likes that too much but it’s all part of the package I guess,” Anastasia Akasha Kaur said with a laugh.
“He’s set up a little shop in Mahone Bay now so he’s more accessible to people, and I’m hoping to keep him very busy.”
Kaur is a Mahone Bay-based yoga instructor and creator of The Triple Goddess Pant.
About 10 years ago she decided to make her own pants after unsuccessfully searching for ones that were comfortable, organic and sweatshop free. They also had to be stylish.
“This is something that is in harmony with what I do and so I decided to offer the pants publicly for people,” she said.
“And then I found Rezan, the tailor of Mahone Bay, and he was up for it.”
Kaur has created an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to buy organic fabrics and supplies and to pay Iso to make the pants.
“I basically gave him the pants and he has made a pattern from the existing design. He has made the different sizes so that we have options for everybody,” she said.
With four days left in the crowd funding campaign, they’ve raised a little more than one quarter of their goal. Kaur is hoping to spread the word in the waning days.
“Rezan is excited. I got an interpreter to explain to him the crowd funding idea so he has a better understanding of that,” she said.
Kaur said she’d like the business to grow and give Iso the chance to hopefully employ other refugees.
“The game plan right now is to keep Rezan busy, and then when he reaches his max I would like to see him hiring other Syrian refugees. I can see this turning into a nice little business for him bringing industry into Nova Scotia especially to the South Shore and our rural community,” Kaur said.
“Right now his options are kind of limited in the area where we live and I don’t want to see him leave and he doesn’t want to leave. So for him to be able to employ more people, bring more people to the south shore, bring (some of his displaced) family members here? That would be my ideal situation, although I won’t speak for him.”