Women of the UAE: Fatima Al Shirawi shows her true colours

In 2008, after being encouraged by family and friends, Fatima Al Shirawi decided to put her knowledge into practice by starting her own colour consultation company, The Gracious F.

Fatima Al Shirawi, founder of The Gracious F, was inspired to start her consultancy after studying in London. Colour, she says, has great bearing on our everyday lives. Rebecca Rees for The National
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DUBAI // Wherever she goes, Fatima Al Shirawi is always thinking about the colours around her.

“Everything I do in my day-to-day life evolves around colours – the shades of my make-up, to the clothes I wear, to an enjoyable spot I would pick in a restaurant,” the Emirati said.

She first learnt about how colour can alter moods and behaviour when she took a class by Angela Wright, the creator of the Colour Affects System, while a student at the London College of Fashion.

“She taught the class so well, with a positive aura and outlook on life, that I became drawn to the subject and the positive effects that colour has on our everyday, dull lives,” Ms Al Shirawi said.

In 2008, with encouragement from family and friends, she decided to put her knowledge into practice by starting her colour consultation company, The Gracious F.

“I chose the unique concept of colour consulting as I felt there were not a lot of lifestyle brands that went beyond the superficial side of life. From my own experience, I would say, one needs to know who they are to know how to make the right choices in their life,” she said.

Ms Al Shirawi uses social analytic methods to determine the negative issues a person or an organisation might have.

“Once the issues are identified and colours are tested on the mood, then we begin to fix the problems with positive colour strategies,” she said.

“This could involve any thing from a wardrobe change to interior repositioning or shade changing in key locations where the person spends the majority of their time.”

The use of colour in everyday life has a profound effect on our moods, outlook and motivation for work, Ms Al Shirawi said.

“Colour is critical for all of us and can change our lives for the better. I enjoy advising my friends and colleagues when they feel low,” she said.

“Best of all I love exploring the opposites of colours and how they look when contrasted, especially in my style of fashion and jewellery.

“With the implementation of colour in my everyday routine, I have found myself drawn to unique jewellery and artefacts that consist of precious stones and their different effects, this has built my understanding that I can implement the significant of stones with colour groups as well.”

By following the Colour Effects System, Ms Al Shirawi said she has become more confident and self-assured.

“My level of patience and tolerance has become stronger. My pattern of thinking, lifestyle and routine is more stabilised in comparison to before and I find I can tackle everyday tasks with ease and satisfaction,” she said.

“The colours I had in my life before understanding the system were not right for me and I found that things were always off balance.”

Her family and friends also said they have noticed a change in her, Ms Al Shirawi said.

“They find positivity, harmony and peace around me and find themselves drawn in,” she said.