A woman’s confidence is in a large way impacted by how she feels about her body. When you grow up being told how ugly you are, you end up believing it. As a teenager, this becomes quite overwhelming and even as you grow up, you end up thinking of yourself as worthless.
Meet Wendy Karira, owner and founder of My Curves Lingerie Store. Hers is a business created out of need. A business created with literally nothing; a business like no other.
Here is her story:
“When you have big boobs, it’s not the same as having a big bum. There is a special kind of shame that seems to come with having big boobs. Men shame you. Women shame you. People think you must have eaten a lot to have big boobs,” she says.
Her struggles with big breasts started when she was in class eight. She would wear over-sized clothes to hide her breasts. In her teenage years, she thought she was an ugly duckling. Her mother once found her looking at herself in the mirror and asked her why she was wasting time looking at herself and yet she was dark and ugly.
Those words stuck with her and even in high school, she remained unbothered about it all. Her self-esteem was already so low.
She finished high school not expecting much of herself, and ended up not doing well. Her mother was furious about the fact that she had been taken to a good school and gotten a C+ (plus) despite the fact that she knew they were struggling. Adding salt to injury, her mother told her to get a job as a secretary and hopefully, her boss would marry her.
Wendy wanted to do law but could not pursue the course because of her grades. Her father then paid for her to do a paralegal course and that is where she started dating cautiously.
“When you start dating you realize that your self-esteem and confidence is so low that in a relationship you keep doing the heavy work; you are the one who calls and you are the one who suggests dates, the man just sits back because he feels like he’s doing you a favor. The bad thing is that you don’t see it. You feel like your options are so limited and looking back I feel so sad knowing what I know now,” she says.
She is now happily married.
She got into full-time employment. She worked for NIC Bank, for Stanchart and then got into retail – Deacons – where she worked for three years as GM before she was let go. When she was let go, she was distraught. She had gotten so comfortable having a salary at the end of the month. While at Deacons, she had sent an email to a certain bra company inquiring about her size.
After she left, she got an email from one of the individuals abroad. She informed him that she left and does not have money to start a business. His reply is what propels her. “Businesses are not started by money, they are started by a need.”
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She was invited to the UK for a bra training session, and without a job, she and her husband decided to go.
Coming back from the UK she sat on her idea as still jobless, she did not know how she was going to start. When Two Rivers Mall was looking for tenants, she pitched her idea and was surprised when they agreed to give her space.
Her husband helped her set the business up that now sell all manner of bras for women of all sizes and shapes, women who love their bodies and their curves. They also offer free fitting and consultation for all women.
Wendy would never have seen herself selling lingerie in a million years. It’s amazing that her business sprung from something that she was most insecure about. She doesn’t only see it as a shop that sells bras and lingerie; she’s selling confidence in a cup.
Businesses can spring from anything, even your insecurities!