Saturday, September 22, 2018

Life Update: My Year

           I figured it has been so long since I wrote anything, that maybe I should update and write a bit of what I've been up to. Needless to say, the fashion blog was a bust. It is just way over saturated and it's too late in the game to get in there and actually get seen and  read.  I also don't have the budget to purchase and showcase exciting designer items like others do. This doesn't mean I have been sitting around doing nothing though! For one, we had a baby in June, so that has kept me VERY busy. On top of that I have turned my Etsy sewing hobby into a full on business. As of June, I am Isalina Swimwear. So that has kept me extra busy. I have been doing a ton of research and reading up on business ownership, and specifically swimwear business. Although there are a few vague things I have found, there aren't many specific things to go off of and so I thought it would interesting to write down and document my experience here, and maybe that will help someone in the future!

       So, to start, I decided to trademark my name. I came up with a unique name idea which was my 2 daughters names shortened and put together; Isalina. Little did I know, the trademark process actually takes around 9 months. Crazy, right? I thought I was going to pay and have it same week. So that was the very first thing I had done, on the business side, creatively I had already begun sewing my own samples and sketching other ideas. I had decided to take on a fashion show in DC for DC Swim week late July to get some eyes on my pieces and get some word of mouth and interest in the brand. That event was fun and I would say it is worth it for someone who could jump in and be super social and network with others. I, however, am the opposite of that and was even avoiding doing the designer interviews and had trouble talking to anyone! I did get a bit of exposure to the industry and really the only downside was losing a bikini top sample during the process. Before doing any type of networking event such as this I would recommend setting up a website with a web hosting site such as Shopify. I did not do this before the event and therefor couldn't hand out my business cards with my domain on them because it wasn't set up yet. I didn't want people to go to the site and receive an error message. Currently, I am looking into business and personal loans as well crowdfunding like kickstarter to help fund this project.  But, before I can set up my kickstarter I need to have great professional photos done of my products. In order to do this, I have to have professional samples made by my manufacturer so that what I am advertising is what people would be getting. And, it's little details like this that I couldn't exactly find online and I just had to figure out and arrange on a timeline in my head. For right now, I am just trying to stay positive and motivated and not lose focus of my goal! Some days are harder than others and I just think I am crazy for having this big dream.

        Here are  just a few photos from DC Swim Week of my collection!


purchase sample HERE or email to pre-order

light pink string bikini

Purchase here or email to pre-order

maroon braided bikini
lace up front swimsuit

rose gold high waist bikini

I wore my Camilla dress with nude lace up sandals. Be kind, I was 1 month after having a baby!

If you want to follow along with I'm doing, head over to my instagram HERE 
To pre-order anything please contact me at

Thursday, April 12, 2018

New Sexy Snake Print Bikini on Etsy

          I am so incredibly in love with this fabric from Fluky Fabrics on Etsy! It feels sooo nice and the colors and look of it just absolutely screams summer and Miami, Bali, or Hawaii. It's so exotic so I had to start with a super sexy style. I first made this brazilian back adjustable bikini bottom and the style of the top just seemed to match so well with the bottom that it was created immediately after. I am seriously considering getting more of this fabric, what styles would you love to see in this print?

sexy bikini

pink snake print bikini

Also went with a more modest bottom for the girls not wanting  to bare all! I got you..

snakeskin bikini

You can find both of these one of a kind original pieces HERE ! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

New Gingham Bandeau Lace-Up Bikini


       Just posted a new listing up on Etsy of the newest addition! Its a gingham off-the-shoulder lace up bandeau bikini set. Shop here

-Fully lined
-With boning in side seams
-Elastic in top and bottom

Monday, March 19, 2018

Etsy Update and New Items for March 2018

        There were a couple of new items that went up on my Etsy site this month! Two bikini SETS are up and ready for new homes! I have also renewed the listing for the high waisted gingham bikini that was sold out last summer since I found a couple more yards of the fabric. high waisted gingham bikini

gold scrunch butt triangle bikini
$39 for nude scrunch butt bikini set

$45.00 for tribal ruffle bikini set
        Both have elastic in top and bottom as well as the scrunch butt feature for a super flattering booty fit. Both are fully lined. The tribal print can be tied in front or wrap around and tied in back. Please hand wash cold and line dry!  I have these displayed differently in flat lay because I am currently VERY pregnant and in no shape to model these beauties, but am looking for a model to show the fit better.

