Move Over Major Brands, These Custom Bikinis Are Handcrafted
Written By: Iyana Edouard
Photographed By: Adam Gentry Hannah Reed
Expert: Hannah Reed
Credentials: Owner and Designer of Hannah Reed Swimwear
Q: Your custom swimwear collection is all handmade, why do you still choose to make them yourself and not use a manufacturer?
Hannah Reed: My swimwear is custom made to fit each individual. Ladies will ask for my suits in a different color than what is shown, or more/less coverage, and it’s important to me that my customers get what they wish for. My customers are looking for something unique and different than what they’ll find in any store.
Q: What sparked your interest in designing swimwear?
HR: The swimsuits I liked were too expensive, and with my love for fashion and art combined, I decided to create a beautiful swimwear line myself, at a reasonable price. My sister, Hailey, and I would wear my suits to the beach, and we got so many compliments and people asking where our bikinis were from. Soon enough, orders started flowing in. Most of my customers found me on Instagram or through word of mouth at school.
Q: How much time does it take and what steps go into creating a full, custom swimsuit?
HR: It takes about 10-20 minutes to cut a suit, depending on how many pieces there are. It usually takes between 1-2 hours to sew a complete suit. Suits with many strings take longer, so I charge more for my time. Over the summer, there would be days when I’d get a few orders for four or five pieces each, and I would be sewing all night.
Q: Who are some of your own female inspirations?
HR: Sophia Amoruso, CEO of Nasty Gal, is the first person that comes to mind. She created a multimillion dollar company with no business training because she had the instincts, discipline, and determination to focus on what would be successful and ditch what didn’t work. She is definitely an inspiration to me. I love that she started with something small and turned it into a multimillion dollar business.
Q: You started your swimwear company while still in high school. How did you balance school and your work without getting overwhelmed?
HR: I was overwhelmed, but like any businesswoman, I learned how to manage it the best I could. Although my grades suffered a little, I learned so much through this invaluable business experience and I feel I will be able to benefit from it my entire career. I have learned more about marketing, sales, money management, and running a company than any textbook could ever teach me in high school.
Hannah Reed’s Swim Line is One of a Kind
Adam is a Southern-California native, a photographer and an entrepreneur. He is passionate about profiling interesting people whether they are a break- through artist, a fledgling stylist or simply someone with a compelling story to tell. www.gentryimages.com