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From Fencing to Fashion: Why This History-Making Olympian Is Breaking Barriers in Business Ibtihaj Muhammad is slashing her way to success with her modest clothing company, Louella.

By Kristen Aldridge

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Trailblazing is in Ibtihaj Muhammad's DNA. Not only did the Time's 100 Most Influential Olympic fencer slash her way into history during the 2016 games as the first American woman to compete in the Olympics in hijab, but she has continued to change perceptions of what it looks like to be a female athlete and empower young girls across the globe.

Today, Muhammad is the face of a major Nike campaign, the inspiration behind the first hijabi Barbie modeled in her likeness and most recently, the force behind Louella, a modest, affordable fashion line she created with her siblings.

Growing up, Muhammad longed for a way to express her own style while adhering to the principles of her faith, but she struggled to find clothes that served her needs. She created Louella to allow other women to find their voices through fashion, and produce ethically made, female-manufactured pieces.

Muhammad's goal is to see these garments on the red carpet, where she hopes they will inspire young girls to break the mold and defy expectations of what femininity looks like.

"Clothing is a way for us to express ourselves," Muhammad says. "I love the idea that I can be an athlete and I can be super rugged … but I can do it with eyeliner on, and I can leave the fencing strip and throw on a cool gown and occupy that space as well."

In this episode of How Brands Are Born, see Muhammad's remarkable journey from Olympic athlete to a change-maker in the fashion industry.

How Brands Are Born is presented by Cardone Ventures, in partnership with Original Stories Media. Learn how Grant Cardone and Brandon Dawson can help your business transform and scale to 10X levels HERE.

Kristen Aldridge

Founder of Original Stories Media, Journalist, Producer and Storyteller

Emmy-winning journalist and brand storytelling expert Kristen Aldridge is founder and CEO of Original Stories Media, a production company that specializes in capturing the origin stories behind the world’s most impactful brands. With over two decades of experience in the media industry, she has created content garnering millions of views for hugely successful platforms including Entrepreneur, ESPN, ABC, CBS, Yahoo!, and SHAPE.

Passionate about all things entrepreneurship, Aldridge created the original digital series How Brands Are Born to shine a light on all the remarkable people changing the world one big, bold dream at a time. Her mission is to help leaders reveal their most authentic selves so they can more effectively unleash their vision, inspire their culture, and bring deep value to the marketplace.

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