       I have a few other projects in the works including a matching striped skirt and tie front bandeau set, a floral asymmetrical mini dress, and a romper all coming up on the site in April! Also coming up for April are a ton more bikinis and one pieces. I have started to expand my fabric search to online stores since it is so difficult to find swimwear fabric here in Virginia. I find I am more drawn to exotic prints with strong Miami feels, although I am not sure that is what sells right now. I feel that when you wear a sexy bikini you should want all eyes drawn to you! Own the moment. 

This is the newest print I have to work with for April and I am pretty excited! It is super soft and buttery with really great stretch. I also have a solid heavenly baby blue that will look great with a nice summer tan. 

To get quick updates of what's new on my Etsy, follow me on instagram

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 30, 2017

New Etsy Items Now Available

  I updated my Etsy with a few new items, I continued the trends of the season. I added this adorable gingham shoulder baring lace up top with eyelet sleeves:

I also reworked a romper I had previously made. People thought it looked a bit frumpy and I wasn't ecstatic with it either. Turns out, destiny wanted it to be a bodysuit! It came out great. I added a seamless thong bottom with a snap clasp closure for easy bathroom access(nothing more stressful than using an airport bathroom wearing a bodysuit without the snap clasps). 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Travel With Kids- Tips, Advice, and Breaking the Fear

        Most new parents or friends without kids I talk to have this fear or suspicion that flying with their babies, toddlers or kids will be terrible. So many of them just choose not to travel because they hear horror stories or because of their own perceptions of what it will be like. Because of this so many people, adults and kids, miss out on travel and memories with their families! I think as long as you have the monetary means to travel, you shouldn't let the thought of stress or crying babies stop you. We have been traveling with our daughter since she was six months old and except for one time when she got airsick her first time on a plane, it has been nothing but pleasant. You do, of course, have to understand things may be a bit different and possibly a bit more to carry, but if you go in knowing that you should be fine. I do have a few suggestions or tips.

  • If budget allows, do purchase a seat for your child, even if they are a baby or under 2. Trust me on this one, if you don't you will probably regret it. All the families I see traveling who have their child on their lap look stressed out. If it's not possible to get them a seat, try to find an airline that has the bassinet seats available. A few airlines now have the very front extra space seats with fold down bassinets for babies. 
  • Purchase over night flights! THIS is key! 
  • Purchase a cheap umbrella stroller(Walmart for $20), you can use these throughout the airport and drive your little one right up to the plane entrance, fold it down and check it at the gate. This saves you having to hold your kid the whole time. If they are too little for umbrella strollers, wear them with a baby carrier. 
  • If you do purchase a seat for them, bring on your car seat for them to sit/sleep in. Just make sure it follows airline guidelines. Our car seat has a pull and you can recline it. Our daughter sleeps through 90% of flights she is on because of this, the longest flight she has been on was about 10 hours.
  • Call ahead and order a child friendly meal if your flight offers in flight meals. This saves you having to pack food and snacks especially for your little one. 
  • Throw out the rules for electronics( iPad, leap pads, phones etc). Although some parents do restricts screen time, this would be an exception if your little one doesn't want to sleep. Plus, it's a vacation! Let loose.. 
  • Dramamine .. nuff said. Give it to them an hour before the flight, if possible. 
  • Don't over pack a bunch of toys and blankets and stuff. Guaranteed it will only be more to carry and is not necessary. 
  • Although airports are strict with liquid and such in carry-ons, they are far more lenient with liquids and powders for babies. Make sure to tell them BEFORE it goes through the x-ray belt. They will allow formula, milk, or jarred baby food as long as you claim that you have it before hand. Same goes for any liquid medication for babies. 
  • You can check as much baby gear as you need, free of charge. Car seats, strollers, pack-n-plays can all get checked without additional fees. As long as you are not worried about them breaking it, check it, check, check it!
  • Don't worry about what people think if your kid cries. Most of us understand. Many of us have been there. If they don't like it, screw em! 
        I hope this helps even a little bit anyone who is thinking about traveling with their kiddos! Have fun! 

