There is nothing as magical as a summer escape to the beach in Egypt. But for some women, the question of what to wear is one that is not always easy to answer.
“I don’t like to go swimming,” Sohaila Salem would often hear women around her saying, but she read the subtext: women looking for modest swimwear with inclusive sizing were struggling to find the right product for them in the market.
Seeing this as an opportunity, Sohaila developed the idea for Hydro Swimwear, an Egyptian brand that caters to this exact need.
Sohaila, a resident of Mountain View ERK, is this week’s guest on ‘Empowering Success’, Mountain View’s initiative highlighting entrepreneurs from its community and the stories of their inspiring journeys.
In Egypt, modest swimwear is often associated with heavy fabrics and clunky design, so it took the people around Sohaila some time to appreciate her idea. But once her first collection was launched – and scores of women reached out to tell her they had never felt more comfortable and confident in swimwear before – there was a complete shift.
Succeeding in her first priority of creating swimsuits with sleek designs and lightweight yet durable fabrics, Sohaila focused on another of her goals: having an impact. She found two ways to achieve this.
The first way was by having a concept behind every collection she released. Last year’s collection was titled ‘Loveworthy’ and centered on body positivity, encouraging people to love and accept themselves as they are. Meanwhile, Hydro’s upcoming collection will be about learning to find the little moments of peace and joy in today’s high-speed, high-pressure world.
The second way was by ensuring that 10 percent of the revenue made on Hydro’s products would go to well-researched and reliable charities supporting the community.
While running a growing business is a daily challenge for anyone – not least for a young mother – Sohaila’s faith in her message of inclusivity has been propelling her forward since 2019, and she aims to continue growing her brand and its impact with every collection she releases.
To find out more about Hydro Swimwear and its growth from a one-woman-show to a household brand in modest swimwear, watch the extended interview with Sohaila, or listen to the ‘Empowering Success’ podcast on your favorite podcasting platform.
If you are from Mountain View community and want to be part of the Empowering Success initiative, send your business profile to [email protected]