This week, we have the founder of local swimwear label K.BLU, Lyn Rosmarin to talk about her experience as a womanpreneur, the importance of mental wellness and how despite achieving success, entrepreneurship is an ongoing journey that involves a lot of hard work in the dirt, mental fortitude — and can also be lonely.
1. What’s your story?
Growing up, my family owned a small provision shop and I used to carry sacks of rice and deliver groceries to my estate. Later on, I was lucky to be offered a job in France at a parfumerie and there, thanks to the owner, I got to do business school there.
After I graduated, I became a banker in capital markets and I was sailing a lot at that time to relieve the stress that I was experiencing from working in banking. In 2013, I started K.BLU as I felt there was a gap, given I couldn’t find the right swimwear for my body type. It made me want to create my own swimwear.
2. Why did you start K.BLU?
I wanted affordable luxury swimwear that could fit my body type, and modest style. I studied business school in France and always adored the beautiful swimmers and their matching outfits at the beach. When I came back to Singapore, I always felt that there was a lack of options and varieties for my body type. I felt that I could make a difference to women who want to look and feel good in swimwear.
K represents the first initial of my child and blu comes from the show le grande bleu by luc besson. It was a very famous free diving show set in Corsica.
3. How did you start the business?
I took a sabbatical year from work and started the company. I worked out of a home atelier, attended a trade show, hired a brand consultant to plan my business model for K.BLU.
4. What is one challenge no one knows about when you first launched your business?
I was never fashion trained, but with Pinterest and freelance designers, we were able to put the designs on the clothing. Our prints are all designed in-house. Also when I was starting out, it was hard to find factories that would take orders for small orders. I literally have to beg them in their offices to get them to work on samples for me.
5. Describe what K.BLU stands for. What kind of women buy K.BLU?
Mostly working mummies and women with a strong sense of self. Some examples of women who wear K.BLU are Michelle Hon @thechillmom and Morgan Alexandra who does marketing work at Facebook.
6. Outline your typical work day at K.BLU
Team discussions, design, digital marketing and customer services de-brief sum up my typical work day at K.BLU.
7. Oftentimes being an entrepreneur requires mental fortitude to forge a new path and face uncertainties. What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Mental wellness is so important. As an entrepreneur, there’s many ups and downs. It’s also a very lonely path.
We have partnered with Singapore Association of Mental Health during the month of Mental Wellness and held 2 webinar series on art therapy for our K.BLU community. Our outreach were for mummies, graduating students and domestic helpers. We think these ladies need a lot of counselling and help.
8. What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
Being able to control my passion and have accountability. As an entrepreneur, I like that I can always stand up for what I believe in.
9. What can our readers look forward to from K.BLU?
We started doing more resort and athleisure wear, in addition to swimwear, and it’s something we’d like to explore further in the coming years.
We are also focusing a lot on our CSR during this Covid and giving back to our community. We champion for mental wellness and ocean literacy and clean up.
10. What is one advice you would give to budding local women entrepreneurs today?
There’s never a right time to start a business, you just need to research a lot and be prepared to do a lot of dirty work. I also tell my team: when the boat is small, we can steer more easily and quickly than bigger vessels. We have to work hard, be nimble and turn around strategies fast.
Jolene lives for avo toasts, yoga and is a little more OCD than she cares to admit. She never fails to start her day with morning coffee and is very partial to flat whites. She is obsessed with interiors and homeware, and is currently taking her RYT 200h yoga teacher training course as an aspiring ashtangi.