2013-05-23 / Enterprise

Swimming Suit Maker Thriving: Made in America and proud of it

Tim Greco

l-r Sisters Patti Messina, Sue Gray and Kym Timpano pitch their swimsuits. 
Tim Greco l-r Sisters Patti Messina, Sue Gray and Kym Timpano pitch their swimsuits. Tim Greco A few months ago we reported on a story involving three sisters and a start-up swimwear company that was made in the USA .

Sue Gray of Mahopac, the mother of two young boys, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) a chronic, potentially disabling disease that attacks the nervous system. Shortly thereafter, Gray found she could no longer work as a medical record analyst because of her the MS, her 16-year marriage sadly ended and she faced foreclosure of her beloved home. The loss she suffered was almost too much to bear, but the story began to have a silver lining.

Her sisters Kym Timpano and Patti Messina and a long time family friend, Cathy Paraggio, who is like a sister, came up with an idea to help Gray start a men’s and boys’ line of bathing suits, without the net mesh.

In June of 2011 Timpano and Messina pooled their life savings and NoNetz was born. And happily, the business has seen a steady increase ever since. When I interviewed the trio last year, the sisters reported that business was slow, but steady. Then, the sisters really received a huge opportunity to showcase their business when they were contacted by Fox Business Network online to be a guest on their show, and share their compelling story. They were interviewed by Lauren Simonetti (you can view their interview on their website). And since then, big things started happening for them. NoNetz boys’ bathing suits have completely sold out of their first run, which launched last June.

The men’s line of swim trunks also are selling much faster than even the boy’s line, something they hadn’t anticipated. They are shipping to all points in America and even to Canada.

A doctor who has two autistic sons found NoNetz online (nonetz.com/), because the net lining in other bathing suits bothered his boys. He wrote: “Thank you. You have no idea how much you have helped us, my sons never wanted to put their bathing suits on and now they do.”

The sisters had never realized that children with sensory issues had a problem with trunks made with nets, as a lot of therapy for autism is water related. Gray said that the autistic community has gone wild for NoNetz. The new bathing suits have a removable Spandex-type liner,100- percent, anti-chafe and anti-bacterial, with a sun protection factor of 50+ with some flashy colors.

Generation Rescue is one of the largest nonprofit organizations that advocates for autism and they too are now actively are also promoting NoNetz to the autism community. The sisters will be featured in the June issue of parenting Magazine.

The sisters believe that people are drawn to their story and were so excited to be featured on Fox Business. Gray said that there are many elements to their story that capture attention: “Drawing strength from our weakness, sisters helping sisters, and doing the right thing, by keeping the company in America.”

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