From Modeling Babe to Girl Boss
In 2014, a bikini geek posted a photo on LinkedIn of Miss Universe Natalie Roser wearing one of her flesh-baring bikinis. The negative comments actually had a positive effect: sales of Bikini Luxe, the bikini geek’s online swimwear store, increased 20%.
Candice Galek is a former fashion model and Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree. She founded Bikini Luxe three years ago after a successful swimwear-modeling career. In her twenties, Candice spent years behind the scenes and networked with swimwear designers. She leveraged this expertise to launch her online swimwear brand.
Bikini Luxe’s mission: sell a variety of bikinis to women of all shapes and sizes. “I want to be the #1 online destination for designer swimwear,” Candice says. Her philosophy of continuous improvement has launched Candice to within inches of her goal: Bikini Luxe now ranks third in sales among online swimwear retailers.
Bikini Luxe is based in Miami Beach and is a purveyor of luxury swimwear including Luli Fama and Frankie’s Bikinis. Bikini Luxe prides itself on its customer service, generous return policy, and partnerships with community-minded brands: “…we focus primarily on whether they have a motivation to do great in the community,” Candice explains. Brands using sustainable materials or providing work to the needy catch her eye.
Candice plans to build on her success by expanding her selection of styles and sizes to include plus-size women. “Plus-size swimwear has become prevalent,” Candice adds. What about her own swimwear line? “If I were to create my own line, it would be to produce styles women love at a better price point and profit margin for us,” Candice says.
As a girl boss, Candice offers this advice to prospective business owners: “If you are not a self starter I suggest you don’t start a business. Focus on your other assets.”