As we brace for winter in the Northeast, it’s never too early to start dreaming of your next beach vacation or pool getaway. Andie is the direct-to-consumer female swimwear brand, designed for women by women. Focused on being stylish but also functional, Andie’s line of swimwear features multiple designs, colors, and styles; both one-pieces and two pieces that address a variety of body types and preferences. The company allows customers to try on swimsuits in the comfort of their own homes after completing a 12 question questionnaire online to determine the most appropriate fit.
AlleyWatch caught up with CEO Melanie Travis to learn a bit more about Andie, the effect of the pandemic on increased demand for swimwear, and the company’s latest funding round, which brings the total funding raised to $8M.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised a $6.5M Series A from investors including City Rock Venture Partners, Trail Mix Ventures, Sonostar Ventures, and more.
Tell us about the product or service that Andie offers.
Andie is a direct-to-consumer swimwear brand that makes classic, high-quality swimwear for women (and now children!) that you can try on in the comfort of your home. We focus on helping women find the right fit so that they can focus on enjoying their time at the pool or beach.
What inspired the start of Andie?
I was packing for a trip in 2016 and realized that I didn’t know where to look for a one-piece suit that wasn’t made for swimming laps, so I set out to make that suit and to create a better all-around shopping experience.
How is Andie different?
Andie isn’t trying to tell you that this suit will give you a flatter waist or increase your cup size – we’re here to be reliable, comfortable, and stylish so that you can enjoy everything that you do in a swimsuit without a second thought.
What market does Andie target and how big is it?
For now, we’re targeting the women’s swimwear market, which is a $25B global market.
What’s your business model?
Direct-to-consumer through our own website.
How has COVID-19 impacted the business?
COVID-19 has accelerated consumer adoption of e-commerce, and as an e-commerce brand, Andie has benefited from this trend. Especially given that going outside and getting some sun was one of the only safe activities this summer, demand for swim skyrocketed.
What was the funding process like?
The funding process is always a lot longer than you think. But it’s so satisfying to get it done.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
As an entirely women-run company building products for women, it’s always challenging breaking through the male-dominated VC landscape. That said, we’ve grown to a point where our numbers tell a compelling story, and in many ways, this round was easier than the seed.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
We take a data-oriented approach to growing the business and solving problems, but we maintain a high level of compassion for our customers, which is ultimately reflected in our numbers.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We have some exciting collaborations coming up and some fresh updates on designs for the spring. We’re also exploring other product categories but we can’t say more at this time!
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Empower every member of your team to be part of the problem solving, focus on efficiency, and lean into your strengths.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We’ll shift our focus to Australia, since it is the start of their summer, and we’re planning ahead for the holidays and the spring.
What’s your favorite outdoor dining restaurant in NYC?
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