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V i X Swimwear owner Paula Hermanny on business trends, managing the downturn, the company's partnership with Manhattan Beachwear and more.
I started V i X in 1998. Growing up in Brazil, I always had a million swimsuits because you live on the beach there. In Brazil, swimwear is not a seasonal purchase; it part of your wardrobe. I moved to the United States to study marketing.
When I started shopping around I found it challenging to find cute, fashionable swimwear. I quickly realized there was an opportunity for me to fill a void, so I started V i X.
Our sales, marketing and distribution are headquartered in San Diego. I have 12 employees that work out of that office. I also have my own manufacturer and Atelier (design studio) in Brazil. Combined, there are over 120 employees there.
The V i X brand has a strong, established position in the swimwear market. We have a loyal customer following that we are very proud of and continue to nurture.
Our sales are up year-over-year, which is great news. We were prepared for a flat year or a loss and are grateful that this won’t be the case.
We are privately held.
On page 2: The Sofia and Hermanny lines, distribution and strategy