Should shopping be a very enjoyable experience, right? Whether it’s for new shoes, the perfect crop top or even a cute bathing suit, upgrading your wardrobe is not rocket science. No matter your size and or shape, everyone has the right to be comfortable in their own skin.
22 & Swim is a swimwear line that is changing the way women wear bathing suits. Creators Jacarra and Paola both share common issues women face and made it their duty to change the ideology of shopping. Recently I was blessed to sit with both of them and discuss why it’s so essential to have inclusion in the fashion realm.
JT: Before we start this interview, I want to say thank you for having the time to speak with me today. What was the inspiration behind 22 & Swim? Who is your target market?
Paola/Jacarra: 22 & Swim was started in 2015 and it all began with a familiar conversation women tend to have regarding their bust size. We both had issues when it came to finding the right bathing suit and we wanted to create something that made women feel sexy, beautiful and confident. We are targeting any woman who wants to feel comfortable in their own skin!
JT: Can you describe any struggles you faced as an entity?
Paola/Jacarra: The struggle can be real at times but having the right support system in your corner is key. Finding resources can be a challenge but we try not to deviate from the plan.
JT: Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
Paola/Jacarra: We see 22 & Swim being an international brand! We would love if Beyonce wore it too. Not to mention showing our collection in Fashion Week.
JT: How important is it to give back to the community?
Paola/Jacarra: Giving back to the community is very important. I remember the first time we spoke and it was regarding raising money for women who couldn’t afford a breast reduction. Both Jacarra and I have larger breast and it causes your back and shoulders hurt at times. Our brand is a beacon for women and we want to help those who suffer from the same issues we do daily.
JT: What is your definition of TRUE URBAN CULTURE?
Paola: ATLANTA! Its a melting pot of different cultures and everyone is working on a mission; getting out your comfort zone and staying dedicated to the grind.
Jacarra: TRUE URBAN CULTURE means expressing yourself in a unique way to support and create a stable foundation for a black-owned business.
JT: How did you come up with the name 22 & Swim?
Paola/Jacarra: Whenever I thought about a name, the number 22 kept popping up. So after doing some research, 22 represents plans being made into action. Both of our favorite numbers is 22 and it just seemed as though the timing was right.
JT: How do you feel your upbringing has affected you thus far in your entrepreneurial journey?
Jacarra: Growing up it was mostly women around me. My mom was an independent single mom who was very hardworking. She instilled in me to work hard for everything and don’t expect handouts.
Paola: My upbringing was very similar and watching my mom as a child was very inspiring to me. Having that support system today is essential to our success.
JT: Who is your target market?
Paola/Jacarra: ALL WOMAN! We have different styles for every shape and size. It’s very customizable no matter the body type.