Women Entrepreneurs Swimwear Brands

These 5 Women-Owned Swimwear Brands Are Versatile and Stylish

Entrepreneurship

Swimwear is always the women’s favorite apparel.

In recent years, the swimwear brands have seen a profiteering 55% growth in the business. And most importantly, women are the faces behind some of these successful swimwear brands. The good news is that more women are taking stands and independently launching their brands/businesses every day.

While talking to these women, we noticed one common thing, that is: they were all tired of looking for comfortable and versatile swimwear in the market. Keeping this thought makes them start their own colorful and comfortable swimwear brand. It’s true, only a woman understands what other women need.

It was our pleasure to learn about these swimwear brands and the faces behind them.

Read on and get inspired!

Natasha Rose Griggs, Founder of Topaz Luxe Ltd

Natasha Rose Griggs is the founder and Creative Director of Topaz Swim. She established her swimwear brand independently in 2020.

Natasha says: “We wanted to create something that would empower all women and allow their confidence to shine.”

Her brand has also been awarded as the Best New Swimwear Brand of the Year. Natasha’s mission is to create a boutique swimwear line that promotes exclusive designs to a tailored fit.

  • Be mentally prepared. If you want to start a business, it is essential to be mentally prepared for the highs and lows that may come.
  • You have to be patient. “Overnight success” is unrealistic. Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, but very few people have the patience and stamina to make it a reality.
  • Make a habit of writing your goals. Reward yourself when you reach them, and make that moment memorable.

The brand, which takes its name from the crystal of love, good fortune, and attainment of goals, is made up of the finest aquamarine colours, which all reflect the beautiful array of the colours of the ocean.

What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting out?

When I was first building my business plans and developing my brand and product, I was, of course, very scared and nervous about investing so much money into it. A business mentor that I sought gave me a lot of advice and structure to relate to; one thing that really stuck with me was “Feel the Fear, and do it anyway” Don’t overthink it. To succeed, you have to have the confidence to take things head-on and keep moving forward. I think it can relate to anything you do in life, not just business development

What’s the hardest thing about being your own boss that isn’t obvious?

The business is 100% YOU, and there are obvious benefits to being your own boss. You can control your own schedule. You decide what direction you want your business to go in. And, best is you deal with your clients directly. Everything is on your shoulders. You must have the self-discipline to get things done on your own time, all while wearing 100 different hats. I am my own editor, creative director, content creator, accountant, marketing material designer, client care and customer support team, logistics; the list goes on. 

What is an important lesson you’ve learned from running your own business?

As an entrepreneur, investing in your business is crucial. I think a lot of people carry the idea that if your business isn’t making much financially, then it’s not worth it to put money into it until it is. This is absolutely backward to me. You don’t need to break the bank, but investing a little more each month back into your business to help you grow is the best thing you can do. 

Nic Hyl, Founder of Nic Hyl Clothing

Starting Nic Hyl Clothing was the culmination of all of the natural and learned talents throughout my life. 

Nic Hyl is the creative director of New York’s newest emerging swimwear and lifestyle brand. The love for fashion can be found in her blood. She has worked with some of the big names in fashion industries like Norma Kamali and Ralph Lauren.

Nic Hyl

After graduating from design school in Atlanta, GA., I moved to NYC with $300 and 5 suitcases, landing an apprenticeship with Norma Kamali. I learned so much from her during that time. 

After about a year and a half, I parted ways and got a production job with Charles Chang-Lima. He was such a great designer, but sadly he went out of business shortly after I started. While looking for the job with Charles, I was interviewing with Ralph Lauren. I accepted the job with Charles while still interviewing. After about 6 months of interviews, I finally landed a job with RL; ironically, I got the call about an hour after Charles told me that they were filing bankruptcy. I worked at RL for 6 years before leaving to start my own venture. 

How did you get started?

One of my grandmothers was a seamstress, and the other was a fashion designer. One of my grandfathers was a furniture designer. I guess I naturally had the disposition for it. As I got older and older, I fell more in love with fashion until it became what I do. 

My mom always says, “Sometimes you’re the fire hydrant, sometimes you’re the dog.” It’s kind of funny, but it reminds me to have perspective in life and to understand that not every day and everything will always go the way that I want it to, and that’s ok. 

Why did you start with swimwear?

For a few reasons. Norma started her business with swimwear, and so it just made sense in that way since I saw how she was able to evolve it. But also, because I’m from Florida, and my family is from Jamaica, and I love swimwear and always have; a vacation-inspired lifestyle is a part of who I am. Swimwear is extremely technical because of how it has to fit. So it made sense for a greater understanding of the female body that when I begin making more clothes, the fit will be impeccable because of my technical knowledge of fit from the swimwear. 

