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.

Drunk Driving Charge Reinstated By State Supreme Court After Finding That Police Acted Reasonably

The Tennessee Supreme Court has reinstated charges of driving under the influence and violating the open container law against Williamson County resident Mechelle Montgomery in an opinion that restores evidence gained during a search. In February of 2012, two officers with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the residence of a woman named Corey Brown, who ... (click for more)

State Supreme Court Rules That Employee Does Not Qualify As Whistleblower

The Tennessee Supreme Court has affirmed the dismissal of a whistleblower claim by Charles Haynes, a former employee of Formac Stables, Inc., in Obion County. Mr. Haynes worked as a groom at Formac Stables. In April of 2010, hesuffered an injury to the head when kicked by a Tennessee Walking Horse named “Bruce Pearl.” Mr. Haynes claimed that Formac’s owner refused to allow him ... (click for more)

Hard Freeze Predicted In The Area For Saturday Night

Temperatures are expected to drop Saturday night to 28 degrees or less. Here is the latest report from the National Weather Service:  HARD FREEZE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT EDT /11 PM CDT/ TONIGHT TO 11 AM EDT /10 AM CDT/ SUNDAY... * EVENT... A HARD FREEZE EXPECTED WITH LOWS FROM THE TEENS NORTH TO THE UPPER 20S SOUTH LATE TONIGHT AND SUNDAY MORNING. ... (click for more)

Man Charged In Shooting On Sixth Avenue Had Been Shot Himself Last Week; Police Say Incident "Part Of Gang War"

A man charged with attempted first-degree murder on Sixth Avenue Court on Thursday afternoon was shot himself earlier this month. O'Shae Kadaris Smith, 20, of 2114 E. 12th St., is also charged with reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime. He was one of two people shot on Rawlings Street on March 16. Kendre Allen, ... (click for more)

Finley Stadium Needs To Grow Up - And Response

RE:  Finley Stadium Financial Picture Rosy; Beer And Alcohol Sales Approved; AstroTurf Almost Ready and City, County Pitching In $250,000 Each For New Finley Stadium AstroTurf I read a story here five days ago about a rosy future for Finley stadium. It lead me to believe that the stadium was making money and even improvements with donations.  Then we get a short ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Sunday Funnies

They say March roars in like a lion and leaves like a lamb. So as you reach for your lambs-wool sweater on this last Sunday of the month, allow me to lighten up a bit with a new edition of my Sunday Funnies. I have a delightful crowd that keeps me supplied in jokes and these are some of the best that have come my way: A WOMAN'S PERFECT BREAKFAST -- She's sitting at the table ... (click for more)