The Journey to Set Sail

The Journey to Set Sail

Well…It’s Launch Day! This collection has been on my heart for years, and I’m so excited to finally release it. From the first day I dreamed about Surfly to now, I am filled with gratitude for the amount of constant support from friends, family, my community, and beyond.

The Beginning

I started Surfly in 2021 with a vision to create something special. While I initially dreamed of diving straight into custom manufacturing, I took a different route so that I could build the brand vision while soaking up knowledge about the industry before fully investing. I launched in small batches, buying small quantities of blanks and embroidering them myself. Now, after years of R&D, we’re launching a full cut-and-sew lounge and active collection.


A lot of my inspiration for this collection began when I studied abroad in Florence, Italy in summer of 2022. I was in awe of the character of the cities: from unique palaces that each housed famous art and sculptures, to the care that was put into the cuisine, to the way people cared about how they dressed, but in a way that was natural and beautiful and effortless. Everywhere you looked was something you hadn’t seen–it was drenched in history and culture. Every square inch of each building held a story.

Everywhere I traveled there was more art and culture: the beaches of Cinque Terre were styled with bright orange striped umbrellas and mint green Chaise lounge chairs, lined by the bright aqua water and dark sand. The mountaintops, grassy fields, and fresh air of Switzerland gave me an appreciation for the craftsmanship of our Creator. 

Then, there was the lifestyle. To-go coffee cups are frowned upon–if you grab a morning coffee, you are expected to sit in the cafe and savor every sip. Nothing was rushed. I remember on my first day of class I gave myself some extra time to find my classroom, and 30 extra minutes eventually turned into me panting and revisiting the same street 3x and trying to talk to Italians and show them the address of my class. They laughed at me while I panicked. And I ended up getting to class right on time every other day, while my teacher was always at least 10 minutes late. I loved it.

I drew inspiration from artisan shops on every corner with designers who crafted unique woven sun hats, silk scarves, leather shoes, linen embroidered bags, and even custom binded books and journals. They felt such purpose and passion in their craft, but work wasn’t their world. They had fun, too. Creativity and self-expression was their second nature.

I fell in love with a store called LUISA VIA ROMA. It was the essence of styled luxury and class. It wasn’t flashy, but it was cool. I got to see their summer display, and I was just on the cusp of getting to see their fall display before I left. From poplin shirts paired with boxy denim, to long dresses styled with a bright chunky necklace and a chic ribbon-lined fedora. It was comfortable and loungey, but elevated. It added to my admiration that there was a cafe on the top with boujee snacks and beverages. AND, it was the only place I could find an iced matcha. 

I selected the school because I knew they had a fashion program. I took “Fashion Illustration,” and I got to learn the mechanics of hand-drawing fashion flats and figures for the first few weeks. Our final project was to flesh out an entire line. While the class was mainly centered around high-fashion runway pieces, my professor allowed me to create a loungewear, activewear, and swimwear collection called “Coastal Bliss.” 

Our first task was to gather inspiration from online sources and create a mood board for the collection. Then, I spent hours going through seasons and seasons of fashion magazines to cut out pieces from which we draw inspiration. Then, I designed, refined, and orchestrated the full collection. 

Research and Development

Coming back from Italy, I felt energized and ready to delve into researching how to start a clothing line. I met with mentors and shared with them my ideas, and researched the manufacturing process for hours upon hours, soaking in every detail of the industry while also enjoying the remainder of my time at Carolina.

Post graduation in May 2023, I traveled to trade shows, textile expos, and interviewed dozens of mills and factories until I found the ones that were a perfect fit for this collection.

I started development late summer of 2023, cycled through many fit samples until the adjustments were minor, and proceeded with production in November. 

When I received the final samples, I was SO excited. It was so surreal to touch, feel, and wear the pieces that originated as thoughts in my head. Illustrations and dreams were becoming reality.

Collection I: SET SAIL

I wanted my first collection to embody the coastal lifestyle, without being just another swimwear or loungewear brand that you see in surf shops. I had this dream to create activewear pieces that were made with fabrics that could also be worn in the ocean. The idea was transitional active and lounge pieces, with the opportunity to expand into swim and resort wear.

First, I sourced fabrics. I found an activewear fabric that was both soft and durable, functional but still had that lounge feel. As I designed each piece, I drew inspiration from the concept of sailing. I mimicked the stitching and angles of the sails on the Sail Short. I added sharp angles to the sports bra. The fabric we selected is made from recycled water bottles from the ocean, has UV protection, is quick-dry, and moisture wicking.

I knew I wanted to source 100% Cotton for the loungewear. I searched for the highest quality fabric for lounge. I found the most luxurious fabric for the hoodie: A fabric that would keep you warm and only get better with time. It was the only unisex piece in the collection, so I made sure to design it in a way that is flattering for both men and women. I added a drop shoulder, tight cuffs so they don’t fall down when you roll them up, a roomy kangaroo pocket, and finished with a big hood. It’s a hoodie that will definitely be a core piece in Surfly’s development.

I wanted to design a lounge short that was flattering on everyone. We ended up having to change the fabric for this one right before production, but I love it even more than the original! After the first sample, I decided to use the Terry Loop side on the outside of this short. The Loop Short was born! Also an ode to the Wrightsville Beach Loop, and a reflection of the active beach lifestyle in Wrightsville. The Loop Short is wide on the leg for extra comfort–this gives some length to the legs. I kept the inseam on the shorter side so that they don’t swallow you. Finished with a drawstring and pockets, with the option to style them inside out for a smoother texture and different look!

Designing this collection was a dream come true, and I can’t wait to receive your feedback for future collections. I want this brand to grow with its audience, and this is only the beginning! All the glory to God.




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Congratulations Lindsay! Love your story and your products! I learned about you while visiting the Southend Surfshop in Wrightsville beach. The quality is amazing and the designs are constructed to perfection! Wishing you all the best on this adventure! Looking forward to future purchases as the collection expands!

Dawn Borden

Lindsay ..,I read every word and know your success will
be endless ! Congratulations

Margaret Roderick

We’re so proud of you, Lindsay! My degree is in Fashion Merchandising and your journey made me smile. Hard work pays off! Your collection is beautiful, hun! Congratulations!

Janet Clark

Love all the detail in your story & your brand! Congratulations!!🎉

Kimsey Shanks

You are amazing and I know you have poured so much into this amazing brand! Congratulations!!!!🎉

Denise Cochrane

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