How the Founders Of Multimillion-Dollar Swimsuit And Apparel Brand Scaled its HR Systems as Business Bloomed
When Hyla Nayeri and Adrien Bettio tried to buy swimwear in university, they didn’t feel the options on the market worked for them. So they did what any budding entrepreneurs would do: made their own and launched a company, which they called 437. As it turns out, a lot of women agreed with Hyla and Adrien’s assessment of the luxury swimwear market, and the business started to grow.
After years of growth, Hyla and Adrien realized they had a problem. Both were first-time founders well aware they needed help to scale, but didn’t know the first thing about hiring or building HR systems. Working with Bloom as an embedded HR leader, they not only secured two director-level hires and two individual contributor hires to help them grow, but also built out HR processes and an employee handbook that would allow them to build the inclusive company they envisioned.
Problem: First-time founders ready for scale
“Adrien and I couldn’t find a bathing suit we felt comfortable in, flattered us, and made us feel like the best versions of ourselves,” said Hyla.
It was that feeling that launched 437. The business took off, but these first-time founders didn’t know what to do next. They knew they wanted to build a thriving, inclusive company, but didn’t know how to build the policies or hire the right senior leaders to drive the company to its next step.
“We wanted to make sure we had policies and expectations in place so employees could be proud of where they worked,” said Adrien. “But we didn’t have a reference point for how it works in other companies.”
Choosing Bloom for values alignment and expertise
The company was ready for scale, but needed assistance. A friend casually shared a post from the Bloom Blog. After checking out the website, Hyla and Adrien instantly knew they wanted to work with Bloom.
“Bloom was a perfect mixture of values alignment and clear offerings,” said Adrien. “Bloom had a retainer offering that supported growing startups with everything from HR to recruiting, and they have their finger on the pulse of what companies need to be doing right now to build an inclusive and equitable workplace as you scale.”
Hyla and Adrien liked that Avery Francis, Bloom’s founder, organized the company to help startups and candidates feel included and involved throughout the whole process. Between that and a values alignment around inclusion, choosing Bloom was easy.
A dual solution: People and process
As a scaling startup, 437 needed to hire key individuals and build out HR systems and processes. The catch was that the two directors 437 wanted to hire — marketing and design — also needed experience in scaling companies, since they would not just be doing their jobs but also coaching Hyla and Adrien through the growth process.
Bloom worked on both challenges concurrently, checking in with 437’s team on their goals, key outcomes, and understanding the type of business they wanted to build. From there, the Bloom team started sourcing candidates and developing the necessary processes and handbooks to help 437 scale.
Hyla and Adrien loved that Bloom was not only focused on the tasks at hand but also communicating expectations with the 437 team.
“The process was convenient,” said Adrien. “The Bloom team embedded themselves into our Slack, making it very natural for us to communicate with them.”
On top of that, Bloom’s retainer model meant that 437 got every HR process they needed, including an employee handbook.
“Bloom was amazing,” said Adrien. “They helped us set up our employee handbook, supported the internal team with onboarding and offboarding strategies, and anything else HR-related.”
The outcome of their dreams
When Hyla and Adrien hired Bloom, they expected Bloom to help them find quality candidates and build inclusive HR processes and programs. The duo said Bloom delivered on their expectations and more.
“Bloom was really part of our team,” said Adrien. “It wasn’t just professional services, but having someone to lean on and provide support during a challenging time for our business.”
In the end, Bloom helped them hire for two key director-level positions, two strong individual contributors, and build out multiple HR frameworks including an employee handbook, onboarding, offboarding, and general HR strategy. All the while, Hyla noted that Bloom never made them feel like they needed to do extra things just to secure another contract. It was always about what 437 needed.
“Bloom normalized what we were going through,” said Hyla. “We are growing, and there are growing pains, but Bloom helped us see it was normal at our stage to not have an employee handbook right from the start, for instance. They answered every question we had and never made us feel like it was weird for a company to not have these things done yet.”