The weather here in Sydney is slowly heating up and our thoughts are turning to the long days of summer! Time to get the kids swimming costumes in order before the beach weather really hits. On Thursday Leah did a round up of some of the best costumes to be seen in this summer over the next few weeks we will be looking at some great Australian kids swimwear and talking to the people behind them.
This week we talk to Lee-Ann Stillitano about the swimwear brand she has created – HeavenLee Swim.
How would you describe HeavenLee Swim?
HeavenLee brings style, colour and comfort to kids all around Australia, helping them experience the sea-side spirit in style. With a wide range of designs that suit all ages from toddlers to teens, you’re sure to find something that will make a splash.
Our swimwear is not only designed to be comfortable, fashionable and durable, it’s also rated UPF50+ to give you superior sun protection all summer long. So whether your kids are starting out in the water, or they grew up there — we’ve got their cossies covered.
How did you get started?
I am an inspiring mother to two beautiful daughters aged 6 ½ & 2 ½ years and a wife to my supportive, hard-working husband. At the age of 6 I had already sewn my first swimsuit and my creative flare was sparking. Not only did I have to sew my swimsuit, I gathered some seagull feathers from the beach to add a creative spark to my swimsuit, much to my mother’s dismay… I have danced since I was 5 and went onto teaching acrobatics for over 20 years, so sewing swimwear and costumes is second nature to me. We enjoy quality family time outdoors and spend our summer days at the beach.
What was your inspiration?
Four years ago, it was time to buy my daughters first swimsuit. Frustrated with the in appropriate swimwear in the retail shops, I knew something needed to change. Being a sewer, I drafted a pattern, a sample was made and we went swimming. I realized other parents had the same issues as myself. The design of our swimwear addressed and solved these problems. It also helped with their child’s self-esteem while they enjoy a family day on the beach. Through our business growth, parents have reported feedback as “My child feels confident on a crowded beach, your swimsuit has helped with her self-esteem issues while out in public, which makes our beach outings so much more enjoyable. I love watching her play”. Not only did it inspire me to pursue HeavenLee, it keeps me going daily.
The signature “HeavenLee” Growth Suit – Features an adjustable halter neck and with a generous fit will last 2 seasons’ growth!
What keeps you motivated?
I greatly appreciate the feedback from my customers and I love to reward them for supporting HeavenLee. Knowing we are helping them create wonderful family summer memories, means the world. Whether it be the complements the parents are getting on the beach, or while on a family holiday, we know they are loving and making memories in their swimwear. It’s all about seeing the families enjoying some fun in the sun.
What are the design trends you are seeing emerge for 2016/7?
For the girls: Fruits are definitely a favourite this summer, bringing a fresh feel to summer. Sweet treats, doughnuts, cupcakes are always a hit. The mythical Mermaid will be the ocean lovers choice this summer. While the boys are still enjoying the Palm trees. With Batman still going strong and ready to fly this summer, he will help bring in some of the 1980’s gaming characters like Pacman to join in the SuperHero forces for the boys. It’s sure to be a magical and adventurous summer!
What is your favorite piece (of your collection) at the moment?
Already becoming a favourite is our Mermaid print and particularly in the Growth Suit or Ruffle Bikini. We are very proud to have collaborated with the “Perth Mermaids” for our HeavenLee Mermaid print. So, it has a special place in our heart this summer.
Check out the HeavenLee Swim online store to see more!