Can you tell us what’s next for Nic Hyl?

Currently, I’m preparing for two launches. I have a new collection dropping on May 5th. I’ll be doing a photoshoot for it that day, and while shooting, we’ll be LIVE on IG, giving everyone a first look at the pieces from the new collection with an opportunity to shop from the live shoot. 

I’m also launching a series of courses on May 2nd. To help people master product development, production, and commercial garment manufacturing. I was getting asked so many questions about it that I thought it might be easier to write down what I know and help people learn it more simply than I did. 

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

Hmmm…. This is a tricky question for me because I’m so inquisitive that I ask a TON of questions before I start any venture and had very good training, so I learned a lot over the course of 10+ years before I ever started my own brand. The questions I can suggest that people ask before they start their own ventures to help them and make sure that they’re covering their bases would be:

  • Do your research. Make sure your idea has legs and that you can fulfill a need in the marketplace. It’s not enough to be good at what you do, but others have to find value in it too.
  • Create balance. It’s a hard life, especially in the early years. You’ll need to balance your work life and personal life well in order to sustain longevity. 
  • Organize and time management. Without either of these, it will be extremely difficult to continue for the long term. 
  • Set clear goals. You’ll need to know where you’re going in order to achieve what you want.
  • Have fun on the journey. If your business reaches the level of success that you desire, then you’ll have many milestones. Enjoy them as they present themselves; you’ll need them to help you in the low times. 

What are some of your successes?

So far, I’ve been awarded a Small Business Administration award, featured in various podcasts, 2019 class of The Workshop At Macy’s, Sold my product in Macy’s, Independently owned and operated. Hopefully, there’s many more in my future 🙂 

Emily, Founder of Triffid Swim

Emily is one-third of the trio who makes up the all-female-run business, Triffid Swim, an Aussie-based online boutique for sustainable swimwear creating gorgeous vintage-inspired swimwear with a thought for the future. Her brand, Triffid embraces a conscious attitude throughout all aspects of doing business, including a minimal impact policy where our swimwear and packaging materials are sustainably sourced from a selection of recycled, recyclable, and compostable elements.

When you shop with Triffid, you are making a conscious choice to support slow fashion and contribute to a better way of doing things.

Why did you start with swimwear? Who inspires you the most?

As an Australian, swimwear has always been an essential part of my wardrobe, and during the summer, I basically live in my “togs.” When the opportunity presented itself to takeover Triffid Swim, it seemed only natural to jump onboard. While I’ve always been inspired by many of the big movers and shakers in the slow fashion movement, like Patagonia and Eileen Fisher, it was actually my time spent as a freelance writer for an online magazine interviewing a small start-up ethical and sustainable fashion brands that truly inspired me.

These are usually one-person shows or a small team, who are simply so passionate about what they stand for in trying to present a more conscious way of doing things, and usually, against some really challenging odds, it is truly inspiring. These are people who, like me, believe that as individuals, we have a responsibility to live the change we want to see in the world.

How do you think the swimwear industry is evolving in the last few years?

There has been a massive shift in the industry. As more consumers become educated about the nature of fast fashion and its detrimental social and environmental impact, the more I’ve seen consumers making conscious choices of which brands they support. Swimwear is a challenging industry to be in because many of the conventional fabrics used are cheap but are terrible for the environment as they are non-biodegradable and leech micro-particles of plastics every time they are washed. But we’re now seeing more and more offerings for better fabrics that are recycled from things like plastic bottles and are made more ethically with thought for the workers being paid fair wages and in better working conditions.

What’s the hardest thing about being your own boss that isn’t obvious?

You don’t have anyone else pushing you to perform, so you have to be accountable and intrinsically motivated.

What is your no-fail go-to when you need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut?

Nothing beats stepping away from the computer and simply being in nature where it all starts and witnessing the simplicities of life. Nature is my constant muse and reminds me why we are all here and what we are all doing this for. The combination of being outside in the sunshine and fresh air does wonders for clearing the mind.

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?

My faith plays a big part in reminding me of who I am, so I always fall back on prayer and moments of meditation to truly sit with these sorts of things. It is my rock and grounds me. Talking things through with loved ones also helps. Just verbalising what’s going on can help shine a light on the truth of a situation.

Cassandra Kuzneski, Founder of Cassea Swim

Cassandra Kuzneski is both the founder and the designer behind Cassea Swim. Kuzneski launched her business at the age of 20, mid-pandemic, and has not looked back. Originally from Indiana, she had quick stints in interior design and marketing, all while blogging and working with brands such as Revlon, Urban Decay, Colourpop Cosmetics, and Pixie.

