Peer Portraits: Kyle Kaminsky, Bather
Kyle Kaminsky is the Toronto based founder of Bather. We caught up with Kyle recently to hear about the early days of the brand, tips for working from home, and timeless advice from his mom.
We’d love to know more about your background, upbringing and the road that brought you to where you are now, personally and professionally.
I grew up in a family of artists and entrepreneurs. My dad had his own business and my mom was an artist. I had some artistic ability but I was always sort of in the shadow of my brother who is an insanely talented artist. I was really good at math and regularly found myself starting part time businesses in my spare time. From cleaning cars to selling home theaters I was always coming up with weird ways to make a bit of cash. After uni / a lot of weed smoking, I became really interested in photography. I started a music blog and shot concerts. I made a ton of connections in the industry and slowly found myself transitioning into fashion photography. This coupled with a love for travel and the ocean, spearheaded the idea to start a swimwear brand.
Tell us about the name, Bather.
The company actually started as Bather Trunk Company which was way too long. Once we acquired the bather.com and social handles the transition to a shorter name was kind of inevitable. I also think that Bather has the ability to be more of a lifestyle brand where as previously we could really only make trunks. We've since introduced a bunch of new products like hats, shirts, totes with a bunch more in the pipeline.
What is something you believe everyone should experience in their life?
The first thing that comes to mind is travel. Seems kind of obvious but something like half of the US population doesn't even have a passport. The other thing I would say is mushrooms - everyone needs to do mushrooms.
What was your favorite moment today and do you have any favourite grounding rituals?
I'm writing this in quarantine so today is not necessarily a typical day haha. But I'm working on new designs for 2021 which is always fun.
Tell us about your working from home essentials. How are you coping with this new reality?
When I started Bather I actually worked out of my home so this isn't completely new to me. One thing that is so important is routine. You need to literally map out your entire day otherwise you lose control fast. I can be on a conference call at 10am and by 10:10 I'm doing the laundry and mopping the floors. If you have a structured routine it's a lot easier to turn your home into an office. Music is a necessity.
What advice can you give to young creatives in and out of the current context of the virus?
The best advice I can give is just don’t give up. You will have a thousand roadblocks, a ton of people telling you your idea isn't good, so many failures. It sounds cliched, but all these problems are what will shape you and your vision in the end. The year I launched Bather I started with 4 printed designs. We sent the designs to the fabric printer, paid for them in full. Weeks later when I received the fabrics 2 of the 4 designs were garbage, completely unusable. I remember after receiving them calling my mom like 'everything’s fucked, I can't do this, I don't know what to do' and she responded calmly and said ' stop being a little bitch and figure it out'. I regularly look back at that moment and think about how my whole life would have been different had she not said that. Just don't give up!