Designer’s collection praises the one-piece
Kimeka Tacklin launched Solid Swimwear, vowing to honour the one-piece suit.
She wanted a timeless product, not driven by trends — her simple silhouettes come in a monochromatic palette of black or white.
“I feel very strongly about it. I have a whole anti-bikini marketing plan,” she told Lifestyle.
Ms Tacklin will this month pitch the business to the Prince’s Trust, a UK charity that helps people aged 13 to 30 transform their lives through jobs, education, funding and training.
She hopes the understated styles she began working on two years ago will stand out.
“Market research estimated that 1 per cent of the people I market to will actually click the link and go on my website,” she said.
“Then I ran a further estimate and assumed that only 1 per cent of people who visit the website will actually buy. Since last Thursday I’ve had traffic of 250 visitors and from that, I was right in assuming that one per cent of people who see my ads will come to the website and 1 per cent will buy
“I need to get to a wider audience. I need recognition and exposure.”
She joined Facebook and Instagram at the start of the month to boost her market reach.
The 26-year-old admitted that it is unusual for someone of her generation to have had no social media accounts, but she didn’t see the value while living in a small community like Bermuda.
“I never had a personal Facebook until, like, yesterday,” said Ms Tacklin, who moved to England last year. “It just wasn’t really my thing, but now since I moved from Bermuda, I think it’s good to keep in contact with my acquaintances.
“Because I have an online business, the main thing is getting the traffic there — and it’s hard.
“Had I had Facebook or been on Instagram all this time, it might have been easier to direct people there.”
She was required to test-trade the products and get feedback from customers before her pitch.
“It put me in a bind at first. I thought, ‘How can I start up with no money?’”
Her mother Kim Tacklin loaned her enough to produce the samples and she launched on a pre-order basis two weeks ago.
The pieces, which run from £80 to £85 are all made in England.
“Having them made over here helps me get around the minimum-order quantities,” she said.
“I have three independent seamstresses that I work with. Working with them allows me to order one or two if I need to.
“Obviously it’s not the cheapest option, but it’s the most suitable right now.”
Ms Tacklin has had no formal design training.
“I can’t draw,” she admitted. “On a scale of one to ten, my drawing skills are probably a three. I found the form of a woman online and printed it off. I sketch the designs onto that.
“I send those sketches off to someone who helps me create the patterns. I take those patterns to the seamstress, make any changes and go forward with that.”
She intends to grow the collection by June.
“Since it’s online, I’m not limited to just customers in England. It’s always summertime somewhere,” she laughed.
“No matter what your body type is, you will find something on here for you.”
•See her collection at solidswimwear.com or on Instagram @solidswimwear
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