Sabal Swim Steps Up to Show Some California Love to AA- and B-cup Ladies
There have been a few notable moments in Hartley Lynn’s life that led her to create Sabal Swim, which creates swimwear only for women who wear AA- and B-cup sizes. She knows how these women feel because she is one of them.
“During a carefree moment after maybe one too many glasses of rosé, I dived into the water and my bra inserts were floating away when I came up. It was horrifying,” Lynn said. “We were on a catamaran with around 100 people on the boat and jumping into the water.”
Lynn considered breast augmentation but didn’t want to change her body. When considering solution-specific swimwear development, Lynn’s biggest supporter was her husband, Preston. The couple set out to develop a brand that embraces smaller cup sizes and makes the women who have them feel beautiful but also comfortable to engage in activities such as swimming, volleyball, surfing and diving.
“Silicone is pretty heavy, so the first thing was to find the lightest silicone,” said Preston Lynn. “We had sketches, but trying to put the inserts in didn’t work. We had to design the suits around the inserts because the goal is that people feel confident. You don’t want to see the insert when you’re lying out.”
Sabal Swim launched in August 2022, is headquartered in San Diego and made in Los Angeles at a female-founded factory that believed in the Lynns’ vision. The brand’s founders didn’t want suits that resemble push-up bras, nor did they want to claim that the pieces would make busts seem much bigger.
“It was difficult to find a factory that would try this approach,” Preston Lynn said. “A lot of people were worried it would mess up their machines.”
The patented design of Sabal swimsuits offers a fit that doesn’t cause cup gaps or excess fabric. Its customers range from ages 17 to 50, illustrating that the need for swimwear designed for small busts is an issue faced by women well beyond their teenage years.
“It brings me joy knowing that we’re helping all these other amazing women across the world feel confident,” said Hartley Lynn.
A successful retail presence
Sabal Swim’s success has been proven through the consumer response to its pieces. After meeting the Lynns during the Swim Collective show in Huntington Beach, Calif., in January 2023, Priscilla Varner, principal owner of Denver’s Beach Haus Swimwear, began carrying Sabal Swim.
“I am out of them!” said Varner, who has a single, 180-square-foot shop but hopes to expand locally and open a location in Florida. “The women are near tears because they are thinking, ‘Someone has been thinking about me, trying to service me.’ My shop started with the premise of self-love, self-care and empowerment. That brand helps us live our mission.”
Varner’s shop sells suits at price points ranging from $125 to $300 retail. She realizes her customers are making an investment in premium suits, and the personalized service she provides to her clients is similar to the attention the Lynns extend to their retail partners.
“They comment on my Instagram, they text me, they email me—not in a sales-y way, just to help encourage me. It’s a mutual relationship. They know I am out here selling their products. They are encouraging me in a genuine and kind way just like I am doing to the women I am servicing,” Varner explained.
Increasing offerings for a smaller-cup consumer
Sabal Swim is priced from $90 to $120 retail and available through select retailers as well as at shopsabal.com. The Lynns want to build a complete brand focused on the needs of women with small chests and so will eventually expand into athleisurewear.
“You can’t use the same inserts for athleticwear because it needs to be washed very rough and tough,” Preston Lynn said.
Having lived with similar challenges as the customers she serves, Hartley Lynn wants to ensure all Sabal products cultivate comfort through fabrication and construction.
“Having a smaller bust, you have different support needs than someone with a larger bust,” Hartley Lynn explained. “You don’t want to be flattened by a sports bra taking you in.”