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:: Spotlight :: Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny 'LustyThreads'... The Online Bikini

By: Sonja Kowanjko

Lustythreads is a relatively new online swimsuit company, only developing in 2002. The company was established through the passion shared by two women to enter the fashion industry. Victoria Brown, the founder of Lustythreads, has always been interested in the fashion industry, ever since the ripe young age of five. Although she initially pursued a career in business she never lost track of her real dream and when she met Jennifer St George, who shared similar ambitions. The two of them collaborated their ideas and spent some time attempting to develop a resourceful business venture for the Internet.

Victoria came up with the concept for Lustythreads and with the assistance of her stepfather, who had 12 years experience in the rag trade industry; she developed the first range for the company. Victoria undertook some market testing in 2002 and that is when Jennifer officially joined the company. Within a period of only six months, the two of them managed to expand the business to selling in 32 countries around the world.

One thing that has assisted the girls in becoming successful is the ample amount of pride they take in their relationships with the customers. Jennifer, the director of Lustythreads, believes that the customers are the most important single aspect of the business. “Lustythreads values its customers, potential and existing, over all other aspects of the business,” Jennifer said. “The business experience of myself and Victoria, combined with ensuring a good quality product which is well priced, supports this philosophy.”

When designing their products the girls keep their customers wants and needs in mind and aim to create a range of desirable products to provide bikinis to women to make themselves feel feminine and sexy. “The focus of Lustythreads is providing sexy bikinis for confident women,” Jennifer said. “We believe that Lustythreads is a legitimate bikini style preferred by some customers. For others it is a bit of fun for a special occasion. We understand that we are not only selling a product, we are also presenting an experience, or a fantasy. Above all, it’s a product to help women feel sexy and celebrate their femininity.”

However even though there are products such as Lustythreads designed to make women feel sexy, the girls also believe that the idea of being sexy and what is actually sexy may all be up to the individual and the way that they feel within themselves. “We believe sexy is all in the eye of the beholder,” Jennifer said. “We have found that the way we have presented our products is perceived as being sexy. Our feedback supports this strongly. These bikinis are unique as they are some of the smallest on the web. We feel that a woman that feels confident within herself is extremely sexy.”

Jennifer and Victoria are still cautious not to overstep their boundaries and limit the possibility of something ‘sexy’ turning into something ‘raunchy’. “We have very strict editorial guidelines for our Internet site,” Jennifer said. “Our images are similar to those you would find in popular magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Cleo and B. magazine. Our slogan, ‘You can never be too sexy’, is designed to capture our customers’ imagination and have them explore our site.”

However, products such as the Lustythreads range and other similar products are always left open for public scrutiny, particular from a feminist point of view, as there is the threat of controversy over clothing that may appear sexist or too revealing. Lustythreads receives mostly positive feedback and have pleased many people since they have entered the market. “To our knowledge, there has been no controversy over the designs,” Jennifer said. “Our designs have featured on prime time television on shows such as Sunrise, Brisbane Extra and Good Morning Australia and national (such as The Australian), state and local newspapers, and we have received no negative feedback. I’m sure there would have been a few double-takes on the beaches, but that is to be expected, and definitely not negative.”

Most of the Lustythreads designs appear to be targeted towards rather slender women as they are quite small and revealing, however the girls have plans to further their designs and provide a range to allow more coverage for the future. “At the moment our range is predominantly G-string bikinis and a small range of accessories,” Jennifer said. “We have been very successful in this market. We are planning to bring out a range of bikinis with more coverage, in a Bralian style. We have had a number of requests for larger sizes and have been filling these orders on a custom basis. At the moment we have no plans to design items for a younger market.”

Although the girls have had various opportunities to expand Lustythreads beyond the Internet market they are still debating over whether to move in this direction, as this may result in them losing their personal relationships with their customers. “We have had many requests from retailers around the world to stock our product in retail stores,” Jennifer points out. “This is a strategy we are considering. However, we would then relinquish our relationship with the customers, so we will need to consider if this is a direction we are keen to go in.”

Most of the Lustythreads customer base is located in the United States, due to the enormity of the market and also due to designs such as the ‘Stars & Stripes’ range particularly appealing to that market. “We successfully export our product as we have a product that suits the American market, in addition to the fact that Americans make up the largest nationality who are online,” Jennifer said. “Our Stars & Stripes bikini featuring the US flag has been our biggest seller. We also actively promote via publicity in the American market.”

Through various methods of research, the girls have concluded that the American market is the most financially rewarding; therefore in some instances they have consciously targeted their products towards the United States. “It was obvious during our market research that the American market had the best potential due to its sheer size and the uptake of the Internet and e-commerce,” Jennifer said. “With this in mind we searched for a design that would capture the imagination of Americans - the Stars & Stripes bikini is the result and has been a huge success.”

Due to the overwhelming success of Lustythreads, some of the models used to promote the bikinis have become popular as models throughout such mediums as the Internet and magazines. “Our models are classic Australian beauties,” Jennifer said. “Most of them live on the Sunshine Coast and the majority of them have had previous modelling experience.”

The popularity that has been generated for these models is no doubt due to their own appearances but the success of Lustythreads would have assisted in their fame. Lustythreads has been very successful in a very short amount of time and appears to be heading in the right direction for the future. “We believe our success is due to a number of specific factors,” Jennifer said. “We are women designing for women, our products are of the highest quality and made in Australia, and we value the customer above all else.”

Opting for the business motto of ‘the customer is always right’ is definitely a good choice to make and has proven very triumphant for Jennifer and Victoria. With a good business idea and the passion and motivation to carry it out, combined with the right resources and attitude, a dream can easily become reality, as has been proven through Lustythreads.

For more information on the products and ordering, check the website.
There is even a bikini competition.

:: Lusty Threads
For more information, visit

www.lustythreads.com