                                                                           Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 16, 2017

St. Maarten Travel Post

Pinel Island


Pina Colada duty. 

Shoal Bay Beach, Anguilla

Mullet Bay

Cupecoy Beach, right around that rock was a nude sunbather!

Ice cream boats instead of trucks on Pinel Island

Just wanted to share some photos from our great trip to St.Maarten and maybe offer up some advice. This was our first time in St. Maarten even though we have had a timeshare for about seven years that offers us a space there. The first day we got in, it was raining heavily, so we hung out in the Greenhouse restaurant which had pretty good food and 2 for 1 drinks for happy hour. The day after, we went out to Pinel Island. Once you get to the spot where the 'ferry'(its a small boat) leaves from, you can park and rent kayaks or paddle boards and get over that way. It was $15 for a single person kayak and $12 for the boat ride over. Get there early, they do not have many kayaks/paddle boards. Once you are there, I really suggest the Karibuni restaurant($20 for umbrella and chairs). Their drinks are really good and strong and the food is great! I suggest getting the cuttlefish dish. The service is super fast and friendly and they gave us a try of their home made banana rum, which was so yum my dad kept trying to get the recipe. 
The next day we drove with plans to go to Cupecoy Beach and snorkel. It is beautiful in pictures, but in person, there is not much sand or beach and the water is quite rough with a lot of rocks through out. It's not great for smaller kids, so we traveled on to Mullet Bay Beach. This beach is really pretty and I would suggest it for young kids and inexperienced swimmers. The snorkeling was okay. We got to see a few fish and urchins. The highlight here was the woman giving massages on the beach(I think her name was Trudy). 
The day after was my daughters birthday and she kept talking about going to the pool. Instead of taking her to the dinky pool at the apartments we went to Loterie Farm. They have a really beautiful pool in a lush rain forest setting. Entrance fee gets you a lounge chair and towel. The food here was pretty great, too. Here, I suggest the chicken and brie sandwich and BBC drink. You can also zip line or hike here but we decided to just chill. In the evening, we went out to a nice dinner at Ocean82 in Grand Case (get the lava cake, trust me). The views here are amazing, so make sure to make a reservation before the sun sets. We made the mistake of thinking there is no traffic on this island.. because island life, right? Wrong. Give yourself more time than you think you need, especially when traveling at rush hour(there are a few draw bridges near Simpson Bay). 
The day that followed really pissed me off. It was the only day we had planned perfectly and woke up super early to make sure everything went according to plan. We were going to get on a catamaran to go to Anguilla. It included food, drinks, snorkeling, transportation. We booked with Bluebeard Charters. Their website said to be at the dock at 8 am. 8:30.... 9:00.. still no one came. We tried to instagram direct message them. Nothing. The hotel tried calling them. Nothing. We finally get in touch with them after calling them and they say they had to cancel due to electrical issues. No one emailed, no one showed up to let us know. We just waited and wasted time on our last full day there. Finally, we decided to take the ferry over. Anguilla was AHmazing. We spent the entire day at Shoal Bay Beach. Be warned, their sun is no joke! Bring nothing below 70 SPF sun screen. You will not tan. You will burn. The drinks here were much much cheaper than St. Martin. The food was lacking a bit of something though. The snorkeling here was phenomenal and there is a big reef that is very much alive. Here, we saw many fish in all colors. You can rent snorkel equipment 40 ft from your beach chair. 
If you are going to party,drink, and eat this is the place for you. There are restaurants literally everywhere. Anguilla was a bit more peaceful and less developed, and I love it for that. If you are going for relaxation and to get away from people and de-stress, go elsewhere. Such as Anguilla, St.Lucia, or Antigua. 

Thanks for reading!