Our Story


Beefcake Swimwear Founder Mel is sitting on outdoor stairs, smiling, wearing a green shirt and glasses.

Hi! My name is Mel and I'm the founder of Beefcake Swimwear. 

This journey started in 2015 when my roommate wanted a 1920s style swimsuit. All that was available was vintage wool ones, which were fragile and small. I offered to make one. The first prototype was drafted on a table in my basement:

Other people began asking for one of these swimsuits, and I began to think it might be a viable business idea. I found a manufacturer in Portland who had zero minimums and made activewear. After two years of prototyping and testing, we launched on Kickstarter in spring of 2017 and reached over 300% of our goal!

At first we thought our audience would be small and mostly other LGBTQ+ folks. But we quickly started selling all over the world to a diverse range of gender expressions, ages, and body types. Seeing all those smiles on our Instagram feed is still the absolute best part of this business!  

When you purchase a Beefcake swimsuit, you're getting a garment that is printed in small batches, cut, and sewn by people making a living wage in Portland, Oregon. In 2018, we moved our HQ to Missoula, Montana to be closer to our families. Your order gets packaged up and taken to the Missoula post office by me, my fantastic wife, or sometimes we hire a friend if we need to go out of town. Yes, we're a teeny tiny company! 

We aren't making thousands of suits that will sit in a warehouse, which means way less waste. We use high-performance fabric that is made from recycled fishing nets. We're making as large a size range as we can afford to keep in stock. We keep our mark-ups low in an effort to make our swimsuits more affordable.

TL;DR: we're doing things different. Thanks for joining us in the journey!