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London, Ont. business owner offering employment to vulnerable women

When someone applies for a job at Cover Girls Auto Detailing in west London, it doesn't really matter what's on their resume.

The point, as explained by owner Layla Kh, is about opportunity, and a chance to find their confidence.

"It's a process," says Kh. “It can get difficult. But that's why we're here, to give them that strength."

She opened the business in September 2021, and currently employs six people, two of whom are full-time. But, she’s always looking for new hires.

"If there [are] ladies that are interested in wanting to make changes in their life, and get back on their feet, there's a second home for them here," she says.

Layla Kh and her late brother, Saman are seen in this undated image. (Source: Layla Kh)

The business was inspired in part by her late brother, Saman, says Kh. He quietly dedicated his life to charity before he died in 2019, and she wanted to do something to continue his legacy of helping people who needed it.

Cover Girls offers flexible schedules for employees balancing home life, school, or other jobs. It regularly employs women who come in from London's various social service programs, says Kh.

"It offers a safe place for women to work in the city," says Jacqueline Fenelon, an employee.

She connected with Kh after hearing about the business and wanted to offer her web development skills. Now she fills pretty much any role needed on any given day.

"I would really feel comfortable working here, and Layla is my angel,” says Fenelon. “She really inspires me. She's a strong woman and she gives me that hope that I can be independent."

A Cover Girls employee works on a customer's car in London, Ont. on Nov. 2, 2022. (Carlyle Fiset/CTV News London)

Prior experience working with cars is not required.

"I was very nervous because I don't know a single thing about working here," says Swati Kalia, an international student from India studying at Western University. "It really feels like I'm at a second home where I'm working with all my sisters.”

Kh wants to continue growing her business, and hire more women who need the opportunity.

Employees get plenty of experience working with cars on the detailing side of things, but Kh says the process and stability of the job allows the women to gain much-needed confidence, which is far more valuable.

"That's the whole goal," says Kh. "Give them their strength back. Give them their confidence back...don't have fear. You can do anything in life that you want to do if you put your mind into it.” Top Stories

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