"To empower women and men to fulfill their entrepreneurial aspirations to resell the best Brazilian bikinis in the world."
Random thoughts, quotes, and tips that affect me on a personal and professional level.
It's been awhile since I last posted on this page. It's not for a lack of topics but mostly because we're now using facebook as a medium to communicate with our loyal readers.
February 23, 2013
Oldie but goodie
2012 Outdoor Photo shoot.
February 23, 2012
Exclusive Fabric Printing
February 23, 2012
2013 Fabric Tendencies
Urban, Oriental, Hippie and Melancholic
February 23, 2012
Brazil sets beach treads
Epoca Magazine and Survey
An article published by Epoca Magazine (February 10, 2012) revealed something we already knew. They reaffirmed our belief that “Brazil dictates beach fashion trends around the world.” They went on to say that Brazilian bikinis serve as a global reference in terms of fabric quality and design. A survey revealed that Brazilian women were far more demanding when it came to purchasing quality made bikinis and that their endorsement translated into Brazilian bikinis becoming an “object of desire” and a world class product.
February 16, 2012
Custo Brasil = Brazil Cost
Everybody in Brazil knows what "Custo Brasil" means and it's a term worth sharing with you.
Brazil cost refers to the increased operational costs associated with doing business with Brazil, making Brazilian goods more expensive compared to other countries. There are several factors that contribute to the extra cost, including:
- the underdevelopment of infrastructure, including a deteriorated network for domestic shipping. In 2007 transport costs consumed 13% of GDP, 5% more than in the United States. The high transport costs are exacerbated by the scattering of industry over Brazil's territory.
- excessive layers of bureaucracy;
- high tax burden;
- expensive labour costs;
- economic instability;
- high interest rates;
- high crime rate, which adds extra security costs.
Unfortunately it's one of the sad truths of doing business in Brazil but new legislation and initiatives from the public sector should translate into making Brazil a more competitive country .
July 21, 2011
Visit our Facebook wall for timely updates, promotions and much more.
Free bikini for our 200 th fan.
June 10, 2011
Promotion. Free shipping + 2 Free bikinis.
50 minimum order on 2006 - 2010 collection
Hi Everybody. We've been working on an incredible offer. We hope you'll agree! Order any 50 bikinis from our 2006 - 2011 collection, and we'll expedite them for free to any country in the world and include two free bikinis of your choice. Offer is subject to availability.
For details, please Watch this video
May 6, 2011
Never underestimate your clients.
What do these four countries have in common - Oman, Kenya, Angola, and Ghana? Would you bet there's a market for Brazilian bikinis? Guess what, there is! All are Mar Egeu clients. Lesson: Never underestimate or judge your clients based on market stats or your personal beliefs about a person or country.
April 2, 2011
You Design Program
We're swamped with requests to design, prototype and produce entire bikini collections. This unique offering is part of our "custom design" program which was launched a few years ago.
"Effective April 2, 2011, we will now require a $1,000 deposit at the time an agreement is reached to develop your prototype. This amount will be credited back to you on your first minimum production run of 140 bikinis*. This deposit is to ensure you are serious in your desires to go forward with your production run once your prototype is approved. This deposit will be held as a credit in your account for a period of up to two months. If we do not receive your production run order for the minimum 140 bikinis, the deposit will become the property of Mar Egeu."
* A production order is simply placing the minimum order of 140 bikinis per approved prototype in as many as 3 different colors and 4 different sizes.
March 20, 2011
Phenomenal Exposure on the Oprah Winfrey Show of Brazil
Coverage on National television
Two of our bikinis were included on an immensely popular program called Domingo Legal. It’s hosted by Gugu Liberato, a famous television personality in Brazil. His show is viewed by millions. He recently sent his fashion consultant to scout the beaches of Santos in search of women willing to try the trendiest bikinis of 2011. We appear in the first 5 minutes and 34 seconds of this video clip. It's in Portuguese but you'll see how accessories can be used to adjust the top and a creative way to use the zipper garment as a skirt or top.
These are the two bikinis which were mentioned on the show:
February 18, 2011
2011 Print Catalog
February 16, 2011
Toll Free Number
We cancelled ours!
Three months ago we decided to add a toll free number in an attempt to become even more accessible. I was relatively optimistic and thought we'd be overwhelmed with phone calls. To my surprise, very few people called and some of them were unsolicited sales pitches. Enter Zappos, one of the largest and most successful online retailers in the world. I was astounded to read that less than 5% of their sales are conducted over the phone. That's amazing! I didn’t expect such a low percentage from a mega retailer that sells directly to consumers (B2C). In short, toll free numbers are beneficial to some companies but not all. Since we specifically target businesses (B2B), it makes even less sense to support a toll free number.
November 29, 2010
2011 Outdoor Bikini Shots
We all love pictures. Enjoy!
September 29, 2010
2011 Mar Egeu Bikini & Swimwear Collection
Launch Date and more.
Our 2011 bikini collection consists of 30 styles with matching cover-ups and beachwear dresses.
We’re introducing exclusive prints and will incorporate the latest trends in fabric technology, colors and patterns.
