Kylie Williams met her cofounder Amanda Pace at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Six years later they combined their joint passion for creating and designing swimwear pieces that make women feel beautiful. Kylie and Amanda, born and raised beach girls, started working 9-5 jobs in the design industry but shortly after realized they wanted more for themselves and their careers. This led them to the decision to become business partners and create a brand with a greater purpose that they’re proud to call their own. Amanda and Kylie are young, determined women entrepreneurs who are dedicated to creating a swimwear line that empowers women to feel free, sexy, and comfortable in swimwear fabric that’s luxurious to the touch and fits different body shapes perfectly. Their childhoods of living in swimwear by the beach gave them the inspiration to create something that will make women feel confident like they are Almost Naked.
What was the inspiration behind Almost Naked Swimwear?
In 2013, the goal was to create something different. Starting out in the attic of Kylie’s house, sewing randomly designed swimsuits that took hours on end. I think the realization came that I truly could create anything I wanted and that I could do it with my own hands (and the help of my grandmother of course). Back then, there weren’t many options of swimsuits. All of our friends would all buy them from the same place and end up accidentally matching on beach days.
How did you come together to create the brand?
Amanda and Kylie met at a fashion school in Los Angeles. Their friendship grew for about 4 years, they traveled the world together, and evidently discovered both their passion for being successful business owners, entrepreneurs, and that they both thrived in a creative environment.
How has your focus on your community shaped your business?
Living in Newport Beach, CA we are always at the beach and watching what our friends are wearing while enjoying all our CA weather activities. We are inspired by all the different bikinis we see daily and also by current fashion trends. We turn to shirts, dresses, etc. for inspiration, that’s actually where a few of our best sellers have come from.
How do you look to have a positive impact on people and the planet?
We want to have a positive impact on not only the planet but our customers as well. We want to promote positive body image, positive self-talk, all while having a positive impact on the environment by using recycled materials.
What makes Almost Naked Swimwear unique and different from what’s already out there?
We try to build a community rather than just sell bikinis. We really try to engage with our customers and let them give their advice on colors, styles, and we are working on featuring women on our blog each month to tell their stories about health, wellness, & fashion.
Who or what inspires you?
MJ Day and Camille Kostek from Sports Illustrated inspire us because they motivate women to chase their dreams and to never be afraid of being themselves. Women who run their own businesses such as Kristen Cavalari and Frankie from Frankies Bikinis as well motivate us to reach for the stars.
What is your ultimate dream for the business?
Our dream for almost naked is to be in stores worldwide. We love seeing women wearing our bikinis in different parts of the world.
What are your strengths?
Our strengths are having loyal customers, staying consistent, and engaging with our customers on all platforms of our social media accounts. We are also always trying to be different from our current competitors.
What do you think, how will bikini fashion develop in the future?
We believe the industry has gained so much knowledge on how much waste and pollution the fashion industry is involved with so going eco-friendly we believe will be the wave of the future in this industry.
Tell us what do you do as the owner?
Amanda handles marketing, shipments, and photoshoots. Kylie handles the production of bikinis, email marketing, website development, and returns and exchanges. We both work together on designs, colors, and what we want as the vision for the branding such as what the Instagram feed looks like and the vibe of our website and social media accounts. We actually go to LA together before the launch of each line and handpick the fabric and colors together and have so much fun during the design process! We have built such great relationships with our vendors, so it’s always a pleasure going up there!
How is fashion in the bikini world today than it was just a few years ago?
When Kylie first created the company in 2013, social media wasn’t as big as it is today. Influencers that were considered “big” had 10K followers. Nowadays there are so many different people and platforms to advertise on and people have much larger audiences. This has allowed bikini brands to expand on their collections and be more creative with their designs. Being able to promote directly to consumers rather than just a few photos on the website, in our opinion, has changed the way companies look at designing.
What is the one technology trend within your industry that cannot be ignored?
Influencer marketing is huge. If one model posts and tags your bikini the number of followers and traffic to your site can change overnight. We gifted a bikini to Madelyn Cline from the Netflix series Outerbanks and she posted and tagged us and we grew a few thousand followers overnight.
How do you keep yourself updated? What are some of the websites or magazines or apps that you subscribe to or read regularly?
We really get inspired by other female designers and women owned businesses. Also personal accounts of owners, Frankies Owner Francescaaiello, Kristen Cav alari, Womenontopp, Womenentrepreneurs. We enjoy seeing what they do in their day to day life and what they are reading and listening to.
What do you feel are the current trends in the fashion world?
String string string, The tinnier the better
What has been your greatest accomplishment so far?
Being featured in Sports Illustrated in 2020. Camille Kostek wearing our bikini! As well as Madelyn Cline, Dixie D’Amelio, and other TikTok stars. We gifted them our suits and they liked them enough to post and tag us.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Never compare your company to other companies. Follow your heart and stay in your lane. Consistency is key as well. Sometimes it’s draining starting something without seeing the instant growth but just keep going! If it’s your passion, it’s worth it.
What has been your favorite moment in your career so far?
We took our first collection to Bali to shoot all our content out there and I think that was such a fun and exciting experience and the content came out amazing.
Share two pieces of advice for female entrepreneurs.
1. Stay consistent 2. Stand firm in your beliefs. Don’t change to the world today, continue to promote positivity.