We had the good fortune of connecting with Sydney DeVault and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sydney, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I always heard the saying, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” So, I got to thinking… what is it that I love? What inspires me? Where am I happiest? I started making a list. Well, I love the beach, I love the sun, I love being outdoors, and I love bargain shopping and fashion. Additionally, I was always on the hunt for Brazilian cut swimwear because I didn’t like how the majority of affordable bathing suits fit, and all of the Brazilian cut swimwear was extremely expensive. So, I started buying bathing suits from retailers and altering them myself to make them smaller fitting. I started out with one sewing needle and a couple different colors of thread. Eventually, I realized what was happening. I was creating a bathing suit that was not yet on the market! As crazy as it seems, there were no affordable, fashion-forward, Brazilian cut bikini brands that I was aware of at the time. Once I realized what was happening, I started googling like crazy. I now knew what my mission was going to be: focus on keeping fashion-forward swimwear affordable. I wanted to make swimwear that was secure, adjustable, forgiving, and for the active lifestyle – all for $50 or less. And that’s exactly what I did. Thus, Pepper Blackwood was born.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am extremely proud of the product and business I have built! I am the sole founder and designer of Pepper Blackwood bikinis. My brand is focused on keeping fashion-forward bikinis affordable: all sets are $50 or less! I am devoted to providing the highest quality bikinis for the active lifestyle. I was fed up with ridiculously priced swimwear, and decided something had to be done. All Pepper Blackwood bikinis are extremely flattering, as they hug all the right places. I have spent countless hours perfecting the cheeky fit and have gotten rave reviews since inception. All bikinis are secure, adjustable, and forgiving. I know what works! Starting and owning your own business is NOT easy, but it is worth it! You will want to give up, you will feel stressed, you will feel judged, you will lose money, and you will feel lost MANY times. My advice to people who are just starting their journey: 1. What you want exists, don’t settle until you get it. 2. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who inspire you and add value to your life. If possible, find a mentor who can help guide you. 3. You don’t need to know what you’re doing when you start, you just need to START. 4. Figure out your mission statement or your “why.” What sets you apart from other brands or businesses? What value are you adding to the market or your customers?
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
San Diego is the best city in the world! Some of my favorite places to adventure are Sunset Cliffs, Black’s Beach, Mission Bay, and Torrey Pines. There are so many hidden trails and breathtaking secret spots! As far as my favorite places to eat or drink, Nolita Hall, Moonshine Beach, Firehouse, El Prez, Duck Dive, and Kettner Exchange top my list. Heading Downtown to Petco Park to watch a ballgame, going for a stroll near the USS Midway Museum, or hanging out with the seals at La Jolla cove are also some of the best things to do here.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
While attending San Diego State, I was introduced to the world of network marketing and was surrounded by men and women making six-figure incomes at just 20 years old. This sparked my interest in entrepreneurship and from this point on I knew that I needed to start my own business to get to where I wanted to be in life. I surrounded myself with successful people, went to numerous business conferences, and learned as much as I could. These experiences shaped my mentality and helped me to realize that anything is possible.