AWAY THAT DAY
Introduce yourself and tell us what you do…
Ingemae (I): I’m the founder and designer of the brand
Beki (B): I’m the creative director and model for the brand.
How old are you and where are you from?
I: I’ve just turned 26 and I’m originally from South Africa. I moved to England when I was very young.
B: I’m 24 and originally from Hungary. I moved to the UK when I was 9 and Ingemae and I both see each other as citizens of the world with how much we love to travel.
Did you go to university, if so what did you study?
I: I didn’t go to university (it wasn’t for me). However, I have a lot of work experience where I have learned a tremendous amount.
B: I graduated last year from Westminster where I studied Fashion, Business Management and Law, which actually did come to use. I helped create the business plan for the company and deal with a lot of the admin.
How did the idea come about/where do you get your inspiration from?
B: Travelling, from experiencing different cultures and women, women are a huge inspiration of hours. We’re designing something for their bodies at the end of the day.
I: My inspiration comes from all my friends. I’ve always loved swimsuits from Australia and I wanted to bring a taste of Australia to the UK at affordable price points. We have kept everything under £100.
Where did the name come from?
I: I found myself constantly turning down shifts at work because I was travelling so much and would often respond with ‘I’m away that day’. Voila!
Tell us a bit more about the sustainable approach towards the brand?
We could have very easily gone with a normal fabric supplier for a lot cheaper, but we didn’t want to. Sustainability is very important to us. You can read more on our website under ‘friends of the ocean’.
Where did you meet Beki, your Creative Director?
I: We met 5 years ago working in nightlife together in London. I remember first telling her about the idea 5 years ago.
Do you find your skill sets complement each other?
I: We’re like Ying and Yang, it works incredibly well. Beki has truly been my back bone through creating this brand and I couldn’t have done this without her. Beki sees the brand from a creative perspective and helps with the business / admin side of things. Every day we do something different to help the brand. It’s never a boring day at the ATD office.
B: We balance each other out really well. We are determined to see the other succeed. We understand the brand is going to take a while to grow, but we both contribute towards the brand as much as we can. Some days Inge will invest more, some days I will, but either way we both put our heart and soul into the company.
What does the definition of success mean to you?
Happiness. Doing what you love and loving what you do. Success to me isn’t measured by money (although it helps), but more by achievement and the lessons you learn along the way. It’s all about progress. - Ingemae
What’s the big dream for Away that day? The 5-year plan?
I: Some people might say ‘amazing, they’ve made it’, but this is just the beginning. The hard work begins now. The five-year plan includes expanding the brand and creating a recognisable company globally.
How did you fund the business?
I: We worked hard. Really hard. Some nights 7 days and nights a week. We juggled multiple jobs too! But if you want to do something you have to be willing to work hard for it and do whatever it takes.
Is social media the way forward? And how do you keep your customers engaged and stand out from the competition?
I: We use social media to essentially show the brands personality to the general public and engage with people. We constantly look for new inspiration and content. We have some really exciting pop-up shots coming up too.
What has been your biggest challenge along the process?
I: Believing in yourself and the long hours you have to put in. Trying to juggle everything has been a serious challenge for me. There are hiccups along the way that you just have no control over and these are normally the most difficult to overcome. It’s all an adventure though!
Where else to you work?
I: I work for Turmeric Co. part time (from home). I love the company which helps a lot! The team I work with are super supportive and amazing so I plan to stay with the company and continue to juggle both Away that day and my other roles.
B: I work in nightlife part time and I model full time. With both these roles come challenging hours, however there are skills I can bring to Away that day from both roles.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t stress so much. Live in the moment and have faith. God is good and he’s got your back – Ingemae
B: Stop trying to please everyone. People will always doubt you first and commend you when you succeed. Don’t listen to them. And sometimes, just sometimes, think before you act.
What’s your one piece of advice for someone about to start their own business?
I: Don't give up. I designed a small collection 5 years ago and worked with a factory which delivered terrible quality. I got so disheartened because I put a lot of money and effort into the collection. I then had two choices, to give up and call it a day or to design an even better collection and find a different factory. You always have a choice.
If you could gift one book to someone what would it be?
I: Sidney Sheldon - Master of the Game.
B: Paul Coelho – The Alchemist
What does your morning routine look like?
I: First thing is coffee, then I plan and divide my time into 1-hour slots and structure my day into different projects and things that I’m working on… Beki taught me how to do this (she is very organised).
B: Wake up, 2 cups of coffee, vitamins, 2 cups of water, good music
What’s your motto/philosophy on life?
I: It’s happening / You got this.
B: Play ball kid.
19 JUNE, 2018