The fabric of a family business

Salma Mukhi, the 55-year-old owner of Salma Fabrics & Boutique, was in the middle of a call with a relative from Pakistan when her daughter Rabia gestured for her to answer the store phone to speak with a client. “I think she’s more busy than Barack Obama,” quipped Rabia Mukhi, 27, Salma’s youngest daughter, who works as a real estate agent in north suburban Morton Grove and helps out occasionally at the store, located at 2316 W. Devon Ave. in West Ridge. Salma is the matriarch of a large and tight-knit family—she has five children and 14 grandchildren. She came to Chicago from the Punjab province of Pakistan in September 1985 to join her husband, who was working at a gas station in the city.