JUST BE YOU- Paula Kenneally of UBU Swimwears

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Meeting awe-inspiring people is one of the greatest things that we have experienced through Binary Style. We can't state that enough. We got to meet many amazing brand owners who have worked hard to make a difference through their platform. Paula Kenneally, the spark behind UBU Swimwear is one of them. The brand focuses on sustainable swimwear that’s ethically and responsibly produced and helps women feel great.

In 2021 Paula together with Mary Victor, founder of The Body Within movement created #youbeyou Campaign to promote and show body acceptance. Recently she uses her platform to organise events for women by women like the super fun SUP (Stand-Up Paddling) sessions at Sentosa beach.

We invited Paula for a chat to get to know more about herself and her whys. The more we learn about her, the more inspired we are. 

Can you tell us about yourself?

I’m Paula. From Ireland, though I’ve been away for over a decade now. I will be 40 this year (big celebrations planned!). I am married and have one dog though I’d have a lot more if I could!. I love sports and being active. I love meeting new people and trying new things.

Paula is wearing Orange Thieves scardigan with The Carmen swimsuit from UBU Swimwear.

What motivated you to start UBU swimwear? Tell us more about the brand

I started UBU because I could not find swimwear that look good but not fussy, and had enough coverage and support for me to run around in without worrying about "wardrobe malfunctions". I needed something that was active-friendly and was made to last and doesn’t get really saggy and fade after just a few wears. I spent many years as a consumer researching best designs and fabrics and eventually that led me to start working on those designs and starting UBU when I moved here to Singapore. Way before UBU, I had spoke to many friends who were not comfortable and self-conscious in swimwear and I am still having similar conversations with women today. It makes me so sad. Swimwear should not make us feel in the spotlight - it should represent good times, times hanging out at the beach or by the pool with family and friends, or taking some chill out time to ourselves, making great memories. I am working to provide women with swimwear that you can be comfortable enough in to just enjoy yourself. To JUST BE YOU.

Paula is wearing Kakee Shirt in Tinhill print as outer with The Carmen swimsuit from UBU Swimwear as inner wear. 

We heard about your awesome efforts on community building through UBU, tell us more about it.

Aw thank you! Yes, I started #ubuwomen events last year. They are events FOR WOMEN BY WOMEN. I love to try new things. But sometimes its a bit intimidating to walk into a class or try a new activity on your own. I was posting about some new activities I was trying / learning and getting lots of messages from women who “always wanted to try it” but were nervous, or had no one to go with etc. So I started #ubuwomen events! These events are a safe place for women to meet new people, try new things and move *for the joy of it*. Your only goal here is to have fun! I honestly believe that the self-confidence we gain from trying new things and getting outside of our comfort zone reverberates into our everyday lives. The more confidence we get, the more comfortable and happier we are. And this is *our* goal at these events - to help women be more comfortable in themselves.

Paula is wearing Kingfisher Scardigan as outer
 withThe Carmen swimsuit from UBU Swimwear as inner wear. 

 What signifies a great style to you?

“Fashion is what you buy, Style is what you do with it”. Style is very personal. You can make ANYTHING stylish if you wear it with confidence and make it yours. Great style to me is anything worn with confidence and comfort! 

Favorite weekend activity in Singapore?

My ideal weekend would be: Saturday - long walk with the dog, breakfast, sailing, a curry and beer at our local hawkers or catchup with friends. Sunday - beach morning with the dog, some sports and a chill evening at home!

What are you reading right now?

I'm reading two books at the moment! Shy by Annie Rideout - my morning / public transport reading. And Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up by Alexandra Potter - my bedtime read!


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