Author: Rebecca Date Posted:10 August 2017
16.12 // Gold Coast, Australia
It's the silly season and our Christmas sale is in full swing. It's been a hectic year of planning and samples. I was really hoping for a new collection to be launched this month but the label is taking an exciting new turn.
All the pieces in the new collection have all be carefully deigned for maximum results. We've sourced better and more durable fabric and all the support you'll need will be in one swimsuit. There's other avenues of the business that have also been investigated, and with some precision timing, we hope to be able to present them next year with the newest and biggest collection yet. In the spirit of our new collection and it's meaning, we're thinking and overseas campaign might be on the cards....
Also big shout out to the team at Mo Works in Melbourne. They've played a huge role in our label this year and the results speak for themselves.
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 8042
27.11 // Gold Coast, Australia
So as November draws to a close, comes the end of my monthly research, well phase 1 anyway. Educating myself daily about new things helps keep me focused and fresh. Plus reading different perspective articles is a great way to learn new tricks of the trade.
So I heard from Bali, and well it's kind of annoyed me that both Bali and now China, don't import materials from Australia. It's becoming more and more challenging to keep an authentic Australian label, as I find myself drifting further and further off shore.
How is it even possible to sustain an Australian made label, when our own country has next to no resources and overseas has all these limitations and hoops to jump! I've been observing so many other companies in all different fields and I'm constantly asking myself 'How?' How do you survive, and where are all these resources?? It's times like these that I need my mum the most. Mum's know everything.
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7984
18.11 // Gold Coast, Australia
Still no word from the Bali manufacturer. This is what makes me nervous. How am I supposed to trust an international company with what feels like my life's work, if nobody returns an email. I'll be in Bali May '18 and I'd like to have that ball rolling by the time I get there!
In saying all that, I can't help but feel good about what is to come. Once you hit so many walls and climb so many mountains the hard work and long days have to pay off? I just updated our website and it's the best one yet! The layout is now more accessible on a mobile device and the website is easier to navigate around. It's what I've been working towards for a little while now, so I'm pretty chuffed with myself.
I also need to implement more for our members. I'll be doing more newsletters, deals and surveys. There is a piece of me that kind of feels like I shouldn't be so open about my ideas and thought process, just in case some competition swoops in and steals the goods. But it's like what my twinny said to me the other day, 'There's enough room in a wardrobe for more than one label' so bring it on.
Side note, I found another website that lets you see the back end of other peoples social media accounts and if they're genuine or not. I'm just going to say Quality over Quantity....
(insert raised eyebrow and chin scratch here.)
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 8014
15.11 // Gold Coast, Australia
Nothing but joy today. Australia says YES to marriage equality having the results released today! #LoveIsLove
14.11 // Gold Coast, Australia
So last night I was up doing some Instagram Analytics. There is such a science behind it and after digging really deep into competitor brands, I was so embarrassed by a lot of scammers and frauds out there. I did the math and half of the so called 'big shot influencers' don't even reach 0.01% of their audience?? I also found that the amount of 'bots' following these social media pages almost out way the generic followers. Is it just me or does it feel like cheating is the only way? I've been monitoring our Instagram page for a few months now, comparing the different days, times, tags and content to see which one gains more following and interest. It's ridiculous the amount of data one picture can throw!!
Also, been chatting to Bali a lot lately. Unfortunately I won't be ready for Summer this year. It feels like a kick in the guts not having things organised in time but I've learnt the hard way not to rush things to meet someone else's deadline. We base Second Swim around quality for a good price, and I'm not about to skip some steps to catch up with competition. I'm quite often asked what makes Second Swim different to the rest. My answer is that I don't know. I don't focus on other peoples work and what they're doing. I know inside and out how incredible my label is, and the ethics behind the business. Our quality control in immaculate and all our designs are based around strong women who have influenced my life. Our fabrics are of the highest quality imported from Italy, and all our trims are ordered through small local business'. Basically, we're amazing!
On another note... It's that time of year again where I get my hair done, the tan comes back, and also the website gets a facelift! Since switching servers, I'm yet to play around with the website layout. I've booked a hot date with my computer and a cup of tea on Friday to sit down and refresh our site. Let's hope that nothing goes wrong!! I've already planned the new layout and I've got all my code injections written down. It should be smooth sailing, but I'm not holding my breath!
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 8017 (WOOHOO!)
04.11 // Gold Coast, Australia
Shooooot Dayyyyyy! Just a keen little jelly bean! Nothing better then spending a few hours on the beach photographing swimwear with some of the Gold Coast's finest models.
