Candice Galek, Owner & Founder Bikini Luxe
Candice Galek a former fashion model, a featured Forbes 30 under 30 girl boss! Where, how and when? Candice Galek created Bikini Luxe in 2014 with the goal of creating your go-to online destination for designer bikinis. Bikini Luxe has grown quickly from her living room in Miami Beach to warehouses all over the USA! Not only has Bikini Luxe been featured in Forbes, but on Shape, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, INC, Huffington Post, Elite Daily, BBC, Etc.. On and on!
Candice Galek had a different way (boss way) of promoting Bikini Luxe in March 2016, on an unconventional platform, professional networking site LinkedIn. The series of sexy photos of models wearing her bikinis stirred a backlash from users who blasted her for treating the buttoned-up site like an Instagram feed.
“It was very suit and tie, and here I was posting these beautiful women, sprawled out on a beach in Tahiti,” says Galek.
Instead of backing down, she upped the ante with an ultra-sexy shot of a neon green and lavender Montce bikini that exposed a half-naked Miss Universe contestant Natalie Roser. What she wrote in her LinkedIn caption, ”Is this appropriate for LinkedIn?” And, yep, the post immediately had 50,000 views and 500 comments and boosted Bikini Luxe’s sales by 20%. In 2017, Galek is aiming to hit $5 million in revenue and to produce her own house brand.
Candice is inspired by her travels and the urge to do good within the community, which is why each and every one of the brands that she features have a strong mission statement.
"‘’If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now’’"
Q&A With Forbes featured Candice Galek
What inspired you to start a career in the fashion e-commerce?
My goal with Bikini Luxe was to create a long lasting career path for myself, I was in my mid-twenties unsure of what I really wanted to do with my life. The one thing I did know, was that I couldn’t go wrong in being my own boss, as I believed my work ethic and creativity would allow me to persevere. I didn’t expect it to take the turns that it did. So many doors have opened along the way, it was a bit tricky to not get sidetracked along the way.
What’s your favorite activity running Bikini Luxe?
Coming up with exciting new ways to reach potential customers, curating brand partnerships, and streamlining how we do business.
What are Bikini Luxe’s goals currently?
We’re focused on tightening up all aspects of the business. When you’re so busy worrying about growth, sometimes certain things get overlooked or put on the backburner. So, right now we’re checking everything out to see how we can make it better and to ensure it compares to or outshines our competition.
What makes Bikini Luxe different from all the other bikini webshops?
From the beginning, we’ve always had a different outlook on who our customer was. She’s a woman who knows what she wants, has a steady job, and gets to travel the world occasionally. So we cater to those aspects, by offering an intelligent selection of socially conscious swimwear brands. Additionally, our press and media coverage over the years has always been more business-minded, and less fashion oriented. Which ties into the personality of the brand, which is that of a strong opinionated woman. We also stay progressive by offering complimentary gifts with purchase, better shipping rates, and top notch customer service.
What marketing strategy do you think works best for E-commerce?
I’d say playing the field works best. Over the years I have seen so many platforms change their policies, shut down completely, and it leaves businesses and users high and dry. Take Vine or Polyvore for example; those people who built their followings primarily around those platforms were left with nothing when they unexpectedly went a different direction. Be well rounded, and cover all your bases so you don’t find yourself stuck like that.
What sacrifices have you had to make to become an entrepreneur?
It’s funny, I started my company thinking I would have all of this free time to travel and explore the world. Realistically, it’s kept me at home more times than not. That’s a huge sacrifice for me.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Persistence, creativity, and a thirst for knowledge.
How would you describe your work style? Deliberate. Tasks fall into different categories: Those that make money, those that create opportunities, and those that feed the soul or help others.
Tell us about your proudest achievement?
Probably landing on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List. It made my Mom really happy. I was raised by a single mother, and statistically, we’re doomed to fail in life, so being able to give her the reassurance that she did a kick-ass job is an achievement in my eyes.
What is your favorite aspect of being an Entrepreneur?
Brainstorming. Ideas come to me at all hours of the day, and i’ve begun creating mini business plans simply to stop them from rattling around my mind. This allows me to keep the ideas for the future when they’re better suited to being executed. In my mind, i’ve created businesses across multiple industries, but we all know it’s about execution. When the time is right, you’ll definitely see more from me.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Oh boy. Well, I can admit I have a tendency to overload my plate of responsibilities to the tipping point. That taught me to delegate and give others the opportunity to help me get tasks accomplished. It’s one of those things where you have to trust others, and also respect their process of getting it done (which can be difficult). They might not do it the same way you would -or as quickly- but at some point, you’ve got to let go and ask for help.
If you had one piece of advice to our readers to those just starting a business, what would it be?
Soak up as much knowledge as you can. It’s abundant, you can spend hours on end Googling, watching Youtube videos, and talking to those who have been there and done that. If you want to be successful, you’ve got to teach yourself all aspects of the business (or hire people who excel in areas you don’t).