Tanisha launched Baiou in July 2020 and is making waves in the kids swimwear world. She also manages to juggle parenthood, a 9-5 and a the launch of a new business! Tanisha kindly answered some questions about her business journey so far. I can't wait to see what lies ahead for Baiou.
Please tell me a little bit about your brand?
Baiou is a premium kid-centric swimwear brand with built-in snap button closures at the crotch for girls aged 6 months to 5 years. Our swimwear makes nappy changing & toilet trips hassle-free & easier for both parent & child. All Baiou swimwear is made using earth-friendly fabrics made from recycled ocean waste. Our fabrics are sun-safe. Blocking out 98% of UV radiation & meet the highest protection standards of UPF50+
What is the story behind the name Baiou?The name Baiou came to mind like a baby’s name naturally comes to a mother. I wanted something that had some relation to beaches & water but nothing basic like aqua etc. Bai is derived from Bay, which partially means ‘body of water’, and refers to the source of all inspiration, Thailand and all the beautiful bays they have there, coupled with the fact that girls named Bay are told to be of a strong mind, a little bold and born leaders. It was a no brainer. I didn’t just want bay and as I continued looking at girl’s name, I came across Baiou and knew that was the one. As crazy as it sounds it just felt natural, pure & eco-friendly.
What work did you do before Baiou/ or what do you currently do?I currently still have a 9-5. I work in corporate, as a Bid Co-ordinator for a facilities management company. Without getting technical I manage the bidding process from start to finish, supporting in writing and designing proposals to win contracts. For example, some of our biggest contracts who we provide cleaning services for include Arsenal stadium, British Library & Pure Gym.
Do you have a background in fashion?I don’t have a fashion background; however, I have worked in retail as a sales assistant. Some of those include French connection & Hobbs in Selfridges and my personal favourite, my first ever Job working in Iceland. I really enjoyed packing food away in the chilled section. I was the fastest at it & use to challenge myself to be even faster.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
For two reasons. One being Inspired by motherhood. Being a first-time mother and going out in public would scare me it still does but I have got better at it. The days were getting hotter and my daughter and I were constantly visiting pools and splash parks. I would try and put her swimsuit on when we arrived & change her in-between but it was a total nightmare she would scream & wriggle around so much. I would feel so embarrassed & would allow her to go into the pool in her vest. I thought there must be an easier way. After seeing that swimsuits with snaps were not accessible, I went on a mission to do it myself.
The second reason was the not so flexible working system in the UK, I felt like all my life I had gone through the education system to build a career & thrive. However, I became a mother and all my career ambitions went on hold with many limitations and mothers normally having to take the back seat, I decided to create my own opportunities and aim to help other women along the way.
What have you loved about your business journey?It's hard for me to say what I loved as it has constantly been go go go. What I Would say is I love the feeling it has given me. I feel empowered & strong and like I’m contributing to society in a more personal way. I love that I am investing in myself & really finding out about my strengths and weaknesses. I love that I have inspired many women to follow the dreams and been given the opportunity to meet so much people, both entrepreneurs and other parents/women.
What have been the biggest challenges?
Out of everything I found packaging the hardest as there are so much limitations when dealing with small quantity orders and then it having to be eco-friendly. You can have so many designs in your head or think you will have full branding however there may be design space limitations or you may only be able to use one colour etc.
The next biggest challenge was getting the snap element of the swimsuit right, but I think that was challenging due to my lack of experience. Luckily it is all sorted now.
Advice for those thinking about starting their own business?
Just start. Start where you are, with what you have got. I strongly believe there is power in starting, the rest will follow.
Get your mindset ready fuel your mind with anything that keeps you focused and push you closer to where you need to be. Listen to podcasts, read books & network.
Don’t be scared to invest in yourself. Invest in a course, mentorship, business programs mentorship groups, use the resources around you to help you elevate.
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