Welcome to the ASBN exclusive, The Female Founder Show. A series dedicated to empowering and assisting female entrepreneurs through inspiring stories, growth strategies, and expert advice. On today’s episode, we’re joined by Taylor Long, President and CEO of Nomads Swimwear. This spirited serial entrepreneur found success through the niche she established in a competitive market.
Taylor Long is an international model, designer, and entrepreneur of the destination-inspired, size-inclusive swim and resort wear brand, Nomads. Nomads has been featured in Forbes, Harpers Bazaar, Essence, and Insyle, to name a few. Her recent artist collaboration with Reyna Oriega inspired her new designs based on the Bahamian heritage. Long adds, “The best part about this new collection, It’s made out of biodegradable fabric from Brazil.” The woman-owned startup’s approach to sustainability is quite deliberate. Moreover, they consistently strive to reduce the environmental impact of their production, from materials and packaging to the finishing touches and everything in between, by using biodegradable textiles and small-batch manufacture at their Los Angeles, California, facility.
Long’s senior capstone project is where Nomads first appeared. She studied fashion design at the University of Cincinnati, where she learned how to draw, drape, and create designs for straight models (models ranging from size zero to two). But, when she started modeling, she was shocked at the few apparel options, particularly in the swimsuit sector. So, she wanted to do something about it. Hence, Nomads prides itself on inclusivity, sustainability, quality, and passion.
Going through the pitfalls of being a designer, model, and entrepreneur, the advice Long says she would give first is to start smaller and know that you will be uncomfortable. But learn to be okay just riding the wave. “Starting your own business is no longer just a hobby. There are several things you need to take into account,” she adds. Additionally, the beginning of everything can be challenging, but Long says, “Learning to be okay with not knowing everything is a great start for success.” Furthermore, she adds, “That’s why it’s imperative to find supportive people to help elevate your business to the level of success you’re looking for.”
Ultimately, Long reminds entrepreneurs to find little things on the side that benefits them mentally as well as physically. For Long, she asserts she remains positive through the hardships because she practices gratitude in her journal daily. Minor things can keep you grounded and positive through the challenging days. She also reminds female entrepreneurs that being a woman in a male-dominated business will be hard. However, there are still ways to mitigate data navigation that can better communicate the intent of your business to the ones who may not understand your purpose.