Our latest collection will be available for purchase during the first week of November.
Please contact: <email@example.com if you’d like to be notified when the bikinis become available for viewing online.
September 1, 2010
On Becoming an Exclusive Distributor.
We're not keen on granting exclusivities because it's complicated to manage in a global Internet environment. On the other hand, we realize some countries and islands warrant the protection of their territory in order to excel with the full backing of their supplier.
We don’t believe it’s worth pursuing if quantities entail anything less than 2000 bikinis over a period of 12 months. But, if you insist it's the only way to conduct business in your country we’d grant exclusivity provided you offer a viable business plan outlining your intentions to finance and sell “X” number of bikinis on an annual basis.
The truth is we prefer working with one credible distributor than many smaller ones for logistical and practical reasons. Ideally, the company would have to be a registered business with an established distribution channel, sales team and proven track record. The purpose is not to set high obstacles but avoid any misunderstandings in our working relationship such as not being able to meet agreed upon sales targets. Obviously we’d grant discounts on quantities and assure you that we wouldn’t sell to anybody else in your country. Initially, you’d have to purchase at least 1000 bikinis to demonstrate your intentions are serious with the rest of the bikinis acquired in smaller quantities throughout the year. Upon agreeing to the details, we’d forward all leads originating from your country and announce our partnership with a press release in the media. We can also publish your contact information on our website.
August 22, 2010
Amazing! Incredible! Wow!
That’s the reaction we want you and your clients to have from the moment you get in touch with us to the day you and your buyers receive our bikinis. It’s not enough to be good or even great in today’s hyper competitive environment where every product and service screams for attention. The ones that stand out are those that leave a lasting impression. One of my favorite lines was written by Tom Peters who wrote that, “customers have to go bananas with LOVE about your product to the point that they tell every damn friend they have and then start buttonholing strangers on trains and planes and busses.” I can’t wish for anything better than for you and your clients to feel the same way about our bikinis and support.
August 18, 2010
The Coconut Tree painting and Mar Egeu Bikinis
A purchasing decision
I’m not the type of person who buys paintings. In fact, I never bought one in my entire life besides the one I purchased from a street vender in Brazil. That was ten years ago and it cost $30. People in the know tell me “paintings have to speak to you.” I can’t recall of having a painting speak to me but there’s always a first time. That time came last month when a painting shouted from a window pane as I drove right past it. It was love at first sight! It yelled, “hey, come and get me now.’ I parked the car and couldn’t believe I was unexpectedly walking towards a store full of paintings. It was unplanned for, not in my budget and probably an extravagance. It was a simple painting of a coconut tree. I enquired about the painting and left the store empty handed a few minutes later. As I drove off I began to think how one day I’d probably regret not having bought the beautiful painting that compelled me to do something out of the ordinary. I ended up returning to the store 10 minutes later and giving it a new home. I share this story because that’s the impact I’d love you to have when dealing with us.
August 11, 2010
Recommending suppliers of other products
There are many challenges
Sometimes I get asked if I can recommend suppliers of different products such as jeans, bags, and women's shoes. I assist when possible but feel reluctant to avoid any misunderstandings that may arise. If you Google the "key words" you'll find dozens if not hundreds of sources. The problem is finding a reliable and credible supplier that responds promptly, in your language and is export ready.
July 10, 2010
You...my dear friends, are the product
Email sent to a potential client.
Be sure to differentiate your collection and show why you’re the better choice because you’ll be competing with others who source from China and buy a thousand bikinis for less than $5 unit. But remember, it's not just about price or product when it comes to vanity. Quality, comfort and great support is vital. You - the designer, seller, or point of contact trumps everything. In essence, you become the product. Your word, credibility, and integrity matter so much more than a few dollars more or less on the product or service you sell.
Do you agree? What are your thoughts?
Mar Egeu Export
June 16, 2010
Vast Potential with Brazil hosting the World Cup and Olympics
I’d like to remind our loyal clients and new comers that Brazil will be hosting the World Cup in 2014 and Olympics in 2016. This is an incredible opportunity. Exposure and demand for anything Brazilian will be HUGE. Get ready to sell lots of bikinis over the next few years as Brazil becomes the "in" destination for all kinds of products and services.
June 10, 2010
All bikinis include the Xtra Life LYCRA ® fiber tag
More Beautiful. Longer Lasting. Better Fit.
Xtra Life LYCRA ® fiber is the new standard in material technology for the swimwear industry. It delivers a beautiful and longer-lasting fit. Xtra Life LYCRA® fiber resists chlorine and other pool chemicals 5-10 times longer than unprotected elastane, allowing bikinis to look newer and keep their fit longer.
April 30, 2010
Care symbol and instructions
We really like this and can include a variation on your private label tag.
April 29, 2010
Welcome to Mar Egeu
Introduction Video ( 2 minutes & 43 seconds)
April 12, 2010
An unsolicited Testimonial about our bikinis and the way we work.
