Where do we begin. For one Gold Coast designer and young mum, she entered the year excited for fresh beginnings; both personally and professionally. A long-awaited brand relaunch was finally about to take action, closing the chapter to years of lawyer meetings (and legal fees) due to a saturated market full of brands that all sound the same. Rebecca Klodinsky’s beloved Frankii Swim was to have its glow-up as it officially relaunched as IIXIIST.
Then came Coronavirus. Businesses few and far started being forced to close their doors as consumer’s spending habits halted. For Rebecca, it was the final tip of the iceberg to what was an already turbulent year.
Rebecca started IIXIIST (formerly Frankii Swim) when she was in her early 20s and was flung headfirst into a grown-up life and new normal; she had a baby, built a bikini brand to the point of earning $7M a year, all while navigating single-motherhood and running an international brand in the days where social and e-comm were relatively uncharted waters. Rebecca’s approach to life has always been sink or swim, which has allowed her to remain somewhat level-headed in adjusting to the new climate.
As a business owner she made the strategic decision to use this lockdown as down-time, temporarily relieving IIXIIST of many moving parts; some employees are on annual leave, digital advertising campaigns cancelled and plans on hold. Being an early adopter in making the adjustments prepared Rebecca for when it really hit. “We’ve been lucky in the fact that our business is 100% online with no brick and mortar doorways, so while our web sales somewhat slowed, the COVID-19 crisis remains manageable. I’m working from home and focusing all my efforts on what will happen when we come out of this,” says Rebecca, IIXIIST Director and Designer.
Over eight years of operating Rebecca has built a dedicated legion of followers and widespread audience boasting over 233K Instagram followers and celebrity customers such as Kim Kardashian, Hailey Bieber, Kris Jenner, Kylie Jenna, Rihanna and more. “This situation is unique and I understand that once the tide turns, our audience will resume business as normal. Shoppers will shop when they are ready to shop again. I think it’s imperative to be mindful of how we, as brands, communicate to our customers; we are all in this together,” says Rebecca.
Throughout this time of social distancing Rebecca gives thanks to technology platforms being huge saviours, with the likes of Slack, Zoom and Houseparty allowing her to connect and communicate. She most recently directed a photoshoot via Houseparty, which allowed her to direct the photographer and model from her own home as they shot new content for the relaunch of IIXIIST.
While COVID-19 has changed sales, Rebecca’s one of the fortunate ones: “I’ve worked hard in maintaining a healthy balance sheet and managing my financials meticulously, it’s only fitting we’re relaunching with a name that represents strength and possibility.”