Today we’d like to introduce you to Faiza Rahman.
Hi Faiza, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I am a first-generation Bengali-Muslim American, born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. The idea of Fresh by Fai quite honestly came on a whim, but everything leading up to its execution was already embedded in my mind. From developing an interest in wearable artistic expressions from a young age, having entrepreneurial ventures at just about every stage in my life, learning about the importance of hospitality through being a part of the coordinating industry, to understanding what was expected of me from a cultural standpoint, I’ve been able to brew together these experiences to bring together an extension of who I am as an individual – to life.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Definitely not. There were and still are many sacrifices that I’ve had to make throughout my transition to adulthood. One of the most humbling experiences that I’ve had to face was coming to terms with the fact that I’d be living at home while pursuing my higher education. All I wanted was to move away for college and into the city. California State University, Northridge has been my neighbor since I popped out of the womb and it was the last place that I wanted to go to school. To my luck, it was one out of the dozen universities that I had applied to that actually accepted me. I was forced to shift my mindset and be okay with the undesired outcome that I had prayed not to be in. Going to college was a huge reality check. In high school, I didn’t truly care about my grades or succeeding academically. I did however firmly believe that my intellect was not a direct representation of the scores or ranks which were given to me. I was more focused on progressing my knowledge on what I actually cared about and real-world issues rather than wasting brain space on the things that were not (sorry Mr. Lee).
Nevertheless, when I realized that I had to put on my big girl pants for college, being a first-generation higher education student, I naturally put effort into the act of “trying.” It was made clear to me from the jump that a lot of people in college weren’t actually trying. By doing the exact opposite, I would then stand out and seem like I was some genius when in reality, I was just doing the bare minimum – in NOT ALL, but many cases. Besides the fact that I started doing well academically in school, I started to see how the compromise of going to CSUN was slowly but surely paying off. With all the funds that I’ve been able to save by staying at home as well as on tuition, making financial investments have transpired to be something that I’m comfortable doing. I strongly feel that everything happens for a reason and that monumental sacrifices will take us a long way. Discomfort is prevalent but very necessary to grow.
I am privileged to have been able to start a successful small business, that I hope will continue to blossom, at just 19 years old. The thing is that it’s taken so much hard work, effort, and mental strength. I didn’t inherit my business and still don’t have employees or assistants aiding me with what I do. I’m a one-woman-band who takes a lot of pride in allowing people to feel more confident in their skin or “put together,” as well as bringing their visions to life. Juggling creating dozens of custom nail orders that have to be delivered by a certain timeframe while being an active member of my business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi and tutoring for Business Honors Program requirements, all while maintaining straight A’s within my usual 15-unit semesters is a LOT. Catches breath. I do however get it all done, reminding myself that the struggle is just part of the process and that I will overcome and succeed.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I create custom, handcrafted press-on nails! I am self-taught and actually learned how to work with gel polishes just last summer (2020). Because I don’t have an office or factory of any sort, I’ve been operating out of a corner of my 20×20 foot bedroom. While I don’t specialize in one particular style or nail aesthetic, I am able to recreate my client’s visions to a T. Press-ons have their many advantages, but the fact that they are reusable, wearable pieces of art is what makes them so special to me. I know that with all the time, effort, and energy I put into each one of my client’s sets, taking 1 to upwards of 7 hours to create, they’ll be worn every time with love and adoration. Something else I do as a hobby is photography! As busy as I am, I still enjoy taking time to schedule shoots with people and collaborating with local brands and artists.
So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
Social media exposure is huge for my brand. Simply reposting or sharing my page and/or its content means the world. I feel truly honored when stylists and models choose me to create nails for their specific creative visions. Being recognized when the outcome is shared, regardless of who has their Fresh by Fai set on, fills me with so much love and joy!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://freshbyfai.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/freshbyfai/
- Other: https://linktr.ee/fabfaiza
Personal Photo taken by Suhana Rahman.