Fatima E. Al Shirawi, discusses the benefits of colour psychology for businesses and individuals.
After studying in London Fatima E. Al Shirawi returned to her home country of the UAE with a visioning of sharing her knowledge of colour psychology with the Middle East. Simply put, colour psychology uses colours to create solutions and allow individuals and businesses to benefit from an informed use of colour. The Gracious F which started in 2008, works with both businesses and individuals with a vision of helping them achieve their dreams and goals through the support of colour psychology. By successfully combining colour psychology in all spectrums of life Al Shirawi, has successfully changed the lives of hundreds of clients and re-strategized with many leading businesses in the region. Here we find out more about the concept and how it can make a difference in all of our lives.
Tell us a little about The Gracious F – the concept, the vision and what you aim to achieve?
The Gracious F was founded in 2008, as a leading colour solutions consultancy in the GCC dedicated to assisting people and organisations in benefitting from the power of colour science and psychology. Our vision is to help both individuals and organisations achieve their ambitions, dreams and goals through the support of colour psychology. For individuals, we aim to reduce stress and anxiety and help them to achieve their goals, while for organisations we aim to increase commercial awareness, enhance motivation, increase productivity, drive results and help to build their identity.
How did you discover the gap in the market for colour psychology in the UAE?
We always discover a niche through our own experiences. As a consumer, I was not satisfied with how products were sold and marketed in this region. Colour psychology is a recent science that started to gain presence and understanding in the early eighties. When I moved back to the UAE, I realised that the knowledge of this science was very limited. I realised there were ways I could use colour psychology to assist with marketing, consumer behaviour, individual balance and wellbeing.
What are some of the ways you can help businesses with your techniques?
Businesses can benefit through colour psychology tools in various ways, resulting in improved performance and revenues. Our most premium and beneficial product is our in-house colour programme called “Colour Matrix” which is trademarked by The Gracious F. This program is a 360 cheat-sheet for retailers using colour psychology to their advantage by training their teams in detailed customer profiling, which results in better buying, merchandising and overall strategy and management.
Can you share some of the requests that individuals come to you with?
There are many requests that individuals come up with. Most of them are going through a transition in their lives. Some are looking to use our services in their professional lives, others for their personal wellbeing, others due to some grief or trauma. Colour Therapy and Psychology can help individuals in ways we cannot even imagine.
What first inspired your passion for colour therapy?
I have always wanted to give back to society by offering the best solutions to balance people’s emotions and well-being. This has been my main inspiration and the reason why I specialised in colour psychology. I am an example of how the know-how of colour psychology can transform your life, it benefitted my personality and was key to my self-confidence. I built an “out of the box” company thanks to this knowledge and the tools I was able to use.
Are there any techniques or methods we can incorporate into our daily lives?
Yes, one basic technique is to use the four primary colours correctly on a daily basis. Colours have a wavelength and therefore it’s crucial to use them correctly for the desired goal. An example is the use of red when I exercise in the morning as it supports physical energy and blue when I head to work meetings and do presentations as its colour of communication and confidence.
What is the biggest challenge you face in what you do?
The biggest challenge I have faced in recent years was the global pandemic. When I started my business there was a huge need to create awareness and let the knowledge of colour science spread, and that was not easy, the foundation took a while. Since then the company has only been growing and reaching new goals every day. When the pandemic hit our business was more related to in-person individual and corporate sessions so I had to come up with a virtual solution within a month. But since then we have had The Gracious F services online, which means we are now catering to a larger, global audience.
This month we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the UAE, what does this occasion mean to you?
The UAE to me means innovation, inspiration, resilience, compassion and above all unity and freedom. Therefore the 50th anniversary is a mirror of all the above, Despite the global pandemic it did not stop the UAE in achieving its goals and Expo 2020 is a great example of that.
What is a message that you would send to your country on this occasion?
The UAE is not focusing on making women strong; they already are strong! It’s about recognising this fact and changing the way the world sees that strength. We build character in this nation. We salute inspirational and motivating women and men. My message would be: “UAE you have a character that inspires and a persona that motivates like no other… You are innovative, inspirational, resilient, compassionate but above all untied and free. I salute you and continue to mirror your spirit! Happy 50th birthday UAE”
What is your fondest memory of the UAE from your childhood?
Our traditions and our sense of community, even our innocence as a nation.
How will you be celebrating the 50th anniversary?
We will be celebrating National day with our biggest achievement at Expo 2020 Dubai.
What do you think the UAE has that no other country possesses?
Tolerance, resilience and vision are all part of the UAE. The hard work and unity of our community and the support of our leaders is something no nation possess.
Where would you like to see the UAE in another 50 years?
I see the UAE as the hub of opportunities in revolutionary science and technology, in humanitarian causes and a multi-cultural hub that welcomes people from all over the world to grow together within our country.
What is the professional motto you live by?
Hard work, commitment and giving back to society.
What is something you would still like to achieve that you haven’t done yet?
I would like to have the colour effects theory as a global mandatory practice applied to all industries and individuals, to support better individual growth and synergy between employees and their employers. On a personal note, my dream has always been to create a clothing brand that helps people use colour psychology, enhances people’s individuality and support the community with jobs and growth.