Meet Brandy (@cashmereandcamo). From our hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Brandy is an entrepreneur, fashion blogger, country girl, and #swimsuitmodel.
Why did you choose this career path?
I love diversity in my work. I love being challenged and trying new things, so being a business owner is the perfect fit for me.
How would you describe yourself?
In a nutshell, I’d say I’m someone with an entrepreneurial spirit and an adventurer’s heart. Admittedly, I have a rebellious side, so I’m always trying to choose the path less travelled. I love exploring, living in the country, reading and learning new things. Maybe ‘Busy Bee’ is the best way to describe myself!
What are your hobbies?
I love being active, riding my horse, fishing, yoga, skiing or walking the dog- as I mentioned I have a hard time sitting still! I also love cooking a great meal and hosting people or working on my yard. My list is long, but I figure life’s short so try it all out!
What are three personality traits you identify with?
Independent, tenacious, and adventurous.
What are three words your best friend would use to describe you?
Vibrant, dynamic, and driven.
What do you want people to know about you?
Believe it or not, I’m actually a shy introvert. Even though I put myself out there on social media with lots of photos, I have insecurities too. I’ve been secretly battling body issues ever since my surgery that left me with a nasty scar from an ovarian tumour- it was the only thing I saw when I looked in the mirror. I have barely wore a bathing suit in the last three years, and the thought of getting in front of a camera to “show it off” was pretty unnerving, but it ended up being very therapeutic for me.
What are you hoping to achieve with your social media following and with your relationship to your followers?
I hope I can inspire and encourage other women to go out and live their best lives with no regrets. I want to show them that it’s never too late to chase their dreams or just simply continue to strive for personal growth and enrichment in their everyday lives.
How do you hope to connect with the people that follow you?
I hope that by sharing some of the things I’ve learned from not only my successes but my failures that it gives people the courage to strike out on their own path of improvement or acceptance. I love sharing things, places, and activities that I get great mental and physical benefit from. I hope this continues to grow my social community of people with similar interests and aspirations and build a huge force of positive energy for everyone to draw on.
We selected you for this campaign because we believe your life is aspirational. What do you feel makes your life aspirational? Why did you decide to participate in this campaign?
I truly love the message of “Feel Good Half Naked” that Swimco has not only generated for their campaign, but they truly seem to eat, sleep and breathe as a company. I feel like body positivity is something that everyone struggles with at some point in their lives. I know I have for the past few years after having my body changed by surgery- I have a big scar that runs the length of my abdomen, separated muscles that creates a “pouch” that never goes away no matter how much I exercise or how skinny I get. And as much as I could say it never bothers me and that I’m happy to be healthy and strong- I’ve had a big journey of mentally and physically getting back to a place where I accepted myself and truly enjoyed the moments while being in a bathing suit doing some of the things I love, like swimming or surfing. I wanted to share my journey and show that even if you are facing some big setbacks in life- it’s possible to rebuild and be a better version of yourself at the end.
What did you enjoy about working with Swimco on this campaign?
Everyone on the team was incredibly supportive and amazing to work with! You instantly got this sense of family and community the minute I connected with them and they bring you into that with open arms. I felt like I had known them for years! They’re also super talented in seeing what you would look amazing in- things I would never consider or try on my body shape before. Also it’s very different posing for a photo shoot in front of a group half naked and they made me feel so comfortable right from the start. All I had to worry about was enjoying being in the moment the day of the shoot!
Life seems to give you opportunities and bring people into your life when you need them most. I’m truly grateful for the time I’ve had to work with Swimco, not just for the mere fact of being able to rock a swimsuit with confidence, but for the journey it’s brought me on to love my body. This experience has made me want to share more and help other women feel great about themselves, because we’re all swimsuit models!
Did you discover anything about yourself?
The last few months leading up to the shoot have been filled with inspiration, introspection and reflection as I prepare both mentally and physically for a photo shoot half naked. Trust me- such a different feeling from one where you get to wear clothes of any sort. Yes, my scar is still very visible, yes, my stomach has a pouch I can’t get rid of and yes, I have cellulite! BUT- the benefits and exercise, including healthy eating, I’ve employed have been beating back any of that negative talk that creeps into my head. I discovered that I’m stronger than I thought I could be, that I can finally say I’m proud of myself for all the work I’ve done over the last while, even before this campaign began to “heal” myself both physically and mentally.
If you could say one thing to someone who may not be confident with their body, what would it be?
For anyone who’s struggling with being confident in their body, I would say that you need to start by curbing negative self-talk. Instead of saying- I wish my body looked like this or that person’s, flip your internal conversation to a positive one. Acknowledge what your body can do and what it can achieve, versus how it looks or fits into clothing. I firmly believe on never every getting on a scale- I don’t even have one at my house. Instead I focus on trying to “beat” the last workout I did by doing an extra set of push-ups, or running an extra mile and pushing my body into action where I can be proud of the results. No matter what, I’m trying to improve my strength and my health.