Astrid Pedregal ’07
Co-Founder and CEO, Crasqi
“We are committed to dedicating part of our profits to help change the world.”
Two years after attending the Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp, we sat down with Astrid Pedregal ’07 to talk about the growth of Crasqi, a luxury men’s swimwear brand that she started with her sister in 2012.
Knowing that you had a successful career working in finance for UBS in New York City, what inspired you to start a men’s swimwear company?
In the spring of 2012, I traveled with my boyfriend to the Caribbean, and when we were looking to buy him a swimsuit for the trip, I noticed how few options there were for him. Given that my sister and I have always loved to dress the men in our lives and had always desired to be entrepreneurs, we thought it would be wonderful to start a company that embodies our passion for fashion and gives men more attractive swimwear options.
What makes Crasqi swim shorts unique?
Bright and bold colors, quick-drying Italian fabrics, and vibrant patterns are some of the features that make our swim shorts unique.
My sister, Alex, and I also are very conscious of the impact our decisions have on the world around us. Therefore, when we started Crasqi, we wanted to make sure that our swim shorts were made responsibly. We partnered with a factory in Europe that handcrafts our swim shorts with tons of passion and love. We ensure that those working at the factory make a decent living and are well-compensated for the beautiful work that they do.
What has excited you most about being an entrepreneur and growing your business?
It has been truly wonderful traveling the world and developing partnerships with people across the globe. We feel very lucky to have met so many wonderful people, and we are excited to know that our brand now has a presence in Ibiza, the Bahamas, Dubai, Kuwait, Seychelles, Barcelona, and many other hot spots around the world.
What inspired you to attend Babson’s Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp?
At the time I attended the Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp, my sister and I had already started Crasqi and were finalizing our design and development phase, but I wanted a refresher on the entrepreneurship courses that I had taken when I was an undergrad at Babson. We also were committed to dedicating part of our profits to help change the world, so I used the Boot Camp experience as an opportunity to collaborate with faculty on how to develop a business model that would enable us to successfully partner with nonprofit organizations.
I was very pleased with how many ideas the Babson faculty had about starting businesses committed to sustainable environmental causes, and I really benefited from the back-and-forth discussions that I had with the faculty. At the end, we decided to partner up with 1% for the Planet, an initiative through which we donate 1% of our annual revenue to a network of nonprofits dedicated to protecting the environment.
Given that you have been in business for two years, what would you say has enabled you and Alex to successfully grow Crasqi into an international swimwear brand?
Social media and strong support from friends and family have really put us in a position to grow and support five full-time staff members. We currently have over 12,000 Instagram followers, and we have really enjoyed capturing and sharing the Crasqi story through YouTube and other social media channels, which allow us to connect with our audience.
What should we look forward to seeing from Crasqi in the coming year?
We’re excited about the launch of our new collection this December which was possible thanks to the backers who supported our Kickstarter campaign this past Summer. The collection is named after our most recent adventure, “Project Holbox,” and the campaign will take place on Holbox Island, Mexico, a place full of magic and wonder. Make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to learn more about the new campaign.
View Crasqi’s newest swimwear designs at www.crasqi.com