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“Visibility came from having very supportive friends and family who have helped me spread the word of my business.”

Betsy Johnson is the Founder and President of SwimZip. Growing up Betsy always loved fashion and could spend hours shopping and getting dressed. She was diagnosed with skin cancer at the age of 26 and has combined her passion for designing clothes and her personal battle with skin cancer to create SwimZip.

SwimZip is stylish UV 50+ swimwear for babies, toddlers, and children. Our full-length zipper swimwear is uniquely designed allowing for easy-on, easy-off UV protection for children. The no-pinch zipper flap, tagless neck, zipper garage around the neck, and flat-lock stitching make wearing the swimwear comfy! SwimZip’s material is chlorine resistant too! Our swimwear protects young children from harmful UV rays and makes stylish UPF protection you can wear anywhere!

Gus: What were you doing before launching SwimZip? How did your background and experience help contribute to the vision and growth of the company?

Betsy: Before SwimZip I was working in the corporate world doing business/finance jobs. I was in a business developmental program where I was able to get a handful of jobs in two years to provide me a breath of knowledge of how a business should run.

Gus: Can you talk about the development process and challenges you encountered when it came to designing stylish UV+ swimwear for babies and children?

Betsy: It took a year to really understand how to design kids swimwear, but once I was about to put pen to paper and get some great designs, it was all about finding the best supplier and making a quality product. I am now looking to get into stores like Nordstrom and such, which is hard, but I know with dedication I will be able to get there!

Gus: What marketing efforts worked best during the early days?

Betsy: I would say word of mouth. Parents try SwimZip and fall in love with it! Once you have a SwimZip you never go back. Kids love putting it on, and parents love not having to lather their kids in sunscreen every two hours!

Gus: SwimZip has been featured on the NBC TODAY Show, showing off how great the product is and has also been featured in Fortune magazine. How have you managed to gain such great visibility and what are some of the strategies you used to gain traction with your target audience?

Betsy: Visibility came from having very supportive friends and family who have helped me spread the word of my business. LinkedIn and other social media outlets have been a huge help in gaining visability as well. Strategies that I have used is getting feedback, and staying connected with my customers. I love to send out reminder post cards and really stay connected with them.

Gus: Do you have any plans for expansion into an adult line of swimsuits?

Betsy: Yes! Adult line will be coming in May of 2013! I couldn’t be more excited about this, I am so excited to have a SwimZip that will fit me and my husband. We are both sun safe, and this will make my life SO much easier! SwimZip is also planning to expand into cute girls cover-ups and boys too! SwimZIp is planning on hats as well! I hope to eventually have a whole line of sun protective clothing and swimwear that parents and kids can year!

Gus: What inspires your design process? Where do you look to keep up with the latest trends?

Betsy: I love watching the red carpet, it is amazing how many ideas can bubble out of that. I also love style magazine and watching FASHION WEEK! I someday hope to be able to go to fashion week(s) and see trends and styles that are coming out! Right now I really go with my gut, I have always loved fashion and loved putting different colors and patterns together!! SwimZip is new, but I can’t wait for more and more styles to come out! UV 50+ protective kids Swimwear is such a fun market to design for!


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