The science of colors estimates that colors have a profound effect over surroundings. They carry the potential to create an intense impact on individual’s life as well as businesses. An Emirati Entrepreneur, Fatima Al Shirawi gave this ultimate theory an entrepreneurial touch by starting a color consultancy, The Gracious F with a vision to assist both individuals and corporates in achieving their goals by applying color psychology. Fatima, the Founder of The Gracious F, combines her creativity along with her experience in color psychology to help clients enhance their styles, taking into account their personal preferences and cultural values.
Fatima holds a degree of BA in Sociology and Marketing from George Washington University. She’s a certified fashion designer from Polimoda Fashion School in Florence and London College of Fashion as well as a certified color consultant from the Color Affects Institute. These acquired certifications have been instrumental in The Gracious F’s continued growth.
From Passion to Inception
It is always about that one incident which further encourages individuals in building their career path. Fatima has always had a passion for helping people find balance and achieve their goals. Through her educational journey abroad, she was able to identify a career path that fueled her passion after she took a color psychology class and was fascinated by the science. It became increasingly important for her personally to find peace and balance after she lost her mother. She had a hard time coming to terms with her harsh reality. When she returned back to her home town, Dubai, she started to research the missing element there and what is really needed to improve as a society. The color theory helped her realize her passion and achieve her goals.
However, having studied and lived abroad for such a long time, moving back to the UAE was a challenging task for Fatima. It was difficult for her to adapt with the changes she was personally dealing with. This led her to explore and seek ways of achieving balance in her life and help others going through the same thing.
Often, initial days of a business pass through different roadblocks. Fatima had no investment support for her business when she initially started and hence, she had to be strategic about her approach by prioritizing her marketing tools and PR in order to raise awareness. The beginning stages were met with a lot of skepticism. She managed through great investment in generating awareness. And it was due to open mindedness of the people, they were willing to embrace the concept.
In Fatima’s opinion, every successful business today utilizes some form of technology to help make the business more efficient, think out of the box, and update services in a more convenient manner for customers. Similarly, the Gracious F was formed with the confluence of technology, science, and creativity. Diversity helps with creativity in terms of means of income and helps with collaborations opportunities. Talent recognition brings skills at the forefront, which were overlooked in the past as crucial and necessary for developing traditional businesses. As an entrepreneur and researcher, Fatima keeps up with these changes and adapts her business accordingly to ensure continued growth and development.
Creating Awareness on Color Consultancy
Color consultancy initially was always associated with fashion and style. It laid emphasis on the external outlook whereas it also has to do a lot more with how the energy and vibrations makes a person feel inside. It is a scientific fact that each color generates a unique wave that influences an individual’s mood and energy thus affecting people’s interaction with that person.
As a researcher, Fatima has been able to expand and create awareness on color consultancy in corporate branding, team building, sales training and PR. According to her, the science of color is applicable in almost all aspects of a business, more than people realize. It has helped brands identify how to tailor their products and services to cater to customers in different regions. It has helped with team building, enhanced creativity in the workplace and motivated employees to be the best versions of themselves.
Color psychology looks beyond what colors to wear and styling. It creates a clear vision of what a person path is and gives them confidence to go after what they aspire to be. For those already in a career, it helps improve their productivity and creativity.
An Advanced Application of Color Science
The Gracious F got started as an individual consultancy company to support individuals in enhancing their personal life through the application of color science. It soon realized the need of color science within the corporate, interior and fashion segments to increase productivity and revenue of their respective businesses. Currently, The Gracious F is the leading Aesthetics Consultant in the Middle East. In recent years, The Gracious F has diversified its services to cater to different segments where the science of color is applicable and has become an accredited platform that offers trainings within Luxury Retail, Management universities and Government entities. It delivers wide range of brand and corporate services including color consulting, styling, feng shui, interior consultation, and corporate consultation for branding. The company believes that color psychology can be applied to every aspect of life, and hence, it keeps on discovering new domains it can tap into.
Creating a Lifestyle Brand
The Gracious F is planning multiple things in future and has already started putting them in place to make a reality. The most important strive is to establish itself as the leading color consultants globally through thorough education of its importance as a personal enhancement and revenue generating science for individuals and corporations respectively. It is also striving to create a lifestyle brand that caters to individual personalities and custom-made interior design for living spaces.
Encouraging Women Entrepreneurship
Leadership for women has come a long way in terms of recognition and acceptance in the business world. Fatima believes that encouraging women leadership always starts with the youth. They are the future, therefore grooming them on the principles of independence and empowerment is important. Having positive role models, encouraging education, more support and encouragement of women entrepreneurship businesses, and recognizing their accomplishments, all play a vital role in bolstering more women leadership positions. She mentions “In order to progress, it helps to share your knowledge and expertise that’ll help educate others as well as help you learn new skills from others.”
All about taking First Step
According to Fatima, there are a number of attributes every CEO should possess including passion, drive to succeed, and excellent communication skills. She believes that a CEO should be able to read people and adapt necessary management styles accordingly, as she does that for a living through the science of color. Fatima is of firm belief that the most vital part of starting a business is taking an initial step towards it and every aspiring leader should build courage accordingly. “Take the first step towards your goal. People often fall victim to procrastination and although it takes time to plan, you really aren’t an entrepreneur till you take the first step. Also, tell as many people as you can what you do. No one can sell you better than you.” asserts Fatima.
Source: The 30 Most Innovative CEOs to Watch in 2018
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