The latest trend in women’s swimwear is slinky, barely-there bikinis, in which celebrities flaunt their perfect bodies.
One Australian business in particular has skyrocketed off the back of the trend — Frankie Swimwear.
Started by Rebecca Klodinsky in 2013, the company is already raking in $7 million annually in revenue.
Not bad when the bikini bottoms are priced between $40 and $70 around and the tops at $50 to $60, a fraction of the price of many established brands.
Klodinsky’s swimmers being worn by high profile celebrities, including Kylie and Kendall Jenner.
The idea for Frankie as she felt uninspired while studying a psychology and forensic science at Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology.
“The penny dropped on an idle weekend afternoon when my younger sister arrived home from a day of shopping,” Klodinsky said.
“It was while she was proudly showing me her new bikini, which she had picked up off lay-by, that I felt something had to change. If my sister was lay-buying a bikini, surely she wasn’t alone. There had to be hundreds of other girls out there doing it too? There was a hole in the market for great swimwear at happy prices.”
The swimwear quickly captured the attention of the local market, and then it exploded when some big name celebrities overseas also took notice.
A member of the Jenner/Hadid “squad” liked the bikinis so much they bought them for Kylie Jenner’s birthday bash in Mexico.
“These were not paid product placements at all, they were completely organic,” says Klodinsky.
“I was instantly happy seeing these images. At the time, I did not have a single stockist or media representatives so seeing Kylie, Kendall, Bella and even Jordan Woods posting Frankie Swimwear, knowing they were not pulled from a show-room but purchased from frankieswimwear.com really made my day.”
With the business up and running, Klodinsky had to make a call about whether to leave university three years into her course, or stay and manage both tasks.
While she was “absolutely, beyond a doubt, scared to leave” she made the decision to opt out and focus all her attention on Frankie Swimwear.
“I never technically ‘quit’ university. To date, I think I am still deferred, [but] I just made the decision to give it a go,” she said.
“Ultimately I believe money is the only thing that holds anyone back from taking a risk and I’ve never wanted to live a life confined to chasing money, I wanted to chase a dream and see how far it would take me.
“I made a decision and I embraced the shit out of it, working days and nights until I could afford one member of staff, and then another, and another, and another, and another. The power in making one single, strong, decision is the greatest tool one can exercise.
“The freedom to quit was a luxury and life-change I had not planned or anticipated,” she said, adding that she now has no intentions on going back.
Her advice for others in a similar position: in a position of whether or not to go all in on their side hustle or not, she says: “Listen to your gut… Never silence that inner instinct.
“When the timing is right, when you’ve absolutely had enough of ‘not jumping ship’, your gut will tell you.
“I wake up every day and go to my ‘happy place’. I don’t go to work, and I don’t consider Frankie Swimwear my job, it is my passion. I love what I do and I wouldn’t change a single aspect of it.”
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