One Aussie swimwear brand shaking things up is UNE PIECE, who not only make sustainable and beautiful swimwear, they refuse to market to women’s vulnerabilities.
Carly Brown, Premium member and founder of UNE PIECE has found huge success by championing body positivity, sustainability, and beautifully-made swimwear. In 2016, Carly created a sun safe, luxe rashie we actually wanted to wear. The demand was so high, it had a waitlist before it even launched. Fast forward three years, Carly has done it again with her latest collection and new line of self-tanning beauty products.
Congrats on your latest collection! You’ve done it again with the sell-out demand of your black square neck one piece (pictured above), did you think this was going to be such an in-demand style?
We secretly thought this style could be a sell-out and believe it’s due to its versatility. Not only can it be worn as a swimsuit but as a bodysuit with a pair of pants or skirt. You can also change it up by removing the bows.
Talk us through your design process. How do you develop each style?
The product design process is a continual one – and done with quite a lot of consultation and collaboration with our customers. We’ve recently created a new Active range and a Mama and Me range in response to customer feedback.
Inspiration for our prints comes in many different ways – I’m forever taking photos of flowers or art that inspires our print design. Travel has been a good source of inspiration also for not just our prints but also our Brand and Launch campaigns.
Do you conduct any kind of social listening or customer feedback sessions?
Absolutely – the customer is at the heart of everything we do. We researched the product so thoroughly with women as we wanted to understand their reaction to every part of the product. I wanted to hear what I could do to optimise and improve the product for the most amazing fit possible.
We learned a lot through this process mainly around fit, key areas of concern for women about their bodies and what made them feel great. We did eleven rounds of sampling before we launched – most swim brands do two rounds before they launch a new product!
We have been overwhelmed with beautiful feedback from our customers. We all treasure it, and it really motivates me and the team to keep creating more styles and exciting innovation for the brand.
The feedback is centred around how it makes them feel (beautiful and confident) and the quality of the product (feels amazing on), and the fact that it hits the sweet spot of delivering sun-smart protection and beautiful lines and fit.
Also, functionally we always want to be improving our product and I read every single customer service ticket we receive. This fuels our innovation process and makes our product and brand stronger. This season we have added additional bust support to all news styles, made our product easier to get in and out of and added some beautiful adornments to the products – including a beautiful U-shaped charm on our zippers.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Australia, its beaches and healthy outdoor lifestyle are at the heart of our brand. We are born in Australia, inspired by the south of France at our core. Our passion for Australia and its beaches and Europe and its incredible lifestyle can be seen in everything we do.
The new collection was inspired by long, sunny days in the sun in the south of France. We’ve also created some dreamy, exclusive hand-illustrated prints for this new collection.
Other women are also a big source of inspiration for me! I actively sourced the support, and guidance from other women who have forged the entrepreneurial path before me. I have a few friends who own their own business, and I have the deepest respect for what they have achieved. I have continued to grow this community of like-minded and women around me so I can continue to learn from them and grow.
What’s next for 2020?
There are so many exciting things to come, we will continue to innovate with beautiful new prints and silhouettes for UNE PIECE. The response to UNE PIECE Petite and our latest Mama & Me pieces has been incredible – so watch this space!
After the success of the Original Hybrid Leggings and our new Original Hybrid Bike Pants, there will be more to come from UNE PIECE Active.
And of course what we are most excited about is our new beauty brand La Beach.
Why did you diversify into beauty products with the range of La Beach?
La Beach came about from listening to our UNE PIECE community and their experiences (good and bad) with self-tanning. It became clear there was a need for a brand to make something that really hits the mark for women on natural colour, natural (and easy to achieve) coverage and brilliant wear (and wear off). It’s also 100% vegan, cruelty-free self-tan made with natural and organic ingredients. Our launch range is focused on creating a new self-tan option that eliminates the mess and fuss of self-tanning. We have released an Express Tanning Foam and Tanning Water Mist. Both products work beautifully on their own, however the true magic comes when they are used together – our cult launch duo – ‘The Power Couple’.
The global obsession with looking tanned isn’t going anywhere soon so we are really excited about lifting the bar in terms of the type of product women can use to get a tan now.
We also partnered with an incredible local artist Beth Moffat to create a bespoke piece of art for our brand. Beth’s piece is also included as a beautiful art print with each La Beach order purchased online.
Everything ladders back to our overarching vision of helping women feel empowered and confident and delivering ‘Stylish Sun-Consciousness’.
Carly Brown is (of course) a Business Chicks Premium member. Connect with Carly here, and check out UNE PIECE here. It’s what we’ll be wearing to the beach this summer!