I have a habit of dreaming out loud. When others see the untouchable rainbow, I see the pot of gold. I live my life on the notion that “being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity,” and thus I have always chosen adventure. My brand of resort wear, Couttsea, has been one of my greatest adventures yet. It is a brand concocted in the heart of a young girl, who despite not knowing when, where or how, wished to turn insecurities into inspiration.
Like you, I’ve had insecurities of my own. Aren’t we all a little too . . . something? For me, I always felt a little too big (looking back, it all seems so silly). My closest friends were half my size, and though I was perfectly average, it took years to dig up the 100 curvy compliments buried under the heavy social media ideals.
You see, the beach was my sanctuary, my place of peace, but it was also where I felt most vulnerable. Perfect bodies paraded through the sand while my youthful mind was cluttered with false notions of what my body ‘should’ look like. “People would pay money for those curves”, my mother would tell me, but mothers have to say these things, right? It was only years later that I came to realize that, strangely enough, you must not always believe what you think. In fact, mothers are almost always right.
I had grown up in both Trinidad and the Middle East and often found myself in an internal debate about being ‘right’. Conservative or Liberal? What is acceptable and unacceptable? And after years in a battle of blurred lines, it all seemed to return to society and subjectivity: Models should be 5’ 10” and 100 pounds, businessfolk need to be math savvy, writers need to have perfect spelling skills, designers need to. . . politicians need to . . . fitness instructors need to . . . athletes need to . . . No!Why do we always need to ‘be’ or ‘do’ what other people decide is acceptable? What if all that we needed to be was bold enough to do; bold enough to try? And try I did.
When serendipitously approached by a swimwear company to model top brands such as Billabong, Maaji and Rip Curl, the girl that feared she was ‘too big’ to model knew that if she was going to stand for something, she needed to be bold and lead by example. I was determined to show my younger self that life is too short for these self-made woes.
After a few months of modelling, my love for the beach expanded as I fell deeper in love with the beach business that I had fantasized about years prior: fabrics, patterns, fits. Unfazed by doubt or inexperience, I crested Couttsea Resort Wear, a perfect blend between my love for beach culture and my sporadic conservative impulse.
The brand was conceived in 2017, and this 2018 I have taken the leap, leaving my steady job to focus on Couttsea full-time. While I know it will be a long road ahead, I accept the challenge with open arms. With the support of my friends, family and Couttsea clients, I can’t wait for the day that my line walks the Miami Swim Week stage, as I watch millions shop Couttsea all around the world (realistic-shmealistic). Couttsea is a brand birthed from self-love.
It is a brand birthed from my inability to believe in the unattainable.
It is a brand birthed from dreaming out loud.
This is just the beginning for Couttsea, both brand and woman.