Ravish Sands Swimwear – Entrepreneur Jessie Becker Builds a Team and Builds a Brand
Jessie, so glad we have a chance to feature you and your swimwear line Ravish Sands! It’s fascinating I think to hear the story behind the building of someone’s dream. So fill us in a little on your background and what led you to where you are with Ravish Sands. Where did you grow up, go to school and how did you arrive at the idea to create your own swimwear company?
Even though I was born in Florida, I grew up most of my life in Newville, Pennsylvania. Being such a small town, where the only things to do were play sports and hang out with friends. Many nights I’d find myself bored so crafts, drawing, writing, and artwork were the only things to do to fill my time. However, fashion was my forte …for I never wore one outfit twice in the same calendar year and even was awarded most fashionable senior year! I always had a feeling I would one day design my own of sexy gym wear because fitness and health were always very important to me. After graduating Big Spring High school in 2003, I soon moved down to Florida august 2005 to change my life. No more distractions, no more being held back…I would soon pursue my dreams. Jan 2006 I registered at AIU in Weston where I later graduated (July 2009) with my BA in Fashion Marketing and Design.
It was Feb 2010 that I incorporated my company Ravish Sands Swimwear. After the loss of my little brother, Sean back in Oct 2009. My eyes were open to the reality that life is short and we never can expect when our last day will be. One random day my best friend Lily Taylor and I were sitting in my living room. I had just made two bikinis and wanted to create my own line. So we started brainstorming names. After several pages of ideas, one word in a thesaurus landed us to “Ravish Sands”. I still remember Lily and I instantaneously “googling” it to see if it ever existed and sure enough…IT DIDN”T!!!
Did you move to South Florida because of your interest in swimwear? Was that part of your overall plan? I’m assuming with the lifestyle down there and the number of models it’s an ideal place to find young models to work with. Was it challenging to find the right talent to show off your designs the way you wanted? It would seem to us that you are, shall we say, “swimming” in swimwear models down there but I’m guessing it’s not all that easy.
Because we live in Florida beautiful women are easy to come by. One girl in particular, Estefania Serrano, I had the pleasure of working with for my “Senior Collection”, two years earlier. I decided to get in contact with her. Luckily for me I was part of the planning crew and still 2 years later had all the girls contact info. On a whim I called her, not knowing if she would remember who I was and asked if she would be down to model for me. She quickly said yes and my best friend and I went out and I bought a D5000 camera and my swimwear line was born.
In only a matter of a couple months I had recruited a number of models, put on my first fashion show at Hard Rock, landed a centerfold in the Florida Panther Calendar, worked with one of the best photographer’s; Michael Falco (www.michaelfalco.com) , sold suits wholesale, created a website, had my first company runway song “Turn Headz” produced by Hard Dinero, printed my first 2012 swimsuit calendar, and more!
Must say you have some incredibly beautiful models shot in your designs. Beautiful! Do you have some favorite models you have worked with? Let’s give them a shout out here!
It’s been a rough journey but because I had been able to form the perfect team that truly believes in my vision and in Ravish Sands I only continue to grow and expand every year. There are a few very special individuals I would like to thank!
My Best friend and business partner Lily Taylor has been by my side this whole journey. I was blessed for she supports all my spontaneous events, cuts, designs, sells, and markets my brand with me. It’s like having two of me, lol. We complement each other for when I get down and discourage b/c something falls thru…be an event, a sale, etc she is always there to lift me back up and vice a versa!
I am thankful for my spokesmodel Natalia Bueno for being with me from my first show, promo events, calendars, and so much more. She is a beautiful person both inside and out and I couldn’t have accomplished everything I have without her! She’s not only a stunning model but I’m proud to be able to call her my friend.
A BIG Thanks to my cover model, Juliet Delahoz. She has been a phenomenal addition to my team over the last year and a half. Be sure to check her out on our 2012 Calendar! We might just have to feature her too ;)!
And of course, my life wouldn’t be possible without my mom and dad! They believed in me since day one and have emotionally and physically supported me through this whole process. They always said, “Following my dreams is most important, and that sweat and tears are worth the fight to success.” My parents are my number one fans.
