Welcome to the Emirates Woman weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths that led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome.

This week we chat with the Founder & Chief Designer at BOMO Swim, Buky Ogunlaja. The brand launches with a strong message – to celebrate your every curve and the innate beauty that is inside every woman.

As the brand began its journey in the UAE, BOMO Swim wants every woman, whether young or old, to feel confident and powerful in her own skin. This story began years ago while Buky was vacationing on a boat, as he noticed women wearing ill-fitted swimwear.

To find out more, Emirates Woman sat down with this Mindset coach to find out more about her entrepreneurial journey as a swimwear designer.

What was your favourite subject at school?

I had two – dance and art. I guess, even at a young age, I was always looking for creative outlets.

What was your first job?

I worked at Claire’s Accessories on Oxford Street, London.

What brought you to Dubai?

My partner was already out here and then a great job opportunity found me, everything aligned, so it made sense to move.


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A post shared by BOMO Swim (@bomoswim)


What inspired you to enter the swimwear space?

They say that necessity is the mother of invention and, long story short, I saw a need. I saw beautiful bodies (including my own) that weren’t being celebrated by their swimwear – so many women were wearing swimwear that didn’t fit in a way that accentuated, supported, and enhanced their shape, so I wanted to fix that. To me, the best fashion empowers and inspires, and I wanted women to have swimwear that not only fit well, and looked great, but that made women look and feel like superheroes. I am also blessed to live in a beautiful country, where the sun shines most of the year and there are lots of opportunities to wear beautiful swimwear!

Talk us through the concept of Bomo Swim?

I think the ability of fashion to make women feel like the best version of themselves, whatever that looks like, is so important given that there is so much unnecessary pressure on women to look a certain way. The aim of BOMO Swim is to empower wearers to feel confident in swimwear, to stop chasing the myth of ‘perfection’ and to embrace self-celebration, one swimsuit at a time. We want our BOMO swim wearers to ‘be unapologetically themselves and wear their confidence’. I wanted to curate a collection that delivers luxury, limited-edition, statement designs crafted from sustainable, ultra-soft, shape-retaining fabrics. Designing versatile pieces was a key element, our designs can be worn as bodysuits and tops, (which look great at the beach or at the bar) and can take you from day to night with ease. As women are unique and do not always conform to uniform sizes and shapes, we sell tops and bottoms separately so that customers can mix and match to find their perfect fit.

What are the key elements of your role?

The great thing about being an entrepreneur is that my role is very dynamic. I am the CEO and Creative Director, but I’m across absolutely every element of the business. From marketing to production and customer care, you name it, I’m there! A major part of my role is being a solution finder!


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A post shared by BOMO Swim (@bomoswim)

Talk us through your daily routine.

My routine starts the night before; I write my to-do list for the next day and block out some time in my calendar to get things done. Confession… the list is usually overly ambitious. My routine depends on the day, although there are some consistencies. Mornings start with prayer, reflection, and a coffee (thanks to my husband for the latter). Then I get ready and I’ll either go to the gym or my desk. I check emails, messages and news that has come in overnight and then I get to work… meetings, planning, design, data, news and marketing. In the evening I’ll go to an exercise class (dance or barre) or go for a walk. Schedules permitting, my husband and I will try to have dinner together, then skincare routine and some downtime.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?

Firstly, talk to as many trusted people that have gone before you as possible – learn from their mistakes so you don’t have to repeat them. Secondly, don’t let the quest for perfection be the enemy of progress. We are always learning and growing, so in time, you will supersede today’s best. If you wait until you’re perfect to start, you never will!

Tell us more about your pieces.

Every piece is designed and named to evoke emotion or inspire a feeling. Tribal – is inspired by strong beautiful female tribes, evoking strength, and confidence (think ‘The Woman King’ movie). Unapologetic, reminds the wearer to be just that! To own and wear your confidence – unapologetically. Similarly, the colours in the collection are inspired by nature, my travels and how they will look against the wearer’s skin. For example, Desert Sand is a beautiful burnt golden sandy colour that reminds me of the richness of the desert landscape. Amalfi blue reminds me of the vibrant tones and energy of the Italian riviera. Our pieces are designed to combine striking design with great structure, and each piece has adjustable elements to help customise the fit to the wearer.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

That’s a really good question…I guess I would have to quote Maya Angelou “do the best you can until you know better; then, when you know better, do better”.

And what is the worst?

To be completely honest, I genuinely do not remember, thankfully, my brain has a very good way of blocking out things that I don’t want to internalise, if it was that bad, it has been forgotten.

What’s the biggest challenge you have had to overcome?

It’s an ongoing challenge – time. There is always a long to-do list, I have to remind myself to do the best I can, in the time I have. Plus working on my efficiency and discipline helps.

What’s your future for the brand?

I don’t want to give too much away, but think bigger, bolder and brighter…. a bigger collection in a wider range of sizes, bolder and brighter in terms of BOMO Swim’s impact and presence!

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Images: Supplied