There is a long known myth in the black community: Black people don’t swim. However, Yolanda Perkins, founder of Swimmie Caps, doesn’t believe that is entirely true. Instead, she thinks it’s a lack of representation among other things.
It all started when her daughter, Bella asked for a swim cap. Disappointed by the choices stores and online shops had to offer, she asked for mom for a cap that looked more like the poster in her room. It was a picture of a black woman with dark natural hair. A picture that looked a lot like Bella.
The representation of black and brown faces on swimming caps didn’t exist. Yolanda decided that she was going to fix that.
She self-funded her project with $3500 and settled on a cap made of silicone.
“One of the issues…that prevent our community [the black community] from getting in the water is that we don’t want to get our hair wet,” Yolanda said.
She designed the caps to feature black and brown faces, catering to both boys and girls. The response in the community has been positive.
“I went to Walmart one night and recorded myself on Facebook LIVE placing my Swimmie Cap on the shelf…the video received so many views and I was contacted the next day by a regional Walmart manager to talk about having my swim caps in stores.”
Walmart isn’t the only place she’s trying to have her caps. She’s currently in talks of offering her swim caps via several venders in Los Angeles, New York and London.
Yolanda hopes her caps will dispel the myth that people in the Black community do not swim, while encouraging higher rates of Hispanic and Black swimmers.
She currently sells her caps online at www.swimmiecaps.com and fulfills them here in the SWFL area.
She is currently looking to create caps for children with locs, and a cap to represent Albinos.