Women In Business: Everything But Water Creative Director, Sabra Krock
Everything But Water
It's a cold, rainy New York February morning. The sun is nowhere to be seen. It is 40 degrees outside and my umbrella just broke. I look like a beached whale in my UNIQLO puffy jacket but I'm about to enter an oasis. Everything But Water on the surface is a swimsuit company. The walls are adorned in beautiful pieces for spring and summer, organized meticulously by color. But it is obviously more than just swimsuits. Artisan woven bags hang on the walls, hats from local artists are strategically placed next to a photo of a beach. Travel sized goodies are everywhere, sunscreen, texturizing spray, anything you'd need on a tropical trip.
Sabra In Charge
When you enter the Union Square location, you feel at peace, no easy feat in a city that is anything but peaceful. And the store SMELLS good. Beachy citrus flavors waft through the air. I meet with the creative director and co-owner of Everything But Water, Sabra Krock. Adorned in a casual black dress with beautiful yet simple jewelry, she is the real deal. Of course, she is many things; an entrepreneur, a woman, an activist, a mom, it is so apparent that she too, wears many chic hats. We sit down to discuss all things business, giving back, and being a woman in business.
How did you get to where you are today? Did you always have an entrepreneurial goal?
"I did not specifically have a goal to become an entrepreneur - unlike many of my business school classmates during the dot com boom, I was happy to pursue a more traditional path of management consulting and concentrate my time in the consumer goods and retail sector. I loved being part of teams and exposed to new and exciting businesses - it pushed me to learn a lot and hone in on what I was most interested in".
How did you initially get involved with EBW? What were your goals to change/further the brand?
"It was my husband who saw an opportunity to purchase EBW out of bankruptcy and re-invigorate the business. Initially I had no plans to be involved but after about six months, as he likes to recount, he called uncle and realized he needed to couple his finance acumen with my knowledge of branding, consumer insight and operational issues. When we purchased the company, we set out on a long-term plan of re-branding - changing everything from the brand positioning to the imagery to the store design to the website presentation, at the same time as improving back office processes and technology from reporting to the way our distribution center runs. We expanded the offering from primarily swim-focused to resort lifestyle oriented with a balanced selection of resort wear and accessories, and also re-worked the store portfolio to prune and elevate our locations. We are still working on all of the above and continuing to change and evolve with the market".
In the apparel business, specifically swimsuits, how do you create product for all different women?
"We have over 100 designers and a very talented team of merchants with individual experience of up to 30 years who know how to assess quality and fit inside and out. We ensure we buy to an array of different "lifestyles" to ensure a breadth of coverage options and fits.
Our mission is to make women feel confident and beautiful in their swim moment. Our sales associates are highly trained and know how to select pieces that fit and flatter beautifully. The know how to manage the process of finding a suit and as the New York Times noted, create a "sisterly environment" in our stores".
As Creative Director, do you feel you have responsibility to create sustainable swimwear? Be it recycled fabrics, American-made, or ethical branding?
"We have a deep interest and commitment to addressing issues in our industry and in the environment. We select swimwear that is only of the best quality and teach our customers how to properly care for it so that we do our part to minimize waste and churn in fashion. In addition, this spring we will launch our Water is Everything initiative which is a commitment to ocean conservation issues with an initial focus on plastic pollution in the ocean. We will create awareness, raising funds through product sales and having events and activations to support the 5 Gyres Institute whose mission is to end the global health crisis of plastic pollution. We are gearing up for a two-day event in collaboration with the 1 Hotel Miami (where we are opening a store) on April 4 and 5 which will be very exciting. Our initiative includes offering swim brands with recycled content - there are now some amazing fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles and also fishing nets. We have in parallel worked to make many changes at the company around reducing and better re-using or recycling waste.
On the local front one thing I personally focus on is finding and working to develop local brands. I now have a cadre of amazing small up and coming brands, all run by women entrepreneurs, some of whom I've been working with for many years. Finding talented women like this is one of the most fun parts of my job".
The Vitamin A capsule in this exclusive print are made from recycled plastic bottles. When you purchase from the capsule, 25% of proceeds will be donated to the 5 Gyres Institute, an initiative set on eliminating plastic from our oceans.
Purchase the Rash Guard here
Purchase the One Piece Tank here
Purchase the California Tab Side Hipster bottoms here
Purchase the Classic Bra Top here
Purchase the Sliding Triangle Top here
Sabra felt is was important to create something more with Everything But Water. Thus began the Water is Everything a long-term commitment to crises facing our oceans. We want to make it clear that our initiative is long-term and will address ocean issues broadly - 5 Gyres is our first cause partner under the initiative, and focused on plastic pollution, one of the key issues. Launching on March 22nd, World Water Day, Everything But Water has implemented a multi-year partnership with California based 5 Gyres Institute, whose mission is to empower action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, education, and adventure. Together, they will continue to relentlessly pursue science to solutions for a planet free of plastic pollution.
The Water is Everything campaign will raise awareness and take action on the crises facing our ocean including the issue of plastic pollution. As part of the initiative, Everything But Water will help generate awareness and donate to the work the 5 Gyres Institute.
Water is Everything Campaign
If calculated by weight, in 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. That's just one of the scary statistics… there are 51 trillion microplastic particles in the ocean today (500 times more than the number of stars in our galaxy), and plastic in the ocean endangers more than 1,200 species from ingestion or entanglement while contaminating our food supply. From seals with their necks slashed by fishing line, to turtles with straws stuck in their noses, to seabirds who starve to death with their bellies full of plastic, we've seen the danger that plastic pollution poses for animals in the marine environment.
Writer, Nora Ephron lived by the credo 'everything is copy' meaning the good, bad, the ugly of her life was fair game to incorporate in her stories. Do you live by anything similar, a credo, a saying?
"If I were to have a mantra, it's "you've got to be in it to win it" - I try to think big and to not think of all the reasons why something can't or won't come to fruition - many times I'm surprised that motivating to just try or ask is half the battle".