Luxury swimwear brand In a Seashell was born from its co-founders’ desire to empower women.
Launched in 2017 by former personal assistant Gabrielle Nikita (in black) and her friend, singer Leigh-Anne Pinnock, of girl band Little Mix.
It currently sells four styles of bikinis in simple yet classic designs, including triangle and bandeau tops and high-legged bottoms in sizes 6 to 18. The duo hope to expand into beachwear, loungewear and sunglasses in the future.
From answering the phone and replying to emails, to creating new designs and updating their social accounts, the pair are fully involved in the business from start to finish. This includes speaking to potential suppliers – both etailers and stores – and brainstorming ideas to grow the business.
Products are currently available direct to consumers via the In a Seashell website. Retail prices range from £29.99 for its triangle bikini bottoms to £39.99 for its “Power” bikini top with dungaree detailing.
What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
Check the orders. That’s guaranteed to put a smile on my face.
What was your first job?
I worked as a Saturday girl at my local hairdressers when I was 16, and bought and sold lingerie on the side. I’ve always been determined to start my own business.
How would you describe the brand in one sentence?
A luxury swimwear brand striving to empower women to look and feel their best, and become obsessed with the skin that they’re in.
What’s your coffee (or tea) order?
A sweet cup of tea sets me up for the day.
Where are your favourite places to shop?
Zara is my go-to for clothes.
Last fashion purchase?
Sunglasses. I am absolutely obsessed.
Emails or phone calls?
I’m very organised and like having everything in writing, so email.
Most important lesson you’ve learned during your career?
It takes time to build a business and nothing comes easy. Also, never give up – no matter how many hurdles you face.
What would be your ideal office/meeting space?
Either our office [in Berkshire], which we’ve decorated with a lovely seashell theme, or a nice coffee shop.
What’s your favourite part of the creative process?
Designing the bikinis with Leigh-Anne, as we’re really good at bouncing ideas off each other. We love designing unique pieces made from unusual materials.
What has been your proudest moment since launching the brand?
Launching the brand was incredible, as we’d been working on it for 18 months. We also love seeing massive artists such as Kelly Rowland rocking our bikinis.
What’s the last book you read?
The Fashion Business Manual by Fashionary
Who in the fashion/retail industry inspires you?
We love Fenty Beauty [by Rihanna] because it’s so inclusive. Brands that use models of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities inspire us. We always wanted our swimwear brand to stand for something.
What advice you would give your younger self?
To not care as much about what other people think or say.
Who do you turn to when you need advice?
Leigh-Anne and my fiancé give the best advice, and have experienced this journey with me.
What would we find you doing at the weekend?
When you own a business, you can never switch off. Emails and orders are constantly coming through and we have to keep on top of them. That said, I have a lot of fun with my fiancé, family and friends. I love a party.
What are you looking forward to most in the year ahead?
Seeing In a Seashell grow.