REVLY: The Empowering Swimsuit Brand Created by UW-Madison Students and Graduates

Regardless of what your body looks like, we’re all guilty of comparing ourselves to everyone around us — and swimsuit companies aren’t helping. When brands are only showcasing models of one body type, it’s hard for us to feel like that’s how we, too, should look. This is what prompted Jordan Robbins, a recent UW-Madison graduate to found REVLY, a swimsuit brand and blog based in San Diego that encourages women to accept and love their body as they are. I had the privilege of interviewing REVLY’s creative director, UW-Madison senior Sydney Thomas, to hear more about the brand’s values and goals for the future.

Coming up with the idea for a brand is one thing, but turning it into a reality at the age of 22 is a huge feat. Thomas told me that Robbins' inspiration for the company came from her own struggle to accept her body. Having grown up in Southern California (where bikini season never ends), Robbins wanted to help other girls overcome a struggle she herself experienced. But they didn’t want to create just a swimsuit line; once they formed the idea behind REVLY, they began thinking of ways to go beyond simply selling swimsuits.

“We wanted to really be a brand that affects change and inspires everyone to love themselves,” Thomas said.

Along with the swimsuits — which have yet to be released —  they have a blog which covers topics on maintaining both mental and physical health through very personal lenses.

Running a business is never easy, but doing so right out of college — for Thomas, while still in college — is an entirely different story. It's a challenge, so naturally there are areas for improvement. Thomas mentioned timing as one of the more complicated factors upon which REVLY could use the most improvement.

“We had an ideal timeline that we weren’t able to follow due to the reality of what it means to start a business,” Thomas said.

Because Robbins is running the business out of California, they have to work that much harder to make it all work. But this doesn’t interfere with the plans they’ve already have in mind for REVLY. While the concept seems complete, they want REVLY to really grow with a consistent customer base.

“In our dream world, the future of REVLY is so much larger than just an active wear brand,” Thomas said. “We want to be an all-inclusive lifestyle brand that continues to grow and inspire confidence in those that we touch.”

This is what truly stands out about the brand: they’re not telling people what to wear or how to look, they're rather introducing to their customers a lifestyle they could embrace. If you, too, are tired of the swimsuit industry telling you how to look, REVLY is exactly what you need. The swimsuits have yet to come out, but the blog is up and running; select REVLY apparel items, too, are already on sale. You can find all of this on their website.

All photo credits: Clay Westcott