WATCH: This Young Entrepreneur Used Her Swimwear Success to Help Kids in Siargao

An Estrada, founder of Float Swimwear, proves it’s never too late to turn your life around and shares how self-care can lead to helping others.

“When I started Float, even I got shocked at how successful it was. I got so overwhelmed and I felt like I didn’t deserve all that,” says An Estrada, owner and designer of Float Swimwear, a young brand that designs “functional yet stylish swimwear for women.” It was also around this time when An was turning her personal life around and decided to go on a path towards self-care. Little did she know that Float and her journey of self-improvement would go hand-in-hand on a trip to Surigao that turned into a fortunate opportunity for An to share her success.

Through Grom Nation Siargao, an organization that incentivizes kids to stay in school by giving them free skate and surf lessons in exchange for good attendance, An pledged to donate 300 rashguards to the kids using one percent from every Float purchase. Beyond that, An is already planning other ways of how Float can help the kids in Siargao. She shares more about her experience to All Good via email.

Uniforms impart self-respect and discipline. It’s something I took for granted growing up. [I realized uniforms] give a sense of purpose and belonging.

- An Estrada, owner and designer of Float Swimwear

How did your project in Siargao start?

I’ve been traveling back and forth from Manila to Siargao to be a better surfer and to find new opportunities for Float. On my second trip this year, I met a local photographer from Surigao and we were shooting the lookbook for Float when he mentioned Grom Nation in passing and their advocacy. It was a match made in heaven. I felt like I found them when I went looking for me/myself. That was also the time I found a stockist for Float [in Siargao]. It was perfect because I knew I could visit more often and commit to a skate program for the kids.

What were the initial goals for helping?

Grom Nation offers local kids free surf lessons and surfboard rental in exchange for good school attendance and participation in life-skills programs. When I was scrolling through their page, the first thing that came to mind was to design and produce Float rashguards for the kids to protect them from the sun. One of the founders, Josh, said some of the girls wear underwear or denim to surf and that made me really sad. Uniforms impart self-respect and discipline. It’s something I took for granted growing up. [I realized uniforms] give a sense of purpose and belonging. Like getting your first org shirt or varsity jacket. We should never underestimate the power of a good uniform: an educated body can only lead to an educated mind. 

The kids also taught me that I still had the capacity to love and to give. That I still had it in me.

- An Estrada, owner and designer of Float Swimwear

What were the first things you learned from your outreach project?

There are a lot of people out there finding ways to help. They just don’t know how and where. And that we can all make a difference in our little way.

The kids also taught me that I still had the capacity to love and to give. That I still had it in me.

Can you share your journey to self-care / self-improvement?

I made a promise this year to take care of myself—to focus and to find the best version of myself. I put more time to fix Float and expand my business so that I could buy more time and use this to help and inspire more people. I made a list of all my broken dreams and started fulfilling them one by one. I also made sure I spend more time doing the things I love.

When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. I gave up late night partying and drinking to wake up as early as 5 a.m. to work out. And go to my office as early as 8 a.m. I was more productive and I had more time to learn new skills.

But that’s also one thing I learned in this journey of self-care. It isn’t easy. It isn’t comfortable. It’s not just treating yourself to the spa or buying yourself gifts. It’s also accepting your flaws, facing your fears and weaknesses. It took me years to learn this. And I’m still learning.

If you can’t help yourself, it’s hard to genuinely help others.

- An Estrada, owner and designer of Float Swimwear

How does self-care lead to helping others?

When you love yourself first and everything else falls into line. Self care isn’t selfish. Self care itself is a generous act because once you get in the right mental state, you can inspire, motivate and open your heart to others. If you’re happy, your positive energy will naturally impact those around you.

The kids also taught me that I still had the capacity to love and to give. That I still had it in me.

How does success lead to helping others?

When you focus on yourself, on your fulfillment, you can be a role model and serve others as they try to figure themselves out. If you can’t help yourself, it’s hard to genuinely help others. “It is in the giving that we receive.”

How do you see Float and your role as an influencer helping others and providing social impact?

I want my followers to see that this dream life is actually attainable if you work hard. We get a lot of messages telling us we’re living their dream life. I want to empower them, show them that they too can get there.
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For more information on how you can take part in Grom Nation Siargaos initiatives, visit https://www.gromnationsiargao.com/.

Photographs

Mati Olivieri

Video

Sam Lee

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