Eva Leung + Segara Swim
A former management consultant and tech exec, Eva is the owner and designer of SEGARA SWIM, a minimalist swimwear line for the well-traveled woman. When she's not knee-deep in spandex, you can find her hiking trails, planning her next island adventure, and searching for the best milk tea in LA.
Why do you do what you do?
You're starting off with a hard-hitting question! I never dreamed of being a designer or of owning my own company, but in the last couple of years I started questioning whether the traditional "work your way up" approach was my only path.
As for why swimwear, is it hokey to say that I felt a calling to it? I was at a mid-level exec role at a tech startup when I got it into my head that I wanted to design and sew my own swimsuits. I don't have a design or sewing background so this was creatively challenging, to say the least.
Even though the swimwear market is incredibly competitive and crowded, I felt like there was a space for suits that were minimalist, versatile, and subtly sexy. When was the last time you felt confident, comfortable, sexy, and could be really active in the same swimsuit? Some early customers have told me that they wear my tops to yoga, to bike around town, hike, and as streetwear. That's exactly what I wanted to bring to life so it makes me so happy to hear when women are loving their suits.
What is the best compliment you've ever received?
A friend I haven't spoken to in a while heard that I had started my own business and reached out to tell me that I was brave. My initial thought was "Starting a swimwear company isn't brave. There are so many people way braver than me."
I think many people, especially women, can relate to this reaction. We immediately downplay compliments. I've really never thought of myself as being a brave person, but there are a million way in which to be brave. Day-to-day I'm mired in the details of getting a business off the ground, so it was encouraging to hear a few words that made me step back and take stock of how far I've come.
Where do you thrive?
The older I get the more I love the outdoors. Being out in nature is calming and has such an amazing healing effect. I also thrive on the dance floor with some hip hop! If you love to dance, give me a shout and I'm there!
What's one bad habit you can't seem to shake?
My worst habit is being way harder on myself than I would ever be with anyone else. I've definitely become more forgiving or accepting of myself over time, but there are still instances when I beat myself up or dwell on something that a) was not that big a deal or b) I had no control over at all.
What's the best idea you've heard recently?
Have you heard of the Instant Pot? It's a 7-in-1 device that's mainly a pressure cooker but can also do all of these other things. I love making braises and bone broth in it and it's made cooking what usually takes hours into a simple press of a button.
What's the biggest lesson you learned this past year?
A year ago, I was incredibly unhappy at a tech startup. Today, I'm building a swimwear company. How does that even happen? As cliche as this may sound, I've learned this past year is that it's better to try than to sit back and wonder what could've happened. This applies to work, to relationships, to anything in life!