Fatima Mohammed Indimi is no doubt, one of Africa’s young serial entrepreneurs and philanthropist. In this interview with FATIMA SHUA’IB, the black beauty talks about her strive for success, despite being the daughter of a billionaire.
Can we meet you?
I am the CEO of Le Rouge by Ama and Le Rouge living. I’m an interior designer, fine artist, philanthropist and business mogul.
Where are you from?
I am from Maiduguri, Borno State.
Tell us about your family
My family has always been very supportive of each other. Our father raised some fierce and strong business minded children with the support of our wonderful mothers. Alhamdulillah, we are forever grateful for their collective discipline.
None of us actually studied business because baba taught us that it is from within. He made sure we all got our masters degrees and can make it on our own, even though he’s always been there when we need him.
Take us through your journey of success
The moral support of my siblings and parents is inexplicable! I have always been the artistic one. Art and design is what I know. At the age of six, I was already making my own outfits using my sisters’ Ankara head ties. Unfortunately, when they discovered this, I got into a lot of trouble. My mum then bought fabrics specifically for me and I kept on from there! By the time I was 15, I graduated secondary school with a plan and not a single dime. I furthered my education while growing this fashion business that not many Northern Nigerians understood the value of, including my father. I grew the business with no bulk income apart from what I was paid by my first client.
Instead of letting me go to fashion school, or giving me investment money or a loan (that I never asked for till date), my father made me understand more about hard work without saying much. He may not have realised what he did by saying no, because that prompted me to continue my education while nurturing a business he is now extremely proud of.
What makes me feel like I have succeeded in something is the fact that I did it without financial assistance.
Which project are you currently working on?
I am currently working on expanding Le Rouge philanthropy which I have always chosen to keep out of the limelight. It has always been between my God, my orphans and myself.
I would like to say a big thank you to Le Rouge clients who have knowingly or unknowingly contributed to this journey by simply shopping with us.
What is the position of today’s Northern woman?
I believe that today’s Northern woman has learned to be strong and stand for something, instead of fall for anything. Her position lays within her strength, grace and tenacity. Interestingly enough, I actually just partially described the Le Rouge woman.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has always been maintaining Le Rouge standards as a student away from Nigeria. It’s been a struggle to oversee a number of staff every day from thousands of miles away, while maintaining good grades. When I’m in school, I work. During vacations, I was working three times harder.
Thank goodness for the style of long distance nurturing the brand got, because it continuously ran itself while I take a break. I can now regroup and focus on making the brand bigger and better.
What is fashion and style to you?
I think we all know and appreciate that fashion changes but style remains within. Those changes that occur in fashion makes the bank go round, and the innate style artistically represents who one is.
How far have you come in achieving your goals?
I am actually just starting because Le Rouge is made to be global!
What is your go-to beauty routine?
My go-to beauty routine will always and forever be drinking water and minding my business. The glow that comes with that is simply on another lever. It’s simply incomparable. It is Gold!
What genre of music is your favourite and why?
I have a very eclectic taste in music, so I tend to listen to different genres. In short, I also listen to Arabic, Spanish, Indian and French music too. For me, music is happiness and happiness is multilingual.
How do you achieve work-life balance?
Some call me crazy and I cannot come up with my own defense. I just work, work and work. It pays off, yes. But it can be unhealthy if you don’t pause and breathe. I’m just recently learning to breathe, so I haven’t achieved the balance yet.
Where is your favourite tourist location in Nigeria?
It’s not necessarily a tourist location, it’s my home town. Maiduguri will always have my heart!
What do you do for relaxation?
I have been a yogi for a while and that has kept my mind, body and sanity in check.
What are your last words for women?
Know your worth, and everything else falls in place!