We caught up with Bikini Luxe’s CEO, Candice Galek, for an interview. “Caught up with” means in this case literally. We were firing emails at each other when in range in different time zones. She’s a very busy person.
What’s your background story in fashion? When did you first realize that Bikini Luxe was going viral?
I have an old tattered photograph of myself as a golden-haired toddler wearing a teeny tiny leopard print triangle bikini. I believe my parents might have unknowingly gotten me started in the swimwear industry at this exact moment. I grew up doing cannonballs into the pool, or splashing in the waves at the beach. I have always had online blogs where I would obsess over the current trends, I clipped fashion photography out of popular magazines like nobodies business. Similar to most teenagers I had the dream of being a model, but I didn’t get into it until my early twenties. It was fun for a while, but I realized I didn’t care for shooting as much as I thought I would, and instead of having fun during the photoshoot I instead would be dreaming of the juicy cheeseburger waiting for me at the end of it. I quickly fell in love with the different swimwear brands styles, colors, and different fabrics but if I wasn’t shooting them, how would I get my hands on them? Every job I have ever had has been customer service and/or sales related, it seems I am a natural born sales person. A lightbulb went off and I decided to put my talent and my passion together, thus creating Bikini Luxe.
How did you feel about suddenly getting so popular and well known?
A few months ago girls began tagging us in their social media posts while wearing something they purchased from our website. I would see them gushing to their friends about how amazing of a shop we were, and how they should check us out. Word of mouth really is an amazing thing, so when I saw people taking the time to promote our brand without us even asking, it was really a touching moment.
We are still growing, but in a small period of time we’ve made a huge impact. Nothing compares to when I see girls wearing our products out in public, I always stop them to compliment them on their outfit and ask where it’s from. Sometimes I get a vague, “Oh some shop online” answer but I literally beg them to tell me where they got it. When they finally say, “Bikini Luxe” my heart skips a beat!
What sort of inquiries do you get about your products?
We mostly get sizing questions, but the male customers always have the best ones. “My girlfriend has big boobs (but not too big) and I don’t know what size bottom she is, what size should I get for her?” We end up telling them to sneak a peek into her closet to get the racy size details for us!
What do you really love about Bikini Luxe?
I enjoy putting the finishing touches on things. Our packaging is done with love, it includes shiny metallic bubble mailers, colorful clothing bags, we spritz every package individually with whichever scent we’re obsessed with at the moment, and we often times include a free gift along with your order. Personalized touches like this make it feel more like a gift to yourself, as opposed to a random online purchase. I truly adore how many friends we have made throughout this whole process. We email back and forth for days on end to help people get the perfect swimsuit for them, and in the right amount of time. I’ve met girls all over the world who come from a slew of backgrounds, all who are looking for something specific. Being able to make women of all sorts of shapes and sizes feel happy and confident while wearing a tiny piece of fabric really puts me in a good mood.
What’s the best three tips you would give on Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation?
1. For social media marketing we really like Instagram, there is an app called FourSixty.com that integrates with our website and Instagram and it allows us to sell from our Instagram posts. Amazing stuff.
2. Another tactic we use is giving products away to well-known fashion bloggers. Initially we used to give to models but we found that the fashion bloggers have way more pull in the industry. This has helped us grow our social media accounts exponentially.
3. When it comes to search engine optimization we have found that outsourcing our work overseas with a manager here in the USA has worked the best. We spend a large percent of our budget on SEO and are going after some highly competitive terms. Organic SEO is so much more valuable in the long term than paid per click.
What’s the game plan for Bikini Luxe?
There’s one thing for sure about the fashion industry – Leaders win. Bikini Luxe may be a young company, but it has Winner written all over it. Don’t be too surprised if this company becomes as much of a household name as its brands.
Bikini Luxe is just getting started. We’re looking to expand our selection of swimwear, clothing, and accessories to feature a range of inexpensive and high-end designer options. We are currently spearheading Women’s Activewear. Looking good in a bikini doesn’t happen naturally, I believe fitness and swimwear go hand in hand. Rapid growth is kind of our “thing” so expect to see a lot more of Bikini Luxe!
The fashion industry, with good reason, is called the toughest on Earth for startups. It’s not merely murderous, it’s an extermination machine. Only the good and the saleable survive. There are no exceptions.
I can see this business evolving and expanding with an interested customer base and a lot of interest from top of the line fashion people who do understand the new market. Keep an eye on this brand, because this is where the new industry needs to go to have any chance of viability.