Boss Ladies | Raquel Oden, Owner of Forbidden Fruit Swim

Boss Ladies | Raquel Oden owner of Forbidden Fruit Swim Ciera was who connected us two. I met Rocc when I was visiting Los Angeles for one of my best friend’s birthdays, Christina. We had rented a beach house in Malibu and Rocc came over to spend the night with us. Hours into us meeting we were in tears from laughing so hard. Those kind of genuine vibes are hard to find. At the time, she was a full-time Registered Nurse but shortly after meeting her she launched her own swimsuit line, Forbidden Fruit Swim. In a little over a year, she became a business owner. Rocc is one of those down to earth, super sweet southern girls with LA girl ambition. She’ll check you though, don’t get it twisted! Read about Rocc’s journey below – 

As young girls, we always dream. Did you ever envision yourself as a full-time entrepreneur?

Never. Being a entrepreneur in my mind at that time was out of my league. As a young noonie.. Honestly, watching my Nana and how she carried herself and took care of the family is what I always admired. In my early teens I still wanted that, to be a perfect wife, mommy, friend etc., but deep down I knew I was destined to do something special. I remember telling my dad when I was in high school that I didn’t aspire to be famous, that I wanted my name be well known. At that time I didn’t really know what I wanted to do or how I would make that a reality.

You’re originally from Lafayette Louisiana. What sparked your move to Los Angeles and do you have any regrets?

I was born in Lafayette, Louisiana. My family and I moved to California when I was 3 and my parents separated when I was 10 yrs old. At that time my father moved back to Louisiana and I was sent to live with my dad in Louisiana when i was 13. What an incredible experience that was. It was hard to adjust in the beginning, but sooner than later I did. I made a lot of friends and learned how to cook. I love everything about that southern charm, the food, culture, how friendly everyone is. I moved back to California when I was 17. I knew I wanted to reside in Los Angeles permanently. I am more than thankful for my time in Louisiana. It definitely helped mold me into the person I am today.

How did you narrow in on your passion and decide to begin Forbidden Fruit Swim?

About 6 years ago i started having vivid dreams of having a company owned by my girlfriends and me. I started to throw the idea out to them but no one was really as passionate as I was about it. I began to think about the idea and the company 24/7 so I prayed on it. I started making notes of all of my ideas and from there I knew it was something I needed to do.

Boss Ladies | Raquel Oden owner of Forbidden Fruit SwimYou began your career as a Registered Nurse. Would you consider your corporate job as fulfilling as working for yourself?

The feeling I would get leaving work everyday at the dialysis unit was how I knew I was doing a great deed by being able to help save lives everyday. That feeling can’t be replaced. But, I was drained, overworked and exhausted. If I was going to be working that hard, I wanted to feel all of those things working for myself. Not someone else. But now, knowing that I’ve started and created something of my own gives me a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment. Something I’ve always wanted to feel.

How important is it for you to be surrounded by like-minded women who can provide you with support?

It’s extremely important to me. I never had sisters so my girlfriends are just that in my life. Being surrounded by that type of energy only encourages me to want more and keep grinding. I know that I can call on my good friend Ciera Rogers at any time. She’s been such a huge driving force in my life. I’ve been extremely blessed with a circle of friends who have been nothing but supportive every step of the way during this time of getting my line started.

The first year of business is always the toughest. You’re bound to mistakes and it’s easy to get discouraged. How do you deal with the blows of disappointment that come with your brand?

I am still learning, learning my customers and the business aspect of it all. I am just now after almost a year learning to find balance. I’ve had my share of disappointments and frustrations. Sometimes things don’t sell the way I thought it would etc., but I am constantly reminded why I started this. I stay focused on that. I don’t follow any other boutiques other than a few of my friends because I think that it’s important for me creatively not to stay up to date with what everyone else is doing.

I am my own competition.

Have you experienced intimidation when it comes to dating? How do you think men feel about a woman with their own who handles her business?

I have been told that I am a intimidating person. Not just from men but from woman as well lol. I think men admire the fact that I am an entrepreneur, I think it inspires them. I believe that if a man is secure in himself, he won’t be intimidated by me or my success.

