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A short History of

Posted by Kathy Hall on

I am often asked how I came to start a swimwear website, so here goes:

     In the early ninties I rented space in my brother's scuba diving shop in Boulder Colorado to start a swim boutique.  for about 4 years I had babies and ran the boutique.  We sold the dive shop and swim boutique in 1998, and I started to get interested in this internet thing. The only thing I was current in was swimsuits, so I decided to start a swimsuit website.  I started the business on January 1 2000, right after the modern world did not end because of the millenium bug (remember that?). 

     The internet was magic back then, and I figured the only way to really get a handle on it was to use it and build a website.  My friend John, who started a rear window defroster replacement kit company, generously donated a couple of hours of his time to get me started and show me that it was not magic after all.  So for about 6 months I built the website using FrontPage, bought merchandise, and took pictures.  I started the company selling men's women's and kids suits. The website launched in May of 2000, and promptly sold 1 suit in the first 3 months (a Manhattan Beachwear had a customer contact them about a suit they saw in a magazine, and they were referred to eSwimmers) - remember this was in the summer.  Back then Yahoo was the big search engine, but it was a directory, so websites applied to be in the listed, but the backlog was months long.  Even though I sent them a request to catalog my site, so far as I could tell they never did.  So, in September, I paid Yahoo for an expedited listing.  And started selling swimsuits!  My thought was, if I only sell 1 swimsuit a week, it will be fine (I forgot about the cost of buying the swimsuits!).  Once I was selling 1 swimsuit a week, I thought 2 or three a week, then 1 a day, then $1000. a month, then I realized I would never be satisfied with whatever sales level I was at, I would always want to grow.

     Since I was selling all types of swimsuits, some months would be men's suits, some months it was baby diaper suits.  I really did not sell very many women's suits.  I could have been because women weren't buying a lot of clothes over the internet. We are harder to fit, and also I think it just did not occur to women to shop on the internet - we love our catalogs, and we love to shop with friends.

     The summer of 2005 at the Swim Show in Miami Florida, I ran across a little company called Penbrooke Swimsuits.  Back when I owned that little swim boutique I had come across a couple of companies making 100% polyester fashion swimsuits which did not fade or stretch out like suits with Lycra, so when I saw a company making 100% poly suits, I jumped on them.  These were even better than the ones I saw before because they were good for ladies who swam laps or did this fairly new exercise class - water aerobics.  I knew water aerobics had been going on for years, but it seemed to be gaining in popularity every year.  I wrote my first orders in the fall of 2005 for Krinkle Cross Backs and Hi-Necks.  Those first years I had to buy pre-packs - 1 size 8, 1 size 10, 2 size 12, 2 size 14, 1 size 18 or something like that.  Luckily that didn't last very long, because the size 8's were piling up, and I couldn't keep the size 14s and 16s in stock!

      Krinkle Hi-Neck          <<<<<Hi-Neck   Cross Back>>>>Krinkle Cross Back

     In 2006, I realized the ladies who take water aerobics were older than the average internet user, and less likely to order over the internet, so I started promoting class orders - order 4 or more suits and get a 25% discount.  Luckily, there did tend to be one lady in most classes who was willing to organize an order and put it through for her friends and classmates.  Thus, an era was born!  Soon was sending boxes of suits all around the country, and  whole classes were wearing Krinkle swimsuits!

     Soon after, I quit selling kids and men's suits to concentrate on the water aerobic market.  Just lately, as more men are taking water aerobics, we have started selling men's suits again.

     In September of 2013, with an ever expanding customer base, we opened a retail location to make it easier to sell to local customers.  Swim Wearhouse is located in the Diagonal Plaza in Boulder, CO.  It is a funky little mall just down from the Driver's License office with about 10 other locally owned stores.  A slice of "old Boulder" that is hard to find anymore.  So, if you find yourself in Boulder, Colorado for any reason, come visit us! 

Featured suits this post:

     Reebok Active suits, Zig Zag (left) $110, and Fire and Water (right) $112.  That sounds like a lot, but when you put a Reebok suit on you will realize it is worth it!  It hugs you in all the right places, and keeps all your parts just where you want them! 

Reebok Zig Zag Tank  <<<<Zig Zag   Fire and Water>>Reebok Fire and Water


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