ENTREPRENEUR DAWN WOODRUFF ON THE ART OF MAKING A STATEMENT AND ELEVATING THE SWIMWEAR INDUSTRY
After noticing an opportunity to potentially fill a void, creatives often find themselves inspired to take matters into their own hands. For entrepreneur Dawn Woodruff, her journey into starting her own business was ignited by exactly that drive, leading her to hit the ground running and put action behind her ideas.
"I feel like it's perfect for people who like to disappear into their own world and who really like to feel immersed in whatever they are doing."
While the Georgia native has always exhibited an entrepreneurial spirit by nature, in 2016, Dawn found herself experiencing frustration while browsing the market selection for swimwear and decided to take the leap into helping ease that burden many face when trying their luck shopping for bathing suits specifically. Along with her best friend Brittany, Dawn co-founded Kaimori B. swimwear, a collection that empowers customers to feel confident in their swimwear choices without compromising quality, style or comfort.
Drawing inspiration from travel and fashion alike, Dawn oversees both the design and business components of the brand, working tirelessly to elevate the swimwear industry standard and simultaneously lift up their customers to feel empowered. From encouraging their clientele to embrace the beauty of customizing their beach-ready looks to offering an array of designs that are fashion-forward and inclusive of all body types, Kaimori B. is finding success in delivering statement pieces that encourage individuality and fearless self-expression.
During a recent conversation with DropLabs, Dawn took a moment to share more about how she is answering the destined call to be an entrepreneur, where she pulls inspiration from and one of her personal mantras that doubles as her go-to advice.
What do you do for a living and what are some of the things that helped you get started?
Right now, my main focus is my swimwear line, Kaimori B. I originally started it with my best friend a couple years ago, really just out of a love for fashion and the desire to put something different out there. Before going on vacation, I was shopping for bathing suits and realized there wasn't really anything out there that I was looking for. That really is what sparked everything. It's funny; I was actually in school at the time as a psychology major. Even though I have a psychology degree, owning a swimwear line has kind of taken over for now. I won't say that I won't ever go back to pursuing a career that utilizes my degree because just knowing how life works, I know there are so many different phases.
With the swimwear line, do you have a hand in the design aspect of it or are you more-so focused on the business side?
It's a combination of both. I'm definitely the design person. As far as the business side, I have someone who helps me out with marketing and someone who helps me out with social media. I have different photographers I like to work with as well. So, I do have a team of people that I work with, but ultimately, I do the designing and I oversee all of the different aspects of the business.
What would you say is the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur?
It's really just once you get done with everything and see people's reactions. I think as entrepreneurs, we like to create, and at the end of the day, the main goal is for other people to like what you've created as well. I think once a product is done, and you see that people like it, and you're getting a good response from it, that to me is the most rewarding part. We're hoping to create something that can add something better to the world.
Do you have an early memory that sparked your desire to become an entrepreneur?
Growing up, I always said that I wanted to own my own business. I knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur in some sort of way. At the time, growing up, I always said I wanted to be a lawyer. My whole life was saying I wanted to grow up and be a lawyer and open my own law firm. I've always wanted to have my own company. Once I got to college and started taking courses, I realized that I really loved psychology. I still love psychology and even with that, I've always wanted to be able to open my own practice someday. So, I think at the end of the day, I've always had the goal of having my own company, no matter what field it was in.
In what ways would you say creativity plays a role in your day-to-day, or where would you say your inspiration comes from?
Even though I'm focused on swimwear, I love all fashion in general. So, whenever I'm seeing different things coming out, whether it's a dress or a hat or anything that I might come across, I'm like, 'Oh I like that aspect; I should put that on a bathing suit.' I'm always keeping an eye out how I can incorporate that inspiration. It's usually something that is still fashion related but not completely related to swimwear, so I like to find different aspects that I can incorporate into the swimwear world.
I'm a bright colors and a standout type of person. Most of our bathing suits are triangle bikinis or a simple bandeau or something like that, but tailored to those who are looking to stand out. I like to buy statement pieces. Usually when I go into a store, and I'm just shopping around and someone asks me, 'What are you looking for?' I'll say, 'Well, what are your statement pieces that you have in here?' That's really what I go out shopping for so that's what we aim to create with Kaimori B.
What surprised you the most when you first tried out DropLabs?
I saw my fiancé try them on first when we were on location at the Super Bowl, before we were able to make a visit to DropLabs' studio. At first it seemed pretty cool, but once I was given a thorough demo and I was able to see all the different aspects that you can use the shoes in, that's what really amazed me. From meditation to playing video games to listening to music, I'm definitely the kind of person who likes to put my headphones on and turn it up so loud to the point where I'm engulfed in what I'm listening to. I really loved that you can use it in so many different ways.
How would you describe the shoes to someone who hadn't tried them before?
I feel like it's perfect for people who like to disappear into their own world and who really like to feel immersed in whatever they are doing. When you're playing video games and you really like to feel like you're IN the video game, or when you're listening to your music and you like to feel like you're at a concert even though you only have some headphones in, I feel like it's perfect for those people like me who really like to be engulfed by an experience.
What are you currently working on?
I have been working on some new things. My fiancé and I have actually been talking about doing a little collaboration together. A lot of guys have been saying, 'Well, you don't have anything for us.' So, I've been letting him play around with some things to get a design drawn up to have something released for the guys. Hopefully, that will be something that we can do as a father-son type of bundle where there's adult and children's sizes for the summer.
Do you have any mantras that you live by or words of wisdom that you'd like to share?
One mantra I definitely live by, that I tell everybody, is closed mouths don't get fed. I feel like people are always afraid to ask for what they want. I have been put in so many situations, where it's either me or a friend of mine or a family member, and I'll always encourage them to just go ahead and ask. You know, if you're tense about approaching somebody about something, at the end of the day, 90% of the time, the situation will turn out in your favor if you just communicate. That's one of my big things. If you want something, go for it.
As innovators by design, the team behind DropLabs Technology is dedicated to supporting and elevating members of the creative community. Together, we aim to serve as a platform highlighting different creators as they work towards achieving visionary excellence and inspiring others along their path. To nominate a creative leader you’d like to see highlighted on our website, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.