18 Jan Hive Swimwear- meet the lady behind the creations.
Just after I had Mr Energetic, we were living in Queensland and it was such a hot summer. I was busting to get into the water, but my very new big breast-feeding chest put a big dampener on that idea. None of my swimmers were fitting, I had a new body to get use to and the only swimmers that did fit just gave me a headache and looked awful. I was horrified and quite honestly not impressed by how uncomfortable this new body was making me feel. So many women had spoken about enjoying their new boobs. I was not and I hated the idea of not being able to go for a swim.
On this particular day we just happen to be in Noosa visiting a friend. My husband and our friends were out surfing and one of the guys asked me why I didn’t want to come to the beach. I was hormonal and just blurted out the truth. Kindly and very empathetically he took my baby out of my arms and said ‘well just go and get some new swimmers!’. Yeah right! As if it was that easy.
You know those moments in your life you know you met someone for a reason? Well, this was one of those times. It just so happened that one of the guys they were surfing with was the owner/partner of Hive Swimwear. These swimmers were specifically designed to stay on, be comfortable, supportive and they are gorgeous. Wahoo was all I could think of. That day I went to shopfront and found my favourite swim top ever. I could go swimming, breastfeed in them, go standup paddle boarding (no surfing for me just after a baby) all with no headaches or sore neck. Best summer find that year by far (other than my new baby that is). Not only were they comfortable and affordable but an Aussie brand, I was winning all round.
Because I love these swimmers so much I would love to introduce you to Kat Hogg, owner and founder of Hive Swimwear.
Kat, when did you start surfing?
I started surfing on a body board initially when I was in my late teens. I didn’t start stand up surfing until I was travelling in California in the early nineties. California was the first time I had really seen a lot of girls actually surfing and thought wow! I really want to be a surfer girl. On my return to Australia, I sold my body board, purchased a 2nd hand 7ft short board and I was on my way.
How does surfing make you feel?
There is a sense of freedom being out in the ocean, especially when you are surfing in a bikini and have so much skin in contact with the water. It’s the one place that nobody can reach you (unless they swim out) so it’s a great sense of escapism. It can be also a great social time as the local surfers definitely form a tribe. The vibe in the water on a good day when everyone is scoring good rides and the local tribe is out is something that only someone in that moment can describe. Scoring that one epic ride in a session is what is addictive and is the element that keeps you wanting more.
What inspired you to start your own swimwear?
Through my work in the surfing industry I discovered a niche in the swimwear market and thought there was an opportunity to make something for the girls that contributed to the enjoyment and performance aspects of the sport. Creating a swimsuit that was functional and fashion focused fulfilled that criteria.
It’s so exciting to see you have developed a swimwear to fit all shapes and sizes. Do you think this is what makes your brand so successful?
In any industry I feel it’s important to not only make products that you like but to make products that the majority of people need. Lets face it we come in all shapes and sizes, so it makes sense to try to cater for as many active body shapes as we can. We really value the feedback we gain from our customers and openly invite them to tell us what they ideally would like to see in our ranges. I think involving your audience so they feel part of the brand rather than just a customer creates loyalty and therefore can be successful.
How do you come up with the names and designs of the swimwear?
Initially we came up with the brand name Hive as through our marketing research we found that names with “v” and “z” attract attention as they are not widely used letters. Hive shares several of the letters of the work ‘active‘ as well which was in line with what our brand culture. When considering the marketing angles it was obvious we could come up with a lot of really cool names for the styles centred around Hive, bees, honey…so that is where that whole concept was started. The print names are usually relative to the inspiration behind each individual collection.
What is your favourite surf break in Australia?
In my home town of Noosa right down at the end of my street at Sunshine Beach!
What is your favourite surfboard?
The past few years I have been riding the Mayhem boards, I love them and feel my surfing has improved a lot since I started riding them. I generally ride a 5″11 or a 6″0 and when we travel I step up to a beefier 6″1
Before Hive you were a surf instructor, whats the best piece of advice you give to women/girls learning to surf?
Surfing is such a hard sport and it takes a lot of practice and dedication. The most important thing is time in the water, catching waves. The board is the first most important thing, make sure it’s bouyant enough to float you. The higher you sit on the water the faster you can paddle, the more waves you get, the quicker you will improve.
Thanks so much Kat for your time…
Check out the beautiful Hive collection at www.hiveswimwear.com
My favourite at the moment is the ‘Bee Lovers’ Collection.
Have a great week everyone.