When maker Bethany Ludlam visited the Dominican Republic with her husband in 2015, her soul was instantly enamored with the glimmering beaches and vibrant community of the Dominican people. That vacation is what led Bethany to create her own swimsuit brand, Lsea Swimwear. Based in Jacksonville, Florida, Lsea Swimwear products are entirely handmade in the United States and feature tropical and fun prints from independent designers. Ready for a feel-good bonus? Bethany donates a portion of each swimsuit sale back to the Dominican community that inspired her brand. We love seeing Spoonflower fabrics displayed in such a playful and imaginative way, so grab your shades and soak up our latest meet the maker interview!
My day starts with:
“I always begin each day with an energizing kale, spinach and strawberry smoothie. Afterwards, I go into the office and start packaging customer orders then eventually move to designing or sewing, however each day is always different!”
I fell in love with making goods when:
“I originally started off making goods for myself, so it was really fun to wear something that I had created. Now, it’s even more fulfilling to see customers wearing my items.”
When I’m in my studio, I feel:
“Focused and ready to get things done. I normally set a goal for the day and try to get everything done before I leave.”
What inspires your work and why:
“All of my swimwear is inspired by the tropical beaches of the Dominican Republic. I decided to start my swimwear business shortly after my first trip to the Dominican. From the crystal clear waters to the tall coconut trees, I hope that people get that tropical feeling from my swimwear line.”
What’s in your toolbox as a maker:
“A seam ripper, extra bobbins, loop turner, a good pair of fabric scissors and pins!”
What’s your proudest accomplishment over the last year?
“It’s a given that I’m proud of my products, but I’m even more proud of the team I assembled. I have six fabric cutters and five sewers aside from myself and they are all really amazing. Some are college students, others are mothers and grandmothers. They help me out so much, and I wouldn’t be able to produce my swim line without them!”
What piece of your wardrobe best represents your style?
“Definitely a tropical print romper! I feel like I have so many because they are cute but so comfortable!”
What do you wish someone had told you before starting a small business?
“That’s such a hard question to answer. I’m very observant and so I always watch and see what successful business owners are doing and try to learn anything I can by watching them. Sometimes I think it takes failing or not knowing all the answers to really push yourself and make it happen. That forces you to learn for yourself which makes you stand out in the end because you’re more invested, since the answers weren’t all given to you.”
Why did you pick Spoonflower for your swimsuit line?
“Spoonflower has so many amazing designs and fabrics to choose from! I love designing my suits using fabric from Spoonflower because the marketplace always has what I’m looking for! It’s so easy to search and find what you need. The designers are great to work with as well, especially if you ever need to make an adjustment to a design. I also know that I can get my own designs printed and the quality is guaranteed to be amazing!”
What has been an important resource to you as a small business owner?
“Social media has been the best outlet for me. It’s so exciting to show off my creations and then being able to run ads targeted to my customers. I’ve learned so much on YouTube and from taking marketing courses. It’s such a fun experience.”
My favorite Spoonflower textile to work with is…
“Sport Lycra, because it’s thick and has a four-way stretch.”
Not ready for the vacation to end? Follow Lsea Swimwear on Instagram for some seriously tropical inspo right at your fingertips!
Are you a maker using Spoonflower fabrics? Don’t forget to tag your Instagram photos with #Spoonflower for the chance to be featured on our feed!