The best testimonials are unsolicited like the one we received this week from an enthusiastic client. Posted with permission, she wrote, "I just got them and they’re GORGEOUS! I can't wait to do business with you! I can't tell you enough how impressed I am with your impeccable customer service. It is really great in this day and age to find such a reputable company with such dedication to the needs of the customer. Whoever says customer service is dead is certainly not referring to your company!" - C. Ortigoza
On behalf of Mar Egeu, thanks for the feedback and kind words. Thales P.
and here's a message that arrived shortly after.
"I just wanted to let you know that I'm very pleased with the bikinis. The material and finish of each piece is fabulous. I'm looking forward to ordering from you again. Thanks for all your help." - L. Tenario
Thanks Tenario. We're so glad you liked them and look forward to helping you place your next order. Thales P.
April 9, 2010
New Zip-lock bags.
These bags are included with orders exceeding 25 bikinis
December 15, 2009
Styles with Padded cups (fixed and removable) - 2010 collection.
Removable Padded Cups
BI 610, BI 611 and BI 621
Non Removable padded cups
Bi 496, BI 497, BI 613, BI 614, BI 616, BI 620, BI 625, BI 626 and MA 902
Push Up with Underwire support
BI 612 (V shaped, placed in the center) and BI 619
Note: All bikinis are double-lined with white polyamide, a comfortable and silky like material.
November 3 , 2009
The difference between 1000 bikinis (them) and 300 bikinis (us) is 700
Bikini producers who offer a private label option normally require a purchase order of at least 1000 pieces or a minimum of 300 bikinis per style in a particular color.
We’re much more accommodating.
We can deliver a private label order for just three hundred bikinis in any style, color and size. In fact, for 150 bikinis you can design your very own bikini in the fabric and color of your choice. There’s no point in going with the cheaper supplier and ending up with 700 more bikinis you can’t sell. Often, the cheaper option turns out to be much more expensive.
November 2 , 2009
How to lose business
I recently helped a friend inquire about distributing an American product in Brazil. He’s honest, hardworking and a great salesman. Unfortunately the distributor’s impersonal response led me to reject them instantly. I was asked to fill an extensive application form containing 30 plus qualifying questions. To a certain degree, I understand the importance of screening leads but it left me with an ill feeling about the company despite their great product. I didn’t feel their response was personal, timely justified or appropriate. The distributor committed a grave error by erecting an unnecessary barrier that could otherwise have led to a sale. Weeding out potential candidates may have worked in the past but not today when your competitors are one click away.
Here are some of the questions they asked:
- number of years in business?
- number of employees?
- number of locations?
- trade reference?
- current annual sales?
- preferred method of payment?
- what other products does your company sell?
- what is your annual advertising budget?
We NEVER ask such questions. Establishing genuine rapport with your client is far more important. Some of our best clients are individuals that outperform larger retailers and don’t necessarily fit the successful profile you’d expect. If we had imposed rigorous screening conditions many of our clients would have never qualified. You never know. Lower your sales barrier and conduct frictionless trade.
October 14, 2009
We strongly recommend that you...
NEVER sell what you don't already have in stock.
October 5, 2009
We did it! We'll be hosting the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio
July 2, 2009
You know you're doing the right thing when...
One of our clients ordered 3 times in less than 4 weeks and three other clients ordered twice in June.
As one client wrote, "did so well with your bikinis that I already need to place another order!" This isn't rare but rather quite common. In fact, most of our customers are repeat buyers.
June 20 , 2009
Celebrity shot of the day: Stephanie Panagides
Paparazzi recently spotted Stephanie Panagides basking in the sun. At the young and tender age of 1 year and 10 months, the Brazilian bombshell was taking a break from her hectic modeling schedule. She was seen sporting a beautiful bikini. When asked to reveal the brand, she raised her right thumb and said, "Mar Egeu bikinis rock.'
I'm Stephanie Panagides and I approve this message:-)
May 18, 2009
Franchisee costs for a designer bikini
Many designer bikinis and swimwear brands operate on a franchising model. If you were to acquire the rights to market someone else's brand, here are the initial start-up fees based on information provided directly from their website.
Total investment required to retail their brand.
$80,000 - Store infrastructure. Does not include store design and furniture. Based on their recommendation that the optimum store size is 600 square feet (60sqm) and that it costs $133 per square foot.
$6,000 for IT system.
$40,000 for inventory and start-up goods.
If you were to decide to take the swimwear franchising route, your total initial outlay could easily exceed $100,000 with ongoing franchise and advertising contribution fees of 8% to 11% of your monthly gross. Additionally, the franchisor and their bank usually mandate immaculate credit and $40,000 plus in liquid assets to meet their qualifying parameters.
This doesn't make economic sense even if you're generating a sizable turnover. This is precisely why you should partner with us. Mar Egeu doesn't burden you with expensive investments or require upfront fees other than the cost of the bikinis you order.
May 17, 2009
View more than 1400 bikini pictures
Browse through our Bikini Gallery.
You can enlarge images to get a close up view of each bikini. The gallery also enables you to search for a particular style, explore color options and view bikinis in various angles.
April 20, 2009
Our design and production team will be prototyping Mar Egeu's 2010 collection over the next few months. We anticipate launching sometime in September.
April 15, 2009
Here's a list of some of the top Brazilian fabric suppliers we work with.
