Gemma Crowe launched her brand in 2018 after finding a perfect match with an Instagram personality and hasn’t looked back. Gemma is the Founder of Infamous Swim, an Australian label for women who want to feel empowered in their swimwear no matter what stage of life they’re at. With striking prints and options for matching with family, the company has grown from a $10,000 investment to $14m and counting. In this chat, Gemma shares the reason she wanted to make swimwear for all bodies, the disasters her business has come through over the years and how relationships will always be the most important thing.
What I love about Gemma is that she is a true founder and creative at heart. It was her idea. She has built Infamous Swim from the ground up. She is in the detail and on the tools. At the same time, she realises the limitations on the business and the need to change in order to keep growing. We discuss all of this from technology to team to funding in this episode. A very real chat for founders who might be reaching that next stage of growth.
“It was always just my brother and sister and I in the pool with dad…mum never got in the pool with us.”Gemma Crowe
Swimwear is for every body
“I grew up in the suburbs of Melbourne and I grew up with a pool and it was always just my brother and my sister and I in the pool with dad and mum never got in the pool with us. As a kid, I didn’t even really think about it. She just never wanted to get into swimwear, And you know she’d come out into the back yard, and kind of be in the back yard, obviously watching us in the pool, But she never got in to swimwear.
I think subconsciously that’s been in the back of all of this and it’s about just being comfortable and getting on your gear and getting out there with the kids and just enjoying yourself, letting your kids see you enjoy yourself instead of worrying about what you look like.”
Relationships helped us grow
“I’m a real relationship person. I like to kind of connect with people and kind of get on the same level and figure out whether they’re aligned with me before actually working with them, and I was able to do that at the start. So being on maternity leave, being awake all night, I kind of inject myself into that mum space on Instagram, and became really good friends with with people and it’s amazing – you’ve never met these people, but you’re actually speaking to them all the time in DMs or on on their posts, just building each other up, and I had that time to do that.
So when I first launched, Marcia, who I work with, the Instagram personality, she worked on a commission basis. I didn’t have to pay her anything up front or anything like that. She just really loved to help small business and she loved the idea, she really connected with it, which was awesome. I had a friend helping me do graphic design. I had another mum from Melbourne who took some photos for me and those photos went viral… it was really about building connections and building relationships with these people. And it just went crazy at the start and I think all of those different relationships that I built helped the following grow.”
Know your numbers
“What do I stress about? Cash flow is my number one. Just be on your numbers, because if you’re not, it just gets away from you. And even if you don’t understand the numbers yet, finding someone that is within your budget that can help you understand the numbers.”
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