[Part 2] Celebrating Women in Leadership: A Chat With Beckie
Our next woman leader feature is Beckie, the founder of Haikini, a stylish and functional swimwear brand!
We love brands that are socially and environmentally conscious and Haikini is just that and more. Their Haikinis are hand-made in small batches by a production house in Bali that Beckie independently sourced for. This enables Haikini to reduce upfront costs, minimise textile waste and ensure the Haikini production team is being paid fair wages.
Haikini also reduces packaging waste by using their remaining fabrics as pouches for their swimwear and we think that’s pretty neat. You can read more about their production process here or head over to their Instagram to see more behind-the-scenes stories.
Image credit: Haikini
Hi Beckie! Could you tell us a little about you and your brand?
My name is Beckie and I’m the founder of Haikini, which is a surf-inspired lifestyle brand that provides cute swimwear that does not slip when doing activities such as surfing, swimming, beach volleyball… and even pole-dancing!
I started Haikini back in my 3rd year of university because I fell in love with surfing but could not find any functional swimwear that also stayed on my body. I figured that there must be lots of other women experiencing the same problems, so I set out to create that solution for them.
The Haikini brand is also more than just about the swimwear as we host surf camps for our community. It’s like helping them reconnect with themselves and with nature, which is something that every city-dweller needs once in a while.
This year’s IWD theme is Women in Leadership. How does this theme relate to you and your brand?
It could not relate more! As a female founder, it is my duty to make sure that all our products and content under the Haikini name empowers our audiences.
A lot of up-and-coming brands, usually women-led, are doing an amazing job in diversifying the meaning and perception of “beauty”, how women are portrayed in the media and overall, just undoing the damage of years and years of accepting the “male gaze”, which is a sexualised way of looking that empowers men and objectifies women.
For Haikini and for many other small brands alike, when you have women in leadership, we are the ones setting out to change that and create spaces where everybody can accept and express themselves freely and to love the body that they are in.
Our campaign theme is Confidence. In what ways can you relate your brand, products and customers to the theme?
Our goal from the start was to create swimwear that makes women feel confident to do things in and not to just lay in. There’s confidence in the fact that the bikini won’t slip when you wipeout during surfing, or any activity you are wearing Haikinis for.
Since the beginning, we’ve been actively putting in the work to instill self-confidence in every woman in their surf journey and any other pursuits through our community, the “Haikini Seasterhood”.
Image credit: Haikini
Pre-covid times, we would get together to go on surf trips and host surf camps for girls wanting to learn how to surf. To be immersed in nature, to actually ride waves in the ocean, I know these trips have been monumental and even life-changing for so many of our customers as they started to have confidence in themselves to chase the unknown.
To be honest, running Haikini has done a lot for me personally when it comes to confidence as well. There are many days I don’t feel confident enough to take my brand to the next level, but when our customers send us encouraging messages and tell us how much they love their swimsuits, it gives me a much-needed confident boost to continue growing Haikini!
Share about why you would like to advocate for this year’s IWD 2021 theme!
I want to advocate this year’s IWD 2021 theme of “Choose to Challenge” because being a woman doesn’t make you weaker or less capable. I choose to challenge gendered assumptions, unlearn and undo the stereotypes that were being fed to us since we were kids.
When we lift women up, the impact is significantly greater than just empowering the individual, because empowered women empower communities. I hope that in my lifetime, we can experience gender parity.
Image credit: Haikini, Cheyenne Meeske
Do you have any personal experiences to share with regard to being a woman leader?
Yes! Growing up, I was always surrounded by strong women- my mother, my teachers, my first boss, so I never thought that being a woman put me at a disadvantage when it came to entrepreneurship and leadership.
In surfing though, it can get intimidating when I am the only woman out there in a male-dominated line-up. I know sometimes they don’t think I am as good as them, and I have gotten my waves “stolen” too many times because the guy thought that I couldn’t catch it when in fact I did.
When that happens, I usually speak up for myself and it is fine. It is a good thing that through the brand, more girls got into surfing! I know that in the future, the proportion of men and women in surfing will be more balanced.
Image credit: Haikini, Matt Power
What advice can you give to women out there that are aspiring to be leaders in their fields?
Surround yourself with other women who are leaders too! In entrepreneurship it can get very tough and lonely, so it’s incredible when you have a few people you can always reach out to for help vice versa. I have 2 very close friends who are also business owners, and we all help each other out by giving suggestions, sharing business contacts and taking content for social media.
You don’t always have to be a solo-preneur! Try joining women entrepreneurship groups on Facebook and start by providing value to others first and putting yourself out there, there’s more power to groups!
What do you hope to achieve through the IWD 2021 campaign with Weavve?
It’ll be the first time that Haikini is part of a campaign for International Women’s Day, so our goal is to connect with more women, understand their journey and to be inspired by all of them. With an open heart and mind, we want to learn how we can, as a brand, do more for women’s equality, and celebrate all our achievements no matter how big or small it is.
Thank you so much for joining us!
Check out our next chat with Elaine, the founder of Enya, here where she shares about trusting yourself and making conscious decisions about the brands we use in our daily lives
Or check out our first interview in this #IWD2021 series with Adelia about her entrepreneurship journey and building self-confidence here
Weavve Home will be collaborating with the E-Magna community comprising of NUS alumni keen on innovation and entrepreneurship on projects that support the development of women in the textile industry, and that contribute to sustainable goals where technology can be applied to create value for others.