Sand Surf Co. of Hillsborough County
Sisters Remy and Rikki Radkay grew up in a little surf town called Hampton, New Hampshire. They spent their days immersed in the surf-culture lifestyle, as their father was a well-known surfer in the area. But after moving to the Bay area to attend college at the University of Tampa, the Radkay sisters realized they wanted to bring a piece of their hometown community with them.
“We chose to launch Sand Surf Co. surf shop because we realized none of our clothing and swim were in the area, as well as the massive community that was offered in our hometown surf shop,” Remy said.
The shop offers men’s and women’s clothing and swim, as well as accessories. “Anything you need for a sunny day,” Remy added.
The sisters were excited to bring a taste of their New England hometown to the Tampa area, but they realized they needed some guidance on the business side of things.
“We had a realization that taking over and becoming an owner of a business meant there were a lot of different hats to wear,” Rikki said. “We wanted to get a good direction, and the Florida SBDC at USF really helped us get serious on paper and grow into the entrepreneurs we wanted to be.”
Since working with the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida and capital access specialist Brad Owens, the sisters have found the guidance they’ve needed to grow their business.
“Our business has grown greatly since working with the Florida SBDC at USF,” Rikki said. “They really helped clarify things. It didn’t always make sense for me; things like costs and what we needed to do to hit even or get ahead in a month didn’t always make sense to me. But Brad at the Florida SBDC at USF really broke it down for us in a way we understood, by explaining it in terms of bikinis.
“Learning that I needed to sell eight bikini tops and bottoms a day to be open, be successful, pay my bills, and become a successful business, that clicked for us.”
The sisters also feel lucky to have had the guidance of the Florida SBDC at USF to help carry them through the COVID-19 pandemic, as their business was still in the beginning stages at the time.
“COVID-19 was definitely a curveball we didn’t see coming,” Rikki said. “At that point we were still pretty small. We were surviving well, and of course the amazing love from our community as well as the Florida SBDC at USF really helped us navigate through those times by showing us things like the PPP loan, keeping us one step ahead so that we could come out of it successful.”
The sisters are proud of how far their business has come and look forward to continuing to use the endless resources that the Florida SBDC at USF has to offer.
“I am definitely not leaving the side of the Florida SBDC at USF,” Rikki said. “I’m so thankful, and I think it just shows especially through something like COVID-19, when you align yourself with good mentors and great resources that you really can turn that into something. Brad has really gone above and beyond to make sure we fully understand what we’re doing and supporting us along the way.
“We started with three bikinis on the wall, and with the Florida SBDC at USF by our side, I really think we can become a Tampa staple and be here many, many years to come. Stay sandy!”