I went with the idea of one banner image for the website and I've scheduled alarms to change the home page every 2 weeks. Ohhh bugga, also have to organise a Top 100 newsletter! Don't forget! Hopefully these Will Singe tunes will get me through the boring accounting side of things before I have to be at location at 11am. So excited to work with the Sykes twins today!
Also, quietly obsessing over my websites home page. (insert that cute AF monkey emoji here!)
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7924
01.11 // Gold Coast, Australia
It's November! And boy oh boy, the workload has started rolling in. Right now its 5:30am and I've just finished processing some orders, credits and returning emails. Last night I updated our website cover image, it looks ridiculously hot!!! I'm thinking about changing the slides to just one banner image, and then regularly updating it, maybe every 2 weeks? It'll keep it fresh and if my friends and family don't get sick of my consistent facebook posting, then everybody wins!
I have a photo shoot coming up on Saturday with the Sykes twins. I can't even deal with how precious these girls are. I'm so excited to work with them, I already know the results are going to be incredible! We'll be shooting down in kirra, for some ocean images. I'd really like to mix things up with the next photo shoots, but everything costs cash money, and I'm trying to manufacture so I'm only spending it on the necessities.
Talk about necessities, I need to pull my finger out and order my textiles!!!! It's a huge risk, and I'm just praying it's smooth sailing!! I'll 100% send through the details for a quote today. I'm thinking maybe 30m's of textile and then 30 combined meters of block colour lycra. It'll have to be dyed in Melbourne, so maybe a trip down south is on the cards??
Also.... totally forgot to slip slop slap. This girl has a killer sun tan and shoulders that are starting to peel... #MyBad
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7926
20.10 // Gold Coast, Australia
Photos were shot yesterday by the talented Lauren Yvette with the beautiful Mollie Gilbert. Images are going to be to-die for!!! Seen a few previews and I feel like I'm waiting for Christmas. Also today, shot some photos with mega babe Nathalya Cabral. Let's just say woahhhhh! This girl is on fire! Many laughs today and we were so blessed with sunshine, after nearly 2 weeks of miserable weather!
Next week I'll fall off the grid as It's 'Girls Weekend' and there will be many cocktails! In need of a holiday and it couldn't come at a better time. First proper holiday in a few years so I feel like it's well deserved? Also exciting news... I'm in the process of booking twins for a shoot November 4th with Lauren again. Let's keep this ball rolling as swimwear season has OFFICIALLY kicked off!!
Don't forget that Slip, Slop & Slap, because girl.... Major sunburn today. #Whoops?
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7914
16.10 // Gold Coast, Australia
Ugh it's been raining non-stop for about a week now. I've lined up 2 photo shoots this week so I need some amazing weather! I'm working with the talented Lauren, who'll be shooting one of the shoots, but i'll be dusting off the old camera for a round of photos on Friday with mega babe and good friend Nathalya! So keen to get down to the beach and feel some sunshine! If this weather clears up that is!
I'm still looking at studio shots. I've been advised not to do so, but once the new bikini's are ready, all shopping cart images will be studio shots, and it makes sense if the website is in some kind of uniform! Just not sure what way is best to do it. Obviously I'm a cut-costs-where-you-can kinda girl, but I also look for astounding quality, and the 2 don't seem to go together!
I'm currently using all of these programs to run my little label!
Quickbooks, Trello, Outlook, Adobe, MailChimp, Squarespace, PayPal, Stripe, Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, Tribe, Slack, Canva, Reckon & Google! Talk about a digital world or what? I look back to when I first established this business and I used 3 platforms. It just amazes me the little things I've learnt and how to go about boosting performance in all avenues of the business. Like I keep saying, it's all about growth!
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7914
15.10 // Gold Coast, Australia
Hoo-rah! Printer totally fixed itself. It must have felt threatened when it seen me Google searching for a new printer under $200. I've now reconciled my accounts and I'm all up to date on my book work. Feels so good so not sit here and stare at a mountain of paperwork and sticky-notes!
So, I've picked up some new samples for the new collection. Just waiting on a few more things to be finalized before I ship off to Bali for manufacturing. So glad I didn't print 'Australian Made' on my swing tags cause I would've had another expense on my table with re-printing trims. Now I do need to organize some new woven labels, or I might even just hot press them into the bikinis, and just bypass the tag completely. All bikinis are delivered with Care Instructions, and if they lose it, it's available on our website for download. Have I thought of everything or what? Having a train of thought that hasn't derailed and ended up in a tub of ice cream is great! Positive vibes man, positive vibes!
Also on the cards I'm re-assessing some life choices and one might include a relocation, but we'll see...
