Fatou Cham Jallow is a young Gambian woman in the USA, who has a strong passion for fashion, makeup and beauty. Recently, she started the first cosmetics/makeup line owned by a Gambian.
In this interview, Fatou tells What's On-Gambia how she started her business, what she loves most about makeup, and among other things:
What’s On-Gambia: Please introduce yourself.
Fatou:First of all thank you for giving me the opportunity. My name is Fatou Cham Jallow. I was born and raised in The Gambia, and moved to the USA at the age of 17 to further my education. I am married and I have two lovely boys.
How did you start your company, Fabs Fashion Cosmetics?
I wanted to be an entrepreneur and I always wanted to have something of my own to make The Gambia proud and African as well. One night as I was laying on my bed thinking, it just came up and I was thinking about cosmetics. I was like I have never seen a Gambian having their own line of cosmetics, shoes, clothes or anything fashionable, maybe somebody those but I don’t know about it. That’s when I started doing my research, contacting the labs and packaging companies. They started sending me samples. With the help of God, my husband, my parents, my sister-in-law, my sibling, and my friends I got everything together.
What were you doing before you got into makeup?
I was in the fashion business. I had an online boutique. I was selling handbags, shoes, cloths and jewelries, and also my husband has an African grocery store so we worked together and we still working together.
What do you think makes Fabs different?
One thing that makes Fabs different from other cosmetics companies is Fabs is a small company that is trying to get what people lack in the cosmetic industry and Fabs is trying to get more products for black people.
How many employees do you have?
For now I don’t have any employees because am just starting but I have my husband who is always there, my sister-in-law, my siblings and my friends they are always helping and very supportive.
What types of beauty products do you sell?
I carry everything a cosmetic company has to offer. I have a wide variety of products from eye shadows to powders, foundation, face primers, brushes to eye lashes, glitter to glosses, face cream, lotions, makeup removers ,lipsticks, mascara, cleanse, face removers and much more.
What current make-up trend would you like to see disappear in The Gambia?
(Laughs) Do you want to put me in trouble… anyway some of the ladies apply powder or foundation that are not their skin color - it make their faces look either white or darker.
How can Gambians, back home, order your products?
The products will be in Gambia in few months time. I’m trying to contact the fashion shop owners to carry my products in their stores. So if anybody wants to carry Fabs Fashions Cosmetics in their stores, let them feel free and contact me. I am open to everybody this is for The Gambia and as far as you want to work am willing to work with you.
Honestly, do Gambian women look better with makeup?
Yes, we look very pretty with makeup it enhances their beauty.
Do you have any make up tips for them?
Yes, when using a powder or foundation use your skin color and also you can use your foundation as you eyebrows concealer.
Are Gambian girls beautiful?
Of course Gambian girls are exceptionally beautiful.
What are the future plans for Fabs?
Am planning on launching the cosmetic line in The Gambia this coming December insallah. After the launching I will be working on selling the products all over Africa. Also watch out there are more fashion lines to come in the futureinsallah.
Anything else you want to add…
Lots of people ask were the name FABS comes from…I get the name Fabs from my name and my husband’s name. Two letters from my name and two letters from his name.
I would like to say a big thanks to my husband, parents, sibling, and sister-in-law and friends for the support and always believing in me. And for the Gambia, please support you own! I pray and hope that this cosmetic line grows bigger than I expect.
Thanks for the opportunity what’s on Gambia, bravo to you.