April 11, 2009
Question and Answer
Question: What do bikinis have in common with
- Cell phones?
- Coffee shops?
- Fast food chains?
- Movie rentals?
- Video Games?
Answer: They’re thriving despite the financial turmoil felt by millions around the world. According to economists and a recent article in the WSJ, products and services that make people feel good are doing well. Unlike big ticket items such as cars and houses, they’re indulging without breaking the bank.
March 31, 2009
Customs: Import Taxes
Customs or import duty varies from country to country. In some cases our clients report not having to pay any taxes while others end up having to pay anywhere between 12% and 25%. When estimating your costs, it’s prudent to factor in about $1.50 towards the overall cost of each bikini. In some cases, FedEx may charge an import processing fee of $30.00.
February 19, 2009
Far beyond testimonials!
Positive feedback is essential since it builds trust and enhances credibility between the buyer and supplier. That's why it's important to share some of the compliments we received over the years. We love kind words so please keep them coming. They’re truly energizing and make everything we do that much more worthwhile.
- Absolutely gorgeous and top quality.
- SIMPLY FANTASTIC!!!!!!!
- The quality is excellent!! Good service.
- One of the best sellers you could ever ask for!! Items are beautiful!!
- Honest seller. Good communication. Beautiful product just as advertised.
- Highest level of professionalism and integrity. GREAT QUALITY. Thank You. A++++
- Absolutely gorgeous! Spectacular seller...will be back for more.
- Fantastic. Very well made. Fast shipping. Thank you.
- Extremely responsive & fantastic customer service. Definitely repeat business!
- The best and friendliest bikinishop on the internet.
- Absolutely beautiful swimwear. Excellent quality.
- AWESOME bikinis... AWESOME service.
- SOOOOOO PERFECT THANK YOU.
- Beautiful bikinis! Such great service, so helpful. Want more more more!
- Wonderful seller! Very honest and super quick responds! Thank you! A++
- Unbelievable service! You can’t go wrong buying from here!
- A++++ Fast, professional and great to do business with!
February 10, 2009
Should you Private Label or go with the Mar Egeu bikini Brand?
Private labeling is popular and your decision to go that route depends on your sales strategy. It's ideal if you plan to target retailers and sell beyond your inner circle of family, friends, and colleagues. The great thing about private labeling is that you get the best of both worlds – your name on the exact same bikini styles sold under the Mar Egeu brand. In essence, we become the "brand behind your brand."
Selling private label bikinis transmits credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of a buyer. It makes the sales transaction more personal. The minimum purchase order for private labeling is 300 bikinis in any mix of styles, colors and sizes. The additional cost incurred is low and can be recovered easily. Depending on which options you choose, you can have as many as 3000 labels, tags, and sanitary stickers done for about $500. For details, please visit this Private Label link.
Some clients prefer private labeling because it protects them from having people trying to bypass them and get in touch with us directly. Although we understand their concern, it shouldn’t be an issue because we always refer them back to the original contact. We prefer to deal with one solid distributor rather than have to deal with several stores directly.
To conclude: If you're just thinking of buying a few bikinis to sell to your friends, then I don't recommend private labeling. If, on the other hand, you’re considering expanding and can purchase the minimum of 300 bikinis, then private labeling is a good option. It takes about 3-4 weeks longer to deliver and cost around $500 more to have the tags and labels produced and attached.
February 02, 2009
Padded Push ups and Underwire bikini tops - 2009 collection.
BI465, BI468, BI471, BI472, BI474, BI479, BI480
January 28, 2009
What sizes should I include in my wholesale order?
This is a difficult question to answer because it varies from client to client and country to country. Overall, the US small (S) is by far the most commonly ordered bikini followed by the US medium (M). The remaining bikinis (XS and Large) are divided equally but also depend on their final destination. For instance, XS sizes are popular in South American and Asian countries while large (L) size bikinis are sought after in Europe and North America.
Sample breakdown: 10% XS, 60 % small, 25 % Medium & 5 % Large
If this is your first order, we suggest you include a mix of sizes to get a feeling for what works best in your market.
Be sure to refer to our Sizing Chart
January 25, 2009
A Recession is a terrible thing to waste.
If you're feeling a bit frustrated and depressed due to the assorted economic challenges faced by millions around the world, there's hope and a great business opportunity for you with Mar Egeu’s new "You Design" program, which allows you to custom design, brand and market your own line of bikinis. This revolutionary program can be your ticket to escaping the rigors of a boring 9 to 5 job, the wrath of a nasty boss, and the incompetence of fellow workers. It will allow YOU to shine as the star and creative force behind your own line of swimwear. It will give you the pride of ownership and the freedom to spend more time with your family and friends. Whether your venture is full or part-time, it can provide you with much needed additional revenue for the nicer things in life. Isn't it time you started reaching for the stars and your entrepreneurial dreams? With Mar Egeu's low initial investment, superior design team and product line, and ongoing customer support, your dream can soon become a profitable reality.
January 24, 2009
2009 Mar Egeu Bikini Photo Shoot
January 23, 2009
Are your prices wholesale or retail?
This is a good question because we get asked it once in awhile.
