About Kini Bands
How Kini Bands Began
Thank you for checking out Kini Bands. I founded Kini Bands while living in Los Angeles, working on a swimwear line I had moved there there pursue.
I lived by the water in Marina del Rey, and one night, we were in the middle of a brownout due to all the sea water in the air. The power was off, my laptop was out of battery, and I was feeling creative.
(Photo by Canadian retail chain La Maison Simon)
I had bags of swim strings and boxes of custom metal cord ends for my string bikinis. I put them together to make little bracelets for myself. I was struggling with launching a bikini brand on my own, and I still recall thinking that I'd wear the new bands I'd created as a reminder of my goals.
Thank Goodness For Good Friends
I wore them on my wrist everyday, and friends began asking me to make them too, but in different colors to coordinate with their outfits. I had started with only black and purple so I had some work to do.
(Logo Transformation from 2014 - 2016)
This remained a hobby for well over a year, and it wasn't until I was in a pinch one day and needed a hair tie that I realized the bracelets I had created made perfect hair ties.
And they were cute. I was onto something and it needed a name.
"Kini" like Bikini & "Bands" like Hair Bands
I wrapped up my fourth and final runway show at LA Fashion Week, and dove head first into the business, learning everything as I went. All the while, keeping to a shoestring budget.
A Stroke of Luck
I posted a picture of Kini Bands on social media, and had two friends with beauty studios say they were interested in carrying them. And they wanted matching headbands. I couldn't believe it. I created the collection as I went, and quickly added retail locations.
(The official Kini Bands retailer map in 2016)
As of spring 2018, we're now in over 500 locations worldwide, and growing. And thanks to more amazing friends, I'm getting help with my online presence to bring Kini Bands to even more people throughout the world.
The Core Team
Kini Bands started out as being just myself and my swimwear seamstress:
Maria. Maria sewed all of my swimwear designs and one day I asked her to take a break from bikinis for a "small project" of hair ties I wanted to test out. She handled the entire Kini Bands production until our third year in business, when it became too much. She now heads up new product development for both Kini Bands & Kinsman accessories. Her work with Kini Bands allows her to stay at home with her mother, who has Alzheimers, to take care of her and work on her own creative projects.
Michelle. She is a mother based in North County like Maria. She handles all of the fabric cutting for our headbands, and when we get together, I get to spend time with her three-year-old daughter. I can't believe she has another little one on the way soon so needless to say she has her hands full.
Bri. Our intern-turned-assistant from Point Loma Nazarene University, Bri handles tagging, shipping, organizing, and general admin for Kini Bands. She's been a huge help and is still in school but makes time for Kini Bands with her busy running schedule.
Who I Am
I grew up in Maine, in a town smaller than most people can even imagine. As a creative kid, and from a young age, knew I wanted to be a designer.
Shortly after studying entrepreneurship at the University of New Hampshire, I moved to sunny San Diego, sign-unseen, based on a friend's recommendation.
My first job was in marketing, and from there I began to really understand how to start my own line, and grow a business. I'm still learning, but getting there!
Thank you so much for your interest in Kini Bands, which now operates out of Pacific Beach area of San Diego, California.
If you need anything at all, please don't hesitate to contact us. And please keep in touch with us online via @KiniBands