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7912
09.10 // Gold Coast, Australia
Newsletter sign ups have increased. Social Media platforms are still fluctuating but still reaching a good audience. Still trying to understand the analytics on both Facebook and Instagram, but I've enrolled myself into a seminar which clears all that up for me. Plus what an amazing way to meet creative people!
I've implemented the Top 100 members portal, where girls are entitled to locked pages and all the good stuff like discounts and career opportunities. But let me tell you, it's a loaddddd of work. So much linking to each individual page, and I'm trying to have each page different but also similar. I realise I need more content, and hopefully I can tee up a photoshoot with a friend of mine to get some new images. Nothing like a sandy day at the beach to fix everything. Plus it's warming up now in the GC, so it's hardly work :)
I still need to fix my printer. I figure if I leave it alone, maybe it'll miraculously fix itself? Our air conditioning did so why cant the printer? Ohhhh also, I have a meeting in Mt Gravatt on Thursday to review the new samples. Soooooo hoping this is the last re-visit on the block patterns. I feel like it's been that long in the work, that my styles now seem dated and I've already got 400 new ones running through my head!!
Seriously my own worst critic, but I cannot wait to send the bikinis to the girls who I've named them after. I've asked them about a year and a bit ago for naming rights, but I don't think they're aware of it becoming a reality.....
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7890
01.10 // Adelaide, Australia
Sitting in the airport waiting for my flight back to the Gold Coast. Having the same little argument that I love having with myself, which is 'What if?' I don't know if it's the slight anxiety I get with flying, or the jet lag haha! But I'm able to always talk myself in and out of this argument.
Thanks to the legend that is Lisa Messenger, and her words of wisdom, this would easily be the shortest fight I've ever had with myself. Nothing like a bad ass boss lady in the world to share her story, to make you feel some what sane in the choices you make both personally and professionally. She talks about how it's okay to have the weight of the world on your shoulders and if you feel the sense of uncertainty, then you're only human, and that it's completely normal. She's been an unbelievable mentor to me and she has no idea! Strong women like Lisa Messenger and Sophia Amoruso are my go to women for silent advice!
Ideally I hope this Journal becomes that for someone else. We all have self doubt and moments of wanting to give up. There's nothing wrong with crying and breaking down, as long as you get back up. Even if it's not at first, and you fight it all the way, there's so much strength in admitting things are totally sh*t! I know first hand how hard it is to reboot once you've shut down, and it honestly makes you stronger once you've made that decision. I'm so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by strong friends, and one in particular who is just the most resilient human on earth. That's why we suggest you all read her amazing story and remember that it's Not Weak to Speak!
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7859
27.09 // Gold Coast, Australia
Lately I've had this feeling of Nostalgia. I don't know if it's the slightly humid days, overcast skies or the fact I've started binge watching Grey's Anatomy again, but whatever it is, it feels good. It's the first time in about 2 years where I feel safe and content with my life. Now don't get me wrong, I just had a soppy pathetic phone call to the boyfriend complaining about money and work, so life isn't peachy! But this feeling is the exact feeling I had in my late teens. That feeling of living at home with Mum and Dad, not worried about anything except for what I was going to wear to the Yardie (house party) on the weekend. If I close my eyes I can almost smell mum's roast lamb in the oven, and feel my hangover!
I think maybe this feeling is the feeling of small progress. I've noticed that we've had more newsletter subscriptions, and some more international orders come through. There's been an increase in social media traffic, and our website analytics are up. I'm preparing for a massive sale for October 2nd (mark your calendars!!) which is keeping me busy when I'm not at the cafe. I'm hopefully done with the sampling of the new bikini pieces, well because she's getting a little bit expensive, no thanks to my indecisiveness!!
It's definitely the feeling of small progress. In my late teens, I was relaxed and fun and not a care in the world, and now I'm slowly back to being that person. No parents are sick, and all my time is finally my own. Which explains the small progress. I haven't had the chance to fully help Second Swim blossom into what it could potentially be, and now I get to do that.
Am I having a Kylie Jenner moment or what??? #RealizingStuff
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7843
18.09 // Gold Coast, Australia
So just a quickie before bed because I'm soooooooo done with this week!!
Nothing like some haters to ruin your stride. I've been dealing a lot lately with bad finances, massive bills (home owner problems) and lack of guidance. In the last year or so I have never needed my mum more than I did right now. So to add a bitchy attack on top of everything really set me off. I understand that putting yourself out there and being a business owner is challenging in itself, and I should expect haters and what not. But aren't we all past this by now. Why can't women just Girl Power the F**K up and stand together????
Not to mention I participated in the Market in Brisbane, and it was a little bit disappointing. There was hardly any other stalls, I was situated right opposite a main road and a pub, and to put the cherry on top, everyone decided that smoking right beside my marquee was the best and only place to do so.
