What It's About
No longer content with being in front of the camera, a swimsuit model launches her own swimwear line bringing in millions.
Words of Wisdom
Early on, Candice realized she had positioned herself at the intersection of two extremely competitive industries—ecommerce and swimwear—and that she needed to find a way to stand out from the pack. To accomplish this, she took to social media. Once she figured out social media, everything snowballed. The business quickly outgrew Candice’s living room and was upgraded to a large warehouse, providing shipping worldwide.
Two years after launching, Bikini Luxe’s annual sales are close to $5 million. Candice's challenges include working 18-hour days at what was supposed to be a side project—it’s now a full-time job—and dealing with occasional customers who order thousands of dollars worth of merchandise only to return it.
Notes from Chris
Candice Galek was working as a model, staying busy with shoots for agencies throughout South Florida. While she had long dreamed of being a model, she began to realize she wasn’t entirely fulfilled by only being in front of the camera. She found that what really excited her the most about her job was the brands she was modeling—particularly the swimwear. As she delved further into the high-end brands she was sporting, she learned more about them and noticed that many of them weren’t sold online. Candice decided to leverage her passion for swimwear to launch an e-commerce website, selling those brands and telling their stories, as a side business. It's been almost two years since she first launched her e-commerce store on Shopify, but she's already bringing in around $5 million annually and has been chosen for Forbes' 30 under 30 list for Art & Style. This kind of success may sound a little premature for a company still less than five years in, but Candice had several things going for her and her side hustle, Bikini Luxe:
1. Being a fashion model, she had many connections within the industry and, as a result, had an easier time breaking into it than someone without this experience.
2. Despite how seasonal the swimwear business is, her website managed to quadruple sales in the first December in part because Candice had invested more in advertising in Florida, where suits can be sold all year, and also in Australia for the Southern Hemisphere’s summer.
3. She was intentional about the brands she featured for swimwear focusing heavily on selecting those with strong missions, not just those with the highest profit margins.
4. Candice understood early on that she needed to find a way to stand out from the pack and used social media to accomplish this.As you're thinking of how you can create a side hustle of your own, consider what you're excited about and what you're good at—you may be surprised to see how some of those things overlap! MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Bikini Luxe: Learn more about Candice and the swimwear lines she features
- Shopify: Candice used Shopify to create her website. They're offering a 21-day trial and exclusive discount for all Side Hustle School listeners!
- Pinterest: One of the social media outlets that Candice found a lot of success with
- LinkedIn: The social media platform for professional networking that ended up boosting Candice's sales by 20 percent after she intentionally posted a controversial bikini photo
- Oil & Gas Sales Rep Makes $40,000 Reposting Online Photos: After joining Pinterest, a natural gas sales rep learns how to pin for dollars in her spare time.
- Instagram Calligraphy Project Earns $9,000 in Year One: A corporate employee in Texas enters the online world of calligraphy and hand-lettering, then changes along the way to suit her strengths.
- UX Designer Creates "SimpleBra" to Help Women Feel More Comfortable: How a UI/UX designer scratched an entrepreneurial itch and used $15,000 of her savings to create a side hustle manufacturing bras for women looking for an alternative to the push-up bra.
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