Lauryn Huston & Ashley Yoo are the Co-Founders of 5B Swim - is a swimwear brand based in New York City. Handmade pieces, carefully created for comfort and confidence. Their goal is simple, to make bold pieces focused on confidence and comfort to empower their babes with each wear.
I had the opportunity to learn more about these amazing women, and they inspired me with their mission, dedication, and commitment to cultivating confidence. We SO admire the brand they’ve built, and we’re grateful to share more about her experience as a founder with all of you! Check out the interview down below:
Were you always interested in starting your own company? What inspired you to create your own business?
Ashley: We both always knew we wanted to start our own business. Lauryn and I had this conversation while we were in college at FIT. In our senior year, we did a collaboration.
Lauryn: Ashley created prints on textiles, and Lauryn made them into swimsuits. The whole process felt right, and we got incredible feedback. It led to instant inspiration. We just kept flowing and continued creating together.”
What was the beginning like when you started 5B Swim? Did you have a hard time getting started, or did the pieces fall into place?
Lauryn: For the most part, the pieces fell into place. Both of us knew we always wanted to be small business owners, and once we both realized we had a passion for swimwear and our interests and skills offset each other, it was smooth working together.
K: That sounds like a pretty magical beginning.
Was it scary when you first went out on your own? How did you get started?
Ashley: It was really scary starting 5B Swim; with both of us being creative, we had to teach ourselves a lot about the logistics of starting a business while also working full-time jobs. The unknown is scary and intimidating, but at the same time, that challenge is what keeps us going.”
K: The unknown can be intimidating and panic-inducing to say the least, but the best things come out of the discomfortzone. (Psst...check out Living in the Discomfortzone)
What is the biggest failure you've experienced in your business? What did you learn from it?
Lauryn: I wouldn't say there is the biggest failure. We're constantly making mistakes and learning from them. Especially this last year, learning how to pivot and keep our business going through all the ups and downs and turns, we're always learning how to improve, and that's how we are still here.
Ashley: Every single mistake truly has made us stronger and smarter.”
K: I think 2020 was a learning curve for all of us! Fear not you are not alone.
What's the best advice you've ever been given, life or business?
Lauryn: Don't listen to criticism from someone you wouldn't take advice from. When starting and running your own small business, everyone has something to say about what you're doing. It's good to listen, but don't let it overwhelm you; go with your gut.
Ashley: Rest is productive.
What's the most recent lesson your business has taught you?
Ashley: There's always a solution! Especially coming from last year, we had to get creative and find ways to keep running the business.”
K: The pandemic inspired a lot of creativity when it comes to problem-solving. The urgency that it required and the dire situation puts a little more fire under your belly.
What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Lauryn & Ashley: Go for it! It's scary and can be overwhelming, but when you have an idea or product, work at it and launch it. There's never a perfect time or exact moment to do something. You have to go for it, put it out there, and be ready to work your butt off to make it happen!
K: In the great words of Nike. Just Do it!
What's your favorite part about being a business owner? What's the hardest part?
Ashley: It's the best feeling knowing that we grew this business from nothing and seeing our creations go from start to finish and onto actual customers! But, the hardest part is keeping a balance. Running a business can easily take over, and you have to work hard to balance it with everyday life.
K: This is one of my favorite aspects, too. It’s like starting with a pile of fabric and turning it into a cute dress. The transformation is what’s truly amazing.
What is something you have accomplished that you are most proud of?
Lauryn: Right now, we are getting ready to move into our first official office space, which is huge for us. We started this business in an apartment and, during the pandemic, continued to run everything from home. So being able to come out of this stronger and be able to take this next big step is exciting and something we are both very proud of.
What are the most important skills or traits you've found helpful in entrepreneurship? Are there any traits you've discovered that make it harder to succeed if you don't keep it in check?
Lauryn & Ashley: Dedication and communication. Never give up and work hard to make what you want to happen. Things don't just happen and work out. You have to work for it. Communication is always essential, especially since we are a partnership. We always have to make sure we're on the same page.
K: Never give up. PERIOD!
What's your favorite 'game-changer' tool that you can share with everyone? (ie. hellobonsai, airtable, later, etc.).
Lauryn: My gamechanger tool right now is PLANOLY. Sometimes I flow with our Instagram posts, but having pre-planned posts is excellent since it's just Lauryn and I. PLANO makes everything so much easier with that – from stories to actual posting. Content creation is a lot of work!
K: Oh, that’s like a tool I use! Interesting, I’ll have to check it out and compare how they stack up to Later.
Where can we find you if we'd like to learn more about you?
Lauryn & Ashley: You can learn more about 5B Swim and us on our website, www.5bswim.com, and on our Instagram @5bswim. We love sharing behind-the-scenes content with our followers and show everyone what we do!
Thank you, Lauryn & Ashley, for sharing your founders’ Story! Stick around for more Lemons Into Lemonades with new and amazing Founders!! See you soon!