Iman Ramadan is a debonair style aficionado and devoted fashion lover. Born and bred in New York City, Ramadan has an edgy yet flawless appeal to her wardrobe selection. Her subtle grace is a compliment to her style, but her versatility is what sets her apart from the “fashion bunch.”
Ramadan is the founder of The Fresh Hotel, LLC, a fashion consulting and creative direction company.
Ramadan previously blogged for Essence magazine nearly a decade ago, reporting on the latest fashion trends. She has held many roles and responsibilities before taking on The Fresh Hotel full-time, including working as a part-time stylist, print model, commercial actress and nonprofit executive in New York City. Now, she is a full-time mother, fashion enthusiast and blogger.
Ramadan intertwines her Islamic faith with her fashion brand as she writes on her blog, “Muslims Get Fresh Too!” She adds: “I couldn’t be more proud of finding my style and creative expressions while still honoring my beliefs and value systems.”
Ramadan is continually advancing the culture of fashion while extinguishing any stereotypical beliefs of Muslim women regarding fashion wear. She salutes other women who create their own style without compromising their beliefs or faith.
While Ramadan shows off her iconic and authentic style on social media, she also has a very stylish and handsome sidekick: her son. The dynamic duo can be seen on her website where she features her written pieces, the latest fashion trends and all things fresh.
Currently, Ramadan lives in Atlanta with her family and continues to creatively express her style and thoughts on The Fresh Hotel website. Rolling out interviewed her about the importance of collaborating rather than competing, successful habits and her elevation in the fashion game.
As a woman of color, what do you consider your superpower to be?
My superpower is and always has been creativity. I mean, isn’t that like an African American rite of passage or something? People pay big money for our unique ability to create. I personally pride myself on being able to present [anything] and everything that involves me with creativity. Specifically, the brainstorming process; my absolute favorite. It could be anything from song lyrics to a party idea. I’m obsessed with any and all creative processes. Now sometimes you’re limited by space, resources and time, but give me just a piece of any of the three and I’m going to make it hot, whatever it is. I can creatively direct my way out of a paper bag.
What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
First thing I would tell my younger self is to recover from failure faster. I’m a Virgo and die-hard perfectionist, so failure used to knock me down for way too long. You have to dust yourself off quickly because you’re missing out on the next blessing dwelling on what wasn’t for you. I would also tell myself what I perceived as failures were mere pivotal points in life. It’s cliché now, but the process cannot be undermined. Trust in it is the only option. Lastly, I would tell my young self to celebrate even my smallest wins. They count, too.
Why is it important for women of color to work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?
I think it’s about people of color more than just women. I recently heard an amazing story about one of the most successful Black executives ever to head a Fortune 500 company. He would take 30 minutes every single day to mentor any Black employee in the company. That was fascinating to me. It’s always important for your own representation to act in roles you one day want to see yourself in. For starters, sheer motivation. Belief in oneself. If you can do it, I can do it. If we can’t change how others see us, at the very least it helps to change how many of us see ourselves. Moreover, because we know that people in positions of power have a tendency to do for [or] cater to those whom they identify with. Nepotism, racism, favoritism all the “isms” are alive and well. If we’re not in positions of power or leadership, we cannot influence those “isms” positively. We’re at the hands of someone else’s mercy. “Do for self,” said the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
Why is it important for the more matured, seasoned and experienced Black woman to reach back and help younger women of color?
It’s the dues that should be paid. Pay it forward so the wheel keeps turning. It’s the least that should be done. Without the example, guidance and more importantly the opportunities created by path pavers many would’ve never made it. I happen to come from an entrepreneurial family. My aunt founded and runs one of the largest Black-owned nonprofit organizations in New Jersey, but many aren’t afforded that example or opportunities. It’s important to create them for each other.
How do you feel about the hashtag #CollaborationOverCompetition?
I think it’s a good start to a potential new movement. I think the days of unnecessary competitiveness are dwindling amongst African American women. I mean relatively. But I believe Black female entrepreneurs and professionals all over are catching on that we can go much further together than competing. I personally have experienced overwhelming support with The Fresh Hotel from many successful influencers and beyond. I’m proud and always happy to return the favor.
What are your thoughts on taking risks and making mistakes?
My thoughts are they suck but are unavoidable. I hate mistakes. But there is no success without a flat tire, gas light, red light, speeding ticket, wrong turn or all-out car crash. Trying to avoid them means you never put the gear in drive. Parked is worse than any of them combined. The same goes for risks; I hate them as well. I’m not a gambler, and I love to play it safe, but ultimately more risks must be taken in order to reach higher.
What are three success habits you implement into your daily routine to maintain your success, sanity, and peace of mind?
More like everyday goals than habits, but I work on them every day. Some days are better than others. 1. patience; 2. perseverance; and 3. prayer. I hope to master them with consistency before I die.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
My mother. She’s an amazing woman. Her lessons were priceless. She’s my biggest critic yet biggest cheerleader. I live to make her proud.
Visit Iman Ramadan’s blog site at, www.thefreshhotel.com
Instagram – @TheFreshHotel
Facebook – @TheFreshHotel