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Jeannette Nicole and Lyanne Marie Roger, the sibling duo behind swimwear boutique Nic del Mar, have a good argument for investing in a pricey bikini. "You're the most vulnerable when you're naked, and you're pretty much halfway naked in a bikini, so better get one that fits really good," says Lyanne.
In just six years Nic del Mar has become a Miami must-stop shop when it comes to swimwear for women, men and kids, not only for their hand-picked selections from brands like Acacia, Zimmerman, Mikoh and Mara Hoffman, but also for the care these sisters put into every element of their brand, from the beautiful lookbooks they produce themselves to the scented candle that's unique only to their store. Read on to see how these two sisters were able to turn an experimental trunk show into a burgeoning online and brick and mortar business, and why being next to naked in a bikini can be a beautiful thing.
How did you guys decide to go into swimwear?
Lyanne: We started taking trips to islands and one particular island that had a great sense of fashion was St. Barths. We loved their style, so we had an idea to bring some of their resort wear over here to see if people liked it, and then from there it kind of just grew.
How long have you been open?
Lyanne: Four and a half years in our brick and mortar store, and six years online. We started with trunk shows, and we did that for a year, and then we launched our website.
Why did you guys choose to open a store in Coral Gables as opposed to South Beach?
Jeannette: We've lived in Coral Gables our whole lives and it just felt kind of natural to open here. We definitely wanted to target the local market, where Miami Beach tends to be more of a tourist [market]. Not that we wouldn't be opposed, but there hasn't been anything we loved, and the rent is crazy expensive.
What have you learned over the past four years as store owners?
Jeannette: We've learned a lot of things on how to market, how to be your own brand, how to distinguish yourself from everybody. We have different ways on how we market ourselves as a store versus online. In our store we always want to have great displays. We always have our candle lit up. We wanted that familiar scent you get every time you go into our store.
So you made your own scented candle?
Jeannette: It's a signature scented candle from Soy Delicious. They make it for us. We went through a million scents and [they] were able to give us exactly what we wanted. We wanted that familiar scent because eventually we want to open up more stores.
Lyanne: We wanted it to be clean, but give that tropical feeling.
Jeannette: Like you're on vacation. I know the main scent [Soy Delicious] used on this one was orange. The candle also converts into an oil because it's soy. Every single ingredient inside that candle is all natural.
Where would you think of opening your next store?
Lyanne: We would like to go out of Florida. Maybe, like, California.
What are your roles in the business?
Jeannette: I do more of the creative stuff: the social media, the marketing. We both do the buying. We both have different styles of buying. I tend to go for the eclectic, loud pieces. My sister's really good about classics.
Lyanne: I'd go for a solid Mikoh bathing suit, and she wants to go for, like, a crazy ruffled Zimmerman bikini. Its a good mix because there's stuff in here I wouldn't wear. There's stuff in here she wouldn't care to wear.
What's it like working together as sisters? How do you go about working with family?
Lyanne: I think there are good days and bad days, because at the end of the day you're family.
Jeannette: If we have a bad day eventually we get over it.
Lyanne: I think we get over things a lot quicker than if they were with friends. She's my sister; I'm always going to see her.
Lyanne, I see a ring on your finger! What do you have planned?
Jeannette: They've been together a long time, ten years, and he's already a part of the family.
Lyanne: We went to college at UF.
Jeannette: Not to say it because she's my sister, but their relationship has always been so relaxed, not forced. They really bring the best out of each other. I hope to find that eventually one day with someone else.
What's your argument for investing in an expensive bikini?
Lyanne: You're the most vulnerable when you're naked, and you're pretty much halfway naked in a bikini, so better get one that fits really good and doesn't squeeze you in the wrong places or scrunch. These bikinis always last a really long time. I've had my Mikoh since the day we opened four years ago.
Have you considered designing your own brand in the future?
Lyanne: We get that question a lot.
Jeannette: All the time! I think maybe, eventually we could. I'll never say no. I remember walking into a fabric store and feeling overwhelmed and thinking I don't know if I could do this right now! Maybe. One day.
And now, the lightning round.
If you were a fruit, which fruit would you be?
Lyanne: A pineapple.
Jeannette: A kiwi.
Favorite brand in the store?
Jeannette: Stone Cold Fox.
8am or 8pm?
Tequila or vodka?
Blonde or brunette?
Pants or skirts?
If you were a dog breed, which would you be?
Lyanne: Rhodesian boxer mix, because that's what my dog is.
Jeannette: A golden retriever.
Favorite neighborhood in Miami?
Jeannette: The Grove.
Favorite part about living in Miami?
Both: The beach!
Jeannette: I couldn't live anywhere that didn't have an ocean. If I wasn't living here I'd probably be living in California.
· Nic del Mar [Official Site]
· 18 Miami Shops to Stock Up on Swimwear This Summer [Racked Miami]
· All Better Know a Store Owner Posts [Racked Miami]
· All Swim Week Coverage [Racked Miami]