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Swim Suit Illustrated: How Jaymi Washburn Creates Your Favorite Swimsuits

(Image courtesy of Trend Studio Bali's Instagram.)

Growing up in South Florida, swimsuit season lasts 365 days. Consequently, we were the prime test market for any and all swimsuit trends. In a sea of bathing suits, I did not think about the creative and production processes needed to create a bathing suit. That was until I had the chance to speak with Jaymi Washburn.

(Image courtesy of Trend Studio Bali's Instagram.)

Jaymi Washburn, Co-Owner of Trend Studio Bali., is a Renaissance woman. She is the brains behind your favorite bikini and the composer of your iconic coverup. Washburn designs and manufactures handcrafted bathing suits. Her business, Trend Studio Bali, provides employees with livable wages and educational opportunities while ensuring sustainable manufacturing practices. I had the chance to talk with her to learn more about her professional insights and Trend Studio Bali's services.

(Image courtesy of Getty images. The picture depicts Jaymi Washburn (L) and Juliette Porter walking at the JMP The Label fashion show during Miami Swim Week 2022.) Image credit to Frazer Harrison.

1. What do you do?

For the past 25 years, I have been in the swimsuit world. My background is in design, and I help people execute their creative visions. I have worked on both the design and manufacturing sides. I typically work as a consultant with young startups. My experience enables me to understand what is needed for the perfect fit, high-quality finishing, and what great swimwear will stand out in the market.

(Image courtesy Revel Rey Swimwear. Trend Studio Bali manufactured the swimsuit)

Sometimes, brands hire me to design a product, manufacture it in my factory in Bali, and deliver the goods to them. Other times, I help them navigate the swimsuit market by avoiding unnecessary expenses and understanding this market's landscape. I have worked with brands such as JMP The Label, iNAMORATA, Stone Fox Swim, Anine Bing, and more.

(Image courtesy Revel Rey Swimwear. Trend Studio Bali manufactured the swimsuit)

2. In your opinion, how was the swimsuit market evolved throughout your professional career?

I started my career in the era before websites, E-commerce, and D2C (direct-to-consumer). We relied on wholesalers from large stores (Macy's, Bloomingdales, etc.) to choose products from our line to put out there in front of customers. In today's world, anyone can get a Shopify account and create a social media platform (Instagram or TikTok) to promote and sell a line direct to consumers. So, swimsuit companies do not need to sell to big stores to succeed.

(Image courtesy of Trend Studio Bali's Instagram.)

Additionally, there have been many changes in what brands a customer sees. For example, JMP The Label started when Juliette Porter used her position as an influencer to market her line on Instagram. Porter used social media to conduct data analysis of what her consumer wanted and get direct customer feedback.

(Image courtesy of JMP The Label's Instagram. The image depicts JMP The Label founder Juliette Porter.)

In today's world, many influencers want to expand what they do. While these tastemakers are not professionally trained, they have unique ideas and viewpoints. In the current swimsuit market, a design background is not necessary as people from all backgrounds can share their perspectives and start lines. Many women influencers utilize their networks to become female entrepreneurs. However, having experienced designers or consultants on a team is important so that they avoid the pitfalls of starting a fashion brand.

(Image courtesy of Trend Studio Bali's Instagram.)

3. How do you make a distinct product for your clients?

Sometimes companies come to me with ideas. For example, iNAMORATA created a mosaic bathing suit. iNAMORATA founder Emily Ratajkowski has a particular style. When someone visits her house, they can understand her distinct viewpoint through the home's layout and art pieces. Emily knew what she wanted and needed someone to bring it to fruition. She came to me with the sketches, which is highly unusual for a client.

(Image courtesy of Inamorata. Trend Studio Bali manufactured the swimsuit.)

My job is to be true to what my client wants. My client needs to know who they are making the product for, and their target audience is often themselves. Another client, Revel Ray, hand paints each print, and her prints set her apart in the market. When clients pick what fabric to use in their designs, the fabric choice imbues the vibe it gives off. Fabric choice can change everything! Some brands may want to use a tighter construction knit with more spandex to provide more support for a sportier feeling. Other clients want a super soft and gummy fabric that hugs every curve. Each decision made about fabric, print, color, and finish can change the garment's vibe and provide personality to the line. Lastly, the fit is everything! The fit is where people can make a stance on who their client is, based on how sexy they make it and how much coverage or support they provide. Every decision matters in building a brand.

(Image courtesy of Beach Bunny. Trend Studio Bali manufactured the swimsuit.)

The client's aesthetic is what sets them apart from competitors. The fit is what will keep customers coming back. - Jaymi Washburn.

(Image courtesy of Trend Studio Bali's Instagram.)

4. Switching gears, what makes Trend Bali Studio different from other manufacturing companies?

My business, Trend Bali Studio, is 95% female ran. While we produce our goods in Bali, we ensure that our workers are paid livable wages, receive a pension, have access to healthcare, and work a Western schedule (so they would be paid for their overtime.). We want our workforce (especially women) to have the ability to work, make their own money, and never be reliant on a man to pay their bills.

(Image courtesy of Trend Studio Bali's Instagram.)

Trend Studio Bali is a very sustainable business. We want to be on the right side of fashion by using eco-friendly bags to replace poly bags, buying recycled fabrics and trimming, using upcycled materials and trims when available, and trying to purchase locally to produce carbon emissions whenever possible.

(Image courtesy of Trend Studio Bali's Instagram.)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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