A- A+

Lake Label Swim Brings Protective Swimwear to Families That Need It

Megan Luchtel Startup Stories

June 29, 2022


During the latest Small Business & Startup Stories DSM podcast, Megan Luchtel, Founder and of Lake Label, a children’s sun-protective swimwear company, spoke with Greater Des Moines Partnership Startup Community Builder Diana Wright about her path to creating an impactful small business, built locally and selling nationwide. 

Leaving Corporate America

Luchtel discussed how the influence of so many people helped her make the jump into entrepreneurship. From her grandmothers’ teaching her to sew to her husband and father, both entrepreneurs, supporting her idea, she took the plunge. 

Luchtel had been in corporate America since graduating from college. She loved her job in Arizona, but after having children of their own, she and her husband wanted to move closer to family. The move pushed her to become a stay-at-home mom upon arriving in Iowa. She was in that role for six years, during which she had two more children. During this time, she found she missed the creativity of having a career and had the luxury of figuring out what she wanted to do next. She knew she didn’t want to go back to reporting to an office — she wanted something that would allow her to protect her time, but also pursue something she was passionate about. 

Starting a Business 

In February of 2021, Luchtel began her journey to creating Lake Label. The product, a full-body sun-protective swimsuit for kids, was an item she needed for her own kids during summers spent in the sun at Lake Okoboji. Once she had her third child, she needed something that would help keep the sun off his skin for long periods of outdoor time. For the first six months, babies are too small for sunscreen, but if you have older kids, taking a break from the sun can be tough when the siblings want to stay on the boat or hang out at the beach. 

Realizing she couldn’t be the only mom looking for a way to spend more time with her family out in nature, she began to consider sketching out what she had hoped to find in the market. After taking her idea from her head to illustrations in her sketchbook, she began to read more about the harmful effects of some ingredients found in sunscreen. It became clear that even if people don’t know they needed the product today, they’d come to realize how needed it was in the next few years, making it a well-timed opportunity.  

Next Steps

Luchtel got a little feedback from trusted friends before deciding to pursue her business idea. The positive feedback she received led her to do more research online where she learned about how to create a tech pack. A tech pack includes the technical information needed for manufacturers, such as measurements, details and instructions for the garment. From there, she found a partner — a fashion startup in Indonesia — to help her get her idea ready for manufacturing and to guide her through the prototyping process. 

Learn more about Lake Label Swimwear here

Listen to the entire podcast above. Or watch the interview here:

Inspired by this Startup Story? Subscribe to the Small Business & Startup Stories DSM podcast and check out upcoming events, videos and other free resources dedicated to helping startups and small businesses accelerate success in Greater Des Moines (DSM). 

Startup Stories DSM

Startup Stories DSM is a podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs who share both their victories and failures on their paths to success. It is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.