Boss Ladies | Raquel Oden owner of Forbidden Fruit SwimWhat traits do you think a man wanting to deal with an Alpha Woman like yourself needs to possess?

A man who treats women with respect. A man who lives for something, beyond his own personal gains. He has to have a sense of humor, because I am the silliest person ever. I laugh all the time. I’m attracted to men who are confident, supportive, kind and smart. My family is my everything, so he’s got to be a family man.

What’s been the most rewarding part of working for yourself?

The most rewarding part of working for myself is having personal freedom and fulfillment.

Based on things you could have done differently, what advice do you have for young women wanting to launch their own businesses? 

I don’t believe I would’ve done anything differently. I prayed so hard before and leading up to the release for Forbidden Fruit Swim. I enjoy the fact that I’m still learning. My advice to anyone who is starting their own business is to stay strong. Do a lot of research!  You have to think of it as a journey not a destination. Make goals, daily, weekly, monthly to watch your own reports of what’s working and what isn’t. Like my daddy always said to me, “its not about how you start the race, it’s how you finish it.”

What’s your B Werd?

My B Werd is beautiful. All women are beautiful and fierce inside and out. Once you bestow that confidence within yourself, you spread that light to others and with that we can change the world.

Boss Ladies | Raquel Oden owner of Forbidden Fruit Swim

Follow Rocc on Instagram and shop Forbidden Fruit Swim here

If you know of any Boss Ladies, please put me in touch with them or drop their names so I can connect with them. I’m looking for some more minority women climbing corporate ladders and making influential impacts. Know any? Tell me who!

7 Comments

  1. October 19, 2016 / 12:39 pm

    Courtney, I LOVE this entire section of your blog. Just read a couple of these interviews and they are so inspiring and such a breath of fresh air to see so many badass, strong, beautiful women all in one place. Thank you for introducing us to all of them! xo

    • Courtney
      October 20, 2016 / 10:43 am

      Thanks so much Cori! I actually started these are a way for me to remind myself that women are doing boss shit every single day, and I should be one of them. I’m always looking for new ones. If you know of any, please let me know. And as always, thanks for reading boo! xx

  2. Tanand
    October 20, 2016 / 11:18 am

    Awesome, Awesome, Awesome showing minority women, it’s so inspiring and I LOVE when women excel!

    • Courtney
      October 20, 2016 / 11:53 am

      Me tooooooooo! I promise I walk past women and I’m like “YES girl I see you with that bomb bag and snatched waist” hahaha I’ll try and keep them coming 🙂

  3. October 23, 2016 / 4:34 pm

    Hi Love…! I have yet to comment however I must in part because U & your blog are worth it! I’m so very proud of U & all the BOSSes U feature. It’s so refreshing observing each of U simply “Do U” & put forth all that’s required to stand in your passions. As MOTHER to 2, God-Mother to many & an entrepreneur myself who’s active in life’s full scope, that brush stroke of participation takes great balance. Whatever balancing act that is currently happening w/U & these lovely young women featured is a true testament to women roaring & looking Ahmazing doing it! Proceed to the fullest & feel free to shine your light even brighter bcuz truth is the world can handle & needs to see as many Boss Babes & possible. Blessings w/LOVE! MomZ.

    • Courtney
      October 25, 2016 / 3:21 pm

      Awww! Thank you so much, that means the world to me! I’ll do my best to make sure all these young ladies get the recognition they deserve. They work so hard and are truly making something out of nothing. It’s not easy, but you’re proof it can be done. Love you! <3

  4. Britney
    October 26, 2016 / 9:58 am

    Hey Courtney! I absolute love reading your blog, it became a morning routine for me before I start by busy day. I wanted to pinch out 2 women that I personally know who successfully climbed the corporate ladder as an accountant and now have turned themselves into a business owner of a high end boutique that exclusively sells designer clothes. If you aren’t aware already, the website is called BausNoir. You can check them out at BausNoir.com and also they (Jasmine Lynch and Ashley Hendrick) were featured in the latest edition of Rolling Out magazine. They definitely scream independent “Baus” ladies.

    Thank you! <3