When she was just 14, growing up in Los Angeles, Vanessa Sanchez began teaching herself how to design swimsuits. Living just a short drive from the beach, Sanchez says that friends would constantly come over and steal the swimsuits she had made for herself. Today the now 21-year-old shares her suits not only with her friends, but also with people (and numerous celebrities, like Kim Kardashian) all over the world. Working days that are upwards of 10 hours, Sanchez’s passion is seen in all of her swimsuits. Characterized by versatility and the favorable fits, Nessy swimsuits will fall into your steady rotation as soon as you slip one on. Get to know more about Sanchez and what to expect from the West Coast brand that produces swimsuits you’ll feel your best in.
Can you share a bit about your background?
I grew up in Los Angeles. Growing up in a big city opens you up to all different styles and cultures. This heavily influenced my interest in clothing. On the other hand, I’ve lived a 20-minute distance from the beach my whole life and have a deep love and connection to the beach.
What made you decide to enter the swimwear industry?
Being in the swimwear Industry came pretty naturally for me, considering my background. For as long as I can remember I’ve always dreamed of being a fashion designer and learned how to make my own clothes at a young age. When I was a teenager I struggled to find a bikini that fit just right, so I made my own. During the summer my friends would come over and steal bikinis for our beach days. Shortly after Nessy Swimwear was born. One day I hope to expand into other categories.
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How did you learn to design?
I learned how to design before the internet was what it is today. I would go to the library and read books, rent fashion films, and watch whatever tutorials I could find in the early days of YouTube.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your overall aesthetic?
I draw inspiration overall from a California/L.A. lifestyle aesthetic. I am also very influenced by the media I consume, be it movies, social media, books or music.
What do you try to communicate through your designs?
I try my best to communicate inclusivity and versatility. When I design swimsuits, fit is on the forefront of my mind. I am very aware everybody is different. All my designs are extremely thoughtfully made. Our styles may be more basic and timeless. I pride myself with the fit, versatility and our unique prints.
How did you learn to manage the large responsibility of running a company from such a young age?
Like anything in life you learn through experience and doing. I never went to school and just went all in. You can’t learn to run a company without actually owning one. There’s only so much you can learn from books, podcasts, and even school. I couldn’t run Nessy Swimwear without the help of my family and friends. I try my best to balance work/personal life but I’d be lying if I said I had it down perfectly. Most of my time is dedicated to Nessy. I am very passionate about my “job" and I have amazing people beside me who I know I can trust for guidance and advice.
Can you tell me about the Nessy Swimwear team?
The Nessy Swimwear team is tiny but mighty. My parents and I run the company; we oversee everything. I have an incredible group of freelancers who help me with graphic design, production management, PR, etc.
What is a typical day at work like?
There is no typical work day with Nessy Swimwear! I always tell my friends not to make plans with me unless it’s 48 hours in advance. When you run a company anything can come up at any moment, good and bad. I’m always on the go trying to solve one obstacle at a time. Typically I start my workday at 9 a.m. and finish anywhere from 10 p.m. to midnight. They say “if you don-t want to work 9-to-5 be prepared to hustle 24/7.” I’m always thinking about Nessy in one way or another. I’m not complaining, though. I love my job, I’m too creative for it to be another way. In those hours I’m doing anything from designing, shipping orders, the back office operational piece, sewing samples, the list goes on!
How has your vision and future goals for the brand evolved over time?
Nessy has evolved in every possible way. If you go back and look at our first post from June/July 2015, it was a completely different brand. Also Nessy is not exactly where I want to be either. Just as I’ve grown and evolved, Nessy has grown and evolved and so have my customers/supporters. I get messages every day from girls saying they remember when I first started and they’re so proud of how we’ve evolved. Big picture, I hope Nessy will be a household name, not only for swimwear but also in the fashion industry as a whole.
What is like seeing major celebrities like Kim Kardashain, Vanessa Hudgens, and many others wearing your bikinis?
I imagine it’s a similar feeling of what it’s like seeing your child take its first steps or go to college. It’s all the things, an overwhelming amount of pride, accomplishment and success. But also like “I did THAT, what can I do next?” Seeing Kim Kardashian and other impactful influencers and celebs wear my brand has reassured me that I’m on the right path and everything I do is beyond me.
Do you have any tips for feeling confident in your own skin?
This is a hard one because there’s no clear cut answer to confidence. Confidence is a lifelong journey I don’t think any of us fully accomplish. A lot of feeling confident comes from within. That can be having great food habits so your body is nourished, giving you external confidence. It could be buying a really cute bikini that accentuates your favorite part of your body, making you feel confident, mentally and externally. We all get so caught up in our busy schedules but taking the time to treat yourself to a self-care morning, day whatever it may be. But just carving out time to treat yourself on your terms. It will all exude in the end.