A lifelong love of water sports and a desire to give back led 16-year-old Lexi Covey to create a swimwear line with a portion of the proceeds destined for a Chicago charity.
The incoming junior at St. Viator High School sells each suit for $60, with 15 percent of the proceeds benefitting the Union League Boys & Girls Clubs.
“We have 1,000 suits. If we sell all of them, we will make about $60,000 and want to donate 15 percent of that to charity,” Covey said.
The Covey family has a long history of supporting the Union League Boys & Girls Club.
“My grandparents were very involved before they passed away and that’s how I decided on that organization,” Covey said.
There are four styles of bikinis, which Covey sketched herself. With her parents’ encouragement, she found a production house and the suits are now made by Sweenie Manufacturing in New York. Covey and her mother have been filling many orders from the Chicago area, but recently have had more customers from out of state.
Covey first attended public school then switched to St. Viator in Arlington Heights.
“The Catholic School community really helped me want to get more involved in service and helping others,” Covey said.
The idea to raise money by selling swimsuits began about a year ago. The Water Vibe Bikinis site went live this past May; one of her teachers even helped with the copy editing.
“I talked to my teacher and said I needed help," Covey said. "She looked it over and said she was really proud; she has been really supportive.”
Covey recruited friends to model the swimwear found on the site. They have also been key to word of mouth advertising, plus posts on social media.
Her summer job at Gordy’s Marina in Fontana, Wis., also provides Covey with opportunity to wear various styles while working on the pier.
“I love swimsuits. There are so many styles I like and I like putting my own twist on them,” Covey said.