Shimalka making waves in fashion | Sunday Observer

Shimalka making waves in fashion

Former Miss  Sunday Observer, Shimalka Bodaragama is making waves in the local and international fashion scene with her brand ‘Waves of Glory’. The high end resort wear is marketed online -  and at the  ‘Urban Island’ outlets in Colombo, Galle Fort and at  the Shangri La in Hambantota. The brand has its roots in the ladies’ wear label ’Ladies Runway’ that Shimalka launched in 2010 and was exclusively available online. It eventually evolved to include clothing of every kind and finally, matured into ‘Waves of Glory’.  The brand is a one woman show with Shimalka designing, supervising production and handling marketing. This is an incredible feat considering the fact that she is employed full time in the hospitality trade,  at Taru Villas to be exact. Working under very talented Nayanatara Fonseka, she learns something new every day.

Shimalka was also first runner-up at the Derana Miss Sri Lanka for Miss World contest in 2011, the same year she won the Miss Sunday  Observer contest.  She was the  Readers’ Darling having received the highest  number of  votes. She  created a record at the contest by winning the highest number of mini contests.  Her seven mini contest wins is a record in the Sri Lankan beauty contest sphere.

In an interview with the Sunday Observer at that time, Shimalka said of her record mini wins -“I was not willing to compromise on any aspect of my performance throughout the mini-pageants. I had first hand experience of how the other girls worked, going by that I think everyone is a mini-title winner. When my name was announced for the first mini-title, I was happy, but when it got to about the third title, I became nervous too. Although I was smiling I felt the pressure of wanting to do better with every passing minute of the pageant. I admit being confident about ‘Most Beautiful Hair, ‘ Best National Costume’ and ‘Miss Talent’ but all the other titles were the icing on the cake”. This comment from the past brings out a noteworthy trait in Shimalka, her humbleness and modesty which remains so to this day.

After finishing her schooling at Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya, Colombo 7,  Shimalka joined the Lanka Institute of Fashion Technology.

At the same time, she started taking wing to foreign climes serving as an air hostess with the National Carrier, SriLankan Airlines. This gave Shimalka exposure to the international fashion and clothing worlds and enhanced her knowledge of fashion which was extensive anyway. Shimalka graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fashion and Textile Designing from Northumbria University (AOD). She has worked in many fields and  has been exposed to  many different areas.  She also loves challenges and learning new things.

Fashion and cosmopolitan elegance is key in Shimalka’s life. She does not believe in following fashion trends blindly and dresses to suit and enhance her personality. She favours solid colours to maintain her individuality and likes to keep her attire simple. 

Her job at the Taru Villas entails travel as there are three villas at Bentota, Yala and mawella, Tangalle. Shimalka enjoys her job and the travelling involved, very much.

About three years ago, Shimalka’s life underwent a very catalytic change. She converted from Buddhism to Christanity and now worships at the WOW life church founded by Kirby and Fiona de Lanerolle. She says she has found strength, peace of mind and friendship within the WOW community.

Her design philosophy is largely influenced by her faith, and her perspective on life is centered on encouraging people to look and feel sophisticated, beautiful and confident in their own skin.

Caring and sharing has always been a part of Shimalka Bodaragama. As a Girl Guide she has been involved in charity projects and when she won the beauty titles she visited the Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind at Ratmalana and helped the inmates there. She has also taught underprivileged children handicrafts and English.

For relaxation,  Shimalka goes cycling  and running. She also loves dancing and never misses an opportunity to trip the light fantastic.

In 2011, Shimalka said of her dual success, “This will not only  help my identity professionally, it can also work wonders in my personal life. I want to work towards the betterment of society. I want to ensure that I promote causes which are worthwhile and need my support the most.” What Shimalka said then still holds true in this talented, versatile and caring young lady.