Our Story

When we had the idea to start a swimwear business we thought it would take a month or so. Here we are 3 years later. When you're not willing to compromise on quality and sustainability things can take a long time.

There are quite a few things to sort as it turns out. The name of course. Something to hang your hat on.

 

Objections - we've had a few

Early years business card testing

The Usual Objections

Why the Usual Objections? Like most people we had a habit of putting stuff off - especially the stuff that scared us the most. Finding excuses, reasons not to do things, the usual objections.

That could be jumping into a freezing lake, quitting your job to travel the world or selling everything you own to start a business. A tick for all of those now.

We spoke to a few design agencies and branding people and they all told us it was a terrible idea to name your brand with a negative. Brands should be named after gods, speed and things like that.

We ignored those people as that wasn't really us.  

 

The Start

Having spent 20 years doing jobs that we didn't really enjoy we finally decided to bite the bullet.

At some point the fear of not doing something becomes greater than the fear of doing it. The fear of the unknown is less than the fear of knowing where you are going to end up.

We could've just done it the usual way - raise investment, pay a consultancy firm lots of money to develop the whole collection for us, source manufacturing in Portugal, Turkey, or Asia. Spend lots of money on advertising and learn little to nothing about how everything is actually put together.

We did it the unusual way - all by ourselves.

 

“The idea was to do something I love and become good at, rather than something I was good at and hoped to love.”

Bryan Cranston upon reading Ibsen's Hedda Gabler

Finding our feet

We spent a long time trying to find a UK factory to make our stuff. It didn't go that well. The first factory took 6 months to tell us on the day we expected delivery that they wouldn't be able to make our stuff after all. The second sampling studio took a year to make 4 rounds of samples - none of which matched our specifications.

We started to buy sewing machines to speed up the sampling process and eventually the stuff we were making ourselves was better than the stuff we were getting back from the sampling studios/factories. The lightbulb lit up and we thought - why don't we just make our own swimwear.

Fast-forward through a chunk of money, lots of reading, courses at Central St Martins, London College of Fashion and IA Technical (ran by a clever guy named Dave who used to run the contour fashion course at De Montfort), a few trade shows, more amazing people, a very nice sewing machine company named A&E Sewing with a helpful chap named Rhys and here we are.

 

The magic equation for happiness

Both our houses, our car, our nice watches and most of the other stuff that wasn't bolted down. That's what we've had to sell to start making swimwear - to start our small factory.

We've been together 20 years and we've never been poorer - we've also never been happier. Chasing your dreams can do that.

 

Our purpose

Of course we make swimsuits - but that's not our purpose. We love making swimsuits (that's our thing) but we love helping people more.

Our purpose is to help people overcome the Usual Objections.

When you can move past them it's liberating - we have been there and know. Doing our best to help anyone conquer the things that are holding them back.

That may be putting on a nice swimsuit that gives you the confidence to hit the pool or do that big swim. It may be the community we'd like to build to support others.

It may mean dropping us a line for help with whatever project or event you need help cracking. Say hello.  

If we can do this while making the best possible swimwear for you. Best in terms of performance, fit, design, environmental impact and social responsibility then bingo. The jobs a good un'.

 

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right"

We think we can

Quote from Henry Ford