Interview: Union Swimwear
I'm always fascinated by why someone starts a business, why they picked that specific product or service to focus on and what motivates them to keep pushing forward in their entrepreneurial venture. This is where we get to know local makers, designers, crafters, creatives and small business owners a little better to see what drives and inspires them.
For our very first business owner and brand feature, we interviewed: Amy Bonner, owner of Union Swimwear.
What do you do? Tell us more about your day-job.
Professional Accountant by day, swimsuit aficionado by night, I’m a Vancouver local hoping to inspire others in their careers. I obtained my Business Degree in 2007 and started a professional accounting career at a large international accounting firm (PricewaterhouseCoopers) downtown Vancouver. In 2009, I managed to obtain a Master’s degree in Accounting from the University of Saskatchewan and successfully passed the Chartered Accountant's exam that fall. In 2010, I accepted a work opportunity in Melbourne, Australia where I spent two and a half years auditing large scale public mining companies for PricewaterhouseCoopers Melbourne. 2015 was an exciting year, when I got the opportunity to work in lululemon's finance department as the Manager of Financial Reporting. These days, I live my life outside the box (or outside the office) working full-time from home for TELUS’s finance department. The lack of commute and efficiency in my day-to-day allows me to pursue all the side hustles, from real estate to financial consulting to starting a Swimwear company!
"I am a big believer in the concept of Kaizen. It’s the Japanese word for improvement or change for better."
Amy Bonner, Owner - Union Swimwear
Share with us something that keeps you going? (passions, a concept, what inspires you, something you live for)
I am a big believer in the concept of Kaizen. It’s the Japanese word for improvement or change for better. It’s all about continuous improvement and is a long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality. If I can improve my life, my work, my habits, my friendships by a small amount each and every day – I truly believe this will make a lasting impact on the world.
How did Union Swimwear come about? What motivates you to push forward with this business?
I think a lot about my legacy – what are people going to remember me by when I’m gone. This is where UNION swimwear comes into play. UNION Swimwear is socially responsible and the reversible one piece swimsuits are cute AF. A portion of our profits are donated to HOPE International Development Agency - specifically to provide clean water to communities in need. HOPE International exists to improve the supply of basic human necessities for the neediest of the developing world through self-help activities, and to challenge, educate, and involve North Americans regarding development issues. UNION Swimwear has recently donated enough to purchase our first well in Cambodia. You can look at the coordinates here.
Something that you want to inspire others with or words of wisdom and advice for other entrepreneurs?
I am a huge fan of Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, etc. I’d like to pass the inspiration that I’ve gotten from these role models to everyone. My favourite quotes / teachings from each:
- Tony Robbins: Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant.
- Wayne Dyer: If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
- Louise Hay: Create a practice of daily affirmations. I have an app called "think up" where I’ve recorded positive affirmations. You can pick background music and I play these affirmations while I’m getting ready in the morning or when I’m working.
Do you have any side hustles?
UNION Swimwear my newest side hustle. I do financial consulting on the side for small publically traded companies that don’t have in-house accounting departments. I prepare the financial statements and MD&A’s that are listed quarterly on the TSX for a few companies at the moment. I would love to get into more consulting involving start-ups and small businesses. I also own a few properties that I rent out currently. I’d like to get more into the Air BnB space or corporate rentals with my place downtown this summer.
How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle while being so busy with your day-job and sides hustles?
I love the endorphins and serotonin that I get from working out. I work out 6 times a week (2 times with a trainer). I have a love for cooking / baking! On Sundays, I try to meal prep for the week – do a big grocery shop and make all my breakfasts and lunches so that I don’t make bad decisions during the week.
Follow Union Swimwear online: @union.swimwear on instagram | Check out the website: www.unionswimwear.com
UNION SWIMWEAR WILL BE at OUR #MADEINTHE604 pop-up market on july 22, 2018 at the heritage hall (3102 Main Street, vancouver) - come and check out the union swimwear line and meet amy!