Candice Swanepoel talks about Tropic of C for Enthusiast Report


In the dynamic world where fashion meets business acumen, few stories shine as brightly as that of Candice Swanepoel. From gracing the world’s most coveted runways to charting a remarkable trajectory as a savvy entrepreneur, Swanepoel’s evolution resonates as an inspiring testament to the power of unwavering passion and relentless determination. The story of Candice is one of an extraordinary journey where a supermodel dared to redefine success, transitioning seamlessly from the glamorous world of fashion to the challenging realm of entrepreneurship. Swanepoel’s remarkable voyage underscores the age-old adage that dreams are achievable through dedication, showcasing the embodiment of aspiration turned into remarkable reality.

Candice, you have a swimwear brand, correct?

Yes! It’s called Tropic of C, and we launched it five years ago! It’s a sustainable lifestyle brand, which I dreamt up about seven years ago. It’s been such a joy to take on this new role in my life.

Tell me a little about the brand.

I’ve been modeling for about 20 years and was mostly known for Victoria’s Secret Swimwear. Because of this, it felt the most organic to start my business within this space. Victoria’s Secret had stopped doing swim, so, I thought, “okay, now’s the time.” We’ve since expanded into other categories, and my dream is to continue growing. It’s a continuation of my legacy that I built for 20 years. I think about everything I’ve sacrificed to get to where I am now. I was never going to put out a product I wasn’t proud of or that I didn’t know where it was coming from and how it was made. The sustainability aspect was also very important to me. When we started, sustainability and swimwear didn’t coexist. Many other companies have since jumped on the sustainability bandwagon. It’s kind of now becoming the norm. I feel proud that we were one of the pioneers in that category.

Have you always wanted to go into business?

I never thought I’d start my own business. I think people in the fashion industry don’t know how political and business-minded you must be to be successful. I’ve learned a lot from that experience. Tropic of C was born from my desire to have a creative outlet to share everything I’ve learned over the years. I want it to cater to women like me that are multifaceted. I’m a mother; I’m in fashion; I’m a businesswoman. It’s for the woman that wants to be chic, on the go, and practical.

Why the name Tropic of C?

I didn’t want to directly connect the brand to my name because I wanted it to be its own entity. My vision for Tropic of C was that you are always transported to a place with an eternal summer when you wear it. I’m a very curious person, so I love to travel to amazing places and discover new cultures. Tropic of C became more of a place than a brand in my mind.

Do you feel that you’re living the American dream now with your business and with your career? Is it everything you expected?

I don’t love the term American Dream because anyone can create their own dream wherever they are. I will say that the United States has this entrepreneurial mindset that allows people to really lean into their vision, no matter how crazy an idea may be or how hard it might be to build it. I think there’s so many people from all over the world that come here for that exact reason—no matter the industry. It’s this melting pot of talent, which I think is what enables the American dream to happen.

What has been your biggest hurdle in business that you’ve had to overcome?

I’ve had to better understand and learn my power and strengths but also admit when I don’t know and need to ask for guidance.

So, what’s your superpower then?

I’d say it’s not leading with dollar signs. Tropic of C has never been about a pretty picture or selling product. That’s never been my motivation to start a company. Instead, the support has grown organically through the community and the fans over the years, which in turn has created something so special for this brand. It resonates with them in a different way because I like to create this emotion through imagery and take them on a journey.

How involved are you on the day to day with Tropic of C?

I’m very involved in all the aspects of the business. For me, it’s important to always know what’s happening. I love to evolve and learn, which was one of the driving forces as well for starting this company. When I first launched, maybe I wasn’t an expert, but I knew I could become one. I’ve been fortunate to be steered in the right direction and have surrounded myself with an A team of professionals who are experts in their specific roles.

What advice would you give to young women and men wanting to get into business or fashion? What advice would you give them for them to reach their dreams?

Starting a business is not for everyone. I would say believe in your idea and mission relentlessly and have a reason for your business. My reason to start Tropic of C was never driven by fame or making money, and I think people see the passion is there. They feel how much I believe in what I’m doing, and how happy it makes me to see my community enjoying the product.

Where do you see Tropic of C in the next three to five years?

I would love to see Tropic of C really establish itself in the lifestyle area by expanding into more categories such as motherhood and clean beauty. Above all, I hope to continue growing our community and being able to reach these women that I get such beautiful reactions from.

What is the legacy that you’d like to leave behind on this planet?

I want people to remember me as somebody that cared about humanity and the planet. Someone that was always kind and that was always hard working. Hopefully I’ve influenced people to be better in whatever they’re doing. I’m not changing the world with my business, but I’m inspiring other businesses to be better. I’m inspiring people to be more conscious of what they’re buying. I’m inspiring my children to be hard workers and to go after their dreams. That’s my legacy.



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