Meet Fatima Al-Othman, owner, creative director, and the illustrious illustrator behind the funky lifestyle concept, F2o Designs. Behind those calm eyes is a fury of passion; a belief system carefully constructed from raw emotions, experience and a desire to breed a legacy which simply yet powerfully entails, ‘Do what you love, love what you do’.
A Civil engineer originally, Fatima always worked on the concept of the lifestyle brand, F2o Designs, in conjunction with her full-time position. Working as a contract engineer at a prestigious company, Fatima felt that she couldn’t breath, increasingly disliking the daily routine of a static position. Going with her gut instinct, she bravely quit her job, and set her sights on attaining a long-desired goal in opening up her first concept space, the F2o Designs Head Quarters and retail store.
She yearned to develop a brand she rightfully established as a younger student, earning a remarkable 3rd place reward when whimsically entering the Villa Moda t-shirt designing contest. She claims, “After my sisters and friends kept nagging me into thinking the process would be fun, I went out to Zara, bought two plain white t-shirts, and expressed my love for the Afro.” Her, ‘Afro dude’, might be nameless, yet nothing short of famous. Perfecting the Afro doodle since childhood, Fatima was completely shocked when her work was recognized at the competition. She smiles and comments, “My competitors at the time complained of the simplicity of my submission, yet I didn’t care, I started creating more illustrations afterwards and painted them on more t-shirts for my friends and I while I was still in University in Sharjah.” When asked to participate at the AUS Annual Global Day, Fatima reinvented the gift shop for the Kuwait booth, creating t-shirts and key chains. When the orders starting reeling in, she realized that this first participation is her moment, Fatima exclaims, “I absolutely knew that I had to get into creating a business for myself. I loved doing it! Although I was younger at the time and I barely knew the basics about running or creating a brand, I just wanted people to wear my t-shirts.”
Today, this 27-year-old illustrator stands proudly in her store, beaming at the logo proudly showcasing the outline of an oversized flaming orange Afro head, complete with hoop earrings. Her slogan, ‘Go with the ‘Fro’ encourages her peers to do it and dare to be different, and in being different, one can completely be free. Flip through the pages of this issue for our coverage of the F2o Designs lifestyle store.
How would your mother describe you in one word?
How would you describe your mother in one word?
What is the most insane question you’ve ever been asked?
Well, it’s not really insane, but I’ve been getting this same question since I was a little kid: “How do you draw?” My answer would always be, “Chethi” and sketch something quickly if I had a notepad handy.
What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Back in college, I went on a road trip with my friends to Hatta (UAE), but then continued driving till we reached the borders of Oman. (I chickened out and decided to make a U-turn and return home).
What word in the English or Arabic language do you wish you had invented?
Arabic (Kuwaiti): “Chwaiha”.
Where would you like to live? / What is your dream retirement location?
Germany, France, or Dubai.
What is the first famous quote that comes to your mind?
.“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney
“Speak when you’re angry, and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.”
What animal best describes the kind of partner you’d be interested in?
What do you miss about your childhood?
Playtime with dad.
If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
My name (finally) grew on me. I like it, and I wouldn’t think of changing it.
How would you describe your handshake in one word?
What is the toughest part of your character?
Who is your favorite historical figure?
What in the world do you least desire?
Dishonesty. I just can’t stand it! Oh, and lack of ambition.
What do you think is lacking in the world, which would make the world a better place?
Honesty, decency, and common courtesy.
Why do you think most girls/guys like you?
Tough question. I think we should direct this question to the girls/guys.
Finish this sentence: “Happiness is a thing called…”
Loving yourself and your family.
Doing what you love, loving what you do.
For more information about Fatima, feel free to visit her website, www.f2odesigns.com or send her an email at [email protected] . You can also follow F2o on twitter by visiting: www.twitter.com/F2oDesigns.