There has never been a better time to embrace your curves than this moment. Fashion for curvy girls has been overlooked for years, but CAKE SWIM is bringing a high dose of style to the plus-size shopper.
We are sisters from the Bronx with Dominican roots, so you know that comes with a lot of flavor and a lot of body. As Dominican women, we have found it hard to find bathing suits that compliment our curvy figures. We asked ourselves, “How can we celebrate women who aren’t afraid of being bold and who live their own sense of style? “Let’s start a line just to see what happens.”
So back in the summer of 2017, we decided to create a fun bathing suit line for the curvy, fun and vivacious babe. We created CAKE SWIM. We wanted a theme that was fun, delicious and unapologetic. “So why not”, we thought, “Name everything after a dessert?” Whether you want to be playful in our “Cake Pop” Swimsuit or seductive in our “Wedding Cake” Swimsuit, we have the perfect selection for you.
How is everything going nowadays, and what are your plans for the future?
These days we are getting to know our customers. For example, we started by offering our Cake Swim customers a size range of small to large. On several occasions, we had social media followers and customers approach us about offering bigger sizes. It made us realize that we needed to cater to our more plus size curvy customers.
Advice for entrepreneurs
We like to quote Sophia Amoursa who said “Don’t give up, don’t take anything personally, and don’t take no for an answer; you never know what you’re going to learn along the way.” Our experience is that you need to have a lot of determination, dedication, AND a whole lot of patience. Your business will not make money right away. You have to maintain a positive mindset and think about the bigger picture to keep that motivation going.
Where do you get your inspiration from daily?
We remind ourselves that we’re in this for the long haul. We want a career we do not need a vacation from; to be able to provide for our families without limitations; to be known as fierce Latinas in the business world.
What traits do you look for when building a team?
When building a team you need to find people who balance you out. As sisters, we can be honest with each other. Elyse is the fashionista and is great at sourcing new fabrics and finding new seamstresses. Elixsandra is best at networking as well as developing and implementing our business plan. It’s about checks and balances. We have to trust and respect each others opinions and remind each other that we want the same thing: to make Cake Swim a huge success.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?
If we can go back and tell ourselves one thing it would be to save money and learn how to apply for small business grants. Starting a business with no formal business training has been a challenge, but we’re confident that our talent and skills will define our success. We’re good at what we do and we’re focused on being the best. We know how to leverage our resources to make things happen.
What is your next big goal? How do you think you can achieve this one?
Our next goal is to design swimsuits that cater to a wider audience( Plus Size). We want to expand Cake Swim by offering more variety to our customers. This will include apparel for both women and men.
Tell us about your proudest achievement?
One of Elixsandra’s proudest moments was when the secretary of state sent us a notice stating that we were officially an LLC. I remember that moment vividly. I opened up my email and the tears just began to flow. It was official, there was no backing down. Elyse’s proudest moment was the development of our logo. The Cake Swim logo represents a curvy women who is proud of her figure, she is raw and unapologetic. We’re also very proud of being featured in “Women On Top”. Not only is this an opportunity to receive more online exposure but it’s also an opportunity to inspire and collaborate with other business owners. It’s an honor to have Cake Swim recognized as an emerging business.
How do you stay motivated?
Our customers are what keep us motivated. We want our vivacious babes to always feel fun and sexy.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
One of our failures was delaying our launch due to inadequate financing. We had to use personal finances to fund our launch. But we have learned to seek other sources of revenue via grants and seek out investors in order to run and eventually expand Cake Swim. We’ve also learned the importance of collaboration, especially amongst women. There’s enough room for all of us to be here. A healthy sense of competition is great, but we should always try to uplift and support each other.