As soon as you receive our bikinis you'll understand why we're more expensive. There's simply no comparison! For one, we use the finest Lycra ® available in the market and apply luxurious embellishments that can add as much as 50% to the total cost of the bikini. All bikinis are double-lined and include authentic "Made in Brazil" labels. Our bikinis meet rigorous export specifications. We don't differentiate on price. We focus on producing high quality swimwear with distinctive styles. We're a boutique designer that adheres to strict Brazilian tax and labor laws. We don't mass produce or employ child labor. Our fashion brand, including those of our private label partners, can be found on celebrities and in fine apparel boutiques around the world. We also provide fanatical support not typically offered in our industry. I hope this clearly explains why we're reasonably priced higher in the market.
December 04, 2008
Cheerful and sunny Yellow will be the influential color of 2009
Enough gloom and doom: There's a prediction from a leading color source that cheerful and sunny yellow will be the influential color of 2009.
Pantone Inc., which provides color standards to design industries, specifically cites "mimosa," a vibrant shade of yellow illustrated by the flowers of some mimosa trees as well as the brunch-favorite cocktail, as its top shade of the new year. In general, Pantone expects the public to embrace many tones of optimistic yellow.
"I think it's just the most wonderful symbolic color of the future," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. "It's invariably connected to warmth, sunshine and cheer — all the good things we're in dire need of right now."
In the spring fashion collections previewed earlier in the fall for retailers and editors, pops of yellow brightened the runways of Carolina Herrera — who called her favorite shade marigold — Badgley Mischka, Zac Posen and Michael Kors, among others. Kors even included a retro yellow polka-dot bikini that clearly harkened back to a more upbeat time.
Great News! Mar Egeu's 2009 bikini collection has 6 beautiful designs in a variation of yellow.
December 02, 2008
85% Poliamida (Nylon) combined with 15% Spandex (Elastano) lining (stretch).
November 22, 2008
Bikini Liquidation Lot: Special Offer!
Fantastic Opportunity! 50% off.
November 11, 2008
This year we're proud to announce that we've been mentioned in . . .
September 10, 2008
2009 Bikini Collection!
Update: We'll launch during the first week of October. Please check back in a few weeks.
September 9, 2008
How to shop for a Brazilian Bikini!
eHow Fashion, Style and Personal Care Editor mentioned Mar Egeu as a top pick when searching to buy a Brazilian Bikini.
July 31, 2008
If you can dream it we can do it!
Micro Bikini made with crystals.
July 20 , 2008
FedEx Price Hike
I'm sure you've heard that the price of oil is at an all time high. Guess what that means? Higher fuel prices translate to higher transportation costs. FedEx, once again, raised their price list by an additional 10% on top of the previous increase of 20% in February.
July 10 , 2008
In the Press II with ERT
A 10 minute telephone interview transmitted on, Proti Grammi, the morning show of the
Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation.
July 02 , 2008
In the Press
It's in Greek! We were covered in Eleftheros Tipos, one of the highest circulating newspapers in Greece.
Click the image link below to read it in .pdf format.
June 01, 2008
A vote of confidence
"...After eliminating hundreds of manufacturers imagine so many Chinese company's contacted me they are making swimwear for $2 a piece which I'm really not interested because I'm looking for top quality with high fashion flair so I'm really hoping that we can do it with your company. Its going to be my first own label swimwear collection I will need your expertise." - Nilufer Satorius
May 21, 2008
We now offer "Eco-Friendly" Tags, Labels and Bags.
Haco's a company we use to outsource the production of labels and tags. They recently launched an "eco-friendly" line. The Nature Line uses natural materials such as cotton, bamboo, linen, wool and recycled polyester which don't harm the environment.
April 07, 2008
A full page was dedicated to our business in the April edition of "Gestão & Negócios."
April 02, 2008
...and now for some humor;)
March 10 , 2008
A word about availability and turnaround.
It's hard to be precise on turnaround since it depends on factors such as the time of year and particular model requested. As you can imagine, it's not practical or cost efficient to stock every model in every size and in every color combination. On the other hand, models are produced to replenish our stock on a daily basis. Some take longer than others to become available since we depend on third party companies to supply accessories or work on bikinis that require crochet or macramé. I can assure you that we have one of the best turnarounds in the industry and most certainly in Brazil. You'll have troubles finding a company that provides the transparency and fanatical support we do. It's fair to say that most bikinis become available within 1-3 weeks maximum.
January 23 , 2008
World Cup 2014.
On October 30th, 2007, Brazil was confirmed to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. Brazil won the football tournament a record five times. This is a great opportunity to plan for theme based bikinis as market demand for World Cup items will be enormous.
January 14 , 2008
Did you also know that...
in addition to bikinis, we produce men's swimwear, boxers and speedo style sungas. Check these out.
December 20 , 2007
Ball State University: Interview
Here's an interview with the International Alumni and Friends newsletter.
November 7, 2007
Brazilian-bikinis.net named "Top Ten Worldiest' Business!
We were named "TOP TEN WORLDIEST" BUSINESS by StartupNation among thousands of home-based entrepreneurs who entered the competition. This award received national attention and was mentioned in the WSJ and Money Central section of MSN.com.
