Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in swimwear but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Taylor Hickling, Founder of 2Bodies Swim, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a sustainable & ethical swimwear brand designed for women who want to feel good and do good! 2BODIES is interested in two things - making you feel and look amazing and making the bodies of water plastic-free. We only use fabrics made from reclaimed, recycled, and regenerated plastics harvested from the ocean and landfills. Designed in Toronto, Canada, and sustainably and ethically made in Bali, Indonesia, we are dedicated to designing swimwear that not only makes you look good but makes you feel good knowing that you are an active part of the solution in creating a better planet!
Tell us about yourself
I crafted a vision for the brand, one that was part of the ever-changing fashion industry and one that focused on slow fashion and classic design. It was my goal to create sustainable swimsuits that were well-made, stylish, and timeless, with an emphasis on earthy colours. I wanted to ensure that the fabric used was high-quality yet still affordable for the customer. My appreciation for the environment grew as a child spending time in Muskoka, Ontario, and I was always aware of the importance of our water systems for wildlife and people's well-being. I also spent time on the oceans and beaches of the East Coast of Canada, further solidifying my appreciation for our oceans. Aligned with my values, I wanted my products to help fight and reduce plastic water pollution, inspire and empower women, and celebrate Mother Earth.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Today, My biggest accomplishment would be staying true to 2Bodies Swims' mission and values by ensuring that every step of the process is eco-friendly, from fabric sourcing and the use of recycled materials to responsible production methods, packaging, and shipping. 2Bodies Swim has been able to create beautifully crafted and sustainable swimwear that has had a positive impact on the environment. I am proud of my brand and grateful for the knowledge I have gained, as well as the encouragement and support I have received from my family, friends, advisors, and customers. I am humbled and appreciate my customers who have purchased my swimwear designs and share my values to help fight and reduce plastic water pollution.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
First, one of the hardest things about being a business owner is that starting your own fashion brand can, at times, be very lonely, difficult, and even overwhelming. I also quickly learned that it requires a great deal of knowledge. While I did have formal textile and fashion design training, I didn't have business training. I learned that it requires a great deal of knowledge on the technical side of an e-commerce site. While platforms like Shopify do make it easier, the integration of Shopify with other platforms is complex. I also quickly discovered that driving traffic to your website is expensive. To keep costs down, I used both paid search and advertising as well as organic methods. Creating content and a strong social media presence also takes time and effort but is crucial for building a community and is well worth it in the long run. I encountered numerous difficulties and challenges during the lengthy process. I discovered that it takes perseverance, mental fortitude, and patience.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't forget to set aside time for your mental health. Doing physical activities or another creative hobby can help you stay positive on challenging days.
- Find family or friends who can help you. You might need help with accounting, legal advice, business support, digital marketing, and online e-commerce assistance.
- To have patience for a new entrepreneurial project, take small steps. Break down the project into manageable chunks and focus on one task at a time. Set realistic goals and reward yourself when they are achieved. Don't be discouraged if progress is slow. Stay the course, and you will eventually see the fruits of your labour.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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