Southeast Swimwear Opens In Hamilton Place

Thursday, March 14, 2013
Southeast Swimwear is at 2021 Hamilton Place Blvd.
Southeast Swimwear is at 2021 Hamilton Place Blvd.

Southeast Swimwear, a store "committed to fitting every customer and making the experience a good one," has just opened in Hamilton Place. Owner Gail Blackburn, who with her husband, Todd, opened the first Southeast Swimwear in Woodstock, Ga. a year ago, chose Chattanooga because the Hamilton Place location was ideal for expansion. 

Ms. Blackborn said she knows what women go through. “I know firsthand how hard it can be to find something that is flattering and comfortable, and how personal an issue this is for most women,” she says. 

Before opening the first store, which is 30 miles northwest of Atlanta, Ms. Blackburn researched the swimwear industry, searching for lines that would complement all women, not just those with perfect bodies. Southeast Swimwear now features Sunsets, Swim Systems, Freya, Fantasie, Panache and made-in-the-USA Tara Grinna suits, in sizes from 2-24 and in cup sizes up through H. All staff are trained by a certified bra specialist in how to measure customers for a good fit. The store specializes in separates that can be mixed and matched, even between lines. A typical price for a two-piece tankini suit, sold as separates, runs $150-$180.

Ms. Blackburn cites a mother-and-daughter team who came into the Chattanooga store as an example. “The girl was 13, and different sizes on top and bottom, as is very common,” she explains. “We found a great look for her and her mother was so happy. She said, ‘This is the first time we’ve done this with no tears.’” Another, 60-year-old customer told her, “I’ve never had so many choices.” Says Ms. Blackburn, “It’s absolutely possible to find a suit that is a perfect fit—and is not frumpy.”

For the customer who prefers to shop with no assistance, the store also offers a good ambiance. Robes in each dressing room allow someone trying suits on to come in and out without the hassle of dressing and undressing so often experienced in department stores. And for those who want Ms. Blackburn and her staff’s expertise, they provide it. “I explain what we carry, and offer to pick some pieces for them that based on my experience, will likely flatter their body type,” says Ms Blackburn.

The two store locations will share merchandise, so if a size is not available in one store, it can be ordered from the other. Other merchandise choices include cover-ups, bags and hats. 

Southeast Swimwear is located next to Anna Ball White, across the road from Big River Grille, in Hamilton Place. The store is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday 1-5 p.m.


Gail Blackburn, owner of Southeast Swimwear.
Gail Blackburn, owner of Southeast Swimwear.

BlueCross Names Medalie Director Of Major Account Management

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has selected Jonathan Medalie as director of major account management.  In this role, Mr. Medalie will oversee major and corporate account management operations and develop and maintain regional broker relationships.  Mr. Medalie most recently served with BlueCross of Idaho, where he was director of sales and account management. ... (click for more)

TVA To Hold Public Meeting In Nashville On Draft Integrated Resource Plan

The Tennessee Valley Authority will host a public meeting in Nashville on Tuesday about the newly released draft of its 2015 Integrated Resource Plan, a guide to TVA’s energy planning decisions for the next 20 years. The meeting, the sixth of seven TVA will offer around the Valley, will be held at the Loew’s Vanderbilt Hotel, Kirkland/Calhoun Room, 2100 West End Ave.  The ... (click for more)

Prominent Business, Civic Leader, And Philanthropist Scotty Probasco Dies At 86

Prominent Chattanooga business, civic leader and philanthropist Scotty Probasco has died at the age of 86. Scotty, as he was affectionately greeted by most of Chattanooga, was known for his modesty, generosity, dependability, and unswerving loyalty. “Great work” was always on the tip of his tongue – a manifestation of his joyous humility. He was a man of high ideals, of kind ... (click for more)

River Flood Warning Issued For Lookout Creek

There has been a river flood warning issued for Lookout Creek. Here is the warning from the National Weather Service: THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PEACHTREE CITY HAS ISSUED A FLOOD WARNING FOR THE LOOKOUT CREEK NEAR NEW ENGLAND. FROM THIS MORNING UNTIL THIS AFTERNOON. AT 11AM SUNDAY THE STAGE WAS 11.7 FEET...AND RISING. FLOOD STAGE IS 12 FEET. THE CREEK WILL ... (click for more)

Proud Of Hometown Boy Turned Global Leader, Bob Corker

Time Magazine has it right.  Not only is Chattanooga’s own U.S. Senator Bob Corker one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World,” but he is probably now the most prominent leader in the history of our city.   At a time of extreme frustration with Washington and Congress in general, Bob continues to rise above the division and rancor to build consensus and solve ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Great Work, Ol’ Pro!

Years ago I was lucky enough to be the seatmate of Scotty Probasco on an airplane bound for somewhere and he taught me a word that has helped me be a much better person than I ever thought I could. We were already swell friends, since he’d watched me grow up at First Presbyterian Church every Sunday with his kids, and he liked some of the stuff I tried to write back then. So ... (click for more)