OLEAN — As young girls, sisters Olivia and Noelle Anzivine of Olean loved drawing pictures of clothes in their sketchbooks.
After Olivia and Noelle graduated from Olean High School in 2016 and 2017, respectively, both studied different careers, but never gave up their love for clothing design. That is until the pandemic hit last year when the sisters traveled to the family cabin during spring break and quarantined from college. It was during that time in March of 2020 they began designing swimwear at the cabin where there were few distractions.
What they came up with was a line of bathing suits for women that is being manufactured by their new swimwear line, Makai Swim, which was officially launched last week.
Olivia Anzivine, who studied business and graduated from SUNY Fredonia, now works for a company in security and compliance. Her sister currently attends SUNY Fredonia where she is studying media management.
“Since we were little we’ve drawn in sketchbooks and designed clothes,” Olivia Anzivine said. “We always wanted to do this, but we never ended up going to school for it … but I’ve always wanted to go into business, that’s always been my dream.”
That dream is not all that far-fetched, as the sisters are the daughters of an entrepreneurial family that owns Swatt Baking Company in Olean. Their father, Leonard, owns Swatt Baking with their uncle, Lee Anzivine.
Their aunt, Lynn Anzivine, is well-known in the community for her founding of the successful non-profit, The Pink Pumpkin Project, which helps people who are fighting breast cancer.
As for Makai Swim, Olivia Anzivine said their swimwear for women consists of a quality line of items made in a unique manner.
“Everything is made 100 percent in the United States with recycled materials,” she said, noting the swimwear is made by manufacturers in the country. The high-quality items are comparable in price to other swimwear and uniquely designed for women.
“Our second collection is coming out this summer,” she added. “We’re just going to keep building from there, and we’re going to include a men’s line.”
Olivia and Noelle’s mother, Kay Anzivine, also commented on her daughters’ business.
“I’m very proud of Olivia and Noelle and what they have accomplished, starting their own online business, Makai Swim LLC,” she said. “They’ve done an amazing job at designing their own swim line. They’ve always been kind of nonconformists, one of the things I love about their personalities. They’ve always had a passion for fashion and said they were going to start their own business, so why not in something they love. They always said ‘we’re not going to wait for it to happen, we’re going to make it happen.’”
Kay Anzivine noted her daughters “have always been high-spirited and independent, creative and confident.
“They are not intimidated by anything,” she continued. “I’ve always been very impressed with their tenacity.”
She noted her daughters never used the words “can’t, won’t or fail, only, what’s our next move, our next stage for Makai Swim,” as well as how they could improve on the business they started and how they could get better at what they do.
Kay Anzivine said another important factor for her daughters was to make sure their swim line would be made in America.
In looking back, Kay Anzivine said her daughters have always been inseparable.
“I knew that one day they would end up creating together,” she remarked. “They actually started a fashion portfolio when they were in elementary school and still have it. When Noelle was 9, she had me buy her some material. She cut out a design and had me sew buttons on it. She actually wore it to a football game as a shirt.”