Glamorous young sisters are raking in $40,000 a month with sustainable handmade swimwear – but they couldn’t have done it without a little help from mum.
When Lucy, 21, and Molly Cochrane, 23, asked their mother Anne to sew them some bikinis in November 2017, they could never have predicted the designs would become some of Australia’s most sought-after ethical swimwear just four years later.
Eager to start a side hustle together, the siblings from Croydon Hills, Victoria, posted photos of their creations to Instagram and were pleasantly surprised when requests for more flooded their inbox.
Savvy use of TikTok and influencer marketing has seen Leni Swims grow from a modest $3,000 in sales during its first year of business to a staggering $40,000 a month – an extraordinary achievement the Cochranes are still getting used to.
Glamorous sisters Lucy (left) and Molly Cochrane (right) are raking in $40,000 a month with sustainable handmade swimwear – all thanks to a little help from mum
The Melbourne duo are the founders of Leni Swims, an ethical bikini label specialising in affordable sets and custom two-pieces
Molly and Lucy Cochrane with their mother Anne, who handmakes their Leni Swims designs
‘When we launched we had absolutely no idea what we were doing,’ Molly told Daily Mail Australia.
‘We’ve done about $484,000 this year so far, which was a huge shock, but we also know how hard we’ve worked and that we really deserve it.’
Made from recycled nylon which is soft, breathable and infused with fibres that protect against harmful UV rays, the bikinis come in a range of eye-catching prints with something to suit every shape and skin tone.
Ready made two-pieces start from $119 while custom sets will set you back $145 – a refreshingly affordable price point for a sustainable brand.
Sales of the bikinis (one pictured) have grown from a modest $3,000 in their first year of business to a staggering $40,000 a month in 2021
Co-founder Molly (pictured in a Leni Swims set) said she and her sister Lucy had ‘absolutely no idea’ what they were doing when they launched their brand back in 2017
Made from recycled nylon which is infused with fibres that protect against UV rays, the bikinis come in a range of eye-catching prints with something to suit every shape and skin tone
Single tops from similar labels such as Bydee and Zazi Swim cost at least $90 while bottoms are about the same.
Creating affordable pieces that still put the planet first was the driving force for the Cochranes, who felt there was something missing in the Australian market.
‘Before we started we had a look and found a lot of either super expensive, or incredibly cheap options,’ Molly recalled.
‘Then after we realised people liked our designs and fabrics, we just kept creating them.’
Social media has been the biggest source of sales for the brand, according to Molly, who says a series of viral TikTok videos have sparked a significant uptick since late 2020
The prices are refreshingly affordable for a sustainable brand
Social media has been the biggest source of sales for the brand, according to Molly, who says a series of viral TikTok videos have sparked a significant uptick since late 2020.
Collaborations with popular influencers have also paid dividends.
A collection designed with Michigan fitness blogger Cristina Capron flew out of stock, while traffic spikes each time TIkToker Ana Stowell spruiks the label online.
With business continuing to boom, the sisters are preparing to expand into a small manufacturing space in Bali, Indonesia in early 2022.
Molly (pictured) says her best advice is simple: block out the haters and go for it
‘We have had girls waiting months on preorder for some of our bestselling prints, so we need to keep up with demand,’ Molly explained.
Her best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is simple: pay no heed to haters and go for it.
‘Make the most of the digital world that is constantly evolving,’ she said.
‘Block out everyone’s opinions, and make as many mistakes as you can. It’s going to help you in the long run!’
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