Mallory Pruitt is the young female entrepreneur who is building a swimwear brand centering self-empowerment. As the founder and CEO of MAL SWIM, a female swimwear brand, Pruitt is using the lessons she learned on her own personal self-empowerment journey in order to help other women with their confidence. As a young 21-year-old entrepreneur, Pruitt is not only able to directly relate to her target audience on a design level, but she is also keenly aware of the beauty standards immortalized by the fashion industry. Pruitt believes that, more often than not, the swimwear industry, unfortunately, leaves women feeling vulnerable. Mallory Pruitt is flipping the script; by launching MAL SWIM in May of 2019, Pruitt is using swimwear to empower females to feel confident in their own skin.
Pruitt is the perfect person to run a swimwear brand focused on female self-empowerment because of her keen design eye, her deep emotional intelligence, and her understanding of unfair beauty standards. Even at the young age of seven, Pruitt knew she had a future in design. Ever since she received her first sketchpad for Christmas, she fell in love with expressing herself; this quickly evolved into a fondness and a skill for design. Due to her own struggles with self-confidence and body insecurity, Pruitt began designing pieces that made her feel confident and empowered.
Pruitt realized that this was her calling and settled on swimwear precisely because it typically has the ability to either make women feel very insecure or supremely empowered. Pruitt astutely points out that with the increasing popularity of social media, unfair beauty standards get perpetuated at an extremely fast rate and it is very easy to find oneself unfairly judging and comparing oneself to others. Pruitt states, “I think swimwear specifically leaves many feeling quite vulnerable. Especially in this day and age with social media, in particular, being so prevalent we have ample opportunity to compare ourselves to one another. It’s unfortunate. It’s really important to feel good in your own skin.”
This is personal for Pruitt. Of course, she is concerned with the success of her company, but she is more concerned with the purpose behind the business. Before Pruitt embarked on this new entrepreneurial endeavor, she worked as a model and experienced the effects of these unrealistic pressures firsthand. Pruitt has noted that her own history dealing with body dysmorphia is one of her main motivations for getting into swimwear design and for launching a body-positive brand. Further, Pruitt saw many of her peers suffer from the same issues. For these reasons, Pruitt is not only focused on how her brand presents body image to potential customers, but she is also extremely cautious and thoughtful with how her models are treated.
As a young entrepreneur, Pruitt feels an extreme sense of connection to the other members of her generation; she also understands exactly what young females who are over-saturated with unfair beauty standards on social media are going through because she goes through it herself. This is precisely why she wants to take her generation’s more inclusive understanding of self-love and body positivity and flip the swimwear and fashion industries on their heads. Pruitt affirms, “I design things that make me feel good and strong and confident. I want to give other women the confidence to do so as well. I want them to know that no one is the same and it is crucial to be yourself. I want them to know that they are good enough. That’s my whole premise behind MAL SWIM.”
The success of MAL SWIM is a testament to the strength of Pruitt’s operating thesis. By actively fighting against old industry habits and unfair beauty standards Pruitt is not only growing a successful brand, but she is also empowering young females and moving the social discourse towards a better understanding of self-love.
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