SE Michigan (V9-I20)

Michigan International Women’s Show Attracts Local Women

By Mariam Negaran

Over 44,000 people gathered at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi last week for the 12th annual Michigan International Women’s Show.

“It’s a woman’s magazine come to life,” declared Show Manager Beth Anderson.

The show, which ran from May 3rd through the 6th, catered to women of all ages and presented goods and services from spa treatments to cooking classes to the latest trends in health care awareness and the newest fashions of the season.

Farmington Hills residents Saira Bhatti and Syeda Anees came to see what the show had to offer.
“It’s a woman thing, so I thought, “Let’s see what’s going on,’” Bhatti said. She called her friend Anees and they headed off to the show.

“You know women, we like to shop,” Anees laughed.

Well, they were in luck, since local and international vendors were abundant at the show. Shehlla Haroon, whose sister Sheeba started up Vibgyor Textiles International, said that her family got the idea to open their own business after attending ISNA conventions.

“They had these little booths every year, so we thought it would be a great idea just to start our own business so that people can enjoy this stuff,” Haroon said, pointing to an assortment of ornate pashmina shawls. “You can’t find these everywhere and it’s all handmade.”

While the shawls are exceptional, Haroon insists that they are reasonably priced. She explained that pashmina is wool that comes from Himalayan goats, which is what makes the shawls so rare. She and her family who reside in Dearborn, Michigan, are originally from Kashmir, a disputed territory in northern India. The shawls are native to Kashmir and shawl production makes up a large part of Kashmiri livelihood.

“They’re made by people from my country, so we’re trying to help them out as well,” Haroon said, “That’s what our country represents.”

While fashion was a main attraction at the show, it was not the only objective on the mind of show founder Joan Zimmerman, when she decided to produce women’s shows in Charlotte, North Carolina, 26 years ago. According to PR Coordinator Barb Doyal, the show is also one way to market towards women in regards to their health and well being, so that they can take care of themselves and of their sanity.

“You’re the number one advocate for yourself,” Doyal insists, “So [women] need to take care of themselves number one in order to be able to be a primary caregiver to others.”

Appearances by Dr. Dale Atkins, a licensed psychologist, and Stephanie Vozza, founder of The Organized Parent, provided information to the busy women and moms of today.

Dr. Atkins is a spokesperson for balance and well-being and offered tips from her new book, Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life.

The Organized Parent founder Vozza, a busy mom of two, presented “Surviving Summer Vacation With Your Kids!” which drew the attention of several onlookers. Her company offers parents planning material, travel games, and many other items, to make their lives a little easier. Vozza gave tips for summer sanity and urged parents to establish a routine and house rules so that kids know what to expect.

“It helps you to have a plan or a timeline for when kids are out of school,” Vozza suggested, “because the week after school you’re going to be hearing, “I’m bored.’”

She also recommended that parents turn to local newspapers for children’s activity ideas and listings and write things down on a calendar. Vozza suggested that parents ask kids what they would like to do, since parents try to plan everything for their kids without gaining their input. She also insists that it’s important to schedule in downtime or unscheduled time for kids because they should know what do with free time.

“If kids don’t know how to act inside their own time, a lot of time they get into trouble later,” Vozza said, “I think it helps children grow…and use their imagination.”

Not only did the show give women the opportunity to get helpful information and take in some well-needed TLC, but it also gave retail businesses and hospitals an outlet to market new products, give away coupons, and have women sample new things on the market.

“Women pull the purse strings,” Show Manager Anderson said, “since they make eighty percent of household financial decisions.”

That might explain why Meijer took up a big chunk of space with its product sampling, health information, and pharmacy counters.

On the Celebrity Cooking Stage, Chef Maureen Kimmel whipped up a delicious dessert in minutes. Kimmel, a busy mom of five, specializes in meals in minutes and has been cooking for Pampered Chef, a kitchen tools and products company, for 13 years.

“People want fast but not fast food,” Kimmel laughed while offering samples of her scrumptious-looking Double Chocolate Trifle to passers-by. “I call it gourmet cooking in fast food time.”

Kimmel, who mainly does cooking presentations on the weekends, revels in the freedom it gives her away from a full-time job.

“Most of the people that do this actually work a full-time job and this is something fun that they can do on the side, maybe to save for a vacation or braces or whatever,” Kimmel said.

The Pampered Chef, a company founded by Doris Christopher, seeks to empower women by giving them the tools they need to achieve a better balance between work and family. The company offers quality kitchen tools that make their customers more skilled in the kitchen, allowing them to make meals faster so that they can spend more time with their families.

Women’s health, well-being, and happiness was the undercurrent of the show, since many of the booths and stage presentations focused on these issues. Be sure to catch the show next year from May 1st to the 4th 2008 for the latest in health and fashion, and be sure to bring a friend!

For more information on the Michigan International Women’s Show and its vendors, visit the following Web sites:,,, and

Tawheed Center Fundraiser at BUC

Bloomfield–May 5–The Tawheed Center held a very successful and well-attended fundraiser this past Saturday evening at the Bloomfield Unity Center. Present were perhaps 600 people, filling both the beautiful banquet facilities at BUC and the gymnasium.

Women attended in the more beautiful banquet facilities, while the men in attendance were relegated to the gymnasium.

Dr. Khalid Zafar, president of the Tawheed Center Board of Directors, welcomed the guests, and Mr. Asim Khan, from the Board of Trustees, gave details of the planning of the masjid, while the fundraising was done by Sh. Kifah Mustapha, who came to the BUC from Bridgeview Illinois.

The Tawheed Center has already made significant strides in improving its plant, having expanded its parking lot to accomodate the many worshippers who attend. Now it has plans to improve and expand the actual masjid space and add a gymnasium.

During the fundraising, about $310,000 was collected (in pledges and cash). The Tawheed Center plans to start construction in July or August of 2007.


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