We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Goodman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heather, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have worked with so many swimwear brands over the years both as a photographer, model, and influencer and I always felt like there was something missing when it came to the creative vision of these brands. I felt like many swimwear companies fell into two categories: inclusive and diverse but cheesy designs OR beautiful designs but used the same size zero models and style of images. I also wore so many swimsuits that would fall off in the waves, give you weird tan lines, or were just straight up uncomfortable or unflattering.
The swimwear industry has definitely improved since then! But 4 years ago I decided I wanted to create my own bikini brand not only to fulfill what I felt was missing in the industry, but to have a creative outlet that combined so many of the things I’ve always loved like fashion, art (I draw many of the designs!), photography, and social media.
It’s been a wild journey of struggling to find a manufacturer that we loved, but I’m happy to say our patience has paid off! Our swimwear is ethically made out of the softest sustainable materials, designed to be active in, with aesthetic prints that can be worn as is or part of an outfit.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
It was absolutely not easy to start a swimwear business for us! We have no professional connections and no formal education or experience with manufacturing or fashion design. This is an industry that guards its secrets, so finding a manufacture that is trustworthy and will take a small business seriously has been our biggest challenge. We’ve gone through 5 factories and lost a lot of money before we finally found what we wanted!
Right now our biggest challenge has been scale and inventory. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a good problem to have – but we sell out so quickly on our popular styles and it can take months to restock! We’re hoping within the next year to get things running more smoothly so that our customers can get what they want early in the season.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that if you want to make it happen, you have to push through all the hard times. If you are out there financing your own dreams your journey will be more difficult than others, but in my opinion more inspiring. Every time we have a big setback or something doesn’t work out my husband and I always say “that will make a good story on the podcast someday.” So think of every problem you encounter as just a part of your journey that will inspire others!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We live close to the North Shore of Oahu, so in our opinion this is one of the best spots to hang out for sure!
You can’t go wrong with any of the beaches up here. In the winter, it’s amazing to watch the surfers at Pipe. You can get a view of the whole 7 mile miracle at the top of the Sunset Pillbox Hike. Head down south if you’re more of a mountain person or looking for some nightlife!
Food in Hawai’i is incredible, and so many places use local ingredients which make it a special experience you can’t get anywhere else. Some of our favorite spots to eat around us are:
– Farm to Barn Cafe
– Hale’iwa No7
– Kahuku Farms
– The Country Eatery
– Da Bald Guy
– Ken’s Fresh Fish
– Pupukea Grill
– Impossibles Pizza
– Seven Brothers
– Waiahole Poi Factory
Another thing you just can’t experience anywhere else is the beautiful Hawaiian culture, so if you came to hang out with us for a week we would make sure you got a real experience to learn and give back to the island! You could volunteer in a taro patch, a beach clean up, or hire a local to show you their craft or skill such as hula, weaving or lei making, paddling, or surf lessons.
The biggest thing is to just come with respect and an open mindset to learning and behaving as a good guest. Don’t go on illegal hikes, approach wildlife, or geotag secret spots just for clout on social media, this is a sure way to be asked not to return again!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I could name dozens of people who helped make this a reality! My husband and co founder is my biggest partner in all of this. He does all the stuff I don’t know how to do and this business would not exist without him. He continually pushes us to dream big and always supports my crazy ideas.
I have also felt so much love and support from my local community. Almost all of our models are girls that I know personally who are just as excited as me to create and tell everyone they know about our bikinis. I love seeing my swimsuits all over the island, worn by girls who are out there hiking, playing in the waves, and surfing. It’s truly a dream come true.
And of course, our incredible online community is everything to me. Every like, comment, kind message, tag, etc makes all the difference and the love I feel for the girls who support us is just insane! If I see you wearing a Sun Bleached bikini then you are automatically my new favorite person.
Other: Personal Instagram: @hbgoodie