Tasia Sli and Anna Yang met in quintessential New York fashion at a chic rooftop event, inquisitive Yale grad Anna gravitating towards model/entrepreneur Tasia.
The two came together like magnets, and haven't separated since. From the dawn of their community, "Something To Wine About," which was built to bring women from all walks of life together over wine to their inclusive lingerie brand, their shared brand as best friends and businesswomen has always been about bringing women together with the goal of uplifting and empowering one another.
Their lingerie brand, Flawed Fabulously, isn't about neglecting and ignoring the things we call our flaws, but accepting them and loving them on ourselves and each other.
Flawed Fabulously is the manifestation of Tasia and Anna's years of community building, and this is their story.
What is the story you hope to tell with Flawed Fabulously?
Tasia: I came up with it because I always had weight problems. My weight always fluctuated. It was so difficult to find a cute bra that was supportive if you were bigger. It was either that you had support and it was cute or that it was cute and no support. That's when I started altering my bras to make them more comfy.
So Flawed Fabulously, the idea started in 2013 to help a friend to stitching or altering and I'd make it for them. I've just always wanted to have women, whether you're a size A or DD, I want you to embrace your flaws.
I was depressed when I was overweight and happy when I wasn't. Back then, plus-size models weren't a thing and it wasn't glamorized. I just want women to be comfortable and to find pieces that inspire you to not dictate your worth by the number on the scale.
I want people to embrace what society would see as flaws.
What have been your biggest challenges and highlights as entrepreneurs?
Tasia: It would probably be my health issues. Every time Anna would push me to start working again, my health problems would kick in and there would be a hospital stay. It's so unpredictable.
Anna: The highlight would definitely be the transformation we've seen with the women we've worked with. When someone does a photoshoot with us, they come in nervous but when they leave, they're glowing. I watch someone get a compliment from Tasia and they totally transform.
Before I met Tasia, I was not that confident. That's why I loved the idea of bringing women together with her to feel beautiful. What Flawed Fabulously is all about is leaning in to what makes you different.
From the start, it's been about people of color and women of different sizes.
Tasia: And, all the projects we've taken part in are very focused on building a strong female society in which we all build each other up. What gels us together is that Anna and I have the same mission to want to see other women grow.
How do you feel social media and community building has changed your business?
Tasia: I think for me, since I started using Instagram, I have had a large following from the modeling I did in South Africa. As of recent, I feel like it's actually been amazing for marketing.
I don't think I've had any negative experiences because Instagram kind of helps us target our specific audience. I'm on my phone often and on Instagram often so it also helps with keeping an eye out for our competition.
Anna: I enjoy our partnership together because I had a skincare company I'm going to bring back this fall but one of the toughest things for me was having to post and comment every day. For me, that was so hard and then I met Tasia and I loved that she can engage with people on social media in her sleep.
What advice would you give to the upcoming generation of entrepreneurs coming from marginalized communities?
Tasia: I'd say, do not rush into things. I feel like at the beginning when I started, I had this idea for so long. I thought I could just throw some money in and everything would work out. I knew what I wanted and I was looking for a quick turnover and rocket in sales.
When I didn't get what I wanted, it kind of depressed me because I had such high expectations.
Have a goal, but also understand that good things take time. Don't set your standards compared to what someone else has. Don't put that much pressure on yourself. Work hard and let the universe take over.
I've become so spiritual the past couple of months, and I am a true believer that if you work hard, the universe will let things happen when it's supposed to happen.
Anna: To piggyback off of that, we learned the hard way that entrepreneurship is a marathon.
It's all about your ability to embrace the journey and obstacles. I used to run into obstacles and think, I have no idea what I'm going to do. I've now been thinking, I'm so excited and can't wait to see what's next.
We have the mindset now that we know this is going to take some time and embrace the journey.
What can we expect from the future of Flawed Fabulously?
Tasia: When we started, it was just lingerie and swimsuits but as of recently we've launched bottoms and a sports bra so we will have a fitness section and we'll soon have a fashion section. So, we'll just be bringing out new branches of what we have.
Anna: We'll also have a family and friend ambassador content to really expand on the community building around the world.
We want our content to be of real women for real women. We want to see how you feel sexy at home.
What are your favorite accounts to follow on social media?
Tasia: @tashoakley and @devinbrugman because they only focus on swimsuits but they're also similar, like-minded females who are interested in body empowerment and are very successful, so they're my favorite girls.
Tell us a book you'd recommend.
Anna: "Autobiography Of A Yogi," I think it's really cool. It really got me into spiritualism.
Tasia: Any old romantic fiction novel. I need a Darcy in my life.
What charities do you support?
Tasia: We donate to Black Lives Matter and various cancer prevention funds. I used to part of an organization called Behind The Book. We would donate our time to public schools in Manhattan to help students read and help them more with their understanding of what they were reading. Lots of students get left behind.
We give all our buyers to donate to one of those charities to children's education, Black Lives Matter, and cancer organizations.
What is the item in your closet you wear the most?
Tasia: I have all of these lace camis and I have them in all different colors. I think that's what I wear the most. If I'm feeling sporty I'll throw it on to feel a bit more sexy or for a more dressed up look I'll pair it with a hat and some pumps.
What is on your nightstand?
Tasia: I've got two nightstands. I don't use one much. On it, there's a bell that says "Ring For Sex." On my side, I have a picture of me and my mom and some flowers. Sometimes I have to take the picture down if I'm doing crazy things in bed.