Tampa Bay-area women and young adults have a new local shopping option when it comes to intimate apparel: lingerie and swimwear company Ashley Nation opened its first retail store in October 2015 at Westfield Citrus Park Mall
The apparel company, which established national headquarters in Tampa in fall 2014, scouted locations along the East Coast of the United States before selecting Tampa.
Founder and CEO Saul Perez calls Tampa “the perfect location,” noting that the decision to grow the company's retail brand and online sales from here was due, in part, to the city’s current growth, along with the “convenient national airport and great weather.”
“This market had all the things we were looking for,” says Perez. “But the most important thing is the people. The people here are so welcoming and receptive."
To kick off the store opening, Ashley Nation developed a partnership with the University of South Florida
to benefit the charity Bright Pink
with a giant game of Twister in the park. Since October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month
, the breast and ovarian cancer awareness charity made sense as beneficiary, Perez says.
Plus, the walls of the company’s first store are hot pink.
Members of USF’s student government and several sororities helped spread the word about the charity Twister game, which took place September 26 at USF's Riverfront Park
The partnership with USF is fitting: for one thing, Perez says, students are the store’s “core demographic.”
Perez recruited local advertising and branding agency Schifino Lee
to help conceptualize a brand identity and Wilder Architecture to develop the storefront design.
"We felt that all of the expertise we needed to grow the brand is available here in Tampa,” he explains.
Ashley Nation sells sleepwear, swimsuits and intimate apparel.
“Free your sexy” is the brand's official motto, but Perez says it's "more than a slogan to us. It’s an attitude towards living a spontaneous lifestyle. We want our customers to be true to themselves, and our brand is a reflection of that."
Perez plans to expand Ashley Nation to include stores at Westfield Brandon and Countryside malls as early as late 2015. A Sarasota location is also a possibility for 2016, Perez says.
Ashley Nation is currently hiring for sales associates at retail stores, as well as for “numerous positions in our corporate office in Tampa,” Perez says. Available positions at Ashley Nation headquarters include Marketing Coordinator and E-Commerce Operations Manager.
Email Ashley Nation
to learn more about job openings.