It’s a happy and productive Monday over here at the Fredrickson house. I’m finally sitting down and setting up my blog, something that I’ve been back and forth with for awhile! I’ve narrowed down my vision as far as what I want my website, YouTube channel, and my over all personal brand to be like, so now it’s time to cut down to the chase and get this thing going!
You may know me, Katie Fredrickson, from YouTube, from my swimwear business The Brightest Color, from Instagram, or some other channel I am a part of. I am a DIY-er and small business-obsessed entrepreneur originally from sunny Orange County, California. After getting married, my husband, Austin, and I are making our way to The Woodlands, Texas, where we will be living near his family after he completes his five years serving in the military in California. I’m moving this Saturday, and it’s crazy to think I’ll be leaving California for good!
I started my first business and taught myself to sew at the same time period in my life. At age 15, I decided I wanted to revamp thrift shop denim shorts by sewing decor such as lace, bandannas, fringe, and all else onto them. (This was long before these shorts were a trend, way before you could easily pick some up at Forever 21!). With no prior sewing knowledge, I adopted my mom’s sewing machine and began my Etsy shop. I was not very good at sewing, and refusing to take lessons didn’t help, but I eventually was able to teach myself to an intermediate level. Unfortunately, due to moving out of state, I wasn’t able to keep the business going, but it sparked my fire for all things sewing and entrepreneurship.
I’ve always been the swimsuit girl. Ever since around age 14, I had my own allowance money and my mom finally allowed me to wear bikinis (instead of swim team-issued, Nike style athletic one pieces all the time, hehe!). I was spending every last cent in my bank account looking for my next swimsuit. Back then, I had no desire to manage my money in a smart way, and I am not kidding when I say I spent every last cent… It was not uncommon for me to have $0.40 to my name. Needless to say, swimwear has always been a weird fashion obsession of mine.
It took me nearly 3 years to figure I could use my minimal sewing experience to make swimsuits, and I could probably make them for much cheaper. Now we enter the dark years of my sewing career….
If you haven’t already figured it out yet, sewing swimwear is hard. Imagine being only minimally experienced with sewing in general, having never taken a sewing class before, and attempting to make one of the most difficult and specialized garments available to women. I recently threw away 2 garbage bags full of swimsuits that were complete fails. And I’ve easily thrown more than that away in the past…. I tried and failed so many times, but around age 20, things just clicked.
You see, there aren’t any books for sewing modern swimwear. By modern I mean reversible, seamless, the kind that are incredibly comfortable and versatile, but aren’t typically found in Walmart or Target. I’m talking about brands like Acacia, Midori, Maaji, Moana Bikini, Frankie’s Bikinis, and so many more. These companies have professional manufacturing factories that house all the sewing secrets and keep it between themselves and the brands; none of those secrets are shared, instead left to us small businesses and entrepreneurs to try and figure out ourselves.
I WISHED THERE WAS SOMEONE ON YOUTUBE SHOWING HOW TO SEW LIKE THOSE BIG BRANDS DO.
I started my channel after coming to that realization. Now I want to be able to help others in the way that I desperately needed back then, and I want lift the veil on the confusing but enchanting swimwear industry. It took me almost 3 years to finally feel comfortable sewing swimwear, and I’m still learning new styles and techniques daily.
From making dupes of your favorite styles to showing you how to start your own swimwear business, I want to be there for you as you navigate through the DIY world of swimwear and beyond. Expect to see all sorts of DIYs from brands even beyond just swimwear (I already have a Free People dupe I’m dying to get started filming!!).
Photo by Nicole Gillian Photography