Interview with founder Delaia Tschannen
«The savoir-vivre is lived in my bikinis.»
Delaia Tschannen is the founder of the young Swiss label «Palmar Swimwear». She is a doer, career changer and optimist. She is bursting with energy and has big visions for her own swimwear label; she works hard and with passion for this.
An interview with Andrina Bommer
Delaia, tell me how did Palmar Swimwear come about?
The idea of founding my own swimwear label came while I was traveling around the world as a flight attendant and spent a lot of time in my bikini. At the turn of the year in 2018 I plucked up the courage to realize my dream and founded my own label «Palmar Swimwear». After months of intensive research, visits to trade fairs and tons of emails, I took a month's vacation in May 2018 and rented a cottage on the island of Paros in Greece. There the concept as well as the first looks and photos of Palmar Swimwear were created. A Mediterranean brand inspired by the simple beauty of the European summer. Because for me, summer is nowhere in the world as real and pure as along the Mediterranean coast. And our bikinis are just as real and pure. All of our looks are simple and sophisticated with a clever color concept and always made from the best fabric quality.
What drove you to start your own label?
I've always been fired up to start something of my own. I wanted to make my dream of starting my own start-up come true, as well as making full use of the knowledge I gained from my studies and my wealth of ideas. Last but not least, I wanted to be my own boss, so that there would be no limits to my ideas.
As the founder, I do every area of my company myself: designing the collection and its concept, setting up and maintaining the online shop, social media marketing, the packages, right through to the finances. The only thing I don't do is sew the collection - I leave that to the professionals. This all-round is what I love about being self-employed.
Of course, the idea came up on the beach in a bikini. Personally, I feel most comfortable in a beach outfit, where everything is so uncomplicated and genuine. The wind, the water and the sand, you can feel everything much more intensively. It is exactly this good feeling of feeling good in a bikini that I want to offer my customers. Women simply need a beautiful bikini made of high-quality fabric that fits well and makes them feel good. With little tricks, great colors and modern cuts, this is already a given. I like to do without unnecessary frills and am convinced that it doesn't necessarily have to be a designer piece to feel comfortable on the beach.
Palmar focuses on sustainable swimwear, what are your other important values?
Exactly, in summer 2020 we have completely relied on recycled and regenerated fabrics. But being close to my customers is also extremely important to me, so I stay in close contact to be able to respond to their wishes. I will incorporate your feedback and input into the next collection. I'm constantly improving and would like to further develop the existing looks. Whenever possible, the materials are sustainable and the designs are modern, young but also timeless. The most important thing for me in a bikini is the fabric - I don't make any compromises. The simple "savoir-vivre" as we know it from the Mediterranean should be able to be lived in my bikinis.
What are your goals for Palmar?
I would like to cover the Swiss market even more broadly. I also have my sights set on the EU market. In Feldkirch (AU) we already have a partner store that we work with. A huge dream of mine is to one day run a flagship store in a coastal town along the Mediterranean Sea and ship bikinis all over the world.
You mainly sell your bikinis online, but a bikini has to fit perfectly. How and where can people try on your bikinis?
For our online orders, we offer the possibility to exchange or return all bikinis. Here, too, it is important to us that this is easy to do. But there is also the opportunity to try on selected looks in various partner stores. Among others at the Collab Zürich, the Closet in St. Gallen and at the Mooi Market in Feldkirch, Austria. A current list of our partner stores can be found at www.palmarswimwear.com/contact
How would you describe yourself?
I'm an "everything is doable" type. I never would have thought that I could muster so much commitment and energy for something. I like to find new ways and constantly improve myself and my brand. I am actually a very sociable person and above all I need the exchange with people. However, the life of an entrepreneur is very lonely and you have to do without a lot. But I'm sure it will pay off.
What drives you the most?
My vision to run my own company and become successful. I am pursuing my career in my own company and would like to grow into these constantly changing positions. I have already achieved a lot today that I would never have believed possible two years ago. This joint growth with the company is very exciting. The standards are set high. I look forward to every single step I can take with Palmar.
Who supports you the most in your project?
The threads are in my hands, but I have great support from a collective. My partner drives me every day and motivates me. Because of him, I also dared to found the label on my own. My family also supports me and gives me help and advice. I also have friends I can count on for things like content creation.
Palmar stands for the European summer, what inspires you about it?
The Mediterranean region inspires me above all for the brand. Although I've been almost everywhere in the world, the Mediterranean is the real thing for me. Above all, I am fascinated by the way of life in the coastal towns, the landscape, the smell, the beaches and of course the bathing culture that is lived there. This simple and beautiful thing is what enchants and fascinates me so much.
And where do the ideas for the new collections come from?
At the moment I have a lot of ideas for new collections. The collections are often site-specific, for example the next collection is entirely in the name of «Sous le Soleil de St. Tropez». The colors are also chosen to match. My bikinis appear this year in the colors: tangerine, grapefruit and lime, i.e. fresh, light colors that make you want summer and the "Sünnele".
In addition, all images for the campaigns are shot in a Mediterranean look. Most of the shootings take place directly on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. I take a lot of time for the whole collection. I started collecting inspiration for the upcoming summer collection in October 2019. It has now been finalized and planned down to the smallest detail. It is expected to be available by the end of April.
What advice would you give to founders of start-ups?
A good idea is of course the beginning of every start-up. For this idea you have to be willing to give everything and also to do without some things. You also have to be aware that being an entrepreneur is more of a lonely job, especially in the beginning. You have to go through ups and downs alone, you can't usually share them with anyone. But it is important not to get discouraged. You should try to see every mistake as an opportunity to improve. Challenges are also opportunities for further development. A very clear advantage of start-ups is their agility, which you should definitely take advantage of. I think if self-employment were that easy, everyone would do it and it wouldn't be half as exciting.