Although Fort Wayne is no New York City, people still hear mention of “the Fort” because of talents that have emerged.
To further that cause and support the city's local business owners, Ivy Tech Community College-Northeast holds a contest for entrepreneurs who are Ivy Tech students or alumni who dream of starting their own businesses.
That's how Olivia Fabian, founder of OFabz Swimwear, achieved a strong start. With a $20,000 donation from JB Tool, Die & Engineering and Ivy Tech's continued interest in empowering Fort Wayne through its New Venture Competition, Fabian's dream of being a business owner came true.
Fabian, an Ivy Tech graduate, is from Fort Wayne and grew up designing costumes for figure skaters at home with her mother. These costumes have been sold all around the world, as they are sought-after, custom-designed originals. Fabian continued to design her own version of these costumes by using the same techniques and materials to create her own versatile swimsuits.
“Our mission is to satisfy a personally realized need for specialized clothing by understanding the unique needs of other women,” Fabian says on her OFabz Facebook page.
Fabian created her swimsuits with the idea that her friends – and probably women everywhere – wanted to be active without having to change out of their bathing suits.
“Everyone always complained that they didn't want their bottoms to fall off when they wanted to be active, but they wanted to be able to get some sun, too,” Fabian said.
So, Fabian created the “Whim” suit. This mesh-fabric suit is meant to slide over her unique, retro bikinis when one, say, feels like playing some volleyball after swimming “on a whim.”
Prices for the suits run around $40 for a retro ruffled halter and $55 for the high-waisted bottoms.
Each piece is named after one of Fabian's good friends.
“All suits were named after strong, independent and beautiful women who make the world more fun,” Fabian said.
She plans to release her men's line when she “tweaks it just right,” she said.