Our Founder’s Story
My name is Joanne Blake and I am a proud single parent of two. I had the inspiration for Swimscarf in 2014. My blood pressure was at dangerous levels so my doctor recommended I start swimming. As a single mum, and my youngest having Cerebral Palsy, the challenges that come with raising kids were having a huge impact on my health.
On my regular swimming trips I tried swim caps that were clearly not designed for my hair. They were uncomfortable, tight and made me look bald! What’s more, the water got into my cap and my hair was wet after an hour of swimming. For women who invest a lot of time, money and pride into their hairstyles it is important that the hair isn’t damaged by chlorine or salt water.
It reminded me of why I disliked trips to the pool as a young girl, bringing back memories of my mum hot-combing my hair after swimming. Even as an adult on holiday I’d long to jump in the pool but avoid it for fear of chlorine damage and having to spend hours restyling my hair afterwards. (I’m sure many black women share similar memories!) When I spoke to my friends, they all said the same thing. My friends with afros or weaves had to stuff their hair into two caps, one friend said the latex rubbed off her edges. I suddenly thought about designing a hair protection product that would enable everyone to swim and ultimately improve their health. I decided to make my own cap. Fast forward through the design and development stage I present to you a unique silicone rubber headscarf, easy to use, fits various voluminous hairdos and comes in variety colours.
I am proud to say it is the first inclusive swimming headscarf with black women in mind. Having said that my product turns out to be bang on trend with long extensions being so popular amongst all cultures at the moment.
I want to get women of all hair types and backgrounds into the pool. I’m excited to give women, girls and teens the opportunity to feel included at the pool and not to dread what their swimming lessons will do to their hair, like I did. If my Swimscarf will let you swim with confidence, not with self-consciousness or worry, I will have succeeded in my project.
Thank you so much for all the support. Sign up to my mailing list and follow my social media for updates for our new and improved Swimscarf. Joanne x