Initially a swimwear brand seen on Instagram’s great and gorgeous, St. Lucia Bay has since transformed their offering – creating a summer marketplace like no other. Now a platform where consumers can discover all kinds of swimwear brands, from well-known designers to up and coming names, the business is performing better than ever. We speak to female co-founder, Lucia Campolucci-Bordi, to find out more on what’s been going on behind the scenes...
1. When did you first start St Lucia Bay? How was the beginning of your journey?
We launched in 2018, I was working at a corporate job as a marketing executive for a skincare brand and went on a family holiday to the Caribbean. Whilst there, I couldn’t help but dread the thought of going back to my job and was literally sat by the pool thinking how I’d love to have a job that allowed me to go abroad whenever and wherever I wanted. I came to the conclusion that if I started my own swimwear brand, I could travel abroad for photo-shoots; I loved marketing and believed I was good at it and I loved buying nice swimwear for myself!
About three months later, I had researched and bought around £200 worth of stock. I got my brother, Arran on board as my business partner and he created our website – we then launched St Lucia Bay and I made the decision to leave my job. After a couple of years however, I decided the swimwear market had started to become oversaturated. There were bikini brands appearing left right and centre, so I discovered a gap in the market for an online shop that stocked several swimwear brands, big or small, giving everyone a platform to sell and one destination for consumers to discover swimwear. And that’s what St Lucia Bay is today!
2. St Lucia Bay seemed to enjoy instant success, how was it dealt with behind the scenes?
It was literally me, Arran and mum helping us out! We held all the stock in my mum’s spare room and had some crazy days – especially if we launched a new product or an influencer posted. Arran is a website wizard, I love social media and marketing, and my mum’s a very neat packer! So we made it work and it worked well with just the three of us. We moved into an office space about a year later and hired an assistant.
3. Did you have a background in fashion?
Not at all, I wasn’t clueless and liked it, but I don’t have any background or a particular interest in fashion, I was always more into skincare! But I’ve always looked for good quality swimwear and find it the most exciting part of packing for a holiday.
4. The brand has worked with some incredible influencers, who was your favourite to work with?
It was really fab to do our collaboration with Emily Blackwell from Made In Chelsea, she’s a good friend of mine so it was fun and easy! It also flew off the shelves from the day we launched, which was fantastic.
5. There have been some incredible moments since launching, including Love Island stars wearing your styles on TV and Lottie Moss packing them for every holiday, what has been your biggest WOW moment?
I’d have to say the first time we appeared on the Daily Mail – it was pretty exciting. We’d only been in business for around four months and it was literally just me managing the marketing, press, influencer marketing etc, so to see our little brand on such a huge, national publication was a proud moment. And we’ve enjoyed tons of press since then too!
6. Typical working week at St Lucia Bay?
It completely changes week-to-week, at the minute most of my time goes into scouting for new brands, so I’ll scour Instagram and magazines for some that I really love. We’re also due to launch a few new brands in the coming months, including Frankie’s Bikini’s and Solid and Striped, which are two swimwear brands I’ve always LOVED, so really excited to launch those onto St Lucia Bay!
I also spend a lot of time choosing what styles and colours to go for when I introduce a new brand; I really want to make sure we have something on our platform for everyone, and a really incredible selection. Another brand we’re due to launch soon is called Miss Mandalay, which is created for those with bigger busts, so I’m excited to get them on and give our consumers even more choice in sizes and styles.
7. What advice would you give to someone looking to set up his or her own fashion brand?
I would say it’s not easy – if you decide to do it and realise it’s hard or you hit a brick wall, always try and remember the reasons why you started in the first place! Also, there are millions of people wanting to do the same, so make sure there’s something different about you, and then stay in your own lane with it.
8. What has been your biggest challenge so far?
It has probably been hiring the right people, as I was juggling so many different roles on my own for so long, I found it hard to start giving them out to other people. But finding the team I have so far (a social media manager and PR) has been the best decision I’ve made so far, so I’ve been lucky.
9. Key trend for Summer 2020?
We’re loving belted swimsuits right now, we have a few online!
10. What’s the next step for your business?
We want to keep introducing more and more quality, luxury brands, offering our customers the most incredible selection of swimwear, beachwear and travel skincare – all in one place!
Shop St. Lucia HERE and get summer ready!