Juggling three kids and a business, Infamous Swim’s Founder discusses how she manages to stay afloat as her fashion label rises to cult status.
It’s a tale as old as time: successful women fighting to have a career, as well as a family. Despite saying one of her main goals for the next 12-months is to “keep [her] head above water”, Founder of Infamous Swim, Gemma Crowe believes she can have it all, juggling three kids and a fast-growing swimwear label.
“I just want Australian mums to enjoy the fun bits of motherhood,” she says, telling Power Retail how her new range for mums and kids has taken off faster than she ever expected.
Self-proclaimed the founder of the matching mum and daughter swimwear craze, Infamous Swim is like the best kind of mum – down to earth, fun, and unapologetically glamorous. Tapping into trends surrounding body positivity and digitally-driven content, Crowe says her inclusive swimwear label has really taken off since launching ‘Mini Swim’.
“When I re-launched Infamous Swim and introduced the Mini Swim range, I never expected the response I received. My Instagram blew up, practically overnight,” she exclaims.
According to Crowe, her more than 70,000 Instagram followers are an indication of how SMB retailers can leave a mark in Australia’s current retail environment. Rather than curating a selection of the same bathers that every other retailer is already offering, Crowe looked for a gap in the market.
“My designs are feminine, fun and comfortable,” she says. “We don’t believe in one-season-wear – what mum has time for that? We want our swimwear to last. Bold patterns, flattering cuts and high-quality materials define the Mini Swim range.”
For Infamous Swim, tapping into the hearts of its consumers is integral to the business’s success. With social media acting as the brand’s main sales and marketing channel, creating a visually alluring product with niche appeal has helped Crowe grow her customer-base.
“Instagram is our main marketing channel, with Facebook also converting to sales. We use a great digital agency that uses both Instagram and Facebook for advertising, but I still manage all influencer marketing. This is the second biggest area of growth in terms of sales.”
To ensure the company is catering to the diverse needs of its customers, and fitting into the busy everyday lives of the mums that have been supporting the brand, Crowe also says that providing a range of payment solutions is essential.
“We use Afterpay, Laybuy, Square, standard credit cards and Paypal. We try to incorporate as many offerings as possible, partly because we are shipping worldwide, but also because we want our customers to have access to their preferred payment solution. We’re also big believers in Buy Now, Pay Later, as it helps customers with their cash flow,” she says.
Infamous Swim has also been working to provide shoppers with the best possible customer experience. With most of its customers being mums that are on the run, Crowe isn’t surprised that 80 percent of her shoppers are accessing the site from a mobile device. According to Crowe, as the company has grown she’s felt the need to update her CMS. “We currently use WordPress, but are moving over to Shopify. This will ease our break into the US market by giving us a split site for geo locations,” she explains.
Building out an effective customer service approach, when paired with the brand’s strong social media presence has lead to continued expansion of the Infamous Swim brand.
“We are VERY customer service focused. Right now I have a customer service assistant who looks after all queries and order issues. We may look at moving to Freshdesk or Zendesk very soon, to take advantage of their ticketing systems, as it is getting a lot to handle.
“To be honest, we never knew we would grow this quickly… It has opened a lot of doors, but we don’t want to scale too quickly and risk biting off more than we can chew,” Crowe says. “We are still looking to expand, but at a more sustainable rate as we look to enter the US direct-to-consumer market, while establishing a physical presence in Australia,” she continues.
“Influencer marketing – this is huge for us. We pride ourselves on genuine connections with our influencers and it’s an incredible way to introduce our brand to new consumers, whose trust you have gained straight away.
“Chatbots and customer service automation are the other big ones. At Infamous Swim, we want to give our customers a personalised experience. We are big on customer service, so it’s exciting to see how AI can help improve these capabilities with automation, hopefully improving our response times.”
However, for the next 12-months Crowe will be focused on juggling her busy family life with the increasing demands of her professional one.
“I want to keep my head above water – working at home with three kids has been a huge challenge. But I also want to grow our team and break into the US over the next year.