Up Close and Personal with Plus Size Swim Designer Jessica Peterson for Sorella Swim
Sorella Swim is a luxury line of swimwear for the stylish, sophisticated, curvy woman. We take pride in the quality and craftsmanship we are able to provide. Our swimwear is designed to last and be your favorite swimsuit; season after season. We want each of our customers feeling sexy, chic and comfortable in their Sorella swimwear!
Tulin: Congratulations on the launch of your new e-commerce site! What was your motivation to move in this direction?
Jessica: Thank you! We are quite excited about being able to launch a store at this early stage in the brand’s development. Initially we did not have plans to open an e-commerce site this fast. We had planned to start online development by our 4th or 5th season, but due to some uncertainty from retailers on how to market the brand and a fear from retailers on carrying a full-figure swimwear label we were forced to shift our timeline.
With the majority of the population being a size 12 and higher, it has been frustrating to hear retailer’s uncertainty and hesitation in catering to this customer. We have made a huge effort to partner with each of our retailers in developing an assortment and marketing plan to capture the curvy customer, but most have been unwilling to listen or work with us. An online store of our own was the only way we felt we could really cater to the curvy customer the way she deserves to be catered to.
Tulin: Do you find that your customers are looking for more options than maybe what buyers purchase, which tend to be more safe?
Jessica: Yes, our customers are definitely looking for fashion! They are fashion-savvy women who crave quality and all the special details. A majority of our customers are tired of safe and the same old offerings that are duplicated by so many swimwear brands. Our customers are looking for fashion colors, unique styling details and a range of different coverage options. I find that our two best sellers are the Signature Medallion Tankini with Skirted Bottom, which offers the most coverage in our collection, followed by the Surplice Bikini Top and Plain Bottom, offering the least amount of coverage in the collection. This shows me that there are a variety of curvy customers out there and they are not all looking for the same thing. We have to offer variety! And by selling direct we can do so much more. Wait until you see the 2013 Collection!!