Tell us about your entrepreneurial product or service?
My two sisters and I decided to design an anti-chafe swimsuit for boys and men after watching our sons and husbands suffer year after year on vacation. Every beach vacation they would get an uncomfortable chafing rash from their swimsuit. After researching and finding there was no anti-chafe swimsuit on the market, we decided that we could create one.
What inspired you to launch your business idea?
My sister Sue experienced what millions of other Americans are currently experiencing: Loss. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, lost her job, her marriage and finally her house. That was the catalyst to start this business. My sister Kym and I decided that we would finally create the business that we had talked about doing for years in hopes that we could help our sister build a better life for her two young boys and also create a great product. We brought in our friend Cathy, who has incredible business experience, and our dream became a reality.
What problem does your business or organization solve?
NoNetz Swimsuits solve the chafing problem that many men and boys experience from conventional mesh bathing suit briefs. We have replaced the irritating net liner with a super comfortable, anti-bacterial, UPF 50 leg liner. No Net = No Irritation. Our suits are also great for children sensitive to texture and the feel of clothing. They are loose fitting and non-irritating.
What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur and how are you working to overcome it?
We have had many challenges along the way!
First, we come from many different backgrounds. Wall Street Executive, Bank Officer, Teacher and Medical Records Analyst. None of us had ANY fashion experience. We had to learn the business from the ground up. We hired a fashion consultant who brought us around the garment district in New York City and we learned everything we needed to learn to bring a product from idea to market.
We are determined to keep our suits made in the USA. That is itself is a huge challenge. It is so much more expensive to manufacture in this country but we feel so strongly that we had to keep the jobs here. Since our cost per suit is so high, we are unable to sell wholesale. We are currently selling solely on our website.
Another challenge we faced was finding fabric companies that will sell us the low minimums that we need. We are such a small company that we only order small quantities of fabric. Most companies won't even talk to us with the small amounts we need to order. Once company told us that it wouldn't even be worth it for them to turn on their lights for us.
We are overcoming our challenges by never taking “No” for an answer. When we are rejected we just move on to the next lead and keep going.
Give us one word that people might use to describe you.
How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
Project Eve has been a fantastic resource for us. They have introduced us to many organizations that help women owned businesses. We are so grateful that we found Project Eve.
Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry.
Manufacturing is slowly making its way back to the USA. We are hoping to see more clothing made in America in the future.
Company: NoNetz Anti-Chafe Swimwear for Boys and Men
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