Bras and bitters are a unique combination that Always Be Swooping does well. Owners, Lynn and Tanya, have been friends for almost 20 years and have been on adventures together throughout the world. They thought up their business just recently and decided to make it a reality. Lynn handmakes the bras and Tanya creates the bitters, together they make these creative ideas work wonderfully.
The bras of Always Be Swooping are a mixture of bralettes and sports bras, essentially loungers. Lynn cuts and sews fabric for every bra, and each one takes over an hour to make. She uses some local patterns from Ashley Seabolt and Cool People Designs, along with fun other styles. As far as liner goes, Lynn hopes in the future to use a wicking liner that will be great for outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, and more. The loungers are made to complement an Alaskan lifestyle and to make the women who wear them feel great. As Tanya said, “The bras are not just for the activities Alaskan women participate in, but also for the fun and sexy feel that women get from the designs and comfort of a handmade bra.”
Tanya creates all the bitters using local ingredients such as highbush cranberries, spruce tips, and fireweed. She also hopes to expand the aromatic options in the future. Tanya’s favorite drink with the Always Be Swooping bitters is a Manhatten. Lynn’s is the Spruce Tip Old Fashioned. The bitters can also be used in seltzer water, food, and just about anything one would put flavor extract in.
How did you both become friends and eventually business partners?
Lynn: It felt like the universe was bringing us together, in Albuquerque we lived four doors away from each another for two years and never knew each other. I moved from Albuquerque to Alaska and a friend of mine gave me Tanya’s number as someone cool who I should hang out with and I decided to call her. The rest is history, now we are rock climbing buddies, adventure pals, and now business partners!
Some of your bitters feature Alaskan flora, does Always Be Swooping harvest items such as fireweed and highbush cranberries?
Tanya: All the bitter aromatics are Alaskan, we pick the highbush cranberries and fireweed from my property. The spruce tips are harvested by a forager from Southeast Alaska and the coffee is from Kaladi Brothers. We love keeping as much as we can locally made.
Do you have plans to make more bra styles?
Lynn: Yes! Bodysuits have been on my mind lately and I am super excited to make some. I would also eventually like to create a slip and clasp bra. Our guy friends have been requesting boxers and we would love to offer that. Imagine a cute matching boxer bra set… we’re really just having fun with new ideas right now.
What is the hardest part of owning Always Be Swooping?
Tanya and Lynn: We both agree that one of the hardest parts of Always Be Swooping is not talking about business. We have a rule that before texting about anything business-related in the morning, we have to start with “good morning” instead of going directly into business. We both love the new adventure together that is Always Be Swooping and enjoy the journey of sharing it with friends and future customers!
Thank you to Krista Kandrick Photography for some of the photos.