When it comes to swimwear, the words ‘sun safe’ and ‘stylish’ don’t exactly go together – until now, that is! haven spoke to Alyshia Morris, the mum behind the up and coming swimwear brand, Shade Swim, about business, balance and everything in between.
What was your inspiration to start your own business?
Shade Swim only came about in January last year. After years of searching, I couldn’t find a swimsuit that I felt confident in and that was also sun safe. So I said to myself, ‘I’m going to make one’. Being diagnosed with two stage 1 melanomas – which were successfully removed – was also a huge push for me to think about sun safety, and really inspired me to create Shade Swim. I also want to show real, everyday women that no matter what body shape or size you are, you can look stylish and feel confident in a swimsuit and be a sun-safe role model to younger generations. Finally, I wanted something that I could call ‘mine’. Something that I built from the ground up and to show my children that you can do whatever you set your mind to.
When did you know the timing was ‘right’?
I don’t think there is ever a right time – only you know when the time is right. For me, I felt like it was now or never. I wanted to have my swimwear launched by the 2018/19 summer season, so had to hit the ground running.
How did you make your big break?
Initially when I started Shade Swim, I thought I could do everything myself. How wrong I was! I learnt very quickly that while I was very good at some things, other things were just beyond my skill level. So, I outsourced where needed and have a great team of ladies in different areas behind-the-scenes working their magic to help me get my brand known to the public.
What was your training prior to starting your own business?
I have a lot of life skills and through my previous jobs have learnt to adapt to new situations. I learn very quickly on the job and am a visual, hands-on learner. I do not have a business or fashion design background. I am a beauty therapist by trade and have had numerous roles throughout my life – a medical secretary, flight attendant, mum, wife… the list goes on. I have researched, read and learnt so much along the way and when I need help or don’t understand something, I always ask. There is never a dumb question.
What are the biggest challenges of being a mum and a businesswoman?
Trying to find enough hours in the day to fit everything in! The mum guilt is massive for me and I am still learning how to juggle it all. I have learnt to let go a little and that it’s ok that my kids might have spaghetti on toast or cereal for dinner every now and then when I have emails to answer or work to do. They know I am here for them and that I love them, and they are happy, loved, clean and fed!
What do you do in your spare time to keep yourself sane?
I get an hour in the morning from 5.30 to 6.30am, so I usually go to Pilates, walk or the gym. It really is a love-hate battle at times though. I love how I feel afterwards, but some days when I have worked late into the evening and then have to get up early it is exhausting. But it’s what keeps me sane and gets the good endorphins running for the busy day ahead.
What is your top tip for maintaining a work/life balance?
Take every day as it comes. Some days you’ll nail it, other days you’ll fail – but every day is a new day to start again.
What is your biggest learning since starting your own business?
You will make mistakes, without a doubt – just learn from them. And always ask questions!
What’s one thing other mums should do who are looking to start their own business?
Don’t be afraid, just do it! You don’t know if you don’t try and its better knowing you tried and had a go then wonder what if I had in years to come. It will be hard, don’t get me wrong, but we are all strong woman who multitask on a daily basis. Do your research and reach out for help when needed.
WIN // Want to win a Shade Swim swimsuit? We have one swimsuit to give away – in your choice of colour and size (depending on availability), valued at $229. Simply enter below to go into the draw to win! Competition closes Thursday February 28 and only the winner will be notified. Good luck!
This competition has now closed.