How This Local Mum Launched A Kids Swimwear Empire!

Have you heard of Tribe Tropical?

Ebony Reeves

13 December 2018

Ebony Reeves

Article heading image for How This Local Mum Launched A Kids Swimwear Empire!

Tribe Tropical

We LOVE everything about summer, from long days at the beach to lazy afternoons by the poolside.

And now you can enjoy all of the best parts of the season without worrying if your kids are protected from the sun, thanks to local Bargara mum-of-2 Emily Gradon, who just last month launched a swimwear label for kids, focused on sun safety, affordability, and quality. 


Emily revealed that the idea of Tribe Tropical was created as she struggled as a mother "to find long-sleeved one piece suits for kids (and adults!) in a mid-range that were appealing and unique", as well as accessories like wide-brimmed swim hats to protect her daughters - Anelise and Lilia - from the sun. 

Conducting her own research, Emily found that while prices were cheaper at large chain stores, the quality and uniqueness of the pieces were underwhelming, whereas higher end kids swimsuits ended up costing close to $100.

So how did she turn her vision into a reality? It certainly wasn't an overnight process! Emily spent hours researching, emailing, designing, contacting suppliers, marketing, and more, all while juggling her 'mum life'. 

But months of hard work have finally paid off, with a gorgeous swimwear line inspired by the tropical scenes of her childhood in Papua New Guinea and Cairns, as well as other destinations she has lived and visited over the years. 

When I started designing the patterns I was looking at using flamingos but then decided on cockatoos and galahs to keep the patterns even more unique and Australian, which I'm very proud to be! I also wanted to take people to a magical place through the patterns; I want people to feel the resort, laid-back, holiday vibe of places like the Whitsundays and Bargara when they see the suits.

- Emily Gradon to Triple M

The suits have been a HUGE hit among the local and wider community, with Emily claiming to have been "blown away by the response". Two local businesses have even allowed her stock to be sold in their venues, giving locals the opportunity to feel the soft fabrics in person and allowing them to gain trust in the brand, something Emily believes is very important.


This inspiring local mum also has the belief that anyone can follow their dreams with a little hard work, adding, "If you have the passion, persistence and perseverence, and of course the support from loved ones, then you can get there!"

My journey has only just begun, so hopefully I, too, take my own advice and persist on... Like anything it takes time, courage and belief so you just have to push on and keep remembering why you started!

- Emily Gradon to Triple M

You can check out the adorable swimwear and accessories at

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