NYC Urchin interviewed Helena the founder of Mi Ola right after Sandy and again today…
Looking back: “We were dealt an (almost) fatal blow by Sandy, and we’re struggling to continue. Part of the reason I won’t give up, is because I (and other female surfers) still need great bikinis that will stay on and look great while we surf. I’m putting every last cent I have into launching this company, because I know we’ll change surfing for the better.”
Helena and her family have persevered and now Mi Ola is churning out more surf-ready bikinis in vibrant colors and flattering cuts. Support a brand with heart and NY-roots as you shop for your winter surf trip!! The website is easy for shopping and allows you to purchase separates. [The SuperCheeky Bottoms are HIGHLY recommended]
The inspiration for our colors and patterns is from the tropics and yet, we make everything in NYC! I blend the inspiration of tropical nature in with sophisticated style and very high quality, necessary for demanding athletes who ask a lot of their suits.
Because I split my time between Breezy Point, NY and Tamarindo, Costa Rica, I use the vibrant colors I see in my backyard in Costa Rica and on the beach as my inspiration – it’s all influenced by nature in the tropics. Every color we use can be found in the ocean, palm trees, big tropical flowers, gorgeous macaws, and scary poisonous snakes or insects – which are really beautiful, as long as they are not in my bathroom!
We also have a palm print and a jellyfish print (called the medusa) and a feather print (the pluma), all coming in the next few months. I’m already thinking about other prints that we’ll develop for the next collection. I love how tropical schools of fish glimmer in the water, or the beauty of a group of rays in the water. (Also something I don’t necessarily want next to me while I’m surfing, but it happens down here!)
Our cuts are driven by what works in the water and what works on a women’s body. I want to make every woman feel more present at the beach – by cutting out the thing we ALL do - tug, yank, adjust, and pull our suits to where we need them, after we jump in the water, duck-dive or even reach over to get a magazine out of our bags. We are all so used to adjusting our suits. My 2.5 year old has already perfected these moves!
Imagine how much nicer the beach is when you don’t have to constantly check your suit to make sure you’re covered! I surf in my Mi Ola suits all the time, and it’s AWESOME. My bottoms don’t fall down and my top doesn’t shift when I wipe out.
One note: Most of our bottoms have smaller coverage than the traditional US full coverage bottom (which I call the diaper butt.) This is because, first: the more fabric you have in your suit, the more the water can pull it down. The fabric acts as a sail and moves with the water. Second: because most women look better in smaller bottoms. I know, you doubt this… but try it, you’ll like it!
Our boyshorts have the most coverage, and also happen to be super cute and style-y. We will be developing a more full coverage bottom, but I’ve got to work on that one a little bit to find a way to make it look great and stay on!