Anyone who knows me (or follows WhyDid) knows how much I love bikinis! I have quite a collection for a girl who lived in New York City and a two hour drive from the closest beach for the last five years. I probably single handedly supported my own department when I was in charge of buying swimwear for Bendel’s.
So, I was especially thrilled to have the chance to interview Christina Iaquinta and Sean Stuber about their newly launched bikini line and website, Mikini. Why so excited, you ask? Well, other than the standard swimwear obsession and the cutting edge HTML5 website, Christina is a fellow WVU graduate and sorority sister. See?! We did more than just party in Morgantown! I am not only proud of her, but I’m seriously impressed by her swimsuits.
I’ve seen just about every bikini out there, so when I visited Mikini’s site, I was pleasantly surprised. You can basically live out your swimwear designer dreams since you are in charge of mixing shapes, fabrics, lining, and trim into any configuration you please. They have taken mix and match to the next level. I would be willing to be there’s as many combinations as a Rubik’s cube!
Alright, enough about my swimwear psychosis.
Who’s behind Mikini?
My fiancé, Sean Stuber, and I started this process about 3 years ago now. We kept it just between us to start so it could truly develop into what we envisioned and decided to launch the website earlier this year. We have always been intrigued with entrepreneurship and supporting local businesses – We’ve been working with a local website developer in Boston and our models and photographer are hometown/local friends.
How did you get into the bikini biz? Is this always something that you wanted to do?
I’ve always loved swimwear and could eat, sleep, and work on the beach! I wanted to create fun, flirty, boutique style swimwear. Sean wanted to run an internet-based business so we merged the two. We both have backgrounds in retail which has proved to be extremely beneficial in developing the products, components and our brand. Mikini allows us to fulfill our passions but also considers our future desire to live near the beach!
How did you come up with the name Mikini?
Sean and I still debate this question! I’m pretty sure it was me, but he’s pretty sure he came up with the name! ha! Either way, it was definitely on a road trip from Boston to New York City fantasizing about our future together back in early 2008. The name Mikini evolved from the uniqueness and individuality of the offering itself; quite literally, “my bikini.”
Obviously, the shopper is in ultimate control of what her Mikini will look like, but how did you decide on the prints and silhouettes offered?
With the prints, it’s personal tastes and trends. We also attempt to select fabrics that work with each other to a certain extent as well – we want to create bikini “collections” for our customers similar to what they have in their every day closet… Tops and bottoms that they can truly mix and match depending on their mood and atmosphere. That’s one point of difference with our site – You can select multiple fabrics within one top or bottom and just keep adding new styles to create a full collection that reflects your personal taste.
As for the silhouettes, we wanted to launch with very “classic” styles. Co-founding the company with a male helps bring a completely different eye to the cuts and fabrics which I find refreshing.
Do you plan on expanding into more styles? Perhaps coverups and accessories in the future?
We have pages and pages of ideas for the future! In short, yes to more styles, yes to more fabrics, yes to more linings, yes to accessories! WhyDid will be the first to know when a new product comes out!
Who is the Mikini Girl?
The “Mikini Girl” is ambitious, fashionable, indulgent and social. She values her style and personal tastes.
Shopping for a bikini can be brutal for women. What advice would you give in picking out the right suit for you?
I’ll take this one, Sean =) The best advice I can give as far as cuts go would be to utilize different aspects throughout our website. Fit is really obviously important in swimwear – We have lots of pictures on our website to show the fit of each suit through the “view on model” link for each style. We are also constantly adding information/pictures/videos to our blog that shows different angles of each style. Lastly, if a customer still has questions, we have a Live Chat where we can chat directly! Something I should also add for the readers is that we do allow exchanges for size.
What’s the biggest mistake women make with their swimwear?
I’d have to go back to fit on this one.
Any swimwear pet peeves?
Showing up to the beach when someone else has your bikini on! One of the main reasons we started Mikini – we want our customers to create buzz and let people wonder where they found something so unique.
Your favorite vacation spot:
We are willing to bet our favorite vacation spot is going to be Bora Bora, where we are honeymooning this August! For now though, we’ll go with Ibiza off the southern coast of Spain. We vacationed in Portugal and Spain this past summer – the beaches in Ibiza are breathtaking and have so much energy!
Beach bag essentials:
The biggest beach towel I can find, iPod, magazine, notepad (we are constantly writing to-do lists), camera, raw almonds, fruit (Sean’s obsessed), Burt’s Bees, & Ray Bans. Great question – we are heading to Ft. Lauderdale this weekend and I need to pack! Ha!
Favorite beach read:
We both love Inc. Magazine. Useful links/advice for entrepreneurs and really motivating stories. I’m currently hooked on all things wedding related!
Polka dots or stripes?
I adore polka dots! I just made a purple polka dot bikini last night!
Check out my beach bound bikini creation here (guess I’m a stripes girl) and get your cute buns over to MikiniBikini.com and start designing your very own!