Cassandra Kuzneski

Her dreams brought her west, landing Kuzneski in Los Angeles and then San Diego, where she spent her spare time doodling fashion designs. After saving enough money and meticulously vetting a manufacturing partner that aligned with her brand ethos, she launched Cassea Swim in June 2020. 

Why did you start with swimwear?

I started with swimwear because I had too many ideas. I wanted to do jeans, jackets, funky prints, vintage fashion.. and I can do that all with swimwear. I wanted to start with a niche where I could express myself with fashion in every way without getting too overwhelmed by different pieces of apparel.

Who inspires you the most?

Ralph Lauren as cliche as that sounds. I’ve read every article and watched any clips there are about him and his journey in the fashion industry. He wanted to create dreams and show people that clothing isn’t a piece of cloth. It has a story, and it makes you who you are – that was always inspiring to me.

How do you think the swimwear industry is evolving in the last few years?

Oh, a lot. Swimwear is becoming way more ethical and sustainable. Questions people will ask a brand before they shop, especially in the swimwear industry

  • Are you a sustainable swimwear manufacturer?
  • Do you offer eco-friendly fabrics?
  • Are your products made from recycled materials?
  • Are you an ethical business? 

We’ve evolved for the better in those aspects, and swimwear designs have gotten much better. Brands are still following the “string bikini” trends, but I see more and more vintage swimwear come back, and I love it.

What’s the hardest thing about being your own boss that isn’t obvious?

Realizing that if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. Like any other job.. but I don’t get holidays or paid time off or weekends. It’s 7 days a week any hour of the day. Being that I started my business at 19, I had to really teach myself self-discipline. I pushed myself to focus and be aware of P&L’s. Counting every penny, avoiding blowing my money on shipping, and what every other teenager does. Overall, staying consistent and never giving up.

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?

I usually start reading Forbes 30 under 30, and then my mind goes back to where it should be, ha! Most people say social media damages their self-esteem and motivation, but for me, it does the complete opposite. When I see someone who is extremely successful on Instagram and their business is thriving (despite social media being mostly a facade), I strive to become that and work even harder than before. Seeing other people succeed makes me want to climb up the ladder even faster. 

Brooke Jilaine Shannon, Founder of Jilaine Swim

Jilaine Swim founder, Brooke Shannon, grew up in a small town in the central valley of California as a young teen, Brooke’s parents moved her and her sister to Orange County in order to foster their love of the arts. As a child, Brooke did not fully understand the state of our oceans. In 2019, Brooke graduated from FIDM with honors. Immediately upon graduating, Brooke was on a mission to pair her love of swimwear with her love of the ocean.

Brooke is a natural trendsetter who understands the importance of the people she surrounds herself with. She has built a close-knit social circle of other creatives, all of whom support each other and build each other up. Brooke has always wanted to be her own boss, has a gift for encouraging others, and is a brilliant designer. Fashion is a means of self-expression, protest, and breaking the rules.

Why did you start with swimwear? Who inspires you the most?

I fell in love with swimwear when I moved to the beach. It basically became my everyday attire, and I knew then I wanted to start designing swimwear. Believe it or not, I am inspired by everything around me. The way people dress can bring inspiration to me to create something new. Everyone has their own sense of style, and that’s the beauty of fashion. There are no limits, and I love that.

How do you think the swimwear industry is evolving in the last few years?

The swimwear industry is constantly evolving. Based off the last few years, people have been more aware of fast fashion, so brands and manufacturers have tried their best to become more or completely sustainable. With the technology we have today, we are lucky enough to experience high-tech machinery that can make fabrics that are long-lasting, durable, and even made out of recycled ocean waste.

What’s the hardest thing about being your own boss that isn’t obvious?

The hardest thing about being my own boss is maintaining that personal structure that I set for myself. Maintaining that structure includes setting goals and managing actions, creating an appropriate schedule for myself, and generating small and big rewards.

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?

There are times where I have come across self-doubt. I just try to remind myself that that is normal, and everyone goes through those days, and there are ways to build yourself back up. If I experience what I call “a bump in the road,” the first thing I do is just accept it for what it is because I am an imperfect person. I have learned to control the language patterns and be able to refocus and recommit myself to the journey that lies in front of me. All in all, life isn’t easy, and that’s the strange beauty of it. The way we grow is through facing adversity or dealing with uncertainty. It teaches us to adapt and move forward.

What does success mean to you?

Success to me is the attitude and state of mind where I feel this sense of happiness and euphoria when knowing that I reached many people with something I have worked so hard on to share. What I do doesn’t feel like work, and that is success in itself.