Sisters’ Start-Up Makes A Splash

Women have hundreds of color and style options when it comes to swimwear. Men’s poolside options, however, are far more limited. Sisters Astrid and Alex Pedregal set out to change that when they founded Crasqí in 2012 in Miami. Astrid’s background in business and Alex’s experience in the film industry gave the two a perfect foundation to create the successful and innovative men’s swimwear business. In addition to giving men options, they’re giving back to the environment by donating one percent of their annual revenue to nonprofit One Percent For the Planet.

Astrid (left) and Alex (right) Pedregal, founders of Crasqí.
Astrid (left) and Alex (right) Pedregal, founders of Crasqí.

What inspired you to start a men’s swimwear company?
Astrid: We talked about starting our own company for years and were constantly brainstorming and looking for opportunities. One day while on vacation in the Caribbean with my boyfriend, I realized that men have so few options when it comes to swimwear, especially in the luxury sector.
Alex: We decided to create a luxury men’s swimwear brand that is strongly connected to art. We use quick-dry, lightweight fabrics from Italy and combine them with vibrant patterns that are all inspired in art.

How would you describe each of your roles at Crasqí? Are you strictly collaborative or do you divide and conquer?
Alex: When you look at the diagram of the right and left sides of the brain, that’s us. I have lots of creative and visual skills—everything from photography and video to choosing the fabrics and designing the patterns. And Astrid is more business-oriented. As the leader of the team, she focuses on strategy and communication, team management, and overseeing the company.

Why did you decide to make giving to charity a part of your business model?
Astrid: Social responsibility has always been important to us and it is becoming a prerequisite in today’s business world. We’re committed to having a positive impact on the planet through our brand, and our customers, followers, and fans are all for that. People are more driven to work for and with you if you’re able to demonstrate the ways in which your company is giving back to the community or supporting the environment. Our philosophy has not only brought us personal fulfillment, but also increased our consumer base.

How have you used social media to promote Crasqí?
Alex: We’re able to frequently connect with our audience and transmit through imagery and videos what the Crasqí lifestyle and philosophy are all about. We use our social media channels constantly to inspire our audience. We’re currently active on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Who are your role models?
Astrid: Our dear friend Maickel Melamed is one of our mentors and a very valuable role model. Maickel was born with generalized muscular hypotonia but has not let that hold him back in any way. He started running marathons a few years ago and has competed in marathons in Berlin, New York City, and Chicago and is globally recognized for his tenacity. He emboldens us to tirelessly chase our dreams through his book Si Lo Sueñas, Haz Que Pase. Maickel says, “if you dream it, you can make it happen,” and we are inspired by that every day.

Another instrumental role model is Tony Hsieh from Zappos, especially when it comes to customer service and company culture. And back when we were defining our social responsibility model, Blake Mycoskie from Toms Shoes was a great source of inspiration through his book Start Something That Matters.