Sylvia’s Swimwear, or Sylvia’s as many know us, is a second-generation family owned business located just outside of Seattle in Bellevue, Washington. In the early 1970’s while Sylvia swam masters and toted her three small swimmers to practice, she struggled to find locally available competitive swim products. What began with buying in bulk for her own swim family soon blossomed into selling suits and goggles from the back of her car during swim practice, meets and everywhere in between. In 1975, under pressure from some of her suppliers, Sylvia opened a small store in the Lake Hills area of Bellevue aptly named Sylvia’s Swimwear to fulfill a much-needed niche. Once in this first location, word of mouth spread fast and with-it Sylvia’s base of swim team customers expanded quickly. As business grew so did the demand for more diverse products including fashion suits, and ultimately the need for more space. In 1980, Sylvia’s moved into a much larger retail location in northeast Bellevue, a few doors down from where our larger Bellevue retail location is now.
By 1993, Sylvia’s team and mail order operations had outgrown our Bellevue store requiring expansion into our separate Team & Corporate Offices. In addition to adding much needed warehouse space, this location became the center of our team mail order operation which had expanded to Alaska and the east coast. By 2001 we needed more space and doubled our Team & Corporate warehouse square footage to accommodate more product plus bring screen printing operations in-house. Sylvia’s currently services hundreds of teams though this location which also supports our online sales and technical suit fittings.
Sylvia officially retired in 2000 but not before passing the torch on to her three grown children who are all currently involved in different areas of the business. In 2003 the expansion continued with the addition of a retail store in the Northgate area of Seattle which was later moved to Shoreline in the fall of 2015 due to light rail expansion in Northgate. After retirement, Sylvia continued to be a very active in the local swim community, particularly with the Bellevue YMCA, until losing her lengthy battle with cancer in the spring of 2016 - We miss her dearly.
Sylvia was always a staunch advocate for local swimming and this legacy continues today. In addition to being vocal advocates of local pools, Sylvia’s also supports many local swimming related events including numerous with ties to Seattle area charities. We have supported many regional facility efforts over the years including both support for new facilities as well as opposition to closing facilities. Sylvia’s has a long history of giving back locally and our valued customers help support this legacy.