The Secret to JOLYN’s Success

Photo Courtesy: jolynclothing.com

by Samantha Dammann, Swimming World College Intern. 

JOLYN is a small but wildly popular clothing company based out of California that designs and manufactures swimsuits and dryland clothes for female athletes. Walk into a swim meet or on deck during a practice and the vast majority of girls that you see will be dressed in these revolutionary suits. JOLYN has taken the competitive swimming world by storm, and for good reason.

Several years ago in sunny California a group of swimmers, water polo players, and lifeguards gave up on traditional competitive swimwear. The founders thought the suits offered at the time were clunky, poorly designed, and ugly. These athletes wanted suits that were tailored for their specific sports and fabrics that represented their spirits.

JOLYN was born out of the desire to serve the female athlete.

Not many people outside the watersport scene know about the company, but those inside are absolutely hooked. JOLYN prides itself on being a niche company. “It’s amazing that no one outside of a few sports knows JOLYN, but inside those sports everyone does. We like that — it’s like our little secret,” JOLYN said.

Their unwavering focus on the specific needs of female athletes is what makes the company so successful.

“We don’t design for men and we don’t do kids. We live in a world of limited resources. An hour spent thinking about those people is an hour taken away from our core customer,” the company said.

JOLYN’s focus has allowed them to come up with products that are exactly what female athletes want. The popularity of JOLYN’s tie-back suits, one of their most iconic products, is an example of this.

“We simply look to our athletes to design new products. Athletic bodies vary a lot, so some people have a hard time finding a fixed-back suit that feels great. We listened to our athletes, and made a supremely adjustable training suit… it just happened to be a tie-back,” the company said.

Jenny London, a varsity swimmer at Biola University, believes JOLYN stands out as a company because of the number of options they provide to their customers.

“When they came out, I think especially with the two-pieces, there wasn’t really any other company that was using them, so they definitely grew more in that width because girls want to wear two-pieces. I think they definitely had the advantage. And then with one-pieces they have styles that other companies don’t have at all, like the cut outs and the tie-backs, because most are fixed backs. I think having so many options can get to a broader area of people,” London said.

JOLYN suits are also beloved for their durability. Nothing is worse than a suit that wears thin or stretches out before the season’s over, and JOLYN’s high quality fabrics make sure that doesn’t happen. London still wears the JOLYN two-piece she bought four years ago, and she’s not the only girl who can say that.

The quality of JOLYN products won the hearts of the swimming community and has created a cult following. Athletes’ love for JOLYN products can be seen on the company’s Instagram page: @jolynclothing, which remains popular even during the chilly winter months. During this time girls simply switch from submitting pictures of themselves in JOLYNs at the beach to submitting pictures of themselves wearing JOLYNs while running through snow banks.

Although most people know JOLYN for their suits, the company has recently produced a line of workout clothes. The company believes using the name Dryland reiterates that these products are made specifically with their target audience in mind. While sports bras and running shorts aren’t unique to the swimming community, referring to an out of the water workout session as a dryland practice is. “Calling it Dryland is like a password for those who know what’s up,” according to the company.

JOLYN may have caught on like a fad, but the company definitely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

22 Comments

22 comments

  1. Rhonda Olshanski

    Sometimes, my swimmer’s shoulder are sore, so she ties it more loosely. Other times, she wants it as tight as it goes, so she can nail her times in practice. She doesn’t want any other suit, not for practice or for fun, and almost every other 13+ year old girl on our team feels the same way. They have exceeded expectation in quality and design. They built a better swimsuit!!

  2. Jacinda Bokowy

    Lindsay Games, we were just talking about all the Joylyn’s we’ve purchased for our swimmers!

    • Lindsay Games

      Ha! Crazy to me no one else picked up on the niche market. Our turn to figure what they “need” next 😉

  3. avatar
    flutterby

    I see tons of those suits at the pool where I swim.

  4. avatar
    SwimMom

    Sorry, but Jolyn is turning the girls in the sport swimming into sex symbols and not in a good way. The suits are worn to small and 90% of the female swimmers butts are hanging out. This is not OK! Find a suit that covers your butt because the only people that want to see your butt is the 13-24 boys hitting puberty .

    • avatar
      Hil

      I agree about the butt part. They actually wear them like a thong.

    • avatar

      They would do that with or without Jolyn. Look at water polo players. Also, who cares?

  5. Tina Maniatis Higgins

    Quality, design, customer service – all 110%. They have always exceeded our expectations

  6. Tina Maniatis Higgins

    Kathy Goetz Rehling – this is the suit company that your darling Elizabeth and I were talking about.

  7. avatar

    As a mother of a swimmer, I love this brand. THE QUALITY OF THE SUITS ARE AMAZING!!! My daughter and her friends love to wear the brand. She trains 6 days a week, 2 hours a day and the suits hold their shape.
    This is the best brand for girl swimmers that train competitively!!!
    #?JOLYN

  8. The only practice suit my daughter will wear! And I love the bikini bottoms because she is able to tie them tightly and not worry about losing them while being super active in the water!!

    • Gabrielle Wong

      R these the racing suits everyone wears that u were talking about

    • Helena Zhou

      They’re training suits lmao

  9. avatar
    Swim Mom

    My daughter loves these suits and won’t wear anything else. Most of the girls on her team wear only these suits. They don’t stretch out like other suits so it’s worth the extra money.

    I agree that their behinds are showing more than necessary but I’m just jealous that mine doesn’t look that good. Plus I’ve seen worse at the beach. It’s about the kids being comfortable and swimming their fastest.

  10. avatar

    I love Jolyn! I wore their suits throughout my four years of competitive high school swimming. And I still have all 9 pairs of my Jolyn Bikinis, and 3 one pieces, even though I swim less in college. Their suits are extremely durable-they last forever, and stay on your body no matter what-even when you dive off the starting blocks! (I’ve also tested them in ocean waves). I also love the many print options available-they are so fun and unique, so all your teammates can have different colors, instead of boring blue Speedo ones. And I really enjoy the community surrounding the brand-it’s a niche brand, but I feel so connected to all the other Jolyn wearers! (I’ve even converted at least 6 non-swimmer friends to the brand). Lastly, to all those who complain about butts, stop policing our bodies! We won’t let the stupid patriarchy dictate what we wear. I’m proud to be a part of the culture of Jolyn that celebrates anybody and any body that wears their suits, so we can feel good and look good, and enjoy our favorite activity-being in the water.

Author: Samantha Dammann

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Samantha Dammann is an undergrad at Biola University and a college intern at Swimming World. She is an NAIA All-American in the 200 Fly, and a two time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree. She grew up in Oahu, Hawai'i.

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