Hello Cammelly family,
This is founder Ariel Franklin with another blog post. Today, I want to share with all of you a little about me and how I went about with founding Cammelly. I don't want Cammelly to just be another swimwear company, I want to represent my brand instead of just being on the backend. Overall, I'm going to be the face of the brand so it is not faceless. I want to be connected to the brand and give you guys the opportunity to get to know me. A good example of that would be former boxing champion George Foreman with the Foreman grills (Not comparing myself to this, it is just an example). In the same respect, I want to be Ariel with the Cammelly swimwear. A good way for us to break the ice would be a blog post about the line and I. Then, for me to finally introduce myself to you guys on Instagram. So you guys know who's on the back end of the business instead of wondering who runs the brand.
I got the idea for Cammelly around March of 2017. I was finishing up my spring semester at California State University, Bakersfield as a Sophomore studying Accounting. I didn't have anything going on in the summer. Unfortunately, I didn't get any internships lined up for me so I had some free time during the summer. I'm an avid user of social media, especially Instagram. One day on Instagram on my personal account I saw that girls are tagging and promoting these small swimwear brand or boutiques. I thought nothing of it at first but I kept seeing these swimwear brands on my feed or on the discover page on a more frequent basis. If you would have told me a couple months ago that I will be running a swimwear business, I would have probably laughed and would have not taken you seriously. I thought to myself that I could probably start something in the swimwear space if I did a little research. One thought lead to another then I told myself that I was going to pursue this venture. I took all the money I saved up from working part time jobs and basically saw an opportunity and ran with it. I did a bit of research here and there for a few weeks and it was the latter part of the semester. Since I wanted to finish the semester strong, I held this venture off for about a month due to school. Around May is when I seriously started working on Cammelly all day and night. My summer was 100% dedicated to the business. I started working on the website to make it user friendly, sourcing the first collection, photographers, models. I did everything on my own. There was a lot of sleepless and late nights. There was a lot to do and I wanted to get this off the ground as soon as possible. I learned every aspect of this line of work as I went. In no time Cammelly became my obsession. My ambition for the brand became so strong. To come to conclusion, my whole summer of 2017 was devoted to the start.
The first photographer and model that gave me a chance was Alexa Collins and Anthony Alaimo (@alexcollins and @alaimophotos on Instagram). They gave me a shot with initial photos and they understood that it was a startup business funded by a college student. Then, Cammelly officially launched on May 28th. All the inquires to work with me from other models and photographer just snowballed from there as I work on the social media aspect of the business. Around early July is when I met Kayla and her photographer (@kaylaa.shae and @tranced.photographer on Instagram). Kayla is the one brand ambassador that has advocated and still is for Cammelly (Many of you advocated greatly for Cammelly, which I am thankful for). I'm so humbled that she gave Cammelly a chance. The brand wouldn't be where it is without her and her photographer. Ever since, I made it a priority to return the favor if I ever make it big to get her and team a boost for her modeling career. I always made an emphasis to support the people that supported me, specifically those who were there when I had nothing starting out.
Ever since Cammelly launched, it has been a tough psychologically challenge for me but I strive for the best every day. There are times when I would send out a suit to a "brand ambassadors" or "collaboration" and they never followed up with their support for Cammelly, not on the terms we talked about, not within the time frame agreed on. As a result, it takes a toll on my budget as a startup. Don't get me wrong, people came through for the brand but not everyone did. Ever since, I have been weary with who I work with. Since launch of Cammelly, working with others that will come through for me is my biggest test. If you're someone who genuinely wants to see Cammelly succeed please get in contact with me to become an ambassador. Overall, I had many obstacles but this is the biggest one I faced so far.
Now, I am working on my second collection. Which, I am very excited about. I have shown a preview of the first designs on our Instagram story. I've received positive feedback on the designs but I'm going to make little changes to the top. The bottoms are going to stay as is. Be on the look out for more designs.
This is has been my back story and where I am now with Cammelly. Along with how I got started. Also, the hurdles I've faced as well. I hope you guys enjoyed and possibly learned a lesson or two from my experiences if you are ever interested in starting a startup in the swimwear industry. Thank you for supporting Cammelly.
Personal Instagram: arielfranklin1
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