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The Hustle

Name: Jon and LA Newsome (NautiGirl Beachwear)

Posted By Megan Holmes

In search of that perfect beach look? Look no further. Nestled in the heart of downtown's Sundial St. Pete is local treasure NautiGirl Beachwear. Founded by Jon and LA Newsome, NautiGirl offers selectively curated beachwear from local companies, and sought-after brands from the couple's travels around the world visiting beaches, boats and sandbars galore. The Newsomes also offer their own premiere NautiGirl line, designed and manufactured in Florida, Bali and Brazil.

Years in Tampa Bay

Residents of St. Pete since 2010.

Hustle (job)

LA is the NautiGirl and Jon is the muscle keeping the doors open.

What do you do?  

We do everything from marketing, buying, inventory, sales and bookkeeping. Truly a mom and pop shop!

Why do you do it?

NautiGirl is a part of DTSP and we enjoy the interaction with the locals and the tourists that visit us. We make sure that everyone is happy and having a great time. We also love working together.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

We are avid scuba divers and spent a lot of time in the Caribbean, on boats, at the beach, and partying on the local sand bars. We found that we could not find any quality sexy bikinis or unique men's or women's swimwear in St. Pete. Hopefully we've fixed that.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

NautiGirl Beachwear has unique items from all over the world that are not available anywhere else. It is unlikely that you will see anyone else in the same swimsuit or outfit. Also, as a veteran-owned business, we're proud to bring in many local, Florida, and US-made items into the shop.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Continuously looking for the next new and unique item for the store is a 24/7 quest. Our customers are typically on vacation or getting ready for vacation. They want something unusual to match that vacation experience. We enjoy outfitting our customers for their various adventures, stay-cations, sandbar and pool parties!

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Trust your instincts.

How did you come up with the unique name and logo?

We live on the water and were looking for a new boat. The name of the new boat was going to be NautiGirl and the brand was originally for the boat ... Jon is a charter captain as well. We found a great space and the down payment went to build the store so we named it the same as the boat. The shop IS our boat.

What are your backgrounds?

LA is a former teacher and elite athlete. Jon is a retired Army Officer, retired business executive and Big-4 Consultant (he does not retire well). We've worked and lived all over the world and made our way to St. Pete when our children decided to go to USF.

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