I am BEYOND stoked that I got to chat a little with Ariana over on Maui, the designer behind the swim line ARIE BIKINIS.. did I mention there is a giveaway I am absolutely stoked about?? I wont keep you waiting, get reading!
Elise: I am so excited to be featuring ARIE Bikinis and YOU, the master mind behind the beautiful kinis on Salt Water Diary! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me! Let's get started by a good ol fashion introduction, shall we? Tell us where you're from, where you live now and what is currently playing on your jam box (yup, I just rocked that word!)
Ariana: Thank you for featuring me on your wonderful blog! I am so thrilled! I am originally from New Mexico and Arizona. I currently live in Maui, Hawaii. Music I am into right now? Junior Boys, Flume, FlashDrive, Little Dragon, Santigold, Cut Copy, Hot Chip, Bonobo, Niki & the Dove and Chromeo!
Elise: Those are my kinda musicians!! Bonobo and Santigold especially!
Ariana: Right! I got to go on stage with Santigold when she came to Maui! It was awesome!!
Elise: Lucky girl!! Tell us about the amazing and lovely ARIE Bikinis! When did you decide "I'm going to design bikinis!"? How did you decide the brand name, and what is your main inspiration?
Ariana: Well I always grew up in hot weather, I had been visiting Maui since I was 12 years old. I told myself when I grow up I want to live by the ocean. So it was my 2nd year at ASU (Arizona State) when I decided I wanted to move out of the desert and move to the island of Maui. People asked me what are you going to do there? I would reply with "I am going to make and live in bikinis year round! Lol! And that’s what I did and still do 7 years later. The brand name is my nick name but I added a little to it. My full name is Ariana and people call me Ari for short. I named my line ARIE bikinis, an acronym for ‘Art Remains In Everything’. My main inspiration is warm climates and island living.
Elise: Thoughts become things right!! I LOVE that ARIE stands for something as well as being your nickname! I just fell even more in love with your line!
Ariana: That’s right! Oh thank you! It was something special to me and very different.
Elise: Is designing Bikinis your full time job? Do you have any advice for sea sisters out there hoping to one day dabble in the swimsuit designing world?
Ariana: A bikini designer is who I am and what I do, but I do have a side job managing a beautiful boutique for another amazing Maui designer, Tamara Catz. I am so inspired by her and am learning a lot as a designer and business woman. Some advice I would say is stick to it. It’s a challenging and competitive market, especially in Hawaii, but just to make it your own and inspire others.
Designer Ariana looking beautiful at Tamara Cats Boutique
Elise: *sigh* I swear I could live in the Tamara Catz Boutique. When I lived in Paia I used to just go sit in there amongst all the beautiful dresses that I dreamt of one day getting married in! That boutique is so dreamy! I can see how you would be inspired there! That's great advice, the swimsuit industry is very saturated, and I'm sure that makes competition tough, so creating something different is a must! My absolute favorite suits of yours are the purple and tribal ones (southwest print) that are exclusively sold at Tamara Catz. I literally took a screen shot and printed it. It's now sitting on my vision board! :)
Tell us a little bit about living on Maui. What are your favorite beach, favorite restaurant and favorite place to shop? Aside from the boutique you manage of course… cause that's a given!
Ariana: I love vision boards! I make them all the time! That print (south west print/ Arizona print) is my favorite too! When I created that line for Tamara I felt like it was really going back to my desert roots. I really connected with that collection. I had always used solid colors before then and when I found that print I was all about it!
Elise: I thought that was pretty coincidental that it was a desert print now that I know you're background! You never lose touch with your roots right? Where all can our readers shop for ARIE bikinis, and what is your best seller?
Ariana: Maui is amazing and my home. I don't think I could ever live in AZ again, just because it is so far away from the ocean, haha! One of my favorite beaches on Maui is Hanaluamakua ( I think that’s what is called lol) its on the west side. Definitely a journey because I live in Haiku on the North Shore, but its worth it! My favorite new restaurant is Nuka in Haiku and favorite place to shop, other than Tamara Catz of course, would be Biasa Rose and Nuage Blu. My suits are sold online at www.ariebikinis.com, Tamara Catz Boutique in Paia, and coming soon to the Andaz (Hyatt) Hotel! Very excited about that! Oh how could I forget! I love to shop at Wings Hawaii too! Love those girls! I used to sew there whole bikini line, Honi Honi, a few years ago.
Ariana: My best sellers, I would have to say is the Samantha Bottom (named after my younger sister), it’s a reversible ruffle edge bottom, along with the Leah Top, nice comfortable sport top that criss/crosses in the back. Great for surfer girls! But most of my suits are reversible so you get a two in one!
Elise: Mahalo for the list of magical Maui places! I miss living on Maui so much, it is our favorite island by far and where we will always call "home". I have had my art in both Nuage Blu and Wings! Love those shops as well! It seems like Andaz is the place to be! Jaxsea Kimonos, which I just recently featured are also there.. and of course Sophie Grace Maui, probably my all time favorite jeweler! :) You ladies all inspire me so much!
I have probably spent hours on your site trying to choose my favorites, next to that gorgeous purple southwest print of course. It's hard to choose because they are all so stunning!
It has been so fun chatting with you and I cannot wait to slip on my ARIE Bikini when it arrives!! Thank you for letting Salt Water Diary readers peek into the mind of a beautiful bikini designer! We wish you all the success you can imagine!
Ariana: Thank you! It was so nice to connect with you. And Maui, will always be here and in the heart.
Are you ready for this? ARIE Bikinis and Salt Water Diary have teamed up to offer you a VERY generous giveaway! WHAT?! That's right, you didn't miss read! Make sure to get your entry in, Summer is headed our way full steam ahead! You have 5 days to enter! A winner will be chosen at random on Cinco De Mayo! (Monday May 5th)
CONGRATS ASHLEY PERRY!
Good Luck and ALOHA!