Meet the owners of the luxury swimwear company Cami & Jax. Professional Surfers Camille & Jackie Brady have lived incredible lives in both Hawaii & Cali. Check out our interview about following passions, sacrificing, and building an internationally known swimwear brand.
Sam: Please tell our audience about yourself?
Camille & Jackie Brady: Camille and I create an amicable balance for what we do. She is a social butterfly and a confident cat. She sets lofty goals and won’t settle until they are achieved. She can’t sit still for even a day and demands things to be done immediately. She makes everyone around her laugh because of her obvious one-liners and dramatic nature.
I on the other hand approach things with a more analytical perspective keeping the bigger picture in mind. As a person I am a bit more private and reserved, but still possess that inner tenacity whilst remaining poised and calm in stressful situations. We are both relatively simple gals just seeking quality moments with loved ones, constant humor, and a little surf and turf to keep us sane.
Sam: You are both well-known surfers. When did you start surfing competitively?
Camille & Jackie Brady: We both began dabbling in competitions in early elementary school because it was not only fun and social, but what grom doesn't want some free gear and the bragging rights to go along with that shiny 1st place trophy?
Sam: How difficult were the transitions from Surfing, to Real Estate, to entering the Fashion industry?
Camille & Jackie Brady: The transition was somewhat seamless… a few snags along the way but nothing we couldn't iron out. I have always been an artisan so when it came to choose a field of study, fashion design sparked my interest.
Real estate has been a family affair on our mother’s side for nearly 80 years. One of us had to follow suit, so by popular vote Camille buckled down and got her license in both California and Hawaii. At the moment, she works privately with friends and family alongside our savvy mother Kim.
Surfing is imbedded in both of us and no matter where we are or what we are doing in our lives, we will always find refuge in the ocean. Camille said the other day that her surfboards (and CAMI AND JAX swimsuits) are her ”best friends.” They go with her everywhere, they’ve been with her during some of the greatest moments of her life, and not to mention they never talk back.
Sam: So, where did the idea for CAMI AND JAX come from?
Camille & Jackie Brady: From a young age, we knew we always wanted to start our own swimwear company. We knew that with our education, supportive friends and family, willpower, and one another we had the fundamentals for success. Also, with our knowledge of the ocean & surfing for what works and what doesn’t, in an athletic situation, was a driving force. Then finally adding our background in fashion and travel, would bring constant inspiration to the brand. CAMI AND JAX just made sense and five years later its only getting better!
Sam: Owning and managing a business takes tremendous sacrifice. Would you please describe the level of effort & commitment you all put towards the company (financial, hours, ect.)?
Camille & Jackie Brady I’m sure many of you entrepreneurs out there can relate that this ain’t no 9-5 with weekends off type of job. It is constant, and it is all encompassing, but it sure is rewarding. We sacrificed our life savings to start something with zero assurance that there would be a return. The only assurance was a deep belief that we could do it! Learning the ins-and-outs of operating our own business was no walk in the park but learning by trial & error is quite frankly the most effective way to learn and grow. We are no “Ben and Jerry”, but “Cami and Jax" will do just fine.
Sam: By learning through trial & error, what are some of the challenges CAMI AND JAX has faced, and how have they been overcome?
Camille & Jackie Brady There comes challenges with everything worthwhile. We have faced challenges of our own, but we have learned that it is about how you react and act on them that defines their outcome. We have been doing this for five years now and still hit potholes. It’s about taking responsibility for your actions and forgiving yourself so that you can grow stronger from the tribulation or experience.
Sam: CAMI AND JAX luxury swimwear products have been featured in both People and Vogue Magazine. How did the brand gain such popularity?
Camille & Jackie Brady: CAMI AND JAX has been the go-to swim spot for Los Angeles swimwear connoisseurs since its launch in 2014. We have had a steady flow of recognition by celebrities, stylists, and socialites alike as well as the “mommy + me” market that we absolutely adore. Word of mouth has been a principal element aiding to our popularity and I also think people really feel the Aloha Spirit in us and in our brand that makes them want to keep coming back for more. I don’t think it will ever get old seeing our designs, in the iconic magazines of Vogue Paris, or worn by our favorite actress Kate Hudson!
Sam: What advice do you have for younger people pursuing their passions or wanting to become an entrepreneur?
Camille & Jackie Brady: We are living in an era of innovators and entrepreneurs. I feel like there is so much knowledge to be gained simply by getting out there and talking to people (in person). It’s all about connection. Networking, sharing ideas, and finding commonalities with others can get you one step closer to where you want to be. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your company, but a lot can be achieved in a day! Take things slowly and trust the process, ask for help when you need it, work hard, and believe in yourself.
Sam: What’s next for CAMI AND JAX? Will there be future stores opening?
Camille & Jackie Brady: We always talk about opening another CAMI AND JAX location. If something were to pop up that fits and is in the right location, we would jump all over it. Until now, we want to focus on being the L.A go-to swim spot! We can’t tell you all our secrets but let’s just say we have some fun projects in the works!
Sam: Finally, where can people go to learn more or follow the CAMI AND JAX journey?
Camille & Jackie Brady: People can learn more about CAMI AND JAX by following our social media accounts. The brand @camiandjax and our personal accounts @camillebrady and @jackiebrady We love connecting with fellow bikini lovers though our platforms. You can also stop by our CAMI AND JAX Brick + Mortar on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. My sister and I work our shop frequently and love making it feel like a private exclusive swim fitting with the designers themselves! We hope to meet you soon and thank you for believing in us!
(All photos provided courtesy of Camille Brady)