I started designing bikinis at 19 – I went viral for my thong bottoms, some judge my 'tiny' swimwear but they shouldn't | The Sun
STARTING a business as a teen isn't for the faint of heart, but a young entrepreneur has utilized social media to monetize her brand.
Kairos 'Kinis founder Macy Broughton empowers women of all body shapes to embrace their sensual side through her cheeky bottoms.
From a young age, Kairos 'Kinis CEO and founder Macy Broughton had an entrepreneurial mindset, whether it be selling lemonade or walking dogs in her neighborhood for money.
"I think everyone, myself included, and my family knew that I'd probably do something in the business world just because I'm good at it," she told The U.S. Sun.
The 21-year-old designed her first bikini almost three years ago, and founded her sustainable swimwear brand.
Originally from a small town in Oregon, Macy always had an affinity for the water and being near the beach.
Almost four years ago, she packed up and moved to San Diego, California which kickstarted her desire to start her business.
Being from a small town, Macy admitted that she wasn't really taught that starting your own business was something that you could feasibly do.
Thankfully, she was raised by her single mother who instilled in her that she could do anything you set your mind to.
"I 100 percent get my drive from my mom.
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"She was pretty much like, if you want it, you have to work for it.
"If you want that, you have to go figure out a way to get it for yourself," she said.
Macy has always been a minimalist and wears revealing bikinis herself, so she doesn't mind being the main model and face of the line, but people from her small town could be very judgy.
"I want to get to the place where women can wear their tiny bikinis without being judged and harassed and just objectified," she said.
She said: "There shouldn't be such a negative sexualized thing around bikinis when everyone has bodies."
Social media played a significant role in free advertising for Kairos 'Kinis and popularized her message.
She went viral online for many of her videos centered around language that pertained to tiny thong bikinis.
After utilizing the keywords many times in her online content, she continued to lean in that direction and has since racked up millions of views on both Instagram and TikTok.
As someone with a drive to succeed, a creative mindset, and a lack of sewing skills, Macy had to put in the work to bring her idea to life.
"The very beginning of 2020 is when I got the idea to start doing bikinis.
"I was just putting on a bikini and I didn't love it and I was like, I just wish I can make my own," she said.
First, she had to figure out if it was something she could logistically do as a 19-year-old college student.
"I was emailing and WhatsApping and Zoom calling all these different companies.
"I finally found one and they were so quick to respond. They literally walked me through everything," she explained.
In addition, Macy doesn't believe you need a fashion background or know how to sew, in order to be a successful designer.
"I think it depends on who you have on your side when you're doing all of the business, fashion-related things.
"I doodle whenever I have an idea and the people I work with are so great," she divulged.
The entrepreneur places an emphasis on sustainable materials with the manufacturing of her designs and uses a production team based in Bali that works with the nonprofit Royal Foundation.
Rather than fast fashion, the company runs on solar power and more.
"They go out into the ocean, collect different waste, melt it down, and regenerate it into threads and fabrics that the company that produces my bikini designs uses," Macy shared.
Like a real-life Mamma Mia scenario, Macy cheekily revealed that she was conceived in Greece, so she always felt a special attachment to the location and wanted to incorporate it into her swim brand.
The term Kairos came to her late one evening as she was searching online.
It means the perfect moment or the fleeting rightness of time and place.
"It's very much not that Kairos doesn't connect with me, but I feel like because it's Kairos 'Kinis, it's very much its own thing. It is its own brand that has its own image," she said.
When she launched her first collection, she began with three top designs that she named after special women in her life, her best friends, Em, Jay, and Liv.
She started off with three sizes: small, medium, and large, and has since branched off to XS and XL.
"I do need to work with more people that are way tinier, and way bigger," she added.
Recently, she named the Izzy bikini, $36, after one of her online supporters and biggest customers.
"She found my page right in the beginning and she has bought every single one of my bikinis. Literally, a sweetheart, and all she does is travel all around the world," Macy praised.
Though she's received a ton of positive feedback, the young woman has also experienced her fair share of criticism about the price of each item, the cheeky bottoms, and belittlement.
She divulged: "People are comparing like 'You're selling tiny bikinis for X amount? What are you doing? No one's gonna buy these,' so that was definitely the start."
One woman even wrote a nasty email talking badly about the swimsuit product that she ordered, saying it was broken because it wasn't the right size.
Macy is still very much in the start-up phase of her small business and admitted that for every dollar she makes, she puts it back in to growing Kairos 'Kinis.
Now, that she's graduated college, she wants to base her attention on the growth of her brand and extending its image.
"I need to find women who want to help me work with their bodies because I don't want to have XXL of something that doesn't work with their body," she explained.
It's a priority for her to develop workshops over the next year, where women of all shapes and sizes feel included.
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At only 21 years old, Macy is proud of her success and the influence she's had both domestically and internationally.
"I have bikinis that are literally not even in this country. It's so cool, and I love it. It's crazy how much it's grown in such a short amount of time too," she gushed happily.
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