Myraswim founder talks swimwear, business and mental health
Just 30 years old a few months ago, it’s impressive that Bianca Anstiss already has a successful business with over 7 years of operational history under its belt. Anstiss is the Founder / CEO and Creative Director of her self-funded label Myraswim, and gradually developed it into a well-recognized international fashion brand that is synonymous with high-end and elegantly designed swimwear.
Named after Anstiss’ grandmother, Myraswim was born in the spare bedroom of her parents’ house, where she “made samples and sold bikinis from plastic containers.” “In my mid teens I started competitive surfing and competed in professional WSL longboarding for a few years,” says Anstiss of her natural transition from professional surfer to swimwear design: “I lived in clothes and was sponsored by brands, but I couldn’t find anything that I 100% liked or that I wanted to fit. So I created what I couldn’t find on the market. “
Anstiss had a head start when Myraswim was founded in early 2014 – only a few swimwear brands were present at the time and the potential market was huge. From day one, Anstiss has been deeply involved in the creative direction of Myraswim, and the brand’s sophisticated, minimalist, sleek and sexy aesthetic resonates a lot with her personal style. “My focal point is on the silhouettes, the shape of the outline of a garment and where it sits on the body. Simplicity but well done.
Today, Myraswim has nearly 300,000 loyal followers on Instagram alone, but it’s not an overnight success that the founder / designer was about to tell me: “I would say it was a slope constant – consistent and impressive – but where our brand awareness and today’s sales numbers didn’t happen overnight, it took a long time. Anstiss says frankly, and is proud of the organic growth of the company she has worked so hard for over the years: “We never paid anyone to wear our pieces and we started to advertise. on Google than a year and a half ago. “
From the group of a woman at the start to 6 full-time employees working around the clock, Anstiss admits that she is extremely focused and determined, despite being awkward and bubbly. “If I set goals for myself, I don’t give up, which is frustrating at times but worth it in the end! The founder / designer laughs and continues, “I think my consistency has certainly played a huge role in my success. Honestly, I have times when I doubt myself, but most of the time I take control and keep moving forward. Consistency is the key.
Although he is the sole shareholder of a global company with impressive performance even during the pandemic (Myraswim’s sales figures tripled in 2020), life for Anstiss is not all rainbows and unicorns. She works incredibly hard and admits that having employees on the payroll is a huge responsibility and being a solo business owner in the public eye is extremely stressful (Anstiss has over 100,000 Instagram followers). When asked what is the biggest challenge for her as a woman entrepreneur, Anstiss does not hesitate: “Mental health. I struggled with it and I’m not afraid to admit it. I had negative feedback towards the brand as well as bodily humiliations that were addressed to me personally. And it was not easy. “
It takes strength and courage to face and speak openly about its struggles. Anstiss sees the positive side of her negative experience and wants to share what she’s been through: “A lot of business owners talk about things like accounting, but don’t say anything about what’s going on behind the scenes. I have learned a lot about handling difficult situations, both at work and in personal life, so I am very proud of my strength now. As glamorous as it can be to make money and be successful, there is a lot of pressure that comes with it. She continues to tell me what kept her going during these difficult times: “My clients – seeing people tagging Myraswim’s designs and giving us positive feedback when I log into our page every day was all for. what I worked on. “
Even with great titles as a shareholder and CEO, Anstiss still sees herself as a full-time employee of her own business: “I’m in my warehouse every day and most weekends (unless the waves are good. and that I sneak in for a surf). I have full creative control over everything we do and manage everything from accounting to creative collaborations. The young entrepreneur explains and refers to the brand’s news pop-up in collaboration with Selfridges, a London-based retail institution.
“It was an important step in my career. I think I cried when they approached me. We spent months designing the pop-up and I really enjoyed the process, for which I am very grateful. Selfridges for. ”The designer enthusiastically says with a girlish smile:“ On top of that, we have made an exclusive collaboration with some styles in a new shade called Dusk, a sullen purple that I love. We have had such a good response from UK consumers.
Anstiss isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon, as the brand is growing in terms of international luxury retailers as well as planning for the next collaboration. “I like working with other creatives. My KITH collaboration was so fun. Of course, I want to work with more brands as well as with retailers. But she remains silent for now on Myraswim’s next big move: “We may be working on something special with another brand … But it’s a secret for now;).”
Speaking of the swimwear trend for summer 2021, Anstiss says, “Minimalism is 100% the biggest trend this summer. Our Sofia channel and Jocelyne styles have already sold 5 to 6 times. I can’t keep up with the demand! The designer’s personal favorites are the one-shoulder style Ford and Alonzo solid tops and thongs like the Yris and low Kahlo. “In terms of monoblocks, the Giada is my preferred ! I usually surf in the Power one piece and Tops Rita because they are sportier and provide full coverage with zippers.
Besides growing the business, Myraswim also makes sustainability a priority. “We are making an ongoing effort with our carbon footprint and have changed all of our packaging to be biodegradable and reusable, while ensuring that all of our clothing is produced in an ethical environment.”
I asked Anstiss what most people didn’t know about her, and the designer responded in the most endearing way, “As boujee I meet, I actually grew up on a farm right there. inland from the Australian coast. I am obsessed with animals and had ducks, chickens, goats – I stopped eating meat as soon as I realized I was eating my pets! My favorite activity was riding a motorbike and climbing trees to pick fruit. I hope I can buy another farm one day when I have my own family, because I would like my children to experience this as I did. It made me the person I am today: humble.