Our story begins in the late 1970’s, when the original founders and owners of our family business, Abdul Sattar and Sugharn Sattar as young entrepreneurs decided to bring a new shopping experience to the people of the West of Ireland. Back in 1977, Abdul purchased a VW van, sourcing only the best clothing products from UK and going town to town selling everyday clothing items to the local communities and at monthly/annual fair days. Abdul can still recall to this day, how he was one of the very first market street traders in the West of Ireland that sold new clothing items. Customers would approach the stall with interest inquiring about the price of garments that were offered which led to instant sales as new clothing concept was experienced by customers for the first time on the markets. 

Soon the overwhelming demand meant Abdul and Sugharn (his wife) could open their first shop in Tuam in 1981. The shop flourished with people travelling to the small shop from near and far. In a short period of eight years, Abdul and Sugharn grew the business exponentially making their final move with their four children to Main Street, Castlerea 1989 and later the Sattar family opened a second store at Bridge Street, Ballyhaunis in 1996. This gave rise to a new shopping experience for customers as the owners sourced exciting new clothing ranges from suppliers all over UK, handpicking only the best.


We have overcome many challenges throughout the years. These were tough times however remaining true to our passion for retail, commitment to customers and the help of our family and friends, we grew bigger and stronger.

At the heart of our family owned business was our main stores in Castlerea and Ballyhaunis which were run by Sattar family members that were passionately committed to providing all our customers with genuine and honest customer service. At Claire Fontayne today, we pride ourselves in the fact that we are completely independent and source all our own products, our experienced team travel all over Europe to bring our customers in-store and online only the best and latest range of trends and styles. Every item is handpicked with our customer’s needs and wants in mind.


At Claire Fontayne in-store and online, we believe the customer, you, comes first and we want you to feel a little bit of 'Something Special’ when you shop with us. If you have any queries or would like further information, please email us on info@clairefontayne.ie


Early Life

Abdul Sattar was born in 1936 (before Pakistan was declared independent) in India. He was the oldest of three other children. Abdul's family had moved to Pakistan leaving India behind due to India and Pakistan partition, and the Civil War breakout. Having lost everything behind and resettling in surviving due to Abdul's father’s job as a local farmer's assistant. Abdul heard his family pleading to survive, unable to afford essential items, which made him leave school and emigrate to UK in 1963 at the age of 16. Landed at Heathrow Airport, UK with £5 in his pocket, got to Birmingham and still had £3 remaining. Abdul’s first job was a foundry worker at a local company named Turner Brothers, earning £5 a week which later increased to £6, where he learned to make steel moldings by hand and assisted a local market trader on the weekends selling working jeans and shirts. 

Working hard at his teens, Abdul enjoyed working with market traders, whenever he had free time. His brilliant business idea could have come from one of the market traders, and Abdul realised that to earn good money, one should give factory workers what they want - work jeans and shirts. In 1973, Abdul Sattar married Sugharn Aziz who had gained experience working as a machinist in sewing pinafores, skirts and blouses for a local manufacturer based in Rochedale, UK.

In 1977, having gained fourteen years of market trading experience as an assistant, Abdul moved to Northern Ireland with his wife, Sugharn, and started trading as a market trader in local towns. Abdul was responsible buying, Sugharn (his wife) was responsible for selling, and was performing as his business partner. 

Unprivileged childhood conditions and no MBA degree obtained have apparently made Abdul the man he is: possessing an entrepreneurial spirit, was always deeply involved with the business while keeping a low profile. Despite his clothing business, Abdul Sattar has no interest in wearing brands himself. His outfits’ preferences are as modest as his lifestyle.

Abdul and Sugharn Sattar's life story shows that they achieved their success thanks to their self-confidence, hard work, and, of course, thanks to giving to their customers what they wanted. We hope you have enjoyed exploring Abdul Sattar biography and success story of the Sattar family, and it has inspired you to new discoveries.