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Kimberly Swarth: “If it doesn’t challenge you… it doesn’t change you”

The best part about running your own business is really seeing your vision, hard work, and dedication come to fruition. To see something manifest fully and then ultimately touch people. In our case making an incredible product that feels so good on women. I feel like we are helping them live out there “fullest selves” […]

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The best part about running your own business is really seeing your vision, hard work, and dedication come to fruition. To see something manifest fully and then ultimately touch people. In our case making an incredible product that feels so good on women. I feel like we are helping them live out there “fullest selves” through our products. That is so rewarding to me. When I see a woman shining her light in her body, and in an Onzie outfit, it moves my heart and makes me feel so good to see them happy.



Thank you so much for joining us Kimberly. Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Coming through a long line of entrepreneurs influenced me in a variety of ways. I am an “Urbanite” city girl, raised by a single mom that was very hard working. I observed her become “self-made” and truly watched through my family the entrepreneurial ability emerge around me. I am second generation of an immigrant family that migrated from Europe to Chile and then to Los Angeles. Everyone in my family was a self-starter. There was really no other choice for them but to start something from scratch. I think this influenced the way my blood runs and how I view my work life and my business.

What was the catalyst from transforming your hobby or something you love into a business? Can you share the story of your “ah ha” moment with us?

This is actually a funny story! When I was 15 years old I had gotten myself into a little bit of trouble. My mother as a part of disciplinary action made me go to Bikram yoga for 30 days straight. I don’t think she knew what else to do with me. So, for 30 days, I had to show up, and do this 90 min. class. It was the summer of 1992, that experience really changed my life. At the time I didn’t know it — I hated it. But coming full circle to now, I’ve realized that yoga, movement and my fascination with the body would become a passion and personal inquiry and would lead me later on in life to developing my business and the passion for what I do.

There are no shortage of good ideas out there, but people seem to struggle in taking a good idea and translating it into an actual business. How did you overcome this challenge?

Making a real commitment to not just fantasy world ideas — but buckling down and committing to the work — one detail at a time. There is no other way around it. Once you are clear with your vision and you commit and dedicate to the vision, it will begin to manifest. It will take time, so you have to be ready for that.

What advice would you give someone who has a hobby or pastime that they absolutely love but is reluctant to do it for a living?

It’s good to merge your passions — your hobbies into business. I think this is where you can be successful because you have a true love for something. You do however need to work in the math and “know how” to make it profitable or sustainable financially. Once you can merge those two things you’re golden.

It’s said that the quickest way to take the fun out of doing something is to do it for a living. How do you keep from changing something you love into something you dread? How do you keep it fresh and enjoyable?

Surrounding myself within the company with like minded people that also share this passion for the human body really helps. We can activate one another to stay connected, passionate, and driven around not only the product but “soul” of what we love. I also keep the freshness by ensuring I am still living out my hobby outside of work life also. So I still go do yoga, or dance and move because I love it not because it’s business. During the times I am just in my body I “re-fall” in love with what we are doing with our yoga apparel.

What is it that you enjoy most about running your own business? What are the downsides of running your own business? Can you share what you did to overcome these drawbacks?

The only drawback is I have become so passionate around all facets of the business that I am literally obsessed at times with the details. I prioritize this business so often over other areas of my life. Fully amercing ourselves into something can help drive the success, but finding that work life balance is the biggest challenge and something I work on everyday.

The best part about running your own business is really seeing your vision, hard work, and dedication come to fruition. To see something manifest fully and then ultimately touch people. In our case making an incredible product that feels so good on women. I feel like we are helping them live out there “fullest selves” through our products. That is so rewarding to me. When I see a woman shining her light in her body, and in an Onzie outfit, it moves my heart and makes me feel so good to see them happy.

Has there ever been a moment when you thought to yourself “I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to get a “real” job? If so how did you overcome it?

Of course there are days like this. I always tap back into the passion of what I love and what my mission is I am trying to create. I recenter myself back into the love. The love for this product, our female, and the body. Once I mantra back into this I am all good! I can quickly self talk my way through these moments and quickly remember why I love this so much.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Early on in my first year of business I literally got kicked out of yoga studios because I was selling yoga clothes out of a bag in the bathroom! I would take class and then advertise in the bathroom and display clothes as girls were getting out of the shower. The owners of two studios asked me to leave and never come back! Now these studios are some of our best locations that carry Onzie. Yes, it may have been wrong to do that, but I got my foot in the door and learned a lot about my customer along the way.

Who has inspired or continues to inspire you to be a great leader? Why?

My mother has been a huge inspiration and continues to impact my learning every day. She has taught me everything I know. She shows me how to work hard, stay heartful, and business-smart along the way.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“If it doesn’t challenge you… it doesn’t change you.”

I live through this every day. I take on challenges knowing it’s only going to make me better and better at what I do.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Oprah Winfrey — she inspires me fully as a self-made entrepreneur that is changing the world.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.


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