Have you ever considered the idea of having your own business but you feel that something is holding you back?
I would like you to take just five minutes for yourself and get to know this story full of courage and inspiration.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Kathryn Rosado: daughter, wife, mother, active member of our Sirena Elite community, and owner of Pinky Swimwear. Kathryn shares with us how she turned her passion for swimwear into her dream job.
At nine o’clock in the morning, having started the housework and with a day full of tasks, a cheerful and energetic Kathryn awaits me, ready to start our interview. I am immediately overloaded by her energy and her good mood.
Sewing in her childhood
A grandmother, for many of us, is like a second mother, a friend, and a teacher, of life and of skill. For Kathryn it was no different since it was her grandmother, Mama Ana, who taught her to sew when she was still a little girl. Over time, Kathryn began fixing small pieces for her family but later, people came to her for alterations, which she did by hand since she did not have her own sewing machine.
Kathryn always had a passion for swimsuits, which is why she liked to have as many as possible, of all colors, designs and prints. She used to take advantage of the sales of her favorite stores, to get new pieces. If the pieces she was able to get on sale were not her size, she managed to find a way to alter them so they would fit her. Kathryn emphasized that it was a challenge for her to sew elastic fabrics because she only used cotton fabrics with Mama Ana.
A path full of challenges
Life is full of ups and downs but for Kathryn, it’s just a matter of putting on a good attitude and moving on. Her parents instilled in her the need to work to have her own things. In her years as a college student, she managed to work two jobs and make time to go to the gym and enjoy her college life. For a time, she had to move to her aunt’s house in Ponce to be able to work, since it was not economically feasible for her to own a car. In 1999 she started working in a perfumery shop and had the opportunity to buy a car and an apartment. Over the years, Kathryn faced wrongful termination, which led her to return her vehicle and the apartment. She admits that it was a stage in which she struggled with depression but it was also an opportunity where she began to love spending time with her family and it allowed her to train in other work areas.
When her daughter Alexandra (20) and son John Dylan (13) were 10 and 3 years old, respectively, Kathryn decided to build something of her own. Her first sewing machine was a gift from her husband. Between spending time with her family, maintaining a home and at the same time starting her business, she supported herself by doing small sewing projects, as she recognized that it wasn’t yet the time to start her own business. Almost ten years later, in March 2021, Kathryn decided it was time to find someone to teach her how to make swimsuits. This is when, while talking to a friend, she learned about Tommie, Sirena Patterns and Tommie’s fashion academy academiademodas.com
The courage behind “Pinky”
When we got to the long-awaited theme of her designs, the origin of her brand name and what she wants to convey with it, Kathryn confessed that her father has been essential to her work. Her father, Plácido Rosado, was known as “Pinky” and she describes him as a very happy and humorous person. Her dad’s nickname was the first and only name that came to her mind when naming her swimwear brand. Being this, a way to keep the memory of her father, who died 6 years ago, alive.
Now we know where the cheerful, fun and unique essence of Kathryn comes from, which we can appreciate at a glance, in each of her designs for her brand Pinky Swimwear.
For Kathryn it is important to always be in the best disposition to put love into her work. “I love swimwear and I want to improve my technique every day, but I don’t expect to be perfect because nothing is perfect.” Among her swimwear designs, we can find one and two-piece sets , very striking colors, fun and unique prints. All created in her home workshop, and with the help of her children, to whom Kathryn has already delegated the responsibility of cutting patterns and handling sales and shipping. Her vision is to have a variety of unique pieces for a woman who stands out for her self-confidence.
A suitcase full of resilience
Kathryn, like any person on the way of fulfilling a dream, has identified the values and teachings she has acquired through her life that have become her engine to move forward. Kathryn points out the importance of surrounding yourself with good people. She has learned that you should not tell your plans to everyone because there are people that take away your desire to become an entrepreneur.
“There will always be people who will question you or that will tell you that you cannot do something, being the greatest destruction of a person’s future your goals can come crashing down. You have to let go of that baggage and keep the people who tell you: “Call here, do this, how are you doing…”
When we combine our desire to develop a skill with a community of like-minded and supportive people, it encourages you to keep going. Kathryn found this opportunity at Sirena Patterns and told us:
“Sirena Patterns has been the foundation. It has been a space where I have been able to grow. It’s like Tommie is holding each one of us by the hand.”
So she points to her mentor, Tommie Hernández, as the only person with whom she can talk about her most recent stage, personally and professionally. Listening to Tommie every Monday in her “Creating with Tommie” facebook lives, provides her certainty that she can always count on her support.
Concluding our interview, Kathryn shared some valuable advice for those who have the desire to start their own businesses, and also a few others for our lifestyle. I encourage you to take note of each of these.
- Recognize when it’s time for you: Ten years ago, she could enjoy her family and support her home. Having a balance in each aspect of her life, she recognizes the actual moment as the space for her, being faithful to her desire now more than ever. One of her greatest challenges has been managing everything correctly. Her husband has been key and that thanks to him and her children, she has been able to handle everything, little by little.
- Continuous learning: She tries to nourish herself with different resources and follow the work of various sewing experts, since she can apply other techniques into her work. Daily practice, being constant and organized, have been key to her growth. Although organization is still a challenge, she is working on becoming better organized. We all have something that we must continue to work on and improve!
- Just like her dad, Kathryn describes herself as joke-loving, funny, and true to her exercise routine. “Exercise makes us feel good, and it is something you do for yourself, and I have instilled this in my children that way”.
- Last but not least, she points out the beauty of taking care of ourselves and maintaining our essence. Even when working in her workshop inside her home, personal grooming and a good perfume are not missing in her morning routine.
Without a doubt, for many of us, Kathryn’s story is an example of resilience, that we can achieve our goals as long as we never lose the desire and stay faithful to ourselves. I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I did, and who knows, maybe, very soon, you’ll be the one sharing your story with us!
Article written by
Mariana Morales Community Manager at Sirena Patterns