Daniela Schiliro & Heather Kamback on co-founding inBodi Swim, a swimwear brand inspired by different places of the world the duo has traveled together
Describe your business in a few words?
Each collection of inBodi Swim has been thoughtfully created based on different places around the world that we’ve been fortunate enough to see and experience. Along with the environments, colors, textures, cultures of each place; we are most inspired by the unique beauty that each and every woman embodies.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
If not now, then when? We were roommates at FIT in NYC for four years and always dreamed of starting our own swimwear line. Our skill sets are very different but extremely compatible. Since the very moment we graduated, we saved money each year to invest in our company and finally in 2020 (prior to the pandemic) we were fortunate to make our dream our reality and launched inBodi Swim.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
Both based in NYC, Daniela is an Art Director and Heather is a Demand Planner.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Daniela: Yes! I grew up in a very supportive family that always encouraged me to follow my passions. I was always heavily invested in the arts, from being a classically trained ballet dancer to becoming extremely passionate about graphic design and branding; I always considered myself to be a BIG dreamer. Being an Art Director, I am always looking for ways to strengthen my skill sets and fulfill my needs as a creative. I wanted to create a brand that I could fully be myself in and create a space where women felt empowered, inspired, confident, and celebrated for who they are!
Heather: Yes! Both my parents are entrepreneurs and although I saw how hard they worked, I also saw how fulfilling it could be. I wanted to pursue something I was passionate about and lead a life without limits. Growing up at the beach, I was constantly buying new bikinis and always making tweaks to make them my own. I love making women feel good in their own skin, so I wanted to share the love and created inBodi Swim!
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
Prior to our first launch, we relied heavily on Instagram and other social media platforms to spread the word. We also began the #babesofinbodi ambassador program, which has evolved immensely over the past year. We sent bikinis to real women in our network to promote on their social media accounts and help build excitement prior to our launch. With the help of these women and with the support of our friends and family, we finally launched our very first inBodi Swim Collection, ‘The Charleston Collection’ in August 2020.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
Looking back, we still don’t know if it was the ‘right time’ to launch our business in August 2020. It was a hard time for the world and even for us. We dealt with many curveballs but still persisted through and did our very best to create a positive space for ALL women during a very dark time. However, many positives came out of it, as new business owners; we learned more in three months than some do in years and we created a brand we absolutely adore. We met so many new people during a time of isolation and grew so much as business owners and individuals. We learned that there never is a ‘right time’ and it’s never too late to follow your dreams. We’re so grateful for every setback and challenge that this last year threw at us, it only made us stronger.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
We’re both so proud of launching our first collection in August 2020 due to the amount of curveballs that were thrown at us. We applied all of our learnings from our first collection to launch our second collection, ‘The Gulf Coast Collection” on March 13th of 2021. inBodi Swim finally has an identity and we’re so happy with how far we’ve come in such a short period of time.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
At this time it is just the two of us! We are doing everything from marketing, fulfillment, planning, etc. We have big dreams and hope to expand our team one day. When we do, we think it’s important to hire candidates who share the same passion to make women feel good in their skin!
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Retail in general was hit very hard from the pandemic. Being in the swimwear industry, on the east coast, with so many travel restrictions was especially tough. As we said above, we finally saved enough money to invest in inBodi Swim and created our company two weeks prior to the pandemic. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and the setbacks we were about to face. However, our trust in one another as teammates and creating a brand that we truly believed in and loved was stronger than any curve balls thrown at us.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
We’re so proud to announce that we just launched inBodi Swim’s second collection ‘The Gulf Coast Collection’ on Saturday, March 13 2021. All styles are available to purchase on inbodiswim.com! We’re going to continue to advertise this collection for summer. We have big dreams for the next few years. We’d like to continue to grow in the swimwear industry and hopefully dip into a few other categories that we’d like to leave as a surprise!
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
There’s never a right or wrong time. If you really believe in something, do it. Setbacks only help your growth and make you stronger. If we learn something new everyday, good or bad, we’re grateful.
During an extremely isolating and dark time, we created a space full of light and positivity. That was our biggest win in creating inBodi Swim. Our brand celebrates uniqueness, recognizes that each and every woman’s beauty is her own, and gives back sustainably to the world we love and cherish.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
We created a brand that celebrates ALL women for who they are. We hold this belief so close to our heart, but we forgot to connect as the founders to our audience. We were so focused on building our business, celebrating our models, our #babesofinbodi, that we hid behind the scenes when we first started our business. We’re now making the effort to develop an authentic connection to our audience. We’ve seen positive results from it.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
Each other! We’re so grateful to work together as best friends. When one needed the other, we were always there to cheerlead! It hasn’t been easy but we’re super grateful to have gone through it all together.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
To be completely honest, we’re a work in progress with this one! It’s something we really hope to implement in our lives this year as we know how important it is. It’s really hard to turn off when you love and believe in something so much especially when it’s all so new. However, we do know that after a good night’s sleep, a ton of water, some exercise, our motivation and creativity always improves. No one can run without power and self-care is just as important as self-love, which is everything inBodi Swim stands for.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
We lived and shared a room with two twin beds as college roommates at FIT in NYC for four years! We’re also born one day apart and have made it a tradition to celebrate our birthdays together every summer at the Jersey Shore wearing our favorite bikinis.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
1. Get a good night’s sleep and eat well (we’re still a work in progress with this but feel wonderful when we do).
2. Properly time manage workloads.
3. Set new goals each week.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Entreprenista shares the same beliefs that inBodi Swim was built upon – Each and Every Woman’s beauty is her own. We’re two women who hope to inspire, empower, and build confidence in women just as they authentically are. We’re honored to be part of a community that promotes this and builds each other up. We’re thrilled and honored to be Entreprenistas!