Wow, one year of XALI seems to have passed so fast! What were your top 3 favourite experiences and moments looking back?
After many months, almost a year of planning and behind the scenes work… to watch my little dream finally be brought to life was pretty epic! So I think the launch would take the lead. This is VERY closely followed by seeing people so pleased and happy with their first purchases from XALI, that most of them returned for second orders immediately, because the quality and fit of the fabrics was so convincing.
And on an equal note I'm blown away by how popular the Tina suit has been! It's popular amongst all kinds of body types and was especially embraced by larger chested people because the comfort and support are beyond what many are used to from fashionable swimmers. I'm so happy to have created something so supportive yet stylish and comfortable for all.
Okay, so now for the flip side: what were the 3 biggest challenges launching and running a sustainable business? How did you tackle those challenges?
Stock count! I definitely misjudged my audience's sizing. Although I took to my Instagram polls to get the best guide to what my audience would order, it didn’t match up at all in reality! This is of course a learning curve and also expected for a first range for a start up brand. But I'm happy that I can move forwards with some real purchase data now for the second range and prepare the adequate sizing-stocks. Due to the above, it has put a little delay on the second launch as being a sustainable brand, I really want to have the suits made as close to demand as possible therefore, no pieces are made without purpose. We still have some final pieces to find homes for before it is reasonable for me to order the next batch ❤️
Secondly, one of the biggest challenges was marketing & social media. It's honestly been a really tough journey. Considering I do have so much personal experience with social media, I really wanted to step away from the social media aspect of building this brand and be solely the designer and leave the rest up to a team, as anyone running an online business knows how many mental resources and time this needs.
Unfortunately I invested a lot into a professional marketing team, and they let me down! Being a one man band, bar my beautiful copywriter (*thanks hehe) I'm still trying to find the right balance for building the brand whilst maintaining my sanity 😅
Lastly another challenge, especially regarding sustainability, has come up in the process of designing the second collection: Since we really want to use eco printing, I am yet to find the fabric that works well with the eco print laser and therefore, I am still not happy to release a printed range! We have the prints settled and chosen, but we still have to find the fabric that works with the eco print while maintaining the beautiful stretch and supportive fabric quality. Eventually, we will get there!
What would you say to someone who‘s still hesitant on spending more money than they‘re used to on a sustainable and ethically made swim suit?
Firstly: Try and buy some sustainable items in our birthday sale so you can experience the quality yourself, if you need to see whether you really get better value for money compared to cheap fast fashion items that are often very low quality (which you definitely do, the value and quality of XALI pieces has been praised by all our customers).
The birthday sale runs from Saturday 27th of August until Sunday 4th of September. During that time you get 50% OFF site wide using the code BDAY50 at check out. Shop now.
Secondly, do a lot of research into fast fashion brands, the making of, the customer care, the employee care, the environmental destruction and more - that should be enough to turn you to source more ethical brands 😅 Whilst we understand the constant rise in living costs, we encourage you to shop sustainable & ethical and take care of your items for longevity of use, so you don't have to buy new swimmers every season but can actually use them for the next 5-10 years (which makes them a cheaper investment thinking long term).
And now to the question I‘m sure readers are gonna be most excited about: what theme, fabric and fits can we expect from the 2nd collection? Do you already have a drop date?
Our new range will be the summer 22” collection! Our aim is to launch in December (Australian summer) as long as everything goes well with manufacture and shipping. Think Oranges & Melons for new colour ways, and teddy towel fabrics (WHAT?! 😍) We’ve trialed and tested a lot of samples and found our new perfect timeless pieces. We have one new bikini design entering the collection, the Katie (which you may have already spotted further up the page!). She is designed for beach days and summer nights. And we will be adding some cover ups too for seamless loungeing-to-swimming-to catching drinks and food at the bar.