Former cancer nurse, 47, launches lingerie Google SEO Services for EVERY skin tone after being horrified when she was offered a 'nude' bra for white skin by a sales assistant
A former cancer nurse with no experience wholesale halloween costumes in fashion has launched her own lingerie label in a bid to bring more 'diversity' to the underwear aisle.
Sadia Sisay, 47, who is originally from babydoll chemise Sierra Leone but now lives in London, designed a collection that caters to women of all colours after being horrified when she was handed a 'nude' bra for white skin by a sales assistant.
After realising that 'my "nude" just didn't exist', and anxious to prevent the same thing happening to her daughter, Yazmin, now 21, Sadia quit her job in the medical industry to set up her fashion business from scratch.
Sadia Sisay designed her collection to suit every shade of skin after being horrified when she was handed a 'nude' bra for white skin by a sales assistant
The label is billed as lingerie and loungewear 'for women of all skin tones with a particularly strong focus on black women and other women of colour' and launches next month, starting at 28B and going up to a 44H.
But Sadia's dreams were initially put on hold after she suffered a devastating setback in her business venture when her husband died suddenly two years ago, leaving her a single mum.
RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Revealed: The Chase contestant's VERY racy sideline career... Student nicknamed 'Kazakhstan Barbie' hits back at her... Share this article Share Sadia, who moved to London at 16, started out as a cancer nurse but at 26 she suffered a stroke due to complications during childbirth, which left her completely blind, and she spent two years recovering.
She went back to work when her sight returned, but three months later moved into pharmaceuticals where she got her first taste of the business world.
In 2008 Sadia quit her job to start her own company for women of all shapes, sizes and skin tones - inspired by her own dismal experience of lingerie shopping.
The label is billed as lingerie and loungewear 'for women of all skin tones with a particularly strong focus on black women and other women of colour' and goes all the way up to a 44H
'I have been shopping for lingerie in the past with my white friend and we have both asked for nude bras and been given the exact same colour bra, with no sense of irony or question by the store staff,' she said.
'There was no understanding that I would possibly want a different nude. Nude is nude right? Wrong.'
Sadia didn't want her daughter, then 14, to have to face the same issues. 'My nude and my daughter’s nude just didn’t exist,' she explained. 'She could not grow up in the environment I had grown up in.'
But with her background in the corporate world, she was faced with a steep learning curve.
Sadia started out as a cancer nurse but later she suffered a stroke due to complications during childbirth, which left her completely blind and she took two years to recover
'Starting my own business, the difference was shocking,' she said. 'I was used to big budgets, big teams, big everything.
'So when I started on my own it was confusing; the lack of fund money, lack of support, lack of a team, was nothing like I have ever experienced.'
In the business's infancy, Sadia, who has funded beingU entirely herself, 'lost everything financially.'
'We lost investors in the beginning because they couldn’t really understand the concept,' she said.
The beingU range is designed for every skin tone and a wide range of bra sizes, and also features loungewear. It will be available for pre-order this week and ton sale in February
A model wears designs from Sadia's collection. Initially, investors 'didn’t believe that black women and women of colour had the buying power and the desire to buy this type of lingerie'
'They didn’t believe that black women and women of colour had the buying power and the desire to buy this type of lingerie.'
Then in October 2014, just as the business was starting to get off the ground, her husband, 48, 'went to work and never came home'.
'He was playing basketball with colleagues and friends after work and he dropped dead,' said Sadia, whose husband had an undiagnosed genetic condition called cardiomyopathy.
'Everything was taken from us,' said Sadia. 'After my mother’s illness I was trying to pick up the business and move on with launching the brand.
'I had an appointment with our production company on the 22nd October 2014 and he died on the 21st.'
A bra and knicker set from beingU. In the business's infancy, Sadia, who has funded it entirely herself, 'lost everything financially' but she is now looking forward to the label's launch
In 2008 Sadia quit her job to start her own company for women of all shapes, sizes and skin tones - inspired by her own dismal experience of shopping for 'nude' lingerie
After the shock of her husband's death Sadia relaunched her label last year with the help of designer Bok Goodall.
'We’ve built this business together from day one and we have definitely learnt a lot,' she said. 'It has been frustrating, exciting, funny, every emotion you can imagine. But I wouldn’t change any of that!'
Sadia says she has been 'delighted' by the response so far and the personal struggles she has faced has made it all worthwhile.
'I put everything I had into beingU and lost it in the initial phase,' she said. 'But now we are going to be bigger and better than we could have ever imagined.