Power 2 The Flower: Cultivating a Community of Female Artisans

After 18 years of working in private-label swimwear, Esther Maya, the owner and creative director of RW Designs, Inc., wanted to start her own line. With a Los Angeles–based team of 12 to 15 employees, Maya set out to create a brand that celebrates women.

“It was more of a passion project,” she said. “Our bread and butter is in the private-label realm.”

Under the name Power 2 The Flower, or P2F, Maya’s team created a collection of bikini separates, one-pieces and cover-ups that feature strong floral prints. The line is set to launch on March 15 with wholesale prices ranging from $12 to $34.

“We are able to leverage a lot of relationships, so we can provide customers with the best price off the bat without compromising fabrications or design silhouettes,” Maya said.

These relationships include factories located in China’s Jinjiang province, a region where RW Designs has an office with five employees dedicated to quality control. Using chiffon to create the P2F cover-ups, Maya relied on a micro-poly fabric with a sueded finish and soft jersey lining for her swimsuits.

“We used a jersey lining with a brushed finish, so it looks doubled up, similar to a higher-end product, but the whole idea behind the line is to make beautiful things that are attainable,” she explained.

With pieces available in XS through 3X, and a children’s capsule, Maya is allowing women of different ages and sizes to wear P2F designs. Remaining aware of the environment is also important to Maya, who uses biodegradable poly bags and hygienic liners made from 100 percent recycled paper.

Because P2F is all about power to women, Maya decided to share her e-commerce site with other emerging brands owned by women to build a community of women working together.

“The idea behind P2F is to create a platform that is curated, but we allow other women-owned brands to be a part of the website,” she explained. “It’s geared toward emerging brands or those that don’t have a lot of funding but they offer products that we believe in and are passionate about.”

Supporting female-run brands on the P2F website isn’t the only way Maya is supporting other women. A collaboration with Step Up will help young women from underserved communities prepare for college. A venture with designer Rosalba Rivera will afford opportunities for indigenous female artisans to design pieces for the brand while earning a wage and having their stories told.

Ahead of its release date, P2F has secured retail partnerships with Dolls Kill, Lulu’s and Altar’d State. Additional information regarding the line is available at www.rwdesignsinc.co/power-2-the-flower.