ROSEÉ Series - In Conversation with Fernanda Débora (Deb)

To celebrate four years of ROSEÉ, we bring you the ROSEÉ Series. A Series of interviews from remarkable people who are not afraid to live and lead in colourful style. We hope their bravery, strength and courage inspire you to live your life in full and in colour. We hope their stories inspire you as much as they’ve inspired us.

An entrepreneur, paralegal assistant, sister, friend, wife and new mum, Deb is not afraid to lead in colourful style. We speak with Deb on the topic of fashion, her reality of living in the diaspora and inspirations behind Tiko Swim.

Your admirer for African inspired fashion

I honestly cannot pick! African talent has been seriously underappreciated in the past. Still, I love finding anything that is created sustainably and not trendy but staple, timeless pieces, especially by smaller creators like yourself! I love the colours and vibrancy of African fashion and the joy it brings. I also love the meanings and versatility behind African cloth. In Mozambique, we call it “capulana”. They are used for many different occasions, from weddings, to funerals and to using it to carry your child.

On her reality of living in the diaspora

I’ve been here for 9.5 years and sometimes I still feel like I only recently just migrated here when I still can’t seem to grasp on to certain Aussie traditions or even the slang! I am delighted I grew up and did almost all my schooling back home, as I continue to feel connected, which makes me miss it a lot! Not going to lie though, I’m exhausted from explaining where Mozambique is all the time. I like Australia, I have found my feet here, my amazing husband, and now having the best time with our son; I feel very blessed.  

I have recently embraced that one can be multi-faceted, and I claim it! I love thinking creatively and always thinking of my next move, which is a blessing and curse because I don’t rest much. However, I have forced myself to learn to relax when I can; being a new mother, trust me, you need the break!

On the inspirations behind Tiko Swim

I’ve always been interested in fashion, specifically fashion design. One day I was just sick of always looking for swimwear that did not look like everyone else’s, and that wasn’t transparent, or that dug into me. So I was like, you know what, I’ll design some and was inspired by the beaches in Mozambique too, so I incorporated African print as my ode to home. Then I decided to create a business even though I had no idea how anyone would respond to it, I took the gamble, and the response has been incredible!

For aspiring individuals looking to follow a similar path in business

Do not hesitate; make it a reality if you have a dream! However, make sure you do substantial research and have a clear business plan! Don’t forget marketing! Hint. I’d say it was one of my biggest mistakes as I overlooked it. Even when I thought I knew enough, it’s always a learning curve, so don’t be afraid to fail because you most probably will. But learn from those failures and mistakes to grow.

To see more of Deb’s work, follow her Instagram page at @tikoswim and @debysunada. You can shop her collection of swimwear at tikoswim.com.au

Thank you, Deb!


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