Many women who want to wear a bikini on their holiday vacations run up against a common frustration: Their swimsuits are too flimsy for them to do anything other than sit in a lounge chair. They have to choose between wearing trendy styles at high risk of wardrobe malfunction and enjoying a fun, active getaway in a less-fashionable alternative.
Hearing his sister’s complaints with the two-piece bathing suits she’d tried, John Moran, 25, founder of swimsuit maker Vaya Island, saw the perfect opportunity to create a business by offering bikinis that were both sporty and stylish. He started his one-man business from a dorm room while he was studying business and marketing at Merrimack College in 2014, investing $700 he’d saved from working at a golf course. Today, Moran, who is based in Cape Cod, Mass., has built it to the point he’ll bring in $500,000 this year.
“It wasn’t like I wanted to avoid a nine-to-five job,” says Moran. “I didn’t think I was going to be doing this full-time at all. I put my head down and went to work and picked it up and all of a sudden was making enough money to support myself—all the while enjoying it. When you do something you love, you work a lot harder at it. It starts to become your baby, almost.”