Pronunciation: KOI (Japanese Fish)
KOUII® is a women-owned and women-run athleisure wear & loungewear USA-based company. KOUII is Known for their famous “Athlounge®” products and styles. All KOUII ATHLOUNGE® products, apparel, and accessories are imported from Indonesia and designed/assembled in the USA. Founded in a college dorm room in July of 2019, by 21 year old Taylor Smith with just only $269.
KOUII® began its journey in Grand Rapids, MI, and relocated to Naples, FL in January of 2020. While going to school full time and waitressing at a local restaurant, Taylor created and built KOUII on the side. Although, KOUII was not Taylor’s first business venture.
At 19, after sewing together her first bathing suit, Taylor started her first ever dropshipping business “OTAESwim” that sold cheaper priced luxury bathing suits. At 20 she started a private label CBD oil business called “Emerald Pure”. All while still in her dorm room, both failed miserably. Finally, at 21, after using her last $269, KOUII was born.
KOUII started very small - using an iphone for photography, roommates as models, parking garages as a place to get content for instagram, and the extra cash from the restaurant to put towards more inventory. She had just enough left to pay the $30 website fee each month.
"I didn't have attractive packaging, branding, labels, inventory, hangtags, or anything really.I just knew I needed to sell whatever I had as fast as possible in order to get the money from them, so I could buy more”. Very little money came with a lot of work. "I knew leg work was free so I just did absolutely everything myself in order to make things work”. Although this became daunting, knowing the business like the back of her hand, paid off. “I was forced to learn every single aspect of the business since I didnt have any money to pay anyone to help me, not even myself".
While wearing all of the hats, Taylor was forced to learn web creation and web design, photography and editing, marketing, advertising, ordering and managing inventory, managing cash flow, dealing with suppliers with heavy language barriers, creating and designing products, shipping and packaging orders, while still finding new customers, keeping current customers happy, going to school, going to work, on top of learning the game of “business” in general.
After 3 years of working full time as a server, moving across the country, starting over, trying to get KOUII off the ground, managing highs and lows, KOUII was still lacking a “team”. Being forced out of her comfort zone, Taylor learned a key skill in building a business. She began to make connections. While not just making connections, she learned how to water them.
In 2021, KOUII officially trademarked their name "KOUII" as well as "ATHLOUNGE" which consist of the products and styles they are known for. In 2022, our team of 6 in-house individuals, and 2 remote teams, were established.