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Squish Stars: Sensi Graves

Sensi Graves smiling
The past number of months have been a whirlwind. Yet, there are some women entrepreneurs that are continuing to break the mold and shine like the stars they are! We're proud to introduce our Squish Stars campaign, highlighting incredible women entrepreneurs!

We were lucky to talk to Sensi Graves, Founder of Sensi Graves Swim, and ask her some questions. 
 

Tell us about your business? How did you get started?
Sensi: 
We manufacture sustainable swimwear for active women. Our tagline is made to move because we empower our customers to get out there and get after it. I started this business when I was 23; I was working as a kiteboarding instructor and was in the water every single day. I quickly grew tired of the swimwear on the market, the only choices were frumpy "performance" options or triangle swimsuits that looked cute but didn't actually stay on. I decided to do something about it and make a suit that combine fashion with function, performance with chic design.

What measures have you been forced to take since COVID started? What is the biggest pivot you had to make with your business? 
Sensi: Since COVID started, we scaled back on production and ad spend and really evaluated all of our expenses. We also started producing masks. Thankfully, our online sales have been strong through COVID and therefore we've continued to produce rad, sustainable performance swimwear for active women.

What have you learned from this experience thus far? Both on a professional and personal level. 
Sensi: Being an entrepreneur, you are constantly learning. That's one of the things I love most about it. During this particular experience, I have learned to trust and surrender to the experiences even more. You can't control what's happening around you but you can control how you react to it. On a professional level, I have learned that bigger isn't always better.

Have any businesses or individuals helped to inspire you through this time? What do you admire most about them? 
Sensi:  The Tory Burch foundation has helped immensely during this time. Becoming one of the 2020 fellows was a beacon of light during these crazy times. I also have a monthly accountability group during which the other women and I discuss challenges, celebrate wins and truly support one another. I admire each and every one of them for continuing to dig in and do the work. They aren't afraid of uncovering hard truths in order to keep moving forward.

What are the biggest issues for running your company right now? What areas do you need help with? 
Sensi:  The biggest issues for running my company right now are increasing profitability. I've bootstrapped this business so maintaining profitability is crucial. And figuring out how to grow. We've grown slowly over the last few years which feels good but getting to that next level has been elusive!

What's been your biggest win since starting your company? 
Sensi:  Getting into Title Nine!

Are there any special or new self-care practices that have helped you stay grounded? 
Sensi:  I've really been feeling into slowing down during meals and relishing the experience. Taking the time to taste and enjoy the foods. I've also been slowing down my skin care routine and taking the time to savor how the skin care products feel going on my body. It makes it an indulgent experience.

Favorite show you've been watching/book you're reading/podcast you're listening to? 
Sensi: Untamed by Glennon Doyle and the Youturn Podcast.

If you could be any of our marshmallow flavors, which one would you be? 
Sensi:  Rocky Road because there's chocolate and it's full of surprises!

To learn more about Sensi and her business:
https://www.sensigravesswim.com
Instagram: @ sensiswim