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Kady Decker, left, and Lindsay Lancaster.

Image: Logan Dillard

Bradenton native Lindsay Lancaster, along with her business partner Kady Decker, is the co-owner of Kay & Elle, a new swimsuit line that embodies a unique style of trendy, vibrant bikinis, one-pieces and apparel; she also owns Pure Barre Sarasota. With summer and swimsuit season officially upon us, we asked Lindsay to give us insight into her new line and the story behind Kay & Elle’s strong vision.

How did Kay & Elle start?

In the summer of 2015. [My business partner and best friend, Kady, and I] both just needed to get away, so we booked a trip to Costa Rica. We found ourselves in a small beach town with no distractions and nothing but time, which we weren't used to. And since we’re both bathing suit lovers, we started taking this "adventure" of ours more seriously.

How did you and Kady meet?

Kady and I met at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, during my sophomore year in 2004. We have always had a special connection that is easy and loyal. Since we first met, [our friendship] has been something truly special.

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Image: Logan Dillard

What about Costa Rica inspired you to create Kay & Elle?

Our trip allowed us to assess what we wanted. Being away from our crazy day-to-day lives and embracing the Costa Rican lifestyle allowed us to breathe, take a second and look at the bigger picture. We had time to just be, think and process, which allowed us to be more open to [making Kay & Elle a reality]. We also wanted to live the same attitude we embraced in Costa Rica—to be open, be raw, be honest to yourself and do what you love. That’s really what inspired our first collection—its name is Raw. We are creating and designing everything for women who want to feel this rawness.

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Image: Logan Dillard

How did you go about designing the swimwear and where is it manufactured?

Kady and I designed each piece ourselves, down to the last detail. We did our first creative and design session in Malibu. All of our pieces are made in the United States, and our manufacturer is based in Los Angeles. Our first collection has eight tops, eight bottoms and two one-pieces; they’re made of recycled moss (79 percent recycled poly and 21 percent spandex).

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Image: Logan Dillard

How has owning Pure Barre intersected with your vision for Kay & Elle?

Being surrounded by such strong women at Pure Barre has inspired us to keep inventing new ways to keep everything fresh. Pure Barre has deepened our insight on building relationships with women of all personalities, with the common thread of wanting to feel beautiful.

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Image: Logan Dillard

What has the response been like?

We have had a great response--we launched mid-May and we have been so happy with our sales and how our dream has taken off. Next we’ll be headed south for Miami Swim Week on July 14. Kay & Elle is in the opening show at the W Hotel, and we are also excited to be showcasing our next three upcoming collections at the Hammock Trade Show, as well.

For more information, or to purchase, visit www.kayandellethreads.com.

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