I have struggled with my weight for most of my adult life.
I had my first child at age 19 and since then it’s been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs (mainly ups) of my weight. By the fourth baby, the weight was very hard to lose.
What’s worse than not being successful at losing weight, is the fear that I am passing on my unhealthy relationship with food and my weight onto my children.
I talk and even joke about being over-weight daily. I make self-deprecating comments as if to beat someone to the punch. You know, say it first before someone else can. My scale is right in front of my large bathroom mirror. I have a treadmill and an elliptical machine in the living room collecting dust. Then something happened that put the mirror to my face. It’s summer and my oldest daughter is reading all the fashion magazines looking at bathing suits . She calls out: “Mom, what’s “thigh gap”? Aye, here we go.
I started to explain but figured it might be easier to show her what thigh gap wasn’t by showing her my thighs. “You see how my thighs touch, honey” I explained. “This is opposite of thigh gap.” I chuckle uncomfortably and it hits me, I’m doing it again. I’m putting myself down. Old habits are hard to kick. I tell her that I love how she looks and that she is perfect the way she is, even as she tries to squeeze her belly between her fingers trying to make a point of how she could stand to lose weight. “Don’t do that, Bree” I scold “As long as you are getting daily exercise and eating healthy, you are ok. In fact, you are more than ok.” I vow to do better.
I’m reminded of this story when a friend of mine asks me to join a team walking to support breast cancer called Sorella Swim. She shows me the latest Sorella Swim campaign shot by 8 x 10 Proofs and features Latina model/actress Lornalitz Baez of NuvoTV's show Curvy Girls along with four real women (non-models), one being Neidy O'Connor. I love it and want to learn more about the company and it's designer.
Designer Jessica Petersen launched Sorella Swim® with a simple goal not yet achieved by any other brand: Provide women with curves a luxe, timelessly fashionable swimwear brand that camouflages certain areas, accentuate others, and is comfortable enough to leave on all day.
"Designed with Curves in Mind" is the brand's tagline, which refers to Jessica's belief that all women, regardless of their weight, shape, or size should have access to high-quality and high-fashion apparel. Thigh gap or not, Sorella Swim is for every woman. Sorella Swim is LA-based and proudly made in the USA. The company is all about: come as you are, love the body you have, and wear beautiful swimsuits that complement every body type.
Here's our interview:
1) Sorella means sister, how did you come up with the name for your brand?
JESSICA: Well the name for the brand was based on my relationship with my best friend, or someone I like to refer to as my sister, Rosemary Preta-Evans. Rosemary is of Italian decent and the word "Sorella" means sister in the Italian language. Rosemary is also the ideal customer for the Sorella Swim brand. She is curvaceous, confident and beautiful!
Speaking of sisters:
2)I've heard about your sisterhood movement; how did this concept come about?
JESSICA: Since the start of Sorella Swim it has been my goal to show women that no matter what size or shape you are that you to can have fashionable, quality clothing and look stunning! All women have been faced with body image issues at some point in their life and these issues have the power to suck the confidence right out of woman. 2014 is the first season where I have had the capabilities to offer extended sizes and really show women that you do not need to hide behind swim dresses or tee shirts. All women can look beautiful in the same high-quality swimwear when it hugs your curves just right!
How did Sorella come together with Susan G. Komen LA event?
JESSICA: Sorella Swim has been in search of a charitable organization to partner with for some time, but it has been hard to find an organization that represented the strength, camaraderie and beauty of women the way Sorella Swim does. Therefore many partnerships just didn't seem to make sense or align with our brand message. Then, one day, the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Los Angeles County came to our attention and it was an immediate match! The organization empowers and gives so many women strength to fight against breast cancer. Strengthening women, empowering women, that is what Sorella Swim strives for everyday...we want all women to love the skin they're in! Sorella Swim and the Komen Foundation are perfect sisters!
As a small business owner, I support other small business owners, especially ones that give back to worthy organizations. Throughout the entire year of 2014, 10% of proceeds on rose colored suit will go directly to the foundation. Team Sorella also supported the Susan B. Komen “Walk for a Cure” on Sunday March 2, 2014 at Dodger Stadium. With bright pink shirts that said “Changing Lives, One Bikini at a Time” Team Sorella raised money to support breast cancer research.
3) As a fellow mom-entrepreneur, our time with our littles is precious and hard to come by. When I'm not designing, I'm running my kids to their Korean-language classes, tae kwon do lessons, or sports practices. I wanted to know her favorite way to spend time?
JESSICA: It is so hard as an mom-entrepreneur to disconnect from the business at times, but I absolutely adore my time with my son! My lil'guy is very high energy and we love to run around and chase eachmother, but my absolute favorite thing is dance party time! We turn-on Pandora on my iPhone, link it up to the house speakers and dance all around! He is 20 months and is working diligently on his Michael Jackson moonwalk.
I enjoyed meeting Jessica, love her current collection and especially her mission to women.
I vowed to my daughter to be a better role model and to have a healthy view of my body. And this summer, I vow to do it in a Sorella swimsuit. Moonwalk optional!