May 12, 2014
12:58 PM
Style & Design

Online Swimwear Boutique Based in Connecticut Makes 'Official' Debut

Online Swimwear Boutique Based in Connecticut Makes 'Official' Debut

The Letarte cashmere poncho from Besita Boutique's online collection.

On one of those spring days that were too common—when you wondered if winter would ever stopping rattling its cold bones at you and truly go away—entering the Canton domain of Sherlyn Marsh and her online resort and swimwear store, Besita Boutique, was like being transported to South Beach in Florida.

See our related story Designer Swimwear, Warehouse Prices: Letarte’s 2014 Connecticut Splash

Marsh’s domain is a haven of bright, calm warmth, accented by the happy pop of white on white, nautical themes and—most notably—imagery showing off the essential beauty of the female form, especially when adorned by the often daring and always beautiful swimwear being produced by today’s top designers.

A single mom and second-career entrepreneur, Marsh is dynamic and driven, qualities that will ensure success for her venture when combined with her best quality. It’s not her youthful vibe, her own beauty or how well she gives shape to the swimwear lines she curates for customers. (Right, the Jess top and bottom from Tori Praver.)

It’s her passion.

Evident in everything she says and does, it rises to the top in our meeting in two different narrative threads, which, seen the right way, are about the same thing: empowering women by helping them accentuate their beauty, strength, integrity and more.

The first story, the big headline, may not seem at first to come from that place. Referencing an announcement the world won’t formally hear until Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim in July in Miami, Marsh reveals that she’s working to finalize an arrangement to partner with Los Angeles-based fine art photographer and media world phenomenon Steve Shaw.

Among other things, Shaw is the founder and publisher of the quarterly art book/magazine entitled Treats!, which is described in its Twitter profile as the venue “where sensual photography, fashion, art, and engaging editorial intersect with the ultimate in luxury lifestyle publishing.”

Marsh (above) calls the partnership—whose details were still being sealed in early May—the biggest business decision of her career. (In the works for the last few years and online for some time, Besita is a young venture that is having its “official debut” at the end of May.) In working with Shaw, she said, “All of the products I sell will be shot in-house.” The images you see now at Besita come from the swimwear designers. That will change when Marsh heads to L.A. soon for a week of shooting swimwear with Shaw and five or six top models. (Right, a tie-on coverup from Ondade Mar.)

The other story Marsh tells that resonates is about the experience of a Besita client. Marsh described inviting to the Besita headquarters a woman who was getting married and wanted to look her best on the beach. Besita’s staff put together an ensemble that made not only look great but feel gorgeous.

“The way she felt … That is what does it. That is it,” says Marsh in describing both Besita’s goals and her sense of fulfillment. “That’s what I want to translate … a sense of empowerment on so many levels.” For Besita, that empowerment even extends to a scholarship fund to assist young women with college tuition, with more than $10,000 distributed.

Besita, says Marsh is not in the business of selling swimsuits: “We want a look.” Increasingly, the looks Besita can curate are among the best in the business. Marsh showed off the white croc-patterned box she had made for shipping apparel and even gift cards—and those boxes will be carrying swimwear designs created exclusively for Besita by such top names as Caitlyn Kelly, Beach Bunny, Montoya and Letarte. (Right, the Penelope eyelet pants from Vitamin A.)

And those sexy swimsuits—if you think you have to look like the models Steve Shaw typically works with to look good in these designs, think again. The client mentioned above who came to the Besita headquarters wasn’t a Size 2, but she did leave looking and feeling great. (Below, the Tribal one-piece swimsuit and tunic from Agua Bendita.)

To learn more, head to website

Also see our earlier story on Besita Boutique

Online Swimwear Boutique Based in Connecticut Makes 'Official' Debut

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