Aqilla Apparel Goal: Create a better future with lessons of my past to inspire women in the present. This is what Aqilla, my new apparel line, is all about. Born in Europe, I am a first-generation immigrant to the United States. At the age of six, I saw America as the land of opportunity. This country inspired me to follow my many dreams. My mother is from Sri Lanka and father from Brazil. Both gave me the opportunity by immigrating to the U.S. to create this platform from which I was able to help myself and continue to inspire other women to follow their dreams.
My life was not always a dream. As a child I was bullied. I was larger in size than other girls my age. As a result, I suffered low self-esteem and depression. I joined the military after high school and it is here where my metamorphosis began. I learned a healthy lifestyle through fitness and proper nutrition while serving my country. I began to learn from female bikini bodybuilders. These women helped me take my fitness to the next level. As my body began to blossom and become fit and strong, my self-esteem and confidence grew, as well. My Aqilla Swimwear's mission is to inspire other women to love themselves, embrace their bodies and feel confident to fulfill their hopes and dreams.
My future aspirations for Aqilla include providing aid to Sri Lankan women helping them escape the violence of a three-decade genocide brought on by civil unrest. The women of Sri Lanka suffer from abuse, inequality, lack access to technology, proper healthcare and financial resources. Many are widowers and heads of households due to the genocide and are living in poverty, unable to support their families. My goal includes creating a safe-haven campus that facilitates the education and training of these women in a variety of trades to secure employment. In addition, we will provide resources such as childcare, health care and financial support in one localized area, while providing their safety and the safety of their children from these violent acts brought upon them for decades. By lifting up Sri Lankan women and their families, we will, in turn, empower all women of the world. I am so excited to be sharing this journey with you. Thank you for all your support.
- Priscilla Aqilla