FREDERICTON– The two entrepreneurs from New Brunswick behind a men’s swimwear line have their sights set on major department stores in the United States and Canada as the fashion company continues to grow.
Katie Carpenter and Ashley Lemmon are the founders of FYN Swim, a men’s swimwear company that aims to make stylish yet comfortable swim trunks guys will actually want to wear even outside the pool or beach. The quick-drying FYN Swim trunks offer appealing patterns, colours and length, as well as a customized trunk with a built-in Italian fabric lycra brief with mesh panels to provide the best comfort and support.
“We’re trying to achieve a new level of swimwear for men, really changing the game,” says Carpenter.
The company launched last summer with an e-commerce platform and a focus on online marketing. Since then, Carpenter says FYN has been receiving orders not only from Canada but also from the United States, Mexico and Europe.
“We even got an order the other day from Sweden, which was crazy. That was our first Swedish order,” she says. “We’ve had tonnes going out to Europe, so we’re getting a little bit of traction in Europe as well.”
But what’s been surprising for Carpenter and Lemmon is that a lot of the orders aren’t coming from warmer destinations but from more northern places, particularly New York.
“It’s weird. We’re not getting sales in the hot places, it’s New York City that’s really picking up on our brand,” says Carpenter. “We have so many customers from New York City. Which is amazing, because that’s the capital of fashion in the world.”
This has led FYN to start working on getting their products into brick and mortar locations.
“For the first couple of summers, we really wanted to focus on perfecting the product. We wanted to keep our customer base so we could connect with them,” says Carpenter. “We wanted everything to be perfect before we really took it to a department store so there weren’t any issues while it’s expanding so quickly.”
The company has meetings set with two major department store chains that have stores in both the United States and Canada.
“Even that we’re starting conversations with them is pretty exciting,” says Carpenter. “We’ll be moving into stores hopefully soon.”
Carpenter is a University of New Brunswick business graduate from Saint John who now lives in Montreal with her fiance, NHL player Nathan Beaulieu. Carpenter met the Winnipeg Jets player when he played with the Saint John Seadogs team that won the Memorial Cup in 2011. Lemmon, also a UNB graduate from Fredericton, is the founder of Nora Swimwear, a women’s swimwear line now based in Ottawa.
Carpenter’s connection to the NHL has turned out to be a win for FYN. She says players like Shea Weber, Jack Eichel, Brendan Gallagher and Andrew Shaw, among others, have been wearing the trunks.
“My fiance plays in the NHL, so it started out with him telling a couple of his friends. Then we got traded, so then another hockey team was exposed to it, then it just went kind of crazy, because the hockey world is actually so small,” says Carpenter. “A lot of the hockey wives have been really supportive, it’s just taking out like rapid-fire across the NHL.”
Carpenter says FYN plans to reach out to players in other sports leagues. She says athletes appreciate the trunk’s overall fit and versatility.
“I think we’re going to start reaching out to more NFL and NBA players as well and keep that athlete vibe going with our brand,” she says. “Which I think is very on-brand with what we’re trying to do with the comfortable swim trunk that’s also very versatile that guys are wearing them to the gym. They’re wearing them to the beach bars. They’re wearing them playing tennis.”