Hounds Supporting Hounds! Loyola Entrepreneurs Q&A

March 18th, 2022 by Ronnie Gruseck

What: Entrepreneurs of Loyola Online Boutique Pop-Up Shop

When: Friday March 18, 1-5 pm

Where: 4502 Seton Court, Women’s Center (Next to Student Health Center)

Reviewed by: Ronnie Gruseck

This afternoon from 1-3 pm the Women’s Center is hosting a pop-up shop for womxn-owned business owners, showacasing Agui Swim, Bubble Castle, Enhanced by Eniola, Lucky Stars, Woven Wildflower, Live a Little Clo., Jesenia’s Sweets, and more! Keep on reading for interviews with some of these phenomenal founders and their thought process in starting

Agui Swim

Agui Swim is an eco-friendly swimwear brand. Their bikini lines and stylish bucket hats collection are all made of eco-friendly fabrics that feel and look high-end! WLOY interviewed Agui’s Abby Decker, who is also on Loyola’s Womens Tennis team, and learned more about the beginnings of the brand and what it hopes to promote and raise awareness to! The Q&A portion is below.

  1. Take us through the journey of Agui Swim up to this day

Agui Swim was launched in the middle of the pandemic when I was robbed of a tennis season. What started as a Google search for eco-friendly fabrics and ethical manufacturers has turned into 2 (soon to be 3!) elegant, blissful bikini lines and a community of people who are committed to Agui’s mission of inspiring one another to feel confident and comfortable at the beach and holding one another accountable for how we treat our environment. It has taken countless hours of hard work to get here, but I am ecstatic to see all the opportunities that lay ahead for Agui.

  1. What do you hope to share through your brand and products? Can you tell us about your vision for Agui Swim and its overall proposition?

Agui’s brand and products are designed to encapsulate the happiness and comfort that I feel at the beach. Agui bikinis are super secure and durable, and the colors are earthy and vibrant. Ultimately, the goal is to continue to grow into a well-known, trusted brand that contributes positively to the environment. Agui uses eco-friendly fabrics and donate 3% of profits to The Ocean Cleanup organization, but I hope to expand on these contributions.

  1. What especially encouraged you to start Agui Swim?

I live on the Jersey shore, and the beach is where I feel the most at home. I am also passionate about the environment and wanted to give back, so combining bikinis with a major eco-friendly element seemed like the perfect venture. I want everyone to feel as comfortable and at home as I do at the beach through the bikinis and community Agui provides. I am also a student athlete at Loyola, and my competitive nature has definitely played into my yearning for success with Agui.

  1. Can you tell us a little bit of what you have in store for the future of Agui?

There are so many exciting opportunities in store for Agui, many of which have been provided by Loyola. I have been selected for Loyola’s Baltipreneurs Accelerator Program which is designed to grow my entrepreneurial skills as well as provide resources for Agui. The connections I have made and skills I have developed in this program have helped transform Agui already. I currently have two bikini lines and one bucket hat, but that collection is growing as we speak, and I hope within the next few years Agui will have a larger portfolio of designs and a community that extends throughout the US.

Find Agui Swim on Instagram @aguiswim

Bubble Castle

Bubble Castle is a skin-care and makeup brand that keeps sensitive skin in mind. Skincare should be natural and inclusive for all skin types, and Bubble Castle’s Amber Hopkins hopes to synthesize vegan ingredients into products for all skin types and conditions. Learn more about Amber Hopkins and her growing business through our interview transcribed below!

  1. Take us through the journey of Bubble Castle up to this day

My business started out through vendoring at different events to raise money for a debutante program that I was participating in. I kept getting great reviews from my products and at the time I only sold sugar scrubs and bath soaks. I took a long break from Bubble Castle and then continued in 2020 during the pandemic, broadening my product range and creating an Etsy account! Since then I’ve made over 100 sales!

  1. What do you hope to share through your brand and products? Can you tell us about your vision for Bubble Castle and its overall proposition?

I hope to share through my brand that skin care is for everyone and I hope to create products for every type of skin condition!

  1. What especially encouraged you to start Bubble Castle?

Ever since a child I had a love of entrepreneurship by selling things like lemonade, ice cream, candy, etc. I also have eczema, so I always wanted to create something that combats not just my eczema breakouts but other skin conditions too, I love reading documentaries on different skin conditions, the most interesting is ichthyosis! I then began to know of lush cosmetics and became obsessed with their skin care, but it would still dry out my skin. It was also very fragranced. In high school I was given a bunch of soap-making materials by a teacher and in 2017 I began testing products until officially opening my business in 2018.

  1. Can you tell us a little bit of what you planned for the future of Bubble Castle?

For the future of Bubble Castle I plan to gain a wider product range and expand my knowledge in skin care even further so that I can create products for every skin type.

Live a Little Clo.

Live a Little Clo. is a unisex streetwear brand with a message to “live!” Live a Little Clo. provides hoodies, t-shirts, and other accessories with striking original designs. See the Q&A portion with Live a Little Clo.’s Kaleigh Gallagher transcribed below!

  1. Take us through the journey of Live a Little Clo. up to this day

Starting Live a Little to me was never about the money, it was a way for me to express my emotions, and creativity while inspiring others to do that same. Live a Little now has a beautiful community build around its name and for the future I hope it stays around to inspire others who are looking to create and bring change to the world.

  1. What do you hope to share through your brand and products? Can you tell us about your vision for Live a Little Clo. and its overall proposition?

I hope to encourage everyone to speak their mind, use their voice, and to never stop creating. All of the clothes that I have produced have been inspired by something in my life whether that’s my feelings, experiences, or passions.

  1. What especially encouraged you to start Live a Little Clo.?

I always struggled with being myself because I was scared about what other thoughts of me. The older I got the more I realized, by not living as your true self, are you even living at all? I have never loved someone more than myself because at the end of the day, it’s you and it’s so important to give yourself love because If you are happy with yourself first then you can spread that love to and for others.

  1. Can you tell us a little bit of what you planned for the future of Live a Little Clo.?

We are looking to grow our community and eventually sell in store and more!

Find Live a Little Clo. on Instagram @livealittleclo

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