Woman names transgender-friendly shop after killing friend – NBC4 Washington

In high school, Zella Ziona and her friend Amber planned to attend fashion school in New York and become celebrity stylists and designers together, but Ziona was shot at age 21 in October 2015.

The shooter was an acquaintance, and many of Ziona’s friends believe he was angry with the transgender woman for flirting with him in front of his friends.

Amber cried a long time before she went to fashion school, and now she’s opened her own boutique inside Federal Plaza on Rockville Pike, naming her store Zella Ziona.

“I just thought it was unique and I thought it was empowering for women to see up high while they shopped,” she said.

“We are trans friendly, but everyone is welcome” is her motto.

“My store is for transgender women but not limited to that, so anyone can shop here,” she said.

She says she sometimes hears the voice of Ziona – known for her exquisite taste – as she buys things for the store, which also sells items from businesses owned by friends.

Amber says she will also keep Ziona’s memory alive through her own family, including her baby boy.

“She was positive, she was beautiful, she was brave and she was loving,” Amber said.

Amber dreams of expanding, opening a clothing line, and making Zella Ziona a household name across the country.

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