Happy Friday! As we all attempt to navigate this new way of living that involves quarantining, social-distancing and self-isolation, it is important to remember that nothing is permanent. While it can be easy to think of the present moment as ‘downtime’, I recommend using this period to be productive and get ahead of your goals; whatever that means for you.
No one understands the importance of using their time wisely better than Nancy Vong, founder of Escape Swimwear. Nancy is the perfect example of manifesting your dreams while living in the present moment. Get ready to feel inspired... it’s time for this week’s virtual chat. We hope you enjoy it!
Morning Nancy! Let’s start at the beginning: how did you get started in the fashion industry?
I am a post-bachelor business student. I have always been interested in being a business woman, and specifically working in a corporate environment. After finishing my 5 year degree, I realised I didn’t want to work for somebody else; I wanted to build something on my own. So, I gained experience in a corporate environment whilst building Escape Swimwear as a side hustle...My side hustle took less than one year to become my full time business.
Wow! That is seriously impressive! So why swimwear specifically?
I started Escape Swimwear because I wanted to jump into e-commerce. I felt that there was an opportunity to inspire a community of women to achieve body positivity and confidence through fashion, so swimwear just made sense! I also looked around the market and realised that there wasn’t much great quality swimwear at decent prices. I knew that I would be able to enter the market with a great price point, great quality pieces and plenty of creativity to make our pieces stand out.
That confidence is so important when starting up a business! Would you say that you consider sensitive skin throughout the process of selecting the fabrics and materials for the swimwear?
We definitely consider all types of materials and the fact that everyone’s skin is different. Depending on any allergies or sensitivities you might have, certain materials feel nicer. Ultimately, we use a mix of materials, but we stand by our excellent quality.
"The best part of my job is being able to inspire other women to chase their dreams, whilst seeing my team excel everyday and building the brand to achieve its utmost potential."
That’s great! So, what’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is being able to inspire other women to chase their dreams, whilst seeing my team excel everyday and building the brand to achieve its utmost potential.
How wonderful! Why do you think people are more conscious of the fabrics in their clothing nowadays?
I think that everyday that passes we are becoming more environmentally-conscious; this is something you must consider from a business perspective. That’s why I cannot wait to come out with an eco-friendly collection!
And I can’t wait to shop it! Ok, so what is your absolute favourite piece that you have ever created?
Impossible to pick...All of the pieces are my favourite!
It’s like picking children, right? And what were your biggest challenges in starting up Escape Swimwear?
The biggest challenges came right at the beginning. I would look at the saturated market and easily become discouraged. However, I’ve learned that every market is saturated; it is up to you how you stand out for your customers.
That is so true! So, what makes Escape Swimwear stand out?
Escape Swimwear stands out because we are a community that welcomes everybody; EVERY BODY IS A BIKINI BODY. We include everybody, and our swimwear pieces are to die for. We have collections that range from simple styles to designs that are too-hot-to-swim-in!
I love that! What inspires you?
I am inspired by books, podcasts, lifestyle bloggers, influencers, and celebrities. Everything around me inspires me, including my family and friends. I only want to surround myself with those who bring out the best version of me and inspire me to be at a higher level of consciousness.
That is such an important lesson to learn as an adult! So could you describe your average day?
My average day consists of waking up, replying to emails, checking my schedule for the day, building and reviewing analytics, talking to the team (all in different timezones), updating anything that needs to be updated from the website or socials, and following up with the team.
"When you choose to chase the work you love, it never feels like work."
And do you think you have a work/life balance?
Most of the time it’s 80% work. When you build a company, you eat, sleep, and breathe it. You think about it 99% of the time and are obsessed with it. That’s how I feel, and when you choose to chase the work you love, it never feels like work.
I am in complete agreement. When you discover that feeling, that passion- it’s unlike anything else! Right, what words do you live by?
“Your opinion doesn’t cut me a cheque!” It’s true, because I used to be so insecure, and care so much about what everyone thought of me. One day, I realised that if it doesn’t better me, make me happy or make me money, who cares? Keep doing you, and stay in your own lane!
Preach! What’s next for Escape Swimwear?
The business is constantly growing and I hope our customers will reach a new level of confidence in 2020. We plan to execute several collections, embrace body positivity even further and expand our socials with new ideas, creations and people.