Founded by Rich and Jeff Sloan, StartupNation provides entrepreneurial advice via a nationally syndicated radio program and through online content for entrepreneurs who want to start a business. The Sloan brothers are successful inventors, experienced entrepreneurs and authors of StartupNation: Open for Business (Doubleday). They appear frequently as small business experts on national television and in online and print media.
Here's the Press Release
October 10 , 2007
Hello! What's the local time in Brazil?
Please call me anytime but if you're wondering what time it is when I answer the phone then click HERE
September 6 , 2007
Mar Egeu's "State of the Art" Factory and Production Floor
1) Monthly production capacity: 15,000 pieces with the ability to ramp up if demand spikes.
2) Mar Egeu consists of 12 employees and a cool cat by the name of Apolo.
3) We outsource to a number of companies and individuals who are experts in a particular area. Many of these are ladies who specialize in crochet or producing hand-painted designs.
September 4 , 2007
Mar Egeu 2008 Photo Shoot
August 24 , 2007
Mar Egeu - Eco Green Project
What's good for the environment is good for business. We sincerely believe that and over the next few months we'll be adopting ecologically sound business practices and sharing them with you. We'd love to here from you if you have any good ideas. Here are just a few we have in mind:
1) Become verified by EMAS - the Eco Management Audit Scheme
2) Produce an Eco friendly line with 100% natural materials that are even biodegradable
3) Eliminate plastic zip lock bags
4) Use Recycled paper for the tags and boxes we use to expedite orders.
5) Publish energy consumption and plot graph of reduction, if any, made based on changes we make in the production process.
6) Share a percentage of revenue to support environmental causes. Ex - that support saving the Amazon Forrest.
These are just a few ideas. Please send us more. It won't be easy but we'll make a conscious effort and even strategic decision to implement, if not all, most of the above measures.
August 10 , 2007
Another milestone, this time it's personal!
I believe business is personal so I suppose my life's an open book. Here's one of the proudest moments in my life. I'm sharing a video clip of my daughter Marianna meeting her baby sister Stephanie for the very first time. Stephanie was born on August 10th at 13:15. Warning: we're all quite moved to say the least.
July 25 , 2007
Currency Exchange Rate Chart: USD vs Brazilian (R$)
Every August we publish our price list in USD and avoid increasing them for a period of 12 months. This can be risky since a fluctuating exchange rate with a downward trend (see chart above) can place our business at risk in terms of turning a profit and being able to provide bikinis at a competitive price. For instance, in August of 2006, we priced our 2007 bikini collection based on the exchange rate of 2.20 but unfortunately the USD depreciated by a staggering 17% against the Brazilian (Real) and is currently trading at 1.82. In fact, the dollar depreciated by almost 30% over the past 24 months. As we prepare to publish our 2008 prices, we’ll have to factor in a weaker dollar and hope to make it up to our clients by continuing to provide outstanding quality and fanatical support. As one client wrote, “we know you’re slightly more expensive, but we’re willing to pay a premium in exchange for peace-of-mind.”
July 20, 2007
It's Official. Mar Egeu's 2008 Color Palette.
We're busy designing our 2008 Mar Egeu Bikini Collection.
I once read something funny about bloggers. The only one who reads them is the person writing them. I hope that's not the case and that you find some of the content helpful or relevant. No, we haven't been sleeping it's just that we've been busy designing 30 new glamorous bikinis for our 2008 bikini collection. We expect to launch them in August complete with press coverage, new catalogs and a fashion show. If you want to be the first to know when they become available, simply send me an email requesting that you want to be notified when the 08 collection launches.
A word about our 2007 Fitness line
Our fitness wear is superior to others in the market. We worked closely with a textile designer in an effort to improve on the current fabric. The results are as follows:
1) Tighter and more comfortable fit due to greater elasticity used allowing it to return to it's original form. This reduces the slack and saggy look. This is known in Brazil under the "power" brand to identify this type of fit.
2) Integrated hidrofile fabric maintains the fabric dryer for longer while at the same time allowing for easy transpiration. This falls under the category of "easy-care" meaning it is easy to wash and dry.
3)An increase in the percentage of poliamida allows for a softer and smoother fit. You can feel this when you squeeze the fabric. The altered composition provides more chest and bottom support.
12 % elastano
88 % poliamida
4) Thermo comfort allows for the escape of heat, humidity and sweat away from the material.
5) You can wash them many times over and it will still hold the same color and stretch...I doubt that from cheap imports.
Our competitors like Rosset and Santa Constacia use less poliamida giving it a cheaper feel. The difference is obvious when you touch the two materials....ours is softer.
Mar Egeu Appears in Corpo and Uma.
August 10, 2006
This is the future of Philanthropy.
I recently came across an amazing website worth sharing. www.Kiva.org "Loans that change lives."
It's definitely worth visiting and contributing if you find the cause worthy - lending money to small businesses in developing countries.
July 15, 2006
How do you pronounce Mar Egeu?