Ohhhhhhhhh and have I mentioned I have no manufacturer lined up because my fall back manufacturer doesn't possess an import/export license?
This week definitely made me stronger and here I am fighting through it with a cup of tea and Jason Bourne on the telly. Oh Matt Damon (insert heart eyes here!!)
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7868
31.08 // Gold Coast, Australia
So I've been emailing content creators like crazy and now have 4 on board! I also have a photographer/model on board, who will shoot content for me in Europe. Her images are ah-mazing!! I've got to send out promo packages to Dubai, America, Italy and Venezuela.
With all this social media taking over my life, I've let me emails rack up a fair bit! As tired as I am, I'm punching through them the best I can. I booked a meeting with my new fabric rep for tomorrow, only to realize it's a public holiday here in the Gold Coast! I'll reschedule for the following week.
For the new samples for the Summer collection, I've not heard much? I've forwarded the email twice now and maybe they're not receiving them? I'll have to give them a buzz to see what's up. Knowing my luck i'll receive a random invoice which will throw out our budget!
As for what's coming up next month....
We are presenting at the Markets in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane. It'll be one heck of a long day, but I get to end it with sipping cocktails and dancing for my girlfriends 25th birthday! I'll be posting bikini and market stall images on our social media platforms, so let's see how many sales we generate. Which that reminds me......
I'll need to organize public liability insurance and some form of eftpos system. I think I seen one on LMBDW about a machine that it battery operated and runs through pay-pal but uses a card transaction? Oh Jesus I got no clue! Maybe the staff will understand what I need and want. The director for the market assured me there's an ATM facility on site, but it'll probably have like a $4 fee to withdraw money out.
Anyways, there's always so much to do but even more so as of late!
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7911
24.08 // Gold Coast, Australia
Well it's pouring rain here but I just wanted to write something because how poetic is writing and rain??
I've been Obsessing over a YouTube channel as of late because the owner is a 21 year old, multi million dollar entrepreneur. It's so good to follow his life and see what he does and how he goes about it. I'm really digging the vibe of his video editing, which is giving me some inspiration for advertising with a short video at the end of the year. That's an avenue I'd really enjoy. As I can recall, one family vay-cay to Italy, I have my face attached to a camera at all times. I saw Italy through a lens. I then spent the next year editing all the footage I shot only to have my laptop die and all was lost. This is where I learnt the valuable lesson of BACK IT UP!
Anyways, our social media posts tracked really well today and we're in discussions with some new influencers to promote SS. Also our contract with MoWorks is well, in the works.... and we'll have a signed contract in no time!
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7907
23.08 // Gold Coast, Australia
Budgets. Spent a whole lot of my life working around them, and even more so now we're manufacturing. Being the realist that I am, I know I'm going to need to save my pennies like they're the last ones on earth. The extra cash flow from the cafe is helping, and after a few hours in Excel I've structured my savings. Head's up, none of my loved ones will receive Christmas presents this year, you're just going to have to enjoy my company!
I've read an official proposal from the marketing agency last night. It all looks very promising, and I'm very eager to see how the analytics look after we re-work some of the SEO and do some more frequent advertising. It's a 6 month contract which is practical and will also carry us through summer.
I booked flights last night which chewed up some money, and with this cough and shoulder pain, lets hope that doesn't suck too much coin out of me either! It's crazy once you put everything in a spreadsheet, you realize just how much money you spend on items and food you don't need. I can't tell you the amount of times I've been out and bought a coffee when I didn't really want it. I will say that I'm damn good at NOT buying myself anything nice like clothes or shoes. Oh, shoes (insert heart eyes here!)
Anyways, the forecast for the next few months has been planned around manufacturing in Bali, but as of last night (and some budgeting) I'm considering manufacturing locally again. I think with all the importing and exporting, it's just too small of a time frame for things to get done. My amazing boyfriend was all ears last night and thinks it's a great idea, even though I have my reservations. I'm not too keen on making more expensive mistakes but he's assured me that as long as I'm not repeating them, it's all about learning.
So bring it on.
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7898
21.08 // Gold Coast, Australia
Social media is just doing my head in. There's so many fake bot accounts and perverts its just ridiculous!! I feel like as a business, uploading images is supposed to generate interest in the brand, not some horny old guy! Not to mention, every upload will get about 5 new followers, for me to then check back and hour later and be missing like 14 followers!!
I guess it's a good thing that I've decided to go with a marketing agency in Melbourne. They're going to help release some of this stress but reviewing analytics and posting. They're within my budget and the team seems super friendly. I've asked for a 6 month contract which should take us to March 2018. That's at least getting me through the summer with the new collection and the lead up to it. Good timing if I do say so myself!