Who made Ravish Sands the image it has today? The one and only Michael Falco of www.michaelfalco.com I was lucky to link up with him July 2010 and we didn’t stop there! Everything I have accomplished, all my exposure, my website, catalog, 2012 swimsuit calendar, and so much more is because we connected from day one. The chemistry between his camera lens, the model, and my swimwear was priceless. He is so talented and together we got to show our talents off!
My “MUSE” in the modeling industry from the beginning is Next Model, Brittany Oldehoff. She is talented, kind, and a natural beauty. Falco, Brittany, and I shot many times together and every image was magical. She’s one of those girls that can roll out of bed, no hair and makeup, and just kills it on film. Forever I’m grateful for her letting Ravish in her modeling life!
And who could forget my boyfriend…Rolando. Because of him we opened my first store front at “Beach Place” Fort Lauderdale this February. So many great things have come from us working one on one with our customers. Even though we are seasonal at Beach Place and will be closing at the end of August Ravish Sands Swimwear will still be available at the beach! Be sure to check out “Cimboco” boutique adjacent from Sonic! Our new collections will showcase there come Sept 2012!
Quite honestly there are so many more people to thank! This interview would be a book long so if I have worked with you…thank you for everything!
Another thing that’s so cool is you model your own designs, beautifully I should add. Completely impressive! How long have you been modeling yourself? Had you done swimwear modeling before your own work?
As designer and owner of Ravish Sands Swimwear I would never call myself a model. Lol, Yes, growing up my grandparents always used me in their photo shoots which is why I’m not shy to the camera but I’m not exactly 5’9”, skinny, and catalog material. But time to time I like to get all glammed up for a photo shoot and rock my own swimwear! I mean…not only models wear swimwear at the beach…so why not! Yes, I love to wear my swimsuits but it’s because I love how they fit and I love how unique each suit is! Everything we make is limited and made right here in South Florida.
What were the biggest challenges in getting things started and moving in the right direction? Did you find yourself overwhelmed sometimes?
Oh my, getting started the biggest challenges are money and time. Here I was a recent graduate with $1000 monthly student loans to pay back, and a retail management job that required a vast amount of my time and dedication. My support system was my saving grace and my brother was my inspiration to do something bigger and better with my life. I pretty much just had to prioritize my time, give up most of my social life, and wrote down my goals. I was often overwhelmed and nervous but I’m not one to back down from a challenge.
Like any entrepreneurial endeavor, I’m sure there’s lots of blood, swear and tears, but it also seems like somewhat of a glamorous business to be in. What’s it been like? Is there some glamorous beach loving lifestyle you are able to take part in?
For me starting my business was my coping and happy place after the loss of my brother. Starting a business couldn’t be any more sweat and tears than that experience. Actually I’ve found it to be a lot easier than expected because I have the drive, I have the best support, and business partner (LILY), and regardless how many times I fail at something I just keep pushing forward. Ravish Sand’s time to shine will come just as long as we continue to offer the product that we believe in and continue to offer quality, unique suits at affordable prices.
What upcoming events, promotions or news would you like to share with our readers? Lets make sure we have all that news and info here for everyone!
In the near future we are going to open a temporary kiosk at Sawgrass Mills mall, shoot a 2013 swimsuit calendar with Big City Models , release a rap video featuring all the sexy Ravish Sands Models in exclusive swimsuits (song produced by Hard Dinero), and release our new “Sparkle” line of crochet swimwear as well as fitness competition suits. To stay completely up to date our website is www.ravishsands.com. There you can find all our store front locations on the “HOME” page, bottom right corner!
And remember, “Dare to Turn Heads” in Ravish Sands Swimwear. The only place to order custom designed suits at amazing prices! For inquiries feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you Jessie, and tons of good luck with Ravish Sands! We’d like to feature some of your models here so our readers will see more of your work for sure. Good luck with everything and please stay in touch and update us on your successes!
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Tags: Ravish Sands, Jessie Becker, Brittany Oldehoff, Michael Falco, Swimwear, Swimsuit Models, Florida, Miami, South Florida, Beach Wear, Swimsuit Models, Juliet Delahoz, Natalia Bueno, Vivian Chau, Estefania Serrano
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