Local business woman mixes worldly-thrifting with the ex-incarcerated to make impacts in Broad St. Arts district

by | Mar 10, 2015 | ART

Soul.eil is a boutique for eclectic souls, featuring bold accents, hand- selected vintage, and contemporary pieces from standout, independent designers and artis

Soul.eil is a boutique for eclectic souls, featuring bold accents, hand- selected vintage, and contemporary pieces from standout, independent designers and artists” said Hana Attia, the store’s founder.

Located at 212 West Broad Street, Soul.eil will be the newest vintage store to hit the arts district. According to Attia, the store’s vision & aesthetic is based largely on her roots— she wants Soul.eil to be “not only a place to shop, but also a sensory and visual experience.”

Attia, a VCU graduate, was first exposed to the fashion world when she worked for Annie Creamcheese, a DC based boutique. As the youngest buyer in the company’s history, this is where she began her love of hunting for vintage finds and started developing her own aesthetic sensibilities.

take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic ✨

A photo posted by @soul.eil on

The passion she found for re-discovering clothing is what propelled her to open up soul-eil.com, an online vintage clothing store which gained fast prominence.

“In America, when we think of vintage clothing, we think of the pin-up-y, 1950s look, and I bring a lot of things from different countries to show that there is different eras of fashion around the world, not just here,” said Attia when describing the style she looks for when finding clothes for her store. “A lot of my pieces are global pieces, and I try to stray away from typical thrift buys.”

After becoming established through her web store, Attia chose Richmond to be where she opens up her company’s first physical location. She cited the city’s burgeoning arts district and the unique culture which already existed there. She quickley fell in love with Richmond, and opening a brick and mortar shop there was a no-brainer.

@monlinglee is one of our favorite style setters. love her in this soul.eil piece!

A photo posted by @soul.eil on

“I really missed being in the store, I missed the connection you have with people, their stories,” said Hana Attia. She clearly takes pride in every piece she offers at her store, and she hopes that having face-to-face interaction with her customers will eliminate some of the anonymity and lack of excitement which exists in online buying and selling.

Attia is also a co-founder of a local nonprofit, Sanctuary. It’s a community center re-entry program for ex-incarcerated men and women, and as she explains it, it’s meant to be a sanctuary for coming out with a focus on arts, spoken word, poetry, and music.

Located just across the street from Soul.eil, the program offers support, and has everything from regular open mic nights to a full recording studio where the ex-incarcerated men and women can record and release their own music.

Soul.eil will host a launch event on April 3rd, the First Friday of next month. Going forward, Attia plans to alternate First Fridays, with one month going to Soul.eil and the other going to Sanctuary.

In addition, she is currently looking for any local designers and artists to collaborate with.

For anyone seeking to reach out or just keep in touch with the store’s progress, you can follow soul.eil on instagram, and look at the current web store offerings at soul-eil.com.




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