Inclusive swimwear brand Kitty And Vibe names first class of celebrity investors and creative designers

Celebrities find more value in investing than just endorsement deals.

Influencer marketing took the world by storm nearly a decade ago. The Influencer Marketing Hub shared that the market grew from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $9.7 billion in 2020. It then soared to $13.8 billion in 2021. At the end of the l last year, it grew to a $16.4 billion industry. Over the past five years, celebrities have found investing more lucrative; they can support businesses that align with their values ​​and morals.

For Cameron Armstrong, founder of Kitty and Vibe, she saw the potential to attract celebrity investors to expand her inclusive swimwear collections. Last month, the company announced its first-ever cohort of celebrity investors and creative designers. Actress Zoe Colletti, entertainment icon Nicole Byer and Grand Slam champion Sloane Stephens have aligned their brands and missions with the Kitty and Vibe community. They are now investors in the company and have designed their own exclusive swimwear prints inspired by their respective personalities and styles.

“They have a great way to make swimsuit shopping fun and not like that intimidating, scary thing that keeps you from going to a dressing room to try on swimsuits,” Colletti said during an interview. a telephone interview. “For me, in particular, I have an intestinal disease, that of Hirschsprung. I have a ton of scars all over my stomach that I’ve had since I was a few days old. And even having this all my life, definitely growing up and becoming myself and finding out who the hell I am as a woman, sometimes it was hard to lean into wearing a one-piece swimsuit. As I got older, I became much more confident in embracing my scars and accepting that it showed people what I went through as a person; how I became the type of person I am today. I felt it aligned with their mission to feel confident and let it all out and be themselves.

Founded in 2018, Kitty and Vibe has become the first metric size swimwear brand on the market. All campaigns are 100% photoshop and airbrush free with real women, including his clients. The company’s community-centric approach led Armstrong to grow the company into a seven-figure business before bringing in celebrity investors. Its customers play an essential role in building the brand. Their participation in the co-creation of the products through email surveys and social media polls has laid the foundation for an open dialogue with its most loyal fans.

Currently, the growing rate of regular customers is hovering around 35%. Her new collection peaked at fifty-five percent. Additionally, the organization sees a sales split of 53% for the largest loot size versus 47% for the smallest loot.

Armstrong began his career doing an internship at L’Oréal, which evolved into a full-time operational marketing position. During this time, she bought bathing suits only to feel defeated and lack confidence in her own body. This experience became the genesis of Kitty and Vibe, a brand for women to feel empowered and confident.

“I started diving into the industry as a whole and analyzing the emotional relationship women had with swimwear,” Armstrong says in a phone interview. “I was so struck by the negativity surrounding it. At the time, I was living in Manhattan and I started interviewing focus groups in my small apartment. I did it on Sunday mornings. J I was like, ‘Can you just talk about swimwear? I’m really interested in that. I found that there’s this unanimous dissatisfaction with the industry and the product as a whole. I’ So I set out to resolve two things: the actual adjustment and the emotional response to it.”

She discovered that inseam length made all the difference in size. So, in addition to the focus group, she sent out a massive survey garnering over 500 responses. Ninety-six percent said they hated shopping for swimwear. It was then that Armstrong decided to launch the brand.

Instead of guessing what people would buy, she went back to surveying. She asked what colors people liked to wear the most and their favorite patterns. Armstrong wanted him to stay focused on consumer needs, so she invited them to help design the swimwear line. For the brand, the rule of majority votes.

As Armstrong grew the brand, she joined FlyteVu’s marketing incubator founded by Laura Huftless, which serves mission-driven startups. The main KPI and goal of joining was to take Kitty and Vibe to the next level.

“We wanted to create our first class of creative designers and celebrity investors,” says Armstrong. “It came about because of the breadth of our community. It’s so unique because we have this ongoing dialogue with our customers at all times… So looking at who a spokesperson for Kitty might be, it didn’t make sense to look for a partner because it doesn’t does not reflect our community. We wanted to have a diverse group of women we look up to who reflect different interests, professions, sizes, etc.

As Armstrong continues to expand Kitty and Vibe, she is focusing on the following essential milestones:

  • Zoom out on a situation. When you’re having a bad day, look at the bigger picture to remind yourself why you started in the first place.
  • Watch your comparison. You cannot compare your starting point to another founder’s ten years of activity.
  • Be the expert on your business. Do the research. Have a clear vision of where you want your business to evolve.

“I printed out all these text messages, DMs and customer reviews saying, ‘This Grata has changed the perspective of my body. This product, I will be forever indebted to Kitty and Vibe for building my confidence,” Armstrong concludes. “Huge moving testimonies. That’s what fueled me in those [early] days when it was one o’clock in the morning, and I was just packing orders, so exhausted from living on macaroni and cheese. I look at these testimonials saying it’s worth it. I know it’s a bikini, but I’m impacting someone’s life.

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