When I was little I knew I wanted to help others in some way. I didn't know exactly how I was going to do it, but it was something I felt very strongly about.
I recall going for a bike ride with my friend, Tiiu, and we were probably 11 or 12. As we biked along Lakeshore Road in Burlington, Ontario, we cam across a seagull whose wing had been damaged. He was limping and looked like he was struggling. We panicked and hopped off our bikes to approach the bird. He allowed us to pick him up, as we spoke softly and were gentle with him. Tiiu wrapped her coat around the bird and we abandoned our bikes and walked back to my house.
We weren't ale to do much for his wing, but we fed that seagull and kept him warm for a day or two. Now that I look back on it, we laughed and decided we should call our new business "Kiki's Seagull Saving Service."
Life is so fascinating; who knew I would own and operate my own athleisure company, whose mission was to help other women?
I went to University to become a teacher, and taught junior high for 15 years before leaving in 2010. I didn't want to quite teaching, but I am headstrong, and when my admin told me he didn't support my teaching half time so I could focus on having a family.
Teaching was supposed to be my purpose, my passion. And for a long time it was. But I had no clue what I was going to do with my life or how I could possibly make a difference if I was no longer teaching. Who was I, and what would define me now?
Smoothies Tank Tops came about by chance, really. When I think about it, I have been wearing tank tops for over 40 years. I never wear them on their own (I have never been comfortable with my arms showing, even when I was half my weight) but I wear them as a layer, underneath a flannel shirt or some other top. When we were driving to our summer vacation place, my tank was riding up. I hated it. It was making me so annoyed, and I imagined my drawer at home with around 30 tank tops I hated. They all rode up, were see through, felt itchy, and they fell apart after a few months, if I'm honest.
The wheels in my head spun as I pictured the millions of women in North America who also wore tanks and had to yank them down CONSTANTLY. If it bothered me, it had to bother them! We are busy people, right? We reach, bend, stretch, carry etc. and who the hell needs their tops to be riding up, showing our goodies up top and revealing our booty?
I just wanted something comfortable and felt like it was keeping my sh*t together, you know?
I knew nothing about the fashion industry, but I figured I could combine: COMFORT, CONFIDENCE and CONVENIENCE into a tank top that outperformed everything else on the market (at the very least)
Yes. THIS was how I would begin the mission to connect women in our quest for comfortable clothing that fit and functioned in ways that women needed.
Bridging the gap between women instead of exacerbating the competing and comparing was something I wanted to try to do; let's design clothing that fits and flatters all figures, so no one is left out. Let's create a community of women who can celebrate one another, connect through their stories and be more compassionate towards each other.
These things don't come easily to women, because society has expected us to fight with each other for so long, it's customary to put another woman down for just about any reason at all.
So I created a safe Facebook group for women called "Confidence Connection" and we talk about everything but politics and religion. We can chat about the things that piss us off, what warms our hearts, and what we need to heal in our hearts as only women can understand. Join our group if you'd like; our connection as women is bound by the experiences only women can understand.
Sending love your way,