Muscat: Twenty-two-year-old Ahswaq Al Shaqsi is an Omani fashion designer and a certified makeup artist, but one not to be messed with.
Even before she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Modern College of Business and Science in Muscat, she was a Taekwondo practitioner, a sports enthusiast, a professional baker, a party planner, a certified makeup artist and an IOSH-certified HSE officer. Now, as life takes her forward, she is also the owner of her own boutique and ready for even bigger challenges.
“While I was about to graduate, I also wanted to have my own business. However, with so much going on in life, there was a lot of pressure and I realised I had to prioritise. So I stuck to pursuing my graduation studies but held on to the dream of owning a boutique.” When she finally graduated, she also had her boutique ‘AC Line’ up and running but that didn’t come before she had to make some difficult choices.
“I am a very social person and love hanging out with friends and travelling. However, I had to cut that down significantly because I wanted to make sure I do things right. I also stopped practising Taekwondo for a couple of months because it required about two hours of my time daily.
“I am someone who doesn’t like free time, which is like doing nothing; it’s not in my list, especially right now.”Al Shaqsi, although very soft spoken with a feminine personality, is into martial arts and loves sports. “I am really into sports, I love Taekwondo and swimming. I used to play badminton in my high school days. Sports has nothing to do with one’s feminism, but you can be a feminist and also into sports. “For me, I just like trying out new things, and once I try out something and like it, I have to
keep doing it.”
The fashion boutique came with Al Shaqsi’s interest in makeup and clothing. “I love makeup, jewellery and clothes and before knew before even my graduation that I wanted to have my own boutique. Although I had to drastically cut down on social life, but I knew it would be worth it in the end if I put in a lot of effort and hard work.“To compensate for it all, I got my family and friends also involved in the boutique project. They contributed in their free time and thus, we made my boutique a hangout spot.”
Her family and friends gave her enormous support, helping her set up the boutique. However, Al Shaqsi thinks it was her inner self which gave her the biggest power and motivation. “I see myself as my biggest support, because at a stage when I thought I couldn’t do it, I kept giving myself positive messages. The only negative message was ‘Ashwaq, you are only 22, so why are you doing this to yourself?’ and then it was like, ‘you are only 22, nobody does this when they are 22.’ I kept telling this to myself and motivated myself.”
Al Shaqsi seeks support for SMEs like hers. “I am an SME and we need a lot of backing when it comes to financial support or just motivation. Good advice and nice things said to us really inspire.”