TikToker andathesea pushes for body positivity with her own inclusive clothing line
Through WearBums, she hopes to encourage women to embrace their curves and feel confident in their own skin.
This story is part of Youthopia’s International Women’s Day series. We spotlight women who are excelling in their respective fields.
Anda Chaudhry used to don a UK 18. For the longest time, it was near impossible to shop for a pair of jeans or a top that fit her perfectly.
She even declined her friend’s offer to go shopping when they were away on a vacation in Australia, fearing that the tops and bottoms would not be suitable for her.
“I didn’t want to shop because it made me feel really insecure knowing that nothing fits me and even when it does, it is tight,” she explains.
While Anda eventually relented and visited the departmental store with her friend, she held little to no expectations for the shopping trip.
However, upon trying on a few pieces of plus-size garments in the fitting room, tears welled up in her eyes. It was the first time she felt that her body had been represented by a clothing line.
The content creator who goes by the TikTok handle @Andathesea was taken aback by the range of plus-size garments that catered to larger women in the land down under.
Shopping for the same garments in Singapore has always been tantamount to “finding a needle in a haystack” for the 27-year-old.
“When I was a UK 18, it was difficult to find a pair of jeans or a top that fit me perfectly in Singapore. Even if I did, they were all mostly out of my budget.”
When she returned home from her vacation, Anda was determined to deliver the same shopping experience that she had in Australia to plus-size women in Singapore.
To make people of all sizes feel seen and heard, she launched WearBums in September 2021, a plus-size friendly jeans and loungewear brand that tailors to “all body types”.
The homegrown denim brand also caters to petite women as the entrepreneur understands that the demographic has an “equally hard time” finding clothes that fit.
While she aims to champion for body inclusivity through her brand, it also initially proved challenging when she had to source for suppliers.
“There was an incident where I wanted to come up with 4XL clothings and then the supplier told me that no one is this big. It took me a while to find the right supplier.
“I always believe that you were not born to fit clothes, but clothes were made to fit you. I just had to keep my chin up and I finally sourced for a supplier who could give me the sizes I asked for,” she shares.
Unlike many other clothing lines, the entrepreneur approaches everyday people to model WearBums’ products for her marketing campaigns.
“Everytime we intend to launch a product, we put up a post calling followers to come down and model our products. We never get professional models to do this because I want my products to be relatable to young women.”
Anda also collaborated with professional skaters and dancers to model the jeans that WearBums offers in order to show that they are not just flexible, but comfortable.
A unique sizing chart was deliberately introduced to WearBums’ loungewear to take away the stigma of the international sizing conventions.
Instead of “S”, “M” and “L”, WearBums’ loungewear has sizes of “1”, “2” and “3”.
When WearBums participated as a vendor in CelebFest 2022, an event that boasts retail and F&B offerings, Anda shared that she was moved by the warm reception that she received at her retail booth.
“A few of them came up to me after trying on our jeans and started thanking me, saying that this was the first time they had felt ‘seen’.”
Despite the success of her retail booths, the thought of launching a brick-and-mortar store was not something she had actively entertained. This was until she realised that she could no longer use her home as a makeshift warehouse to store her products anymore.
Anda then took a giant leap of faith and launched her first concept store at Syed Alwi Road.
“I initially had no intentions to have a physical store because my business was not even a year-old. It was daunting to make such a risky decision,” she recounts.
But interacting with customers at her storefront convinced her that she has played a part in encouraging young women to feel unapologetic about their bodies.
The Tiktoker is also the brainchild of two other businesses — Araes Nails and BumOutSpace. As nail polish is not halal (permissible) in Islam, her Muslim-friendly nail lacquer business offers a range of shades that are vegan and cruelty free.
BumOutSpace is an indoor glamping business that allows friends to connect with one another in a private space with a teepee tent.
Prior to being self-employed, Anda was a full-time financial advisor. However, she soon noticed that her career as a financial advisor was demanding and there was no way she could juggle three different businesses on top of her full-time job.
That was when she decided to dedicate her full attention to running the three businesses.
Since launching her inclusive clothing line, Anda has also continued to be vocal on her social media platforms, promoting self-love and confidence among young women.
“I started posting content about my weight loss journey on TikTok because some followers had asked for tips on weight loss.”
But as with most influencers, she is also no stranger to criticisms in the virtual world.
She once offered advice on reducing the portions one eats and how people can consider sharing a meal or a dessert with a friend to lose weight. This rubbed fitness instructors the wrong way.
“They believed that I was advocating for an unhealthy lifestyle, but I knew my tips were normal as not everyone can eat and lead a healthy lifestyle like the ones who are fit. It’s how we take little steps to make changes to our lifestyle that matters.”
Despite the occasional backlash, her content and commitment to promoting body positivity has struck a chord with many of her followers.
They have shown appreciation for her content and products, commenting that she has helped to make them feel more confident in their own skin.
Through her business venture and body positivity content, Anda wants young women to celebrate their curves and acknowledge that their bodies are not flawed.
“I also want to show women that my life is ordinary, much like theirs so that they can relate to me. That way, they wouldn’t compare their lives to mine, thinking I have a better life.
“They say beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and it’s the same when it concerns your body.”