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There’s a story behind every transfer: Kulani Kinis

From side-hustle to global swimwear brand, dynamic duo and co-founders Dani and Alex never could’ve imagined they’d be making such a splash in the online swimwear industry.

For Dani, the lightbulb moment was after a disappointing and expensive online bikini purchase back in 2014, when online shopping was still in its infancy. Fellow ocean-lovers spotted a gap in the market for a better value-for-money alternative and set the wheels in motion for Kulani Kinis.

In 2015 the business made its first sale and the pair haven’t looked back. After 6 months of late nights and weekend work, Dani and Alex found a manufacturer in China and created their first product samples – all while continuing to hold down their full time jobs; Dani, a full time psychologist and Alex, accountant by day and self-proclaimed “bikini baron” by night. Just as they were perfecting their juggling act, a series of events saw them launch themselves into the deep end to see what the US had to offer.

The pair attribute a lot of their initial success and growth to the trade shows that are so entrenched in the US start-up scene. Their very first trade show presented its own unique challenge: finding a quick and cost-effective way to transfer funds to the organiser in US dollars, with money sitting in an Australian bank account. 

Enter OFX. “I’ll always remember our first time using OFX. We needed a fast payment to the US so we could participate in our first trade show. Matt Richardson [OFXpert] onboarded us so quickly and facilitated the payment. That was the start of our relationship with OFX.”

Their second trade show would change the trajectory of the business as Kulani Kinis started to receive interest from the big industry players at the time, ASOS and Forever 21. 

As the brand’s global presence grew from being side hustle, so did the need for ongoing FX support. With OFX now “ingrained in the business” following that first experience, the pair felt confident they could build a successful global brand.

OFX is this weird and wonderful beast centered around the idea of helping businesses get on with what they do, reducing any hassle. You don’t have to think about it, it just happens with OFX.

Today, Kulani Kinis is a successful global eCommerce business, with a team of 28 spread across China, Australia and the US, focused on delivering the best quality products and service to their customers around the world. 

Importing products from international suppliers and juggling payments in USD, CAD and GBP can be expensive. Using OFX, Dani and Alex have found a quick and secure way to make multi-currency payments without the hefty foreign exchange fees. 

“We use OFX as our one stop shop. We pay manufacturers in China, work with our creative team in LA and modelling agencies in LA. Even renting houses for photoshoots is easier”, said Alex.

“Working with OFX has made transferring [funds] easier and cheaper. They [OFX] always help to provide transparency so you know you’re in safe hands”. 

With so many moving parts, the business attributes much of its success to OFX.

So, how would this dynamic duo describe OFX in one word? Opportunity.

“OFX has been integral in getting us [Kulani Kinis] to where we are today, it’s the reason why we have been able to grow and do what we have been able to do.”

Danielle Atkins, Co-Founder and Director of Kulani Kinis and Alexander Babich, Co-Founder and Director of Kulani Kinis, share their four tips to growing an eCommerce business: 

  • Network
  • Build strong relationships with the people you work with 
  • Planning is key, get it right from the start
  • Make change where it can be made, and work for it where it seems it can’t be

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