Dylan Patterson may have just graduated from Southern Methodist University, but she's already putting her business degree to good use.
This summer, the budding entrepreneur is realizing a longtime dream by launching Born From A Wave, a collection of eco-conscious swimwear.
“Growing up in Florida, I always had a love and appreciation for the water,” says Patterson. “I quickly discovered a passion for swimwear but couldn’t find a brand that encompassed everything I wanted: versatile, ethically made swimwear with a social cause.”
Patterson graduated in May 2019 from SMU, where she studied business and entrepreneurship and fashion media. The designer says she was inspired to found her own company by the "strong female leaders" who surrounded her at SMU.
Realizing her own potential, she got serious about creating a swimwear line. She now manages the Born From A Wave brand full time and oversees all aspects of design, creative production, fabric selection, and more.
"I basically grew up in a bathing suit and always had a passion for finding new brands," she says, "so I thought, 'Why couldn't I start my own swimwear brand?'"
Wanting to offer a sustainable alternative to standard offerings, Patterson spent hours researching manufacturers and fabric suppliers around the globe.
Eventually, she found a winner with a material made in Italy of recycled plastic that's been reclaimed from the ocean.
“I’ve always cared about protecting our coastlines from environmental waste,” says Patterson. “So when I realized how much waste is produced by the fashion industry, I knew that I had to do my part and make Born From A Wave as environmentally friendly as I could.”
Vibrant colors and a playful citrus print pay homage to Patterson's home state, where the brand is based.
Cuts are influenced by Patterson’s personal style, evoking silhouettes of the late ’60s and early ’70s.
Inclusivity is a pillar of the brand, and Patterson strives to offer silhouettes for all body types and personalities. Her goal, she says, is for Born From A Wave to be a swimwear line women can look at and see themselves in.
Eventually, Patterson would like to develop a complementary accessories collection. But for now, she's happy to be hitting her stride as a new business owner.
“I hope that I inspire other people to try and live more sustainable lives by choosing brands and products that actually care about the environment," she says. "I also hope that I can be an example to other young women to follow their dreams and to not be afraid of starting their own businesses.”
The collection is available online in sizes ranging from XS to L and priced $70-$200.