Created by Brazilian-born entrepreneur Andreia Cardoso, CorpoBonito is the only American swimwear line on the market that is 100% designed, sourced and manufactured in Brazil. Every CorpoBonito product is cut and manufactured in Brazil with fabric sourced from Brazilian companies. Based in Miami, the CorpoBonito collection offers an array of authentic Brazilian styles that fit the body to perfection.
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
I grew up in a little town of Sao Paulo, which meant I had to put my dreams of becoming a designer on hold. Instead, I was introduced to gymnastics at an early age: the long hours of rigorous training taught me discipline and hard work. I was still a teenager who could barely speak English when I decided to explore the world; that is how I made it to the United States. My resilient spirit allowed me to eventually pursue my childhood dream of working as a designer for CorpoBonito.
How has your previous employment experience aided CorpoBonito?
I have been working in healthcare for the last several years. My job requires a lot of commitment and attention to detail. I am constantly around people: I'm talking with, listening to and learning from them everyday. Fashion and healthcare may look very different, but the work ethic and values needed to succeed in these areas are the same.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
We all play different roles in our lives and we are constantly trying to prioritize them on a daily basis. However, keeping a balance in your life is very important: I learned that from my parents and I am trying to pass it on to my daughter. I keep this in mind in everything I do.
What have the highlights and challenges been founding CorpoBonito?
Life is full of challenges and uncertainties, and starting a business is no exception. Taking that very first step was perhaps the hardest part, however I will always remember that moment when I held one of my designs in my hands for the very first time. It was magical, it was emotional- it was seeing a lifetime dream become reality.
What advice can you offer individuals who are seeking to establish their own business?
I do not consider myself a business guru and at some point we all been told to "follow our dreams". The only advice I have is: Do not be afraid of letting that innovative spirit that we all have inside us loose. Once you get started, patience and hard work will do the rest.
What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
As women, we must remember all the challenges and hurdles that those that came before us had to face in order for us to be in the workplace. We have a tremendous responsibility to protect those rights. We owe it to them, to ourselves and to our daughters. We must also recognize that like everyone else, these rights where earned through hard work and not given.
What are your thoughts on Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In book and movement?
Sheryl Sandberg is a great inspiration for everyone. Her book "Lean In: Women, Work and The Will to Lead" is a great example of tough love. In a blunt and sometimes humorous way she tells us to not make excuses nor be afraid of success. My favorite quote -"taking their foot off the gas" - sums it all up for me.
How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Either by luck or by choice, I've always been surrounded by people that have helped me. My parents and extended family taught me great values. My teachers and coaches taught me discipline. My American parents who show me unconditional love and of course my faith in God, have all play an invaluable role in my life.
Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
Women like Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer, Maria das Gracas Silva and many others before them definitely paved the road for all of us. Their determination, work ethic and fearless drive to success are a true inspiration for all of us.
What are your hopes for the future of CorpoBonito?
I hope that one day CorpoBonito becomes one of the top name brands in the Swimwear industry. I hope that one day I can walk on the beach and see my designs on every women. I hope that one day I can look in the mirror and proudly say to myself "you did it".