After weeks of posting and voting, @Artemis_Eleven has officially been announced as the Mi Ola giveaway winner! We would like to congratulate @Artemis_Eleven on winning a brand new Mi Ola bikini and showing us what #PuraVida means to her!
Created for the true Pura Vida lifestyle, Mi Ola bikinis were born along the tropical coastline of Tamarindo in Costa Rica. Designed by a surfer girl for surfer girls, Mi Ola combines high NYC fashion with functionality to create bikinis that are both cute and user-friendly.
Get to know Mi Ola bikinis founder, Helena Fogarty, as she shares her story on what Pura Vida means in her life!
How was surfing impacted your life?
Helena Fogarty: Learning to surf completely changed my life. It was literally a pivot point. Once I caught my first wave, I couldn’t live without surfing and my life has morphed to accommodate surfing. Without it, I would most likely still be working in high fashion in NYC – maybe married with 1.2 kids, maybe single.
Instead, I’m living 1/2 in Costa Rica and 1/2 in NYC, surfing every chance I get, and creating a company that will make a difference for women at the beach. I’m poorer and richer at the same time. Poorer financially – significantly as all my money is in making Mi Ola a success. Richer because whether I’m in Rockaway, NY or in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, I’m living a block from the beach and getting in the water, and working on a product I love.
Can you describe the surf culture in NY?
HF: Surf cultures are very similar everywhere. The difference I find in NY is that the NYC surfer is a tougher sort – willing to go out year round to get the best waves. That really weeds out the ‘sunny day surfers’. It’s a tough crew, but it’s also a very friendly group. Because I split my time between the tropics and Rockaway, I tend to surf in Tamarindo a lot more often than in Rockaway. In Tamarindo, it’s very easy to grab a board and be a kook. The water is 85 degrees for most of the year.
What does Pura Vida mean to you?
HF: Pura Vida is having a morning snuggle with my 3-year-old daughter, an effective day making the best bikinis out there, a sunset surf where the water almost looks like lava due to the reflection of the setting sun, and after, a beer listening to a band play on the beach and dancing with my daughter. That’s pura vida to me.
With so many bikinis on the market, what sets Mi Ola a part from the rest?
HF: Mi Ola is what happened when high fashion met function, and they had a baby. I worked for Chanel, Ferragamo, Harper’s Bazaar and other companies and I know there’s a difference in high quality, high style products. I’m also a surfer, and I don’t want to be distracted worrying about my suit when I’m duck-diving or surfing.
We are here to make your day in the water better. How much better will your surf sessions be, when you don’t have to adjust your suit? I want everyone who tries Mi Ola to be just like my new favorite customer, who just emailed me, “Oh my god, once I’ve worn your suits, I can’t wear anything else to surf! How soon can you get me another suit?”
There’s a lot of cheaply produced swimwear out there. Even suits with a high price point, which fall apart after a few wears. We don’t skimp on quality, function or style to make Mi Ola. We use high quality swim material. I drive my factory crazy with my quality requirements. We test everything in the waves. We remove everything EXTRA from suits –
extra seams, labels, pads that double up, etc. We design our own prints, so you won’t see them everywhere.
Lastly, we’re inspired by the tropics and beach life. Mi Ola is all about bright colors, being happy, feeling great and having more fun.
What is next for Mi Ola bikinis?
The 2015 Collection is including a 1 piece! I’m finishing up designing our Resort Collection right now,and we’re making a 1 piece suit, along with a top that is designed for ladies with a larger bust, and a bottom with full coverage. We’re adding these all to the product mix because of what we’ve heard from our customers.