Young entrepreneur runs handmade bikini company
Hannah Reed hails from San Clemente, California, a stone’s throw the beloved surf beach of T-street. Reed grew up on the water: surfing, swimming, and participating in junior lifeguards. A swimsuit became her uniform of choice and as she grew older, she discovered that fit and pricing weren’t in line with her standards, so she decided to set out on her own.
“I found it hard to find the perfect swimwear that was both affordable and fit the way I liked it. Most of the bikinis I liked were $200+ for the set and my mother wasn’t going to buy those, so I decided to try to make them myself.”
Reed was enrolled in a college and career class at San Clemente High School and began using her time to research how to make swimwear. She watched countless YouTube videos, read sewing manuals, and even took apart old suits for inspiration.
“I asked my mom to drive me to the LA garment district to search for some fabric,” Reed recalls. “It was so exciting to see all the fabric stores lining the streets. I wanted to make a red bikini first because red is my favorite color. I only purchased a couple of yards of each fabric because I had to pay my mom back with the money from my sales.”
After several tries, Reed was satisfied with the sizing of her first red bikini. She then set out to make suits in different sizes, which required a lot of patience and practice, but eventually paid off.
“My freshman year I only made bikini bottoms because everyone mixes and matches their suits. I sold them for $35 and they were gone in two hours,” Reed says. “That’s when I knew I had a great business model.”
Each day after school, Reed would rush home to her sewing machine to work on her suits. After perfecting her bottoms, she added additional styles and eventually added tops and one-pieces to her collection.
Word of her cute and affordable suits spread and Reed made numerous sales through referrals, trunk sales, and social media. In March, 2016, the spring of her junior year, Reed officially launched her website, Hannah Reed Swimwear.
Hannah Reed Swimwear – brand philosophy
The company is unique as it entirely focused on suitability and specifications of the buyer. Reed understands that every individual is unique and strives to customize her suits to fit women of all body types.
“No two bodies are the same and a small, medium, or large bathing suit does not always fit one person or another properly in all the right places’” Reed says. “People should feel confident and comfortable in whatever they are wearing, especially being active in the water.”
When you visit Hannah Reed Swimwear online, you first select the style suit you want and then the color and print of your choice. For no additional cost, you can customize your suit requesting additional coverage or specific string colors, so that the suit is exactly the way you want it. To top it off, many of the bikinis are reversible, providing you with the option to mix and match to your heart’s content.
The young entrepreneur recently made me a custom-made swimsuit to try out and I have been nothing short of impressed. On Reed’s website I selected the style of my choice (Athena Reversible Top & Bahama Reversible Bottoms) and the colors for each side. I made a special request for extra coverage on the bottoms for added security while paddling.
Despite her young age, Reed is very business oriented. She confirmed the details of the order and was happy to answer questions and make suggestions on color and sizing. When the suit came out a tad large, Reed quickly made some alterations so that it fit perfectly.
I am happy to announced that I love my Hannah Reed swimsuit. The color and cut are flattering and I love that I was able to hand-select the colors and strings for the suit. The style I chose is more appropriate for beach days and flat water paddling, but Reed’s Sorrento and Capri tops fit like a sports bra, making them ideal for paddling in more trying conditions.
If you’re tired of one-size fits all and mass-produced suits, I highly recommend you check out Hannah Reed Swimwear. The suits are handmade, custom-tailored, and most importantly, they look great. Hannah Reed may be young, but she most certainly is destined for a bright future.