NOMADS SWIMWEAR + TAYLOR LONG
"People can wear whatever they'd like, regardless of their size, and it's our job as a brand to create pieces for bodies of all sizes."
About Nomads Swimwear: Through my experience as a designer, I've been exposed to the glacial pace that the fashion industry has taken when it comes to making size inclusion a priority. One of the many segments of the industry that this glacial pace is evident is the swimwear industry. Throughout my time as a plus-size model, this became apparent while on swimwear jobs where I was having to model matronly and modest swim styles made for curvy and plus-size women. I was often left wondering, who would wear these? Where are the cute brands that have extended sizing? Enter Nomads. We are bridging the gap by offering continuity across sizes in our chic, bold swim styles to show that real size inclusion is possible! It is our belief that everyone should have access to the same style of clothing, no matter their size, that is why it is so important for us to have an extensive size range of sizes XS-5X!
Uhm, can we just tell you, what you're doing with size-inclusivity is something that we are SO excited to see come into the clothing scene! You've got to have at least one design that is your all time fave, which is it?
It’s so hard to choose just one. But if I had to pick my top three would be the Bay, Current, and the Wave!
What has it been like building a company like NomadsSwimwear? How did you come up with the idea and how did you get started?
It’s been a challenging and interesting but fun experience to say the least! Nomads started as my capstone collection in my final semester of fashion design school at the University of Cincinnati. It was there that I learned the fundamentals of design and was able to find the inspiration for the brand and the first collection. Coupled with my experience as a model and my exposure to the market, it became crystal clear just how necessary creating a brand like Nomads is.
Let's get into the nitty gritty-- being a business owner in today's world can be extremely challenging. Did you ever want to give up/quit? How did you deal with this feeling + overcome it?
There are definitely days when I feel overwhelmed but never days when I want to completely quit and give up. On days when I feel overwhelmed, I try and take some time for myself and do something relaxing or something that brings me joy.
How do you manage work-life balance? How has this shifted since you first started the business?
To be honest, I’m still figuring out that balance. As a founder of a new brand, it can be a lot of late nights and early mornings which makes it hard to have that balance, at least initially. But as we’ve grown, I’ve tried to set my hours and give myself that time to fully “clock out” and recharge.
Your inbox status says so much about your personality, so we have to know! Are you the kind of person that has an empty inbox or the kind of person who has thousands of unread emails?
I wouldn’t say I have SO many unread mails, I do have a few unread marketing emails from brands. Does that count?
Girl, you are KILLING it with your features in Marie Claire + Forbes. What has been your most memorable experience as a business owner?
There’s been several memorable moments even though we only launched in July of 2020. Forbes was definitely up there but other memorable experiences have been being selected as a Founder of Change by American Express and the first Home For Dreams initiative recipient by Parachute Home.
Have you gotten any backlash from customers or the fashion industry? Have you been faced with challenges because your swimwear is size inclusive?
Lately I have gotten some backlash, but it hasn’t come from the industry. It has come from older women who find us via Instagram or Facebook and don’t like seeing liberated curvy and fat bodies. Whenever this occurs, I try and use it as a teachable moment and explain to them that people can wear whatever they’d like, regardless of their size, and it’s our job as a brand to create pieces for bodies of all sizes.
Where do you get inspiration from when designing new swimwear collections? Where does that spark usually come from?
Each of our destination collections are inspired by a different destination. Our photographs we take there are how we create our one-of-a-kind prints.
What kind of interview would this be if we didn't ask everyone's "favorite" question? Where do you want to see Nomad Swimwear in 5 years? What's your long-term vision?
In 5 years, I definitely see Nomads expanding into new categories like resort wear, activewear, and loungewear. Those are all categories I love designing, so I’m excited to see the brand expand over time.
What piece of advice would you give to female business owners just starting out?
Be patient and don’t give up. I think so often we hear about brands being overnight successes and that can really cloud how we think of our businesses and successes. We don’t always hear about the years in the making that led to that moment of success for the brand. And like anything, good things take time so it’s important to apply that to our own lives, brands, and entrepreneurial journeys.
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