Love the Skin You're In: Interview With Jasmin Simons of Curve Bermuda

Curve Bermuda is a lingerie boutique that represents the social movement of body positivity, welcoming women of all sizes. Curve Bermuda's mission is to inspire women of different sizes to feel welcomed, loved, and sexy. It's common for clothing lines to disregard, and not produce apparel that suits all body types, luckily, boutiques like Curve Bermuda make it their priority to include lingerie sizes from S/M to 4/5x, ensuring every woman that steps foot in Curve Bermuda are not limited to their options.

A new era is rising where all body types are more recognised and respected in apparel. Bliss Women takes a closer look at how Curve Bermuda is breaking societal barriers and setting a new foundation to encourage women to love the skin you're in.

1. What inspired you to start your lingerie brand?

When the idea of CURVE first came into the conversation, it was just to be a plus size lingerie store. We noticed the huge lack of stores catering to women with fuller figures on the island and wanted to create a space for them to feel included, but also sexy. After some thought, I felt that CURVE needed to be more than that. Yes, I wanted to create a space that was still inclusive for the plus-sized women who have felt excluded in the past. But I also wanted to create the space so that everybody's shape and size felt welcomed and celebrated as well.

2. How are you promoting and spreading the message about being body positive?

We want our customers to own something from CURVE that will fit them, and that makes them feel beautiful and comfortable. Which is the reason why I carefully chose a style and design that will look good on women of all sizes. Once a woman feels comfortable in their clothing and skin, they will automatically portray the confidence and body positivity.

3. What do you think are the main issues in society that are contributing to the lack of self-love and confidence in women?

I believe the main issue here is comparison. From a young age, we are being shown images in the media of what "attractive" or "successful" looks like for us as women. But we were never shown or taught how not to love ourselves fully. We are then left with feelings of unhappiness and disgust with our bodies because we are continually comparing ourselves to the mold of what society has put before us. It is so important that we start to show girls that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. We should also be teaching them self-love routines that they can embrace in their life to always feel beautiful within themselves.

4. What does women empowerment mean to you, and how are you incorporating that in your business?

Empowerment is essential for me personally and in my business. I would not be who I am without all the support from the women in my life; especially my mother. There has been a long history on this island of women putting each other down. It's about time we break that cycle. As a community, we need to be lifting each other up and excited about each other's goals and accomplishments. As of the beginning of May, we will be introducing t-shirts into our store as a part of our brand. One of the three shirts we hope can be a vessel for empowerment on the island, whether it be within your friend groups, or in your community. The T-Shirt says "sisterhood" @CURVE. For us, "sisterhood" means that you stand by and for the women around you and that you will be there to uplift them and support them in all their endeavours. For that reason, I have created our seasonal market where I invite other female-owned small business to display their products. At the event, we can learn from one another, and together, we are empowered.

5. You've managed to develop a successful brand, is there anything you wished you would've done differently when launching the brand?

In a perfect world, it would have been nice to have some more time to correctly plan our opening, store aesthetics or even plan proper storage for all our inventory. But our brand is imperfect, and I am not perfect. However, that is what I love so much about my business. There is room to grow, to learn and to birth new ideas which wouldn't be possible if everything worked out perfectly on our first try. It's been a few months since the launch, and I have some room to play around creativity during our little hiatus, and it's been amazing.

6. Being an entrepreneur running your boutique means a lot of hard work and dedication, how do you manage and balance work and personal life?

This is something I have had to learn and teach myself along the way. When we first opened, I would come home and answer emails or continue to work on our Instagram and website. There were even a few times I would leave the shop to go home, book a delivery then head back to the shop at night to prepare the shipment. After that, I learned that it's vital to become more organised during the day so that when I knock off at the end of the day, I do not need to think about what other work I have to do because it is already completed.

7. What do you think are some ways women can learn and become more aware of the body-conscious movement?

Go on Instagram! The process is so easy now thanks to social media. Search the hashtag #bodypositive #selflove or #loveyourbody. Scroll through the pictures and find some people that inspire you. Fill your feed up with people who chose to show love every day, just with that you can have a constant reminder of what the body positive movement looks like. When it comes to original articles and books; "Refinery29" and "Teen Vogue" have a variety of items on the body-conscious movement.

A few books that I have found to be very helpful are: "The Body Is Not An Apology" by Sonya Renee Taylor, "Embody" by Connie Sobczak, and "What a Time to be Alone" by Chidera Eggerue. Also, have open conversations with your friends, family, and anyone willing to listen about how you feel about your body. You'll be surprised how many people feel similar about their bodies.

8. Your lingerie brand encourages women from S/M to 4x to feel empowered and sexy in their skin, what made you decide to advocate for all sizes? How has it positively affected your business?

When it comes to advocating for plus-sized women, it came naturally to me as I have dealt with feeling unconfident and uncomfortable in my body for many years. Our bodies need to be talked about and praised in our society just as much as any other slimmer sized body. Everybody is beautiful but at the end of the day... it doesn't matter how many times you are told that by other people. You'll never feel entirely comfortable until you believe it for yourself. My business has been positively affected in so many ways. The conversation about body positivity on this island is being talked about in the community openly and freely for what feels like the first time. All these uniquely different women have something to say, and it is incredible to know that I am a part of that. And for all the beautiful women who come into the store, they have a place that they know their body is accepted from the moment they walk in and I am so happy that I can provide that space for them. One of my main goals for the year is to have CURVE shift from being just a Boutique, but also as a space to have discussions.

9. How do you keep your brand afloat? Are you okay with change and constructive criticism?

I am very open to change. CURVE is making a few changes currently because there are so many places we want to expand in. We only hope that our customers are also open and as excited for new products as much as we are. Constructive criticism is always welcomed. It is refreshing to hear other people's opinions about CURVE since I tend to be in my head a lot being my own boss. It's good to take a big step back and see where we were lacking and where we can improve.

10. What advice would you give upcoming entrepreneurs looking to get into the clothing business?

Trust your gut and have something to say. Stand by your opinions and your choices. There will be a lot of people who will doubt you or try to put you down. But you are powerful. Don't let other people get in the way of that. Find a sound support system. You need people who encourage your creativity, but also people who will give you honest opinions. It never hurts to reach out for help because owning and running a small business take a lot of hard work. Good luck!