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Women-Owned Business Spotlight: Summersalt

Cynthia Chong (BU'25)
March 18, 2022

As we celebrate women’s achievements and contributions throughout history this month, we also want to recognize the accomplishments of current female-founded companies. One such venture is Summersalt, a St. Louis-based swimwear, clothing, and activewear brand co-founded by Lori Coulter (MBA ‘99) and Reshma Chattaram Chamberlin. Coulter is the brand’s CEO and President. Founded in May 2017, the direct-to-consumer apparel line resonates with its customers by focusing on what matters most to women: fit, quality, affordability, and sustainability.

Summersalt was founded on the principle that women should feel confident in what they wear and that “Every body is a Summersalt body.” That’s why the brand developed its Summersalt Signature Fit by taking over 1.5 million body measurements from 10,000 women. The line has even expanded to include maternity swimwear, making sure its perfect fit applies to all women. This data-backed fit is what sets the company apart from other women’s apparel brands. While finding perfectly fitted clothing has previously been an exclusive feature of designer brands, Summersalt changes this norm. Through a direct-to-consumer business model, the company allows women to access quality, designer pieces that fit their bodies and avoid the designer price tag. In addition to ensuring that women feel good about themselves when wearing Summersalt clothing, the brand also wants them to feel good about the planet. Sustainability is important to Summersalt: its activewear fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles, the swimwear is made from post-consumer waste, and the packaging is also made from recycled or reusable materials.

Summersalt’s innovation and strong core values have made the company stand out. In 2019, the company was named one of CNBC’s Top 100 Upstarts, and it also earned the 2020 LEAD Award for Breakout Company of the Year.

Besides leading her successful company, CEO and WashU alumna Lori Coulter also serves on the Skandalaris Center National Council, supporting entrepreneurs in the WashU and St. Louis community. As one of the five female members of the 26-member council, Coulter is instrumental in helping other female entrepreneurs found their own business ventures. As a mother and CEO, Coulter brings representation to the entrepreneurial space, inspiring other women and mothers to start their own businesses. We are honored to get to celebrate Coulter, Summersalt, and all the female entrepreneurs who are hustling not just this month, but every month.