HydroChic, producers of active and modest swimwear for women, was started from an epiphany in the summer of 2006 by company co-founder Sara Wolf, a New Rochelle native and SAR Academy alum. “On a hot summer day I was enjoying with my family at the Jersey Shore, I was wearing a big t-shirt over my swimsuit, both not to get burned and because I was not comfortable walking around in a swimsuit, when suddenly I had two flashes before me. One was of my friend Gabrielle wearing her husband’s oversized t-shirt and shorts at the beach, the other of women in front of me wearing jean skirts down at the water.” Wolf continued, “I realized at that moment what was needed: turning the big sloppy t-shirt into waterwear that is sun protective, much more stylish and would allow us to maintain a look/style while having the modesty that suited us.”
Wolf immediately called co-founder Daniella Teutsch from the beach in Long Branch. Teutsch agreed it was a perfect idea. “Her kids are red heads and light skinned, and, she, too, knew so many women looking for a chic-er solution than the sloppy t-shirt,” explained Wolf. “We knew we had to look sporty and feel great in whatever styles we developed. We have since developed a vast line with options to suit various styles and the modesty needs of women of diverse walks of life. Back in 2006 when we did our market research, there were no other companies on the market aside from Body Glovd for young surfers. Those were very tight-fitting rash-guard shirts. We knew that we needed a fit for mature women and we set out to create just that. Our stylish rash guards are also for women 35+.”
According to Hydrochic’s website, their mission is to empower women with chic, modest fitness swimwear. From the young-spirited grandma boogieboarding with her grandchildren, to the woman who feels attractive in their little skirt or the avid aquatic exerciser, it’s all about being free, adventurous and confident!
When asked how they came up with the brand name, the founders explained, “We wanted something that connoted water, either Aqua or Hydro as the first part of the name. We thought of a number of combinations, asked friends and family to give their feedback and everyone loved the name HydroChic.”
Teutsch and Wolf define their target audience as “every woman of every shape and size. Some women who seek us out are looking for chic, modest options for religious reasons (all religions). Others look to us for sun protection, as all our pieces provide maximum sun protection. Still others want another option that gives more coverage than the traditional one-piece or bikini bathing suit, which is a huge section of our market.” In addition to women, HydroChic offers a line for girls beginning with sizes 5/6. The founders describe the brand as high-quality mix and match tops and bottoms in flattering designs with great details like zippered pockets and snaps for wider skirts.
In describing the evolution of the brand, Wolf detailed that since the inception of the company, “We have developed a modest fitness swimwear line in missy and plus sizes. Our exclusive design graphics are printed in Italy on chlorine-proof fabrics so that the material doesn’t fade or thin. We put our number-one emphasis on a quality product line, perfect for the aquatic exerciser by land or by sea. Our designs have hidden pockets in tops and bottoms, something traditionally lacking in women’s swimwear.”
Wolf added, “We started with one style swim bra attached to each top and then we realized that it would be cooler and more comfortable to offer separate bras. Therefore, we now offer two style swim/sports bras and both styles are available in mastectomy options as well.”
Growing from the success of the gorgeous chlorine-proof prints in solid colors only, introduced in 2017, the founders revealed, for the summer of 2018, “two new prints in styles that we already offered and five new chlorine-proof bottoms.” In addition, the girls’ line this summer was expanded to now include size 16.
Through the development of the brand,what the founders have found most surprising is “the way our vision and coverage options really have resonated with women from all over the world, of all different ages, sizes etc.”
When offering advice to others entrepreneurs, the founders advise: “If you believe in your idea, do research and then go for it. Don’t be afraid to ask people with experience for help.”
For more information on Hydrochic, check out their website at www.hydrochic.com.
By Judy Berger