Sometimes we get asked how to pronounce Mar Egeu. This should help: Mar - M as you’d pronounce "m" in mother and "ar" as you would sound off the letter "r." Mar is Portuguese for Ocean. Egeu - "E" as in egg, "ge" as in jet and "u" as in "you." Good Luck!
June 23, 2006
Appeared in FHM
A gorgeous model wearing a Mar Egeu bikini appeared in the July 2006 issue of FHM, a widely circulated men's magazine.
June 23, 2006
More on Sizing
Our sizing chart serves as a rough guide and has proven to be quite accurate with a return rate of about 3 percent. Bikinis contain Lycra which provide elasticity and therefore a more comfortable and flexible fit. The stretch component can add as much as 2-3 cm and therefore cross over from one size to another. Another thing to consider is that Brazilian producers don’t provide numeric measurements as detailed brands in the US - cups size, specific dimensions etc... We simply produce clothing with labels depicting the sizes as P, M, G or GG. The US equivalent of these sizes would be XS, S, M, and L. Sizes can vary from one manufacturer to another and even differ from model to model.
May 20, 2006
2007 bikini Collection - Launch Date
Our target launch for the 2007 Mar Egeu Bikini collection is Mid July with catalogs and digital images becoming available during the first week of August. We'll be incorporating several of your design suggestions. Thanks to all of you who have contributed.
March 17, 2006
Mar Egeu's Contract Model mentioned in Veja
Veja is Brazil's most popular weekly magazine and ranked 5th in the world in terms of circulation. It's the equivalent of Newsweek or Time in the United States. It has been reported by many in the fashion industry and media that Carolina Del Lama will be the next Gisele Bundchen of Brazil, one of the most recognized and respected super-models in the world.
February 10, 2006
Half of women want to pack it all for an easier life.
More than half of female workers have already left or are seriously considering escaping conventional nine-to-five working in a bid to invent their own working patterns, according to a new report. Does this resonate with you? Click Here to read more about it.
November 02, 2005
Mar Egeu in the Press
My dear friend and business partner Nicolas Katsorchis appeared last Sunday in one of the most popular Brazilian newspapers, "Diario de Sao. Paulo."
The article discusses support systems to help boost Brazilian Exports.
November 01, 2005
Mar Egeu's new contract model
Marianna (our baby daughter) sporting MarEgeu's baby line and celebrating her 5th month today.
Feliz Aniversario, Happy Birthday, Chronia Pola!
October 19, 2005
One of my favorites. "Man who not smile should not open shop."
October 15, 2005
Too Good to be True!
A few days ago a potential partner said that, “we were too good to be true.” I didn’t know how to respond because the term expresses the skeptical view that something is so good that it defies belief and must have something wrong with it. In retrospect, I can only interpret it as being a compliment and testament to our great work.
October 10, 2005
State Your Position
Marketing Guru Seth Godin says, "If you can't state your position in eight words or less, you don't have a position." In seven words I was able to state that we offer, "Amazing Brazilian Bikinis Backed with Fanatical Support."
October 3, 2005
Official Press Release
Brazilian-bikinis.net launches Mar Egeu’s highly anticipated 2006 bikini collection and offers fanatical support in an effort to help beginners fulfill their entrepreneurial aspirations to resell top notch brands from Brazil.
Mar Egeu 2006 Collection
The 2006 swimwear collection consist of 37 creative models. Each bikini is unique and successfully captures the natural beauty and vibrant elements that make up Brazil. Designs include hand-painted birds from the Amazon, palm trees, exotic fruit and floral patterns.
The great thing about Mar Egeu’s new collection is that they offer a mix of skimpy tops and tie side bottoms along with fuller bikinis to satisfy a range of tastes. Mar Egeu’s 2006 collection derives its inspiration from Brazil’s diverse landscape, vast oceans and open blue sky. Each design blends a piece of “mother nature” and balances it with the beauty of a woman’s body. Reaction to the new collection has been phenomenal, with pre-orders coming from the United States, Europe and Australia.
Thales Panagides, founder of Brazilian-bikinis.net, in a bold statement says that, “Mar Egeu produces the best artisanal bikinis in the world. A tremendous amount of detail goes into each bikini and that’s what differentiates the MarEgeu brand from generic brands that simply differ on cut and pattern.” Panagides mentions the use of embellished accessories and details such as coconut shells, sea shells, wooden beads, straws, buttons, metallic rings, buckles, hand-painted designs, embroidered floral petals, and crochet. According to Panagides, “quality brands and our commitment to fanatical support” are the two reasons why Brazilian-bikinis.net has been successful in attracting new partners. Brazilian-bikinis.net offers a money-back guarantee on all bikinis that don’t meet the recipient’s expectations.
Fanatical, One-to-one Customer Support
Besides offering access to premium brands from Brazil, Brazilian-bikinis.net hopes to secure new partners by offering one-to-one fanatical support. Panagides explains, “I think we’re the only company in Brazil that follows up with a telephone call to answer questions our customers may have.” This is just one of the many ways Brazilian-bikinis.net exceeds customer’s expectations. Partners can chat in real time with the founder and expect to have emails replied to within 24 hours or less.
