Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

She turned her passion into a successful business

  • Print

She came to Canada from Pakistan in 1994 with her husband, three little kids and hope for a beautiful life.

"I wanted to do something but never got a chance," recalled Rahat Mirza, now the owner of Rahat Professional Skin Care.

In Winnipeg, the young mom from Rawalpindi got her chance. After her husband found a job at 7-Eleven, she pursued her passion, attended beauty school and worked her way up to owning her own salon.

"I thought I should start fresh," Mirza said. "Instead of staying home and being a mom, I thought I should start right away.

"It was a good thing for me. My daughter was a year old and went to day care. My two boys had started school."

She and her husband didn't have close family here, so the couple had to rely on each other.

"That was a very hard time, but we did it," said Mirza. "If you're both partners and honest with each other and helpful and supportive, then it works."

After finishing her esthetician's course at Scientific Marvel, she got her first job at Giselle's and worked and saved.

"In 1998, I started my own business at a small place downtown in a hair salon."

Her husband became the 7-Eleven store manager. She kept working at what she loved.

"It is my passion," she said. "I really like to spend time on myself and look good," said Mirza, who kept saving.

"In 2006 I decided to have my own place. I bought this property and renovated." She made a go of it as Rahat Professional Skin Care.

"Now I have two girls working with me," said Mirza. "I'm pretty happy. I can say I've been successful running my own little business."

After nearly 20 years in the beauty business, she's beautified a lot of Winnipeggers.

"I don't know how many faces, hands and feet I've worked on." Mirza said. She's never counted.

"I love it."

She sees the beauty in giving back, as well. Mirza and her husband volunteer with the Husaini Association of Manitoba Inc. The registered charity brings in speakers, helps out newcomers and assists families when there's a death in the family.

Mirza is one of nearly 10,000 Pakistani Canadians in Manitoba, said fellow entrepreneur Dost Mughal. Since arriving in 1977 from Pakistan, he has carved out a niche serving the growing population with his General Tours and Travel Service.

It bothers him that most Canadians only see the ugly side of Pakistan, reflected in media coverage of disasters and violence, and never its beauty, like K2 in the Himalayas or the culture and history of Islamabad.

Pakistan has had disasters and terrorists, but it also has water slide parks and peaceful places and people, and that's what Hammad Khan thinks of when he hears "Pakistan."

The 33-year-old president of the Pakistani-Canadian Association of Manitoba came to Winnipeg 14 years ago from Lahore. There, Khan was a local TV personality. As a child, he hosted a show at a water park, where kids raced down water slides and went on treasure hunts.

Now he's hosting events for his community in Winnipeg, and celebrating Pakistan.

"We're peaceful people, not extremists at all. A few individuals have painted the whole country." They have not killed expatriate Pakistanis' pride in their young country, though.

March 23 is observed every year as Resolution Day, marking the 1940 call for independent Muslim states in then-British India.

"We need to celebrate freedom and the successes of our ancestors," said Khan. The Pakistani-Canadian Association is celebrating with a banquet April 15 in Winnipeg, and everyone is welcome, he said.

"When we do our functions, we don't limit them to Pakistanis. We invite people from India, the Vietnamese and all our Canadian friends."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 31, 2012 J16

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Key of Bart - Cali For Jets Nation

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A gaggle of Canada geese goslings at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg Monday- See Project Honk Day 05- May 07, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • The sun peers through the fog to illuminate a tree covered in hoar frost near Headingley, Manitoba Thursday- Standup photo- February 02, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

  • Africa edition

    Africa is one complex and gloriously unmanageable 'theme' to choose to kick off our 2012 series, Our City Our World, which is why it took up the whole newspaper on Jan. 18.

  • China edition

    Hard-working Chinese immigrants, once banned, have risen to the highest echelons of Manitoba.

  • Germany edition

    German immigrants have played a surprisingly large role in the development of the province.

  • Iceland edition

    Arriving in Manitoba in the 1870s unprepared for a brutal winter, Icelandic settlers and their descendants have left their mark on our province.

  • Italy edition

    Industrious Italians rose from peasant roots and adapted to Canadian society by mastering L’art d’arrangiarsi (the art of getting by).

  • Latin America edition

    It used to be the only time Prairie folks met Spanish-speaking people was when they vacationed down south. More often now, they're the people next door.

  • Middle East edition

    When the first Middle East families immigrated to Manitoba, mosques were unheard of and even yogurt was exotic. But now all that has changed.

  • Philippines edition

    A booming Filipino community nearly 60,000 strong has transformed Manitoba.

  • South Asian edition

    As the city's Indo-Canadian population experiences dramatic growth, its pioneers recall their warm Winnipeg welcome.

  • Ukraine edition

    Scarred by Holodomor, the Ukrainian community helped shape Winnipeg's cultural mosaic.

  • United Kingdom edition

    Manitoba's history is built on a foundation provided by settlers from the U.K., who came here seeking better lives.


Do you agree with the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board to foreign companies?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google