How to manage burn out with a bathing suit

Leadership

Part of running a business is having the confidence to delegate, let go and enjoy the success.
Amber Boyers launched the swimwear brand Baiia
Amber Boyers launched the swimwear brand Baiia | Image source: Supplied

Amber Boyers, sole founder and owner of self-funded, sustainable swimwear company, Baiia, wants to go sit on a beach.

Since 2016, sales have been doubling annually to reach $8.5 million in the 2022 calendar year.

Her swimsuits are made up of several pieces that can be worn together to create a style that can suit many different body types. Many of her customers are young mothers and older women who are looking for versatility and sustainability in a costume.

“It’s kind of just taken off and it comes back to essentially what part of your body do you want to bring out and how confident do you want to feel,” she tells Forbes Australia in an interview.

Boyers wanted something that made her feel great when she wore it, so she designed a product that suited her. In doing so, she realised that building a company had to be about doing what was best for her and that brought “authenticity” to the brand.

“When people feel like you’re being honest, they can come to give you their real feedback. It opens up conversations when people feel like you’re being authentic. So, when I did that, I invited a whole group of women who have just had babies or are going through menopause or empty nesters to engage with the product.”

A one piece Baiia swimsuit is actually made up of three separate pieces, and a bikini is made up of four different pieces. There are YouTube videos to show buyers how to wear the products. The costumes are reversible and interchangeable.

“Women are constantly going through really vulnerable times in their lives. Emotionally or body changes. We want to create something to support your body through transitions. I think that’s why it’s unique both in product and brand,” Boyers says.

She wants to be true to herself, too, and admits that starting her business has taken a toll. While Boyers is looking to expand the range, she also wants to put on a swimsuit and chill on a beach for a while this year.

“I’ve actually decided I just want to chill out for a little bit and enjoy how it’s going. I have to be okay with stepping back. I have a great team and a great operations manager. I’m not looking to grow aggressively. I think my goal is to reach $14 million in sales this year, so that’s not double, and I’m not disappointed if we don’t get it,” she says.

“I just want quality of life for myself and my team. We have just consistently experienced sprint after sprint so I feel good stepping back and just letting the dust settle a little bit.”

Throughout the process, Boyers feels the biggest change in her has been her growing confidence.

“I couldn’t sit back and relax and surrender unless I had confidence that if anything goes wrong, I’ve got the right people. We all know how to figure this out,” she says.

“As I went into the business, I remember thinking, ‘I’m so introverted. I’m not a good networker. I’m not great with numbers. I’m very risk averse.’ But I knew I wanted to start a business and a lot of people make it seem like you can only be successful if you’re this kind of type-A personality go-getter.”

She says she just kept hustling. For Boyers, it’s not about the money, but “it’s about the whole ecosystem of what it means to build something that offers opportunities for other people”.

“That’s always been my intention. I’m trying to make these products make women feel better about themselves. When women feel better about themselves in one area, they feel better about themselves in all areas.

“I grew up with a single mum and all my aunties in a very matriarchal family. I just looked up to them – everyone looks up to a woman in their life in some way, so if you can really empower women, it just has this whole domino effect. It kind of comes back to that team value of just making the world a better place.”