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RIGHT PATH Worams first swimsuit was a wedding gift. The next one was a birthday present. Now sever

Time:2018-05-03 17:11Underwear site information Click:

bikini business locally SWIM Beyond

SAVANNAH EVANOFF @SavannahEnwfdn

Karrah Woram learned to sew only so she could make a swimsuit.

The Fort Walton Beach native might not hem pants or alter dresses, but she crafts a fierce bikini. Woram created the swimsuit brand Meraki Swim two years ago on a whim to concoct a “cheeky,” or thong-style bikini. After that, she couldn’t sew them fast enough.

“The more I started making them, all my friends were like, ‘I want one. You should sell these. You should do something with it,'” Woram said. “I was like, ‘Really? You think they’re that good?’”

Woram now receives three or more orders daily on her Etsy page. Fluid Surf Shop in Fort Walton Beach started stocking the brand in April.

 

WRONG STITCH, RIGHT PATH

Woram’s first swimsuit was a wedding gift. The next one was a birthday present.

Now — several gifts later — Woram has customers in California, Hawaii, Florida and beyond the U.S. in Australia, the United Kingdom and Qatar. The first customers who supported her dream were her friends.

Woram collaborated on a blog called Bikiniologist with friends in high school, but the creative project fizzled out when they went to college. Woram stayed behind in Fort Walton Beach unsure of what to do, she said.

“Me and one of my girlfriends chopped up one of my swimsuits to see if we could make it cheeky because that was the style that was coming in,” Woram said. “We were like, ‘Man, I’m tired of paying $80 for bottoms that literally cover nothing.’”

The first suit was a dud.

“We weren’t even using the right stitch,” Woram said. “I was like, ‘Why doesn’t this stretch?’”

Woram’s mother came to the rescue. Vicki Woram taught her daughter how to thread the machine and use the right stitch for a swimsuit.

“I figured she was wanting to make her own swimsuits to be unique,” Vicki Woram said. “She’s surprised me, and I’m just so happy and proud of her for keeping with it.”

When she first started her Etsy shop, Woram remembers frantically calling her mother when she ran into a problem.

“I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do. The machine is jammed. I’m so frustrated and I need to get this order out,’” Woram said. “I didn’t even know how to work a machine, and I was already selling stuff on Etsy.

"She was like, ‘I can’t help you, I’m at work now, Karrah.’”

Vicki Woram takes credit only for the basics; Woram figured out the rest, she said.

“I would go to work everyday and come home and see the progress she had made,” Vicki Woram said. “It was amazing.”

Now, Vicki Woram helps her daughter cut fabric on the weekends. Woram hopes her mother will someday work for Meraki Swim full time.

“I would love to eventually do that,” Vicki Woram said. “Just mainly because of the quality time I would get to spend with her.”

Like her mother, Woram’s roommate and close friend, Lex Hann, said she loves to hang out with Woram while she’s working. Woram’s dedication impresses Hann, she said.

“I’ve watched her sewing machine break and her go out and buy a part so she can finish making an order that has to be sent out in an hour,” Hann said. “It’s cool that it’s handmade with love.”

Hann has supported Woram's passion since the beginning.

“The fact that she’s being featured by models and the local surf shop, I think that’s the coolest part,” Hann said. “I remember the day she made her first bikini, and she was like, ‘I think I’m going to start doing this.’”

 

MADE WITH SOUL

Woram knows what people want in a swimsuit.

Because she was born and raised by the Gulf of Mexico, Woram has spent nearly half her life in a bikini. Her personal experiences inspire her design.

One of Meraki Swim’s trademarks is reversible swimsuits. This translates as four suits in one because people can mix and match the two sides, she said.

“I’m always in a swimsuit, and I hate the feeling of wearing the same one over and over again,” Woram said. “I loved the idea of being able to switch it up. You can get so much out of it.”

Woram uses a four-way stretch fabric to make swimsuits seamless. The style ensures the suit lies comfortably on the body without squishing or pinching skin.

When people are at the beach or pool, they are supposed to relax and feel comfortable, she said.

“That’s what I intend, to make something that feels like you’re not even wearing anything,” Woram said. “You’re just chilling by the pool in your comfy swimsuit —almost like being in your T-shirt and underwear at home.”

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