by Ahna Hendrix, CEO and Founder of Anahata Swimwear
I didn't decide to improve and fix the swimwear industry because of my love for swimwear or a burning desire to join fashion retail.
The impetus for saying yes and risking everything happened when I realized that the brand could share my body’s story - the story of so many women. It could be a voice to encourage women to find their freedom, a path to help them rediscover how absolutely BEAUTIFUL they are, and offer a helping hand to impoverished women (a longtime dream of mine).
My burning desire is to show women that when we invest in ourselves, the world benefits. As ladies, we aren’t taught that, we don’t see it modeled, and we have no idea how to cultivate it.
But at Anahata Swimwear we’re removing the blinders one by one - and funny enough, it’s all through swimwear.
However, the personal journey here wasn't easy.
From a young age, I was taught that there is something wrong with my body.
Maybe you can relate to some of these memories?
Boys on my soccer team made fun of my thighs for being larger than theirs.
In the 8th grade I was put on a fruit only diet!
Friends overlooked me when it came to sleepovers because we couldn’t trade clothes.
Pointing out clothes I loved in a department store only to be told I needed to lose weight first.
I wasn’t "fat." My curvy Spanish heritage endowed hips at a young age and as I grew older my body’s shame and the pain surrounding a parental divorce led to a fluffier body. At least, that’s what I called it.
By high school, I began hiding my body and covered my exterior self in a shell of protection. One that radiated confidence to deflect the hurtful comments.
That shell stayed with me into adulthood.
In my late 20’s, I scheduled a meeting with a millionaire who was interested in supporting my nonprofit. Instead of showing up with my outlined plan, I canceled the appointment because I was ashamed of my body. I thought he would see me and decide I wasn’t good enough.
Because I thought I wasn’t good enough.
A lifetime of unfounded self-loathing led to countless missed events or fun outdoor activities because I was too embarrassed about my body or too sensitive to risk something mean being said about it, about me.
I lived in a prison called a body. And I was a prisoner to shame.
But on my 33rd birthday while lying in bed sick from Celiac’s (my newly discovered auto-immune disease) I decided to fight for my freedom.
I made a declaration to care for myself,
to heal my broken heart,
to fill my body with enriching foods,
to discover new ways to exercise,
and to make my spiritual life the cornerstone of who I am.
My life was reborn as I fell in love with myself and learned that my value isn’t tied to my physical body.
I came to see and live what I preach now - Women who love and accept themselves are completely unstoppable.
That magical decision inspired the idea for Anahata Swimwear over two years ago after yet another demeaning day of swimsuit shopping.
There I was, in the best shape of my adult life, yet everything I put on looked as terrible as it always had. It was the same experience - digging through racks of unorganized suits. Carnival mirrors and terrible lighting. And the same thing with the fit - designed by someone who actually believes a woman’s body is generic enough for S/M/L sizing. All the while hateful thoughts blasted through my head… Something had to change!
I decided to change it.
Women deserve more. Our uniquely shaped bodies deserve better. Especially while trying to be confident wearing a glorified bra and underwear set in front of God and everyone.
Our Made2Fit swimwear is a new concept in the marketplace but it provides women with the same empowerment men feel in a made-to-measure suit. Picture a man in a suit and then in a made-to-measure suit. Nothing physical about him has changed, yet he exudes self-assurance and his best features are amplified. The difference is dramatic.
With our clients, we watch as poise replaces anxiety and self-confidence is regained in the comfort of exact fit.
It’s magical to see women open their eyes and view themselves in a new light - one that accepts and flatters their curves.
It's an honor to be the bearer of this gift.
Over the past year, Anahata Swimwear has proven our personalized experience. We have proven our systems and product. And we have proven the demand.
There’s simply no industry more in need of an overhaul that caters to women.
Now, Anahata Swimwear is ready to expand our focus from in-house operations to online ordering and begin bringing our experience and fit to women worldwide.
This is where you come in. And where the Kickstarter is crucial for us.
To be direct, Anahata Swimwear needs your help to meet our Kickstarter goal to continue growing.
Developing a retail business is a lengthy, expensive, time-consuming process.
We do not have another path.
We have exhausted our options.
And crowdfunding makes the most sense for the future we dream of every day.
Leading up to our Kickstarter launch on October 16th, we’ll share blogs, videos and more to explain how your investment will be spent, clarify why we are different, expand on our future plans, and show why your investment is so important for us and women worldwide!
We need YOU. And your friends. And your family. And anyone else who is passionate about our mission to celebrate the beauty in every woman.
Please join us.