For me, swimwear is something I have always struggled with for several reasons.
- Being a curvy gal blessed with a sizeable bust, I find it tricky to find swimwear that looks great, make me feel comfortable, and holds everything in.
- You never know what kind of quality you’re going to get when you buy a bikini, especially a cheap one that is more fashion than function – (think love island circa 2017 and the following Misguided collection).
- It is tricky to envision someone with my shape in the clothing when I buy online from a size 6 model picture, meaning I never really know what I am going to get.
Because of those reasons (plus a couple more), you will probably start to understand as you read on why I feel so drawn towards the gorgeous swimwear that The Saltwater Collective makes.
As a brand, The Saltwater Collective believes that beauty comes from confidence. So, to give us all the confidence we need in outfits that are traditionally known to leave people feeling insecure, they create flattering, sustainable swimwear for women that want to make conscious purchasing decisions without compromising on style or quality. Not only that, this brand actually shows and uses models of different sizes and ethnicities on their website making it a lot easier for people shopping to see what they could look like in these items.
If you couldn’t tell…. I am a bit of a fangirl when it comes to this brand, so I couldn’t help but reach out to Camilla James, Owner of The Saltwater Collective when I started this blog to ask her questions about how she has grown this brand to be what it is.
Camilla herself actually took over the brand from the previous owners in its infancy, then rebranding it, and launching her first collection in February of 2018 (yes… only a little over a year ago!)
What she said to me resonated with my thoughts as a customer on the swimwear company as she told me “Our goal is to help women feel confident and sexy in their own skin (and swimwear of course!) and disrupt the traditional imagery and messaging associated with the swimwear industry through mainstream media. Spreading this message of self-acceptance is so important to us.”
Camilla has also been quoted previously saying “We find it problematic that only a small portion of the world can relate to the cookie-cutter models primarily showcased in the fashion industry — so many female body types and skin colours are under-represented, or not represented at all. We want to break these barriers and foster inclusivity through our swimwear not only as a brand but as a voice in that is shaping norms and ideals.” – so you know this is something she is serious about.
The products themselves are ethically made in Canada with sustainable materials made from ECONYL yarn, which is regenerated nylon made from drifting fishing nets and plastic scraps that would otherwise be abandoned in nature or dumped in landfills, meaning the materials they use are actively helping us to clean-up the environment. Remember, conscious purchasing decisions doesn’t mean compromising on style or quality when it comes to their swimwear.
With a company that is hitting so many of the marks, I wanted to speak to Camilla about what she has gone through over the past year to get to where she is now. I’m sure lots of you are familiar with what she told me her biggest hurdle has been, yep, you guessed it, Camilla said to me that the biggest hurdle so far has been “The feeling of isolation as a solo-entrepreneur! I absolutely love my business, and it has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life thus far, but navigating the ups, downs and challenges of running your own business has been fairly isolating at times.”
That said, what Camilla has grown from this solo work is a company who should be seen as best in class when looking at the achievement of building the connections they have with their customers. Seeing their messaging and mission resonate with people is a huge accomplishment, which those at The Saltwater Collective look forward to continuing to grow moving forward.
I didn’t just ask Camilla about her success and her big wins. To keep this article balanced and to understand how she grew this in a year, I also asked her about her biggest mistakes, and she told me the following (hands up if you do this too)! ”Not asking for help! This is still something that I am working on, but asking for help is so important when you’re navigating a new industry or business endeavour. I am trying to improve on this point as I move forward, but looking back I can recognise a lot of times where I endured unnecessary hardship because I was too afraid to ask for help.”
The Saltwater Collective, from everything they do as a brand to everything I have learnt speaking to Camilla, is challenging the norm, giving women the confidence to wear their swimwear with pride, slowly changing what we all see in the world for the better. It is also a great reflection of Camilla as a person.
If you haven’t read one of our brand bio articles before, we ask everyone we interview what their 3 top tips for new businesses are. Here are Camillas:
1. You have everything you need.
2. Don’t rush.
3. Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever has.
If you want to know more, or want to treat yourself to a gorgeous piece of swimwear before your next holiday, or before the summer gets into full swing, head to their website now!