Brazilian-bikinis.net caters to beginners. Panagides recounts when he received an email from a potential partner who didn’t know how to open an Excel spreadsheet attached to their email. Today, that same person is one of the largest wholesalers and an Internet expert. We realized that we had to make a dramatic impact and reduce the barriers to entry in order to attract new partners. For example, Brazilian-bikinis.net offers convenient payment options and doesn’t require a minimum order among other things.
Since then, we have made it our mission to empower timid entrepreneurs and provide them with successful selling tips that have worked for other distributors around the world.
Panagides added that, “We often receive requests from entrepreneurial men and women interested in opening an apparel store. Most clients include, but are not limited to, specialty boutiques, women’s clothing stores, e-commerce sites, high-end surf shops and tanning salons.”
September 30, 2005
Brazil Through Foreign Eyes
I was interviewed by Gringoes.com, a web portal that provides information for the growing foreign community in Brazil. Click here to read the full interview.
June 08, 2005
I’m posting news about our forthcoming price increase in an effort to be transparent and clear on a sensitive matter.
The increase is primarily a result of:
1) The US dollar depreciating by 30% against the Brazilian currency (Real) since the 2005 price list was first introduced. As a result, exporters who priced their goods in dollars see their profit margins reduced substantially. The exchange rate hurt exporters so much that some have had to adjust their current 2005 prices by 10%, unprecedented but necessary.
2) The price of Lycra increased. This is hard to justify because suppliers of Lycra base their costs in dollars and one would think that a weak dollar would make Lycra cheaper but now that the Brazilian currency is strong, Lycra suppliers like Rosset, resist lowering their prices and if fact have increased them.
3) The minimum wage in Brazil has increased. It was passed into law and introduced this May. Most production line workers consist of minimum wage earners.
4) Inflation for variable costs such as utilities and other commodities.
5) Value added accessories applied to each item (rivets, metallic rings, etc…) result in higher costs per bikini but these Artisanal details are what differentiates our line and should have a positive impact on sales.
This year we were able to maintain the same average price compared to the 2004 collection but it’s no longer viable for the reasons highlighted above. We want to remain as competitive as possible because if you don’t sell we don’t sell! We believe that we’re still an attractive alternative to other premium brands that wholesale for three to five times more than our brands.
I’d be concerned if it was an isolated case but it's across the board. We can't compete against the Chinese or Indians on price but we have a huge advantage over low cost producers, in addition to quality and creativity, all pieces are "Made in Brazil." This is a huge selling point, like saying, "Intel inside." That's music to Brazilian producers!
June 08, 2005
I'm finally back to blogging. My wife just delivered a baby girl by the name of Marianna. She was born on June 1 at 1:05am. She's our first. I'll try to post more often. Thanks for checking back once in awhile.
March 21, 2005
Question: What's your irresistable offer?
1) If the product doesn't have a "WOW" (gasp-worthy) impact on the consumer, then don't offer it through Brazilian-Bikinis.net.
2) Average is Invisible.
3) Best is not good enough.
4) Dramatic difference is an imperative.
5) Avoid moderation.
6) Astonish and delight cutomers. Exceed expectations.
7) Offer Fanatical Support - respond to emails within 10 hours and make the call.
8) Brazil is the next France and Italy in regards to luxury apparel brands.
March 11, 2005
CHINA...Threat or Opportunity?
Tom Peters said that, "A new factory goes on line in China every - 26 minutes!" That's probably an understatement. As Trendwatching notes, ""With the majority of most mundane products soon to come from China and other hyper-efficient, low-cost, economies-of-scale-obsessed 'workplaces of the world', manufacturers in developed economies will have little choice but to upgrade their output to premium, higher margin goods if they want to survive the looming Sea of Low-Cost Sameness."
...There's no denying that the economic impact of China on global businesses represents a threat for some companies but it's also an opportunity for others like Brazilian-bikinis.net. How can it be an opportunity, after all, we receive emails from potential buyers who compare our bikinis, fitness and lingerie line with those offered by Chinese suppliers for lower prices?
The answer's simple: If you dare compete on price you'll lose. You've got to offer a differentiated product backed by OUTSTANDING customer support. That doesn't mean that the Chinese can't do the same but there's more to a product than buying low. Click here to see what separates us from the pack. We're constantly improving and as the saying goes, "if you're through changing, you're through."
February 21, 2005
of terms commonly associated with our unique designs.
- Artisanal: manual artistic work
- Audacious: daring, bold, brave
- Crochet: needlework made by looping thread with a hooked needle
- Embroidery: to add embellishments or fanciful details through sewing, needlework or stitching
- Couture: high fashion designing, usually custom-made for women
- Macramé: Coarse lace work made by weaving and knotting cords into a pattern.
February 16, 2005
Maregeu in the press...
MarEgeu bikinis are commonly featured in popular fashion magazines and on national television.
February 10, 2005
Why the picture?
...I believe it's more personal, that it adds credibility, and makes our company more trustworthy. It's always nice to know who you're dealing with thousands of miles away...and don't be surprised if I follow up with a personal phone call after receiving your enquiry for information about our sexy bikinis and hip fitness wear collection. Write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org