Alisha Saint-Ciel The Enterprise, Brockton, Mass.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Fatima Teixeira launched FOFA Apparel during the pandemic. Teixeira envisioned FOFA during her undergraduate studies, but it didn't come to fruition until after graduation.
From her college dormitory, Fatima Teixeira started FOFA Apparel.
She gazed into a beautiful dream of becoming a successful businessperson with a company that makes women of all types feel confident and sophisticated in the clothing they wear.
A once-distant college dream has become a post-graduate goal that's been crossed off the list for the young entrepreneur.
The COVID-19 pandemic allowed Teixeira, 25, some leeway from duties at work and more free time to think about where she wanted to be 10 years from now. Teixeira is a Brockton resident and graduated from Bridgewater State University in May 2018, earning a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
"I started to rethink my goals and what I wanted to do with my life," she said. "Where I was at that moment was not where I wanted to stay. I was getting too comfortable. I wanted to do something I enjoyed doing and I wanted to create something that makes women feel comfortable and beautiful."
FOFA Apparel was born during the pandemic. Teixeira envisioned FOFA during her undergraduate studies, but it didn't come to fruition until after graduation.
Teixeira sat quietly at her desk, scouting social media to create a mental lookbook of different styles to offer.
"I watched tons of YouTube videos of girls who opened their clothing line, read articles, learned how to create a business plan and how to obtain an LLC. Once I thought I had a good plan, I launched March 1, 2021, my birthday month," Teixeira said.
The Black-owned business brings an array of different styles, from body-hugging two-piece sets to dresses for all occasions and tops that will spice up any outfit.
Teixeira spent hours researching different wholesale vendors and buying samples. She also wore the outfits several times to assure the customer received a high-quality item.
Once the test trial was over, Teixeira ordered the items she loved in bulk and began shooting to bring the content to a live website.
"Your clothes are an expression of who you are. Your clothes are basically your identity," said Barbara Francois-Pires, 31, a stylist for FOFA Apparel.
"When someone sees you for the first time, they judge you by your appearance. Clothing and the way we look is the first impression to the world."
For Teixeira, owning a clothing brand has become a dream come true, especially since she is a migrant from Cape Verde. Teixeira remembers watching her mother work three jobs to provide a life where she had the ability to follow her own dreams and become an entrepreneur, she said.
"I came to American at 14 years old, and I'm getting closer to the American dream, but it's different for everyone," Teixeira said. "My version of the American dream is becoming a successful business owner and inspiring other women to become successful business owners on their own."
In Cape Verdean Creole, FOFA describes a woman as soft, beautiful and hyper-feminine. The Creole meaning behind FOFA is the perfect example to capture her business, Teixeira said.
The Brockton entrepreneur said she encountered several difficulties along the way in creating her business from the ground up but kept her head up and moved forward.
Teixeira works a full-time job at a law firm while building FOFA in her spare time. Having two jobs has been challenging, but worth it, she said.
"I want to influence the younger generations of migrants and create a step-by-step instruction guide for them to follow their own footsteps instead of having to learn on their own as I did. Everything I did was me navigating and paving my own way," Teixeira said.
FOFA Apparel, in the future, plans to expand into a business with multiple services to uplift women in the community and bring awareness to entrepreneurship.
"If I can make it easier for people who have the same story as me, then that's what I want to do and will do," Teixeira said.
___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.