Hi! My name is Mel and I'm the founder of Beefcake Swimwear.
As a ridiculously tall teenager in southern Idaho, I had my mom and grandma teach me how to sew and alter clothing. Fast forward to living in a big, semi-communal crafty/DIY/queer house in Portland, Oregon, when a friend and roommate mentioned wanting a modern version of a 1920s wool swimsuit. I figured it couldn't be that hard. (Spoiler: I was so wrong.)
But while I struggled and complained about trying to make it, other people began telling me how they wanted this type of swimsuit...a lot of people. So I happily abandoned the idea of making them myself and began working with professionals. After two years of making and testing prototypes on a wide range of friends, we were ready to see how much appeal this idea really had. In spring of 2017 we launched a Kickstarter campaign that raised $35,496, which was over 300% of our goal (!!) and Beefcake Swimwear officially went into production.
When you purchase a Beefcake swimsuit, you're getting a garment that is printed in small batches and sewn in Portland, Oregon. Your suit gets inspected and packaged by me, and taken to the post office by me or my fantastic wife. Yes, we're a tiny company!
We aren't making thousands of suits that will sit in a warehouse, which means way less waste. We're thrilled to be using high-performance fabric that is also environmentally responsible. We think only making a small range of sizes is for suckers. We're trying to be as transparent as possible about our methods and costs. Overall, we're committed to doing things different.
Thanks for joining us in the journey of making awesome swimwear!