If you’re anything like beach bum and creative visionary Courtney Wilkins, one of your favorite things about living in South Florida is the ability to soak up the sun all year long.
Combine Wilkins’s hydrophilic childhood—she grew up in Tequesta, Hobe Sound and Palm Beach Gardens before basing herself in Fort Lauderdale—with her years spent working as a stewardess in the yachting industry, and you have the ingredients for the kind of creative spark that could only come from the paradise we call home.
Enter Bikinis Over Everything (BOE), the world’s first all-natural swimwear soap formulated specifically to care for designer bikinis and other delicates.
Wilkins’s gentle, environmentally friendly elixir contains organic ingredients like coconut oil, aloe vera, shea butter and sunflower oil, all blended into travel-friendly, recyclable glass bottles and scented with the essence of gardenia (a fragrant touch inspired by her summer spent seaside in Italy).
Why bikini wash? The idea came to Wilkins in the laundry room of a megayacht. On these opulent excursions, yacht owners and guests would send bikinis by Gucci or Dolce & Gabbana to be laundered, but no adequate soap existed for the crew to use on these items. With normal detergents and washes, delicate items like swimsuits can quickly lose their vivid coloring and elasticity.
Wilkins and the rest of the crew would resort to using the European equivalent of baby wash—gentle, sure, but still packed with chemicals that would fade the swimsuits over time.
Wilkins saw a hole in the market and decided that with her own personal obsession with designer swimwear and experience handling the delicate materials, she was the perfect person to fill it.
“All these delicate pieces were getting brought into laundry, but we didn’t have something to care for swimwear,” she says. “Everyone I speak to doesn’t know what to do when they wear their swimsuits. They just rinse it off in the shower [or] throw it in the washing machine, and then wonder in a few months why it doesn’t look as nice. There’s a bunch of uncertainty about how to care for these materials.”
Her solution? “I researched how to make a gentle soap, and I realized that I have the capacity to make this soap pretty easily.” Thus, BOE was born.
Wilkins relied on her background in graphic design and her years spent in and around the water to formulate BOE. One of her main priorities was ensuring the wash would do no harm to the environment. The ingredients are organic and earth-friendly, and every element of the packaging is recyclable and reusable.
“It just feels better,” Wilkins says. “I always feel bad about contributing to the plastic island that we currently have in our ocean. [Growing up, my brother and I] were always in the water, even if it was just in our pool in our backyard, or if we were swimming in the ocean at Juno Beach or driving around the Inlet on the boat. I think I always had a love for being outside, being in the sun and being a water baby.”
In just a few short months (the idea for BOE came to Wilkins during summer 2017), BOE products have expanded to retailers all over Florida and the Northeast. Locals can pick up a bottle for themselves at area surf shops, including Rad Reserve Surf in Tequesta, Blueline Surf & Paddle in Jupiter, Montce Swim in Fort Lauderdale and Maheli Heli in Miami.
Though she’ll keep her emphasis on sustainability, the sunkissed entrepreneur isn’t stopping at bikini wash. She plans to grow BOE into the must-have bikini accessory brand, pointing out that unlike other high-ticket items, designer bikinis aren’t typically sold with a care kit or any sort of accessory. That’s why, next, Wilkins plans to dive into crafting swimsuit storage pouches or carrying cases. She hopes to partner with major swimwear brands by providing swimwear care products for them to send out with every purchase.
“I’ve just always believed that if you put something good out there, something good will come.”
To find out more information about BOE, or to purchase the soap, visit bikinisovereverything.com.
Photos courtesy of Anne Podlecki
Want to keep up to date with all the best events happening throughout The Palm Beaches? Sign up for our Society Sightings newsletter, which delivers a list of 30+ events in your inbox once a month. Interested in a print subscription? Click here.