Candice Galek is the Founder of Bikini Luxe, Inc Magazine Columnist, and LinkedIn fire starter. She’s been in Forbes 5 times so far this year, and shows no sign of slowing down. This Miami native has taken on the designer swimwear (and marketing) world by storm with her innovative tactics and knack for asking the question, “Why?”
In this interview, Candice shares how she started young as an entrepreneur. The same spirit brought her into the world where she was in today. She envisions that one day she will create her own swimwear brand, Candice Galek, and that it will be known worldwide.
When you are done absorbing Candice's insights on entrepreneurship, be sure to follow her on Twitter!
How did you get started as an entrepreneur? When did you first get bit by the entrepreneurial bug?
As a child, I would go door to door selling things that I am sure people only bought because I was cute little girl with an ambitious spirit. I started by paying for one newspaper from one of those boxes on the corner, and taking the whole stack.
I would then go door to door selling them for more than they cost, to accommodate for the convenience charge of them being hand delivered. I eventually moved onto a more crafty profession - hand drawing pamphlets for cruises and selling those door to door. I don’t remember anyone taking me up on that offer though. I had quite the imagination at that age, and it all sort of spiraled out of control from there.
What does Bikini Luxe do that makes it better than the rest? In other words, what is your competitive advantage and how did you find it?
We’re marketing and SEO ninjas with a background in sales who just so happen to love swimwear. Many of our competitors start out loving swimwear, and then have to figure out the rest. Bikini Luxe also strives to offer amazing customer service, a quality product, free shipping, and hassle free returns.
What does a typical day look like for you? Is there something you make a point to do each day?
Lately, I have been jumping out of bed, drinking a cup of water, and pumping out an article for my Inc. Magazine column first thing in the morning. Then comes breakfast, meetings, and a coffee break of some sort. I make salad every morning so that when lunchtime comes I don’t feel obligated to dine out or skip a meal.
I generally work until at least 8:30 at night, then head home and continue working, working while cooking dinner and watching Netflix. So glamorous! We’ve grown a lush garden at the office, so I am debating, breaking out the laptop and catching some rays at work.
What is the biggest business mistake that taught you a powerful lesson? Would you mind sharing how it made you the person you are today?
Taking on too much responsibility at once. I am the first one to volunteer to do something, even when I know I can’t realistically get everything accomplished. Eventually you become overly stressed and just can’t operate at your best.
I’ve learned to delegate, and to manage my time more efficiently. It’s made me hyper focused on the tasks at hand, and I now weigh out the pros and cons before taking on a new venture.
When times get tough, what would you say motivates you to keep going? To not hit the snooze button and to keep fighting for your goals.
What I love most about being an entrepreneur is that there’s always something new to learn. I have grown so much in the past three years, and not only about running a business. I love to set goals and meet them! Crossing them off the list is an amazing feeling, and I have plenty of personal and professional goals that I haven’t met yet.
What trait would you consider made you the best person and professional you are today?
I would like to believe I am level-headed, and tend to work through problems quickly and easily. Also, not taking life too seriously. Whenever work gets stressful, I say to myself, “I sell bikinis - everybody needs to relax.”
What are the top 3 success tips that you would give anyone starting a business in Florida?
Choose a profession you’re truly passionate about, and have experience in. Always be kind and humble to others, the jerks that I encountered early on are the people/brands that I delete from my inbox now. Don’t forget to make time for the beach, running on empty only gets you so far, and a healthy dose of sunshine fixes everything.
Are you using any apps that help you stay on track from day-to day?
Our team uses Basecamp to keep on the same page, and that’s been pretty helpful.
What are your goals for the next 5 years?
Write a book (or two), travel to tropical locations, build Candice Galek, the brand, and a slew of others. Most of all though I want to grow Bikini Luxe into the largest online retailer of women’s designer swimwear and resortwear in the world. For now, I am taking it one day at a time.
What advice would you give to our readers who want to start a business in Florida today? Where should they start?
Do your homework! Figure out how to properly set up your business, obtain social media handles, urls, and trademarks. Pick something you wouldn’t mind doing all day every day for the next few years.
Treat your friends and customers well, and they will repay the favor. Creating your own business will be an amazing journey, it will be fun and difficult at the same time. Be positive, and remember why you chose to be an entrepreneur.