From Law School graduate to Fashion Creative, we sat down with Zahra Gourrami for all things business, inspiration and overcoming challenges. Recently launching FIT BEAUT, her much-anticipated luxury fitness line for women, the brand is here to empower and support ladies. After spending 3 years as a trainee solicitor, the career change came as no surprise for Gourrami. FIT BEAUT had been her vision for a long time, with the goal of building a community for women through health and fitness.
1. Hi, Zahra can you please tell us a bit about yourself and your new business venture?
‘Hi! I’m a 26-year-old female born and raised in Hackney. I have recently launched my activewear line FIT BEAUT with the aim to empower women through fitness and beyond. FIT BEAUT is for every woman who has been told “no” but kept on going. Women who create their own opportunities. Women who defy the odds and refuse to let society dictate what they can and can’t do.’
2. Where did you get the inspiration to start FIT BEAUT?
‘The gym was my outlet when I was in a dark place in life. Around that time is when I created FIT BEAUT, originally as a fitness and lifestyle blog to express myself, almost like a personal journal. In 2014, my weight began to fluctuate and I found myself altering my own gym wear and that’s when the idea came to mind. I began making and wearing my own leggings and sports bras to train at the gym. Essentially, I channelled my stress into fitness which eventually lead to the launch of my activewear line.’
3. Did you have any experience in the fashion industry before launching FIT BEAUT?
‘The majority has actually been self-taught. I completed a Vogue short course in Fashion Management which has helped, along with plenty of reading and Youtube videos. In my opinion, what I lack in experience I make up with passion - I’ve always had a deep love for fashion and fitness.’
4. What has been the biggest challenge you've faced for FIT BEAUT, and how did you overcome it?
‘My biggest challenge by far has been dealing with manufacturers. I have worked with manufacturers in the past who simply didn’t deliver the standard I expected and others whose MOQ’s were just too high for a startup business like mine. It has definitely been trial and error but the process has taught me some valuable lessons.’
5. What motivates you?
‘Seeing the fruits of my labour is a big motivator, it keeps me driven. I also have big dreams for myself, my family and my community. Coming from a place like Hackney is an eye-opener, it teaches you how to weather the storm until the sun shines. You can either use your environment or situation as an excuse or as a motivator, I’ve chosen the latter.’
6. What do you think is the most rewarding part of working for yourself?
‘Seeing my vision slowly come to life, being able to measure my progress in terms that matter to me and really and truly knowing if I put in the work the sky's the limit.’
7. Which platforms have you used and found most successful leading to the launch of FIT BEAUT?
‘Social media, in particular Instagram, has been a great platform to build brand awareness and create a buzz leading up to the launch. I also used and would recommend Mailchimp, Google and Snapchat ads. I used mailchimp to build FIT BEAUT’s mailing list and Google and Snapchat ads to target specific demographics.’
8. What were you doing before FIT BEAUT?
‘I graduated in Law and was a trainee solicitor for some time when I realised I no longer have the passion for it. At the time I wasn’t ready to part with the stability a 9-5 offered, so I applied for various admin roles which happened to be in the interior design/ architecture industry. Hence, in the space of a few years, I have been a trainee solicitor, office manager and executive assistant.’
9. How did you find the transition from law to working in fashion?
‘It’s been an interesting journey to say the least. I have always had a love for fashion and I have seen how much my personal style has evolved over the years the more confident I have become. The adjustment from law to fashion was fairly easy in the sense that it’s always been a love of mine; however, the transition from being an employee to owning a business has come with its challenges.’
10. What advice can you give someone who wants to launch their own fashion Brand?
‘First and foremost, believe in yourself and your vision. If you don't, don’t expect anyone else to. Have a solid team around you who keep it real. Start small with limited pieces / quantities and grow from there. Be prepared to make mistakes, it’s all part of the process. Oh and caffeine, loads of it.’
Since launching FIT BEAUT has already sold out items from its first capsule collection being a hit with customers from all around the world. To check out the collection head over to @thefitbeaut - the new website lands at the end of this month Sunday 29th March 2020.
Words by @_iamrosaaa