Meet Ray and Rebecca Fordham, the founders of Caloosa WaterWear and learn how their passion for design was the beginning of a dream job.
Ray is wearing the Ship Wrecked Performance Ultra Comfort Shirt &
Rebecca is wearing the Mermaid Racerback Tank
Rebecca says, "We love any excuse to tell everyone about Caloosa WaterWear, as as our customer base expands we really get to know what customers want from us. Whether we are receiving an order online, by phone or in person at a "pop up" shop, customers always want to know who we are and how we started...so we are quite happy to share a bit about us."
Rebecca is wearing the women's Pineapple Party Performance Ultra Comfort Shirt
Rebecca, why did you decide to start Caloosa WaterWear?
Caloosa is fulfilling my life-long dream of being able to reach out to people through fashion design. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fashion Design and spent 16 years working for high profile fashion houses, but 6 years ago I decided that I wanted to work for myself. I found a niche in the performance apparel market that was not being met at the time.
Being a small business owner, you have to execute all parts of the job, what is your favorite?
By far, my favorite part of the job is working with customers! I love working on custom projects seeing their ideas come to life. Listening to feedback from customers is very important, negative as well as positive evaluations helps us define what is on the slate for future designs.
What is the question most often asked when working on a custom order?
I think my clients biggest concern is will they be able to see and approve the design before it is printed...and the answer is absolutely YES. Several proofs of the design are sent for customer approval throughout the process. Many times we have a waiting list for custom orders, so I'm always upfront on the wait time and try to deliver before the expected date. All design work and printing is done in our Delray Beach studio.
You can find answers to all of our most Frequently Asked Questions HERE
Ray is wearing the Hammerhead Shark Performance Fishing Shirt
Ray, tell us about your background and role in Caloosa WaterWear.
By trade, I am a finish carpenter and custom cabinet builder with 30+ years of experience, and I also served with the United States Marine Corp. Rebecca will give me an idea of how she wants to display products and I design and build a solution for us. Displays need to be very sturdy and portable for travel to shows.
My official title is Executive VP of Sales, but if you know me, I'm not an official type of guy. I really enjoy talking with the people who visit our "pop up" shop and showing them our products that ultimately lead to doing business together. You will also find me in front of the camera modeling our latest designs and as part of the production team...printing and packing orders.
Ray and Rebecca met in Fort Lauderdale in 1997 and dated for two years before Rebecca moved away to focus on her design career. Losing touch with each other after her move, they ran into each other by chance some 13 years later and were married in 2015. When asked, they feel very lucky to have a second chance to be together and are grateful that each can bring their creativity and talents together to grow Caloosa.
Be sure to join Caloosa WaterWear this season where you can visit the "pop up" shop and meet Ray and Rebecca in person....
Click HERE for our 2019 schedule.