BOLD Women - Liandra Gaykamangu

BOLD Women - Liandra Gaykamangu

Continuing with our BOLD Women Series, our newest BOLD Woman is the Founder, Creative Director and Designer of Liandra Swim. We welcomed Liandra Gaykamangu, mother of 3, and founder of Liandra Swim which celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women through creating a platform for learning, sharing and experiencing Indigenous Australia. As a Yolngu woman from North-East Arnhem Land, Liandra manages her brand from Milingimbi, a small island off the coast of Arnhem Land and the biggest island of the Crocodile Islands.

Liandra Swim is known for their Signature Prints, which are inspired by Liandra’s Aboriginal culture – they also share a unique story too. Each piece is named after inspiring and ground-breaking Indigenous women, who are excelling in their industry. With a goal to create positive conversations around Indigenous Australia, and allow a wider array of Indigenous women to become household names and role-models, Liandra Swim is also an eco-conscious and ethically minded label.

Discover more about Liandra’s BOLD Moves here...

What does BOLD Beyond Beauty mean to you and your skin story?

To me BOLD Beyond Beauty means to be comfortable and confident. I am very strict with my skincare routine; morning and evening. I have taken the time to find what works for my skin and I make sure I stick to it no matter if I am on holidays or my schedule is busy and I am tired. Valuing your skin and giving it the nourishment and love it deserves and needs from the inside out is key. I am super impressed with and loving the Ella Baché Radiance C Antioxidant Defensive Mist for some skin nourishment. I also try to drink plenty of water, especially with living in the tropics – but, I could definitely be better here!

Going through my teenage years I didn’t have perfect smooth skin. Then combining that with growing up in an area that wasn’t overly multicultural meant I didn’t look like anyone around me, so that combined with then having pimples did, at times, make me self-conscious. There were times I remember wishing I had lighter skin so I would physically blend in better. But now I absolutely love my skin and the journey we have gone on together and how it so strongly links me to identity. Learning to walk in two-worlds has been challenging at times but I am so grateful to have two strong cultures that have helped shape me into the person I am today. I have absolutely been on a ‘skin journey’ and will continue to be on one as my skin changes month to month and year to year.

Tell us about your BOLD journey with Liandra Swim

Starting Liandra Swim has been my biggest and boldest move. Bold to me is means living a life that is grounded in truth and not shadowed by fear. I am 100% self-funded, so cash-flow was a bit challenging at times in the early days. I didn’t have the funds to pour into major campaigns and marketing so majority of the growth Liandra Swim has had is organic.

This year we are excited to launch our 2021 Community Connection Collection at Afterpay Australia Fashion Week too!

What’s your best advice, things that you live by yourself, to give people who want to live a bolder life?

Be authentic and stay true to your morals and values. Transparency and open-communication is so important to your customer and the public, understand your “why” and live and breathe it.

When you’re scared, just do it! Press that send button, just start talking, go over and introduce yourself! You lose nothing by trying and gain everything by opening up a potential opportunity.

As a mum of 3 and running a business – how do you stay on top of it all?

Many times! I often have multiple things happening at once and sometimes it gets hard to juggle a growing company and family. There have been times I wished I didn’t overload my schedule because it has meant I couldn’t spend time with my children and family; mum guilt is the worst! I have a very supportive partner though, who always helps calm me.

When I feel overwhelmed, I write a list and just start working through it! The satisfaction of ticking something off a ‘To Do List’ is the best feeling. I find that if I write it all down in a list, it becomes manageable, and I can allocate time to different jobs much easier.

When facing challenges, what keeps you pushing through?

I always try and see the silver lining even in moments of complete disappointment. I am a big believer in lessons and things happening at the right time. In the early days of Liandra Swim I was at an event pitching my business to a crowd of advisors and industry experts. I was looking to grow my network and build brand-awareness. During the conversations after my presentation, I was met with one man that told me I needed to change my product because celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women was too niche. I remember feeling really hurt by his comments and it stayed with me for quite some time after.

From that conversation I had multiple discussions with various people with different backgrounds; both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. I did take his opinion on-board, as it did give me food for thought, but I also decided he wasn’t necessarily my target audience and that was okay too! That conversation gave me motivation to make my “why” clearer and that I can’t take everyone’s opinions on board all the time.

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