Another thing, holy moly, this collection and manufacturing internationally is just another type of headache. The language barrier, the import/export paperwork and drama, and also sizing, it's all getting to me a little too much and I'm really looking forward to this agreement with this agency, as they can deal with one side and I'll be able to deal with this!
I'll have to keep you updated on how things are going with them and hopefully I've made a smart move. But in the mean time, I'm working full time at a coffee shop now, to get that extra cash in for the new collection. This doesn't mean Second Swim isn't doing very well, because it is, but I also am human being who needs to interact with other humans and well, the money is gooooood and I get to work with my best friend of 22+ years, so call me a crazy workaholic but I'm having fun and getting free coffee.
So who's really the winner here???
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7888
18.08 // Gold Coast, Australia
So last night (or the night before??) I posted on a Facebook group 'Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine' in order to find a creative agency to help with my digital hoo ha. I'm bang on with talking gibberish, designing bikinis, photographing bikinis, drinking coffee, hunting and gathering and networking, but I struggle a little bit with marketing. I'm so picky and I'm forever changing my mine. I did mention the stress the other day, and how I need to look at building a team. I figured the next best move in the team building area would be to hire or employ someone to help generate that cash money, rather than be another expense.
A few emails rolled in, and in typical Rebecca fashion I had my standards. They needed to have credentials, a website, and a young team!
I found one, and I'm now emailing them back and fourth. It could be a high risk with a good outcome or a high risk with no outcome. Either way I have to try. It's only money and you can always get more money. Plus their office looks ah-mazing, so at least they're legit! Hopefully I'll be updating you on my success story!
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7881
15.08 // Gold Coast, Australia
Here's to a sick day! Aching bones, god awful cough, too much tea and not enough rest. I guess the beauty of an online business is that working from bed isn't frowned upon, whether I'm sick or not. Days like these are great for chasing up emails. I find I'm having some trouble with a supplier for bra cups. The company seems to have a thousand excuses to not supply the goods. I'd really like to continue working with this company as they're a small family owned business. The problem is that, it's a business and I need a company that can supply on demand. I'm very lenient and forgiving in a lot of aspects in life, lord only knows how tough I've had it! But I need to be able to control the outcomes in my own business with the best possible outcomes.
On another note, I was meant to be going to Bali tomorrow, with one of my most gorgeous friends (who professionally models shes that gorgeous!) but change of plans. I'm not ready on my end of the label and I couldn't go over there unprepared! Plus with the timing of getting sick, it's the universe telling me to chill out.
So at the moment I'm sitting in the bath trying to cure this flu that's decided to stick around for a few days. I also found it necessary to put pen t paper, again, as when I'm bed ridden, all I seem to have is endless thoughts and ideas. With all o these ideas comes a whole lot of stress! I'm constantly worried about money, deadlines and the same old argument I have in my personal life, which is "What if it doesn't work out?"
I've learnt that these stresses always work themselves out, but it gets me thinking. Do billionaires and successful people have the same worries? I couldn't go a day without the thought crossing my mind! Maybe this is the staring point in recruiting a team/ No business could survive with one employee.
NOTE TO SELF: Begin the journey to employment.
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7878
11.08 // Rockhampton, Australia
Today, I traveled to Rockhampton on a quest to pick up my new car! So no office work will get done today, Lefair Magazine release their blog feature for Second Swim today, and it;s so beautifully written! there will also be a feature on their Instagram, so i'll need to keep an eye on it. In typical fashion I forgot my work diary so I'm writing this on the back of a Dry Cleaning checklist from the hotel. Hopefully they don;t need it, Life motto: 'Just plead insanity if questioned'.
Need to post the orders tomorrow as I packed them this morning and didn't see a single post office on my 8 hour road trip?
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7891
10.08 // Gold Coast, Australia
It's been tough, but I'm coming back.
How am I supposed to reach for the stars when a piece of me has passed them and is already in Heaven.
So moving forward with the website. I want to make it as interactive as possible. There's going to be an entire back end to it that will be very exclusive, kind of like a "club". It'll have diary entries, our snap-chat details, behind the scenes and deals like discounts and early bird deals.
Today I found out that the manufacturer I've only been planning with for 11 MONTHS! Doesn't have an import license. Which means no custom textiles. Luckily my stalking skills paid off and I found another manufacturer. I've sent off some emails with questions to double check they tick all of our boxes.
I've learnt that everything is a process. Whether it be instant, costly or pointless, it's all about growing and learning.
CURRENT SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE // 7891