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Fayetteville-based branding agency BLKBOXLabs realized that while this may be a reality for people in certain parts of the country, there’s a whole other culture built around the water that exists in places nowhere near California, Florida, or The Caribbean.
Instead of sand and surf, there exists a culture that is built around rope swings and swimming holes in creeks, rivers, and streams. It’s a culture more about weekends at the lake with friends and family than it is about string bikinis on Miami beach.
Just a little under a year ago, the company launched a new swimwear brand called Southern Swim that so far is resonating with folks that – while no where near the coast – are far from landlocked around the lakes and streams in middle America.
BLKBOXLabs did not set out to start a swimwear company.
Founded by former Rockfish Interactive creative director Joey Nelson in December of 2012, the company began as (and still is) a place that planned to help local companies build interesting brands.
“After (Rockfish) got bought, I wanted to get back into focusing on quality and craftsmanship of work,” Nelson said. “I felt like Northwest Arknasas needed a craftsman-type shop for branding and digital work.”
The company began working for several local, regional, and national clients, creating work for recognizable local brands like Onyx Coffee Labs, Ozark Beer Company, and others.
It wasn’t long, though, before the company decided it was time to experiment with building its own brand.
“Some of the guys on the team had come from Acumen and had a background in e-commerce,” Nelson said. “We were doing all this branding for everyone else, and we thought it’d be sweet to do our own project.”
“We started throwing around ideas, and Southern Swim was born,” Nelson said. …
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