We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachael Wixom and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachael, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
I started my business with a few thousands of dollars I had saved. I went in with the notion that I would continue the business and grow it only if I turned a profit. I was not going to take out a hefty loan or borrow money to create my brand. I figured if there was a market for the product it would generate its own future. COVID was tough and i felt like giving up but we did enough sales that I was able to keep going and this has been my biggest season yet.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I graduated from college with a Business and Accounting degree. I was eager to dive into the world of finance after graduation. However, after a few cut throat attempts in the industry I knew it was not for me. I contacted a local headhunter who made me realize I could marry my love for fashion and my strong analytical skills in a fashion buying job with LVMH – DFS. After my first buying job I made strides in many fashion industry positions, from buying to design to production.
I took a long break to raise my three boys but was yearning for a creative outlet. Living in Manhattan Beach my boys were always in the ocean, playing and surfing. Only coming out to switch a surf board and never reapplying sunscreen. In addition, they would get out and with rashes and chaffing. I searched for a something they could wear under their board shorts and wetsuits but could find anything except a basic black speedo. Always having a love for prints I knew there must be a market for a such swim bottom and that is when “SHRED” guards by the Salty Grom was created.
Offering SHRED shirts, bottoms, 2-pieces swim and one piece full suits from infant to adult sizes. We use UPF50 fabric and 78% sustainable fabric with one of a kind prints.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend from Northern California was in town we would spend a lot of time near the ocean as she does not get to spend a lot of time by the beach since it is much cooler up that way. I would be excited to show her our vibrant, yet charming town of Manhattan Beach.
We would start off with a long walk, run or bike ride down, The Strand, of the SouthBay. We would stop to stroll down the MB pier and check out the Roundhouse Aquarium. We would continue and take it all the way to Redondo, stopping to eat and get drinks at “Sea Level” the outdoor restaurant at Shade Hotel.
From there, I would take her to E.T. Surf in Hermosa beach to pick out a new bathing suit and beach gear. We would head back to Manhattan Beach and pack up for the beach on 30th St. After some swims and surfs, Probably hungry again we would order Beach Pizza because they deliver down to the sand.
Later in the week we would take a drive up the coast to Malibu for some shopping at the Malibu Country Mart and do a hike in one of the canyons called, Grotto trail. If we were able to snatch up a reservation we would stop at the Malibu Getty Villa on the way home.
Our last day I would take her to get a spray tan by Rachel, at Inner Glimmer so she would go home with a great beach glow. We would get dressed and head out to dinner at Sugar Fish in downtown Manhattan Beach before her send off at LAX.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am going to have to give my Shoutout to my family. They have been living with rolling racks and SHRED guards in every room of our small house for the past few years. This summer they have driven up and down the coast with me so that i could hold, Salty Grom, trunk shows in various cities.
And my boys are always the first to sport their mom’s designs!
Also a shoutout, to my graphic print designer Flavia Lozano, who resides in Brazil but works round the clock to fulfill my ever changing ideas/vision to make sure we create the best one of a kind prints of the season.
Linkedin: Rachael Wixom
Summer Hopper Photography.