What began as a friendship between family friends turned into a brilliant business between two best friends. That’s how business owners and partners Fatema and Yussra, who both share an interest in fashion and design, discovered their passion for accessories. Renowned for creating magnificent sunglasses accessories, we sit down with the fashionistas for a quick chat as they tell us more about OCHO.
How and when did the idea of OCHO come about?
Fatema: It’s funny how great ideas come to you on an ordinary day. The day was May 1st, and we were hanging out after a long day of university at our favorite café. I was really sad because I had lost my favorite pair of sunglasses. We thought about how useful those thread cords attached to reading glasses must be. How the glasses would just hang from your neck and you wouldn’t have to worry about losing them. How great it would be if there were chains for sunglasses, we thought. At that moment, a huge light bulb turned on in our heads. Why not re-introduce those old cords and recreate unique chains for sunglasses? We thought it would be really cool if we played around with the whole idea, making eyeglass chains the new statement accessory for everyone to have.
What does the name OCHO mean, or what do the letters represent?
The name OCHO means the number eight in Spanish. We chose this number because it represents a lot of things for the both of us; it’s our lucky number. We also like the way the logo turned out when we turned the eight sideways.
Do you both design the high-end chains and accessories for glasses?
OCHO’s added a great fashionable touch to our look. There’s a reason why the older generation used them. They served a function, but they just lacked style. We design an idea as soon as it comes to us, and love each and every OCHO we make. There’s a great feeling that comes with hand making them because each piece is like our own little masterpiece and we really enjoy spending our time making them.
Can you tell us about the first chain you ever designed?
We didn’t think it would be possible at first. We had the initiative, we had the designs, but we didn’t have a clue on how to start. We are both very determined girls. We would stay for hours and hours trying to figure it out. After many failed attempts and broken nails, we finally managed to make our first chain together, it felt like such a great accomplishment! The final outcome was a triple silver chain with baby pink colored beads. That’s when we realized how passionate we were about making them by hand.
How do you complement one another?
We balance each other out perfectly.
Fatema: I really enjoy working with Yussra because she has a lot to offer when it comes to new designs and ideas, and she’s also quite expressive. Yussra helps me organize and keep my thoughts together. She is an absolute joy to be with and I love that we have the same interests.
Yussra: I can’t imagine someone besides Fatema to work with. She is laid back when we work which is something I admire about her. She has a calming way of dealing with things. This greatly helps when it comes to the business. It’s also nice to have someone that is a friend, someone I enjoy working with and hanging out with a lot rather than just a business partner.
How did the business begin and what was the initial response?
After having so much fun wearing the chains and showing them off, we wanted to introduce our OCHOs to the rest of Kuwait. We started displaying and selling our chains on Instagram. To our surprise the Instagram account gained over 1000 followers during the first week alone. It proved to us how the chains were in demand, and it motivated us to continue working on the chains. We also participated in many expos in the past few months and are looking forward to upcoming expos.
How would an OCHO girl style her shades or prescription glasses?
It’s a very simple procedure. We have a lot of designs, charms, beads and chains we use but every chain is unique. They can be worn in two ways. One way is to pull the chain back behind your head, and the other way is to leave the chain to the front. We have simpler chains and chains with a bolder feel, depending on the outfit you’re wearing for the day and whether you want to dress it up or down.
Can you tell us about your latest collection? How do you find inspiration for the styles that you present?
To be honest, everything around us inspires us. It’s such a beautiful thing that the world is constantly changing, especially the world of fashion. So we just try to look at all the latest trends and try to incorporate them into our designs. For example, one major spring summer trend is floral-themed, so we made a floral chain to match Dolce and Gabbana’s floral sunglasses. We love doing photo-shoots to launch all our newest collections, so we’ll be planning that as well.
What is one piece of advice you would give to individuals like yourself looking to start a design or fashion business?
We would definitely encourage the youth to pursue their dreams and do what they love to do. Turning your passion into a business is absolutely wonderful, but it’s not for everyone. Be prepared for the ups and downs, and make sure you’re doing it with the right people.
What’s next for OCHO?
We have been through so much together, from mental and physical meltdowns to sharing some of the most amazing experiences that we will never forget. We plan on going international with OCHO.
Check out OCHO’s Instagram at @ocho_design. For more information and orders, call or whatsapp 9752 8981 or 9967 3521 or email [email protected]. OCHO is also available at Eye Boutique at both Grand Avenue and Mall 360 branches.