Plus-sized model Ashley Alexiss understood that trying on new swimwear before the summer is a tough time for plenty of women, which inspired her to create a new line of swimwear, Alexiss Swimwear, designed to “embrace curves” and help women find confidence. Since the company’s launch last year, the CEO has found success. I recently found a piece online where she discusses what she’s learned starting this line of swimsuits, what keeps her inspired and how she’s learned to use social media in the information age. Here’s what she has do say:
Have a mission: Alexiss started this line of swimwear to make women feel better about themselves, a sentiment echoed in the company’s slogan of “Beauty is not a size”. Swimwear often caters to either smaller or larger women, but not as often both, and the ones that cater to larger women isn’t always flattering or stylish. That’s why Alexiss got into this business.
Recognize great ideas: As a plus-size model, Alexiss does a lot of swim and lingerie shoots. On social media she often had people asking her where to get what she’s wearing, which inspired her to make swimwear for everybody who has the same problem.
Partner up: Alexiss’ first partner wasn’t a good fit, as the two of them had vastly different ideas as to which direction the company should go. Her current partner owns his own business separate from Alexiss Swimwear, allowing her to see how he operates and manages things.
Have goals: Alexiss wants to be a known and recognized brand within five years, with women getting excited about trying on new swimwear whenever they see an Alexiss swimwear store front.
Be social: Alexiss has a fairly large following on social media; her secret is to put everything, good and bad, out there, and people will often relate to it and share it, leading to a domino effect where their friends see it and share it. Yet at the same time, be careful about how much you post. If you’re posting too frequently, you’re going to start annoying people; Alexiss suggests two to three times a day as a maximum.
Timing is everything: When you’re using social media, timing is essential. Peak social media times in the US are around noon and a little after work. If you want to be international, you need to remember that a lot of your audience is awake and looking to see what you’re up to, even when you’re asleep.
Know your limits: Since she’s a public figure on Facebook, Alexiss can get around 4,000 comments for a single photo. That means you can only respond to a handful of comments. Alexiss checks the comments and messages every hour, since it’s important to respond to comments as a business.
Keep learning: Alexiss has had a lot of success with her business, but she still has plenty to learn. That’s why she’s currently going to graduate school, but there are some aspects of business that you can’t learn in a classroom.
Success is up to you: It’s only natural to think that you’ve bit off more than you can chew sometimes. But when you go through with it, you learn and become more realistic about your goals. The only way to make things happen is to do it, do it right and learn through the process.