1. Can you please introduce yourself, your background and describe your current business?
My name is Brittany Harris, I was born in Palm Beach but lived in many corners of the globe – from Caracas, New York, Miami, Milan to Shanghai.
As my passport pages filled up from years of far-off travels, I never let go of my childhood prep sensibilities, and in 2010, I fused iconic Palm Beach style with my passion for adventure into Voyage Swimwear.
I earned a Bachelors Degree in communications from Hoftsra University and an MBA in international business from MIP Politecnico di Milano. I currently live in NYC.
2. What have been the major challenges you and your team had face in order to make your business successful?
One of my biggest challenges have been understanding how to generate quality traffic to the VOYAGE Swimwear website. SEO is very important but also managing your social media channels is equally important. This is a large job within itself. Establishing distribution channels is one thing but everyone knows margins are always higher with E-commerce , this is why selling online is so important and is the priority for the majority of designers.
3. How the MBA helped you in this challenge?
The MBA at MIP allowed me to take my creative ideas and explore ways of turning those creative ideas into a real life revenue generator. MIP provided me with the knowledge of how to take an idea, turn it into a business plan, understand how to manage that business by working with others from all over the world and most importantly how to manage a team and its objectives. We worked on dissecting and understanding a lot of successful and unsuccessful case studies, in order to both learn from the business’ mistakes and successes. This was very helpful in preparing me to really think hard about my business ideas and whether they would truly generate revenue in the end. I still refer to some of those case studies today, when I get caught in a bind and have to find my way out of it.
4. What advice would you give to a “wanna be entrepreneur”?
Create a plan, clear time-line, double/triple confirm your budget, adding accidentals to that budget. Make sure to execute on one objective at a time, in order to stay mentally focused and organized. We get so excited about our ideas and starting a businesses that we often try and do too much too fast. I think it’s better to accomplish things right, at a slower pace, than try and rush to be first to market, etc. and end up doing things incorrectly and having to waste money re-doing them.
5. What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt from your failures?
I’ve learned that if you truly make an effort and are persistent and patient, you will see results. Patience is an entrepreneur’s biggest challenge and frustration but can be the true reason why an entrepreneur succeeds. If you have a product and you have demonstrated it can sell with actual sales, well, it’s just finding those markets to sell them in and really knowing your customer to sell them to.
The brand: Voyage
Launched in 2010 in Palm Beach, Voyage is an elegantly-designed, premium quality collection of original swimsuits and trunks made for the modern jetsetter.
The brand presents a unique vision of designer swimwear, melding timeless sophistication with the carefree spirit of travel, as evoked by Voyage’s exclusive prints of vibrant world maps. While forever inspired by the most iconic, glamorous getaways from Bar Harbor to St. Barts, Voyage’s design DNA remains rooted in the exclusive Palm Beach lifestyle of sailing, polo, tennis, golf and poolside lounging.Voyage’s high-quality pieces are time-honored wardrobe staples that will always add a splash of class to any globe-trotting suitcase. Whether worn lounging in a luxury resort or soaking up the sun at home, each swimsuit exudes the cornerstones of luxury travel: chic refinement and colorful joie de vivre.Voyage’s signature map prints are solely designed in-house.
Taking a bold step away from traditional swimwear motifs, the unique cartographic design represents enjoying the good life without limits, often luxuriating in the world’s most beautiful paradises, no matter how far-off.