Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Boynton.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Ever since I was little I have loved design, I designed and created every Halloween costume, my prom dress and in grad school (my background is in chemistry) I designed, tie-dyed and screen printed many dresses and outfits as an outlet for my creativity. I somewhat gave up after I moved to San Diego and thought that I would try to pursue selling my designs as a career.
I realized that selling your own art is really personal and it takes a ton of courage to get rejected, so maybe it wasn’t for me. I pursued a career in the chemical industry instead. I spent most of my free time learning to surf instead. But the more and more I got into surfing, the more I realized how inadequate a lot of the swimwear was, and the more I started thinking of designing my own.
It all came to a head after a tropical surf trip where everything I wore either fell off or wasn’t enough coverage to keep me from getting burnt. I just kept thinking… these are the least empowering clothes for women, where am I even supposed to put my key? Ever since I have wanted to pursue designing my own swimwear and wetsuits to solve problems and celebrate our diversity in the water.
Due to inspiring people in my life, that leap started to feel like an attainable reality. Hakuna Wear is a realization of that dream.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In some ways yes! We were founded in February; we have four designs in sampling and one in production. We were fully funded on our crowdfunding site, Indiegogo. Our launch party was a great success, and we have had so many supportive companies, friends, family, and just general people on the way.
When I first got this opportunity, I thought to myself, “I am not inspiring… What a compliment that someone recommended me. I know so many other inspiring people I could recommend.” So I would say my first struggle is self-confidence, but I am so thankful for my community that keeps pushing me past that to be my best self.
Manufacturing is our greatest struggle.
Finding someone locally that has experience working with neoprene, sourcing the recycled fabrics, and that works at the pace I like to work is the most difficult part. In addition, this is my side project so I have to remember to use my time efficiently to get the most out of my nights and weekends and not take on more than I can handle.
Every entrepreneur that I ask for advice says the same thing, you never know the bumps along the way, but each one will teach you something that you can use to conquer the next bump. I am learning a lot, and my stubbornness in seeing things to completion is definitely helpful in these situations.
Please tell us about Hakuna Wear.
Hakuna Wear was started out of the need for a functional and sexy swimsuit for both men and women so that you can be free to be you. That means a place to stash your essentials (pockets in every suit), no nip slips, no cheek leak, and no worries when you wear a Hakuna suit. When we say no worries, we really mean it.
You can rest easy knowing all our suits are responsibly made with the most sustainable fabrics on the market for swim and surfwear. All designed in the heart of San Diego, California, USA. In summary, we are a swimwear/surfwear company that specializes in solving swimwear problems.
The first collection we started with is called The Rainbow Warrior Collection, it is especially unique because it is swimwear made out of neoprene, like a wetsuit. The suits were designed to take the chill out of a windy day, be super comfortable because the material is stretchy and supportive, stay put and full coverage but still sexy, and have a pocket big enough for a granola bar (4×4.75”) with a key loop.
The goal is to be the first suit to think of everything you might need on a long sesh and make sure you can have so that we empower women and men to focus on having fun, and not all that other stuff. Hence the name Hakuna Wear, it means no worries.
What are you most proud of?
Personally, I am most proud of our mission statement, our tagline, and the logo that goes with it. Our logo is a rainbow above a barreling wave; the rainbow symbolizes diversity.
We believe very strongly in inclusivity, we want to say it loud and proud that the ocean does not discriminate and it is there for everyone to enjoy, and our suits can help you do that. ‘Be free to be you’ is our motto.
Mission statement: To empower people to let go of their worries in the ocean no matter what color, gender, sexuality, religion, etc. you identify with. Hakuna Wear designs suits that allow you to be free to be you and celebrate the diversity of surfing.
As a part of living this mission statement, we try to partner with non-profits to donate suits and volunteer our time as well with organizations such as Groundswell Community Project, an amazing surf therapy organization for women overcoming trauma.
We also try to talk and think about sustainability in a full picture, meaning that sustainability is not just making sure the materials we use are sustainable but that we are thinking about the people involved as well, from manufacturing to our customers.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
This one is a hard one! There are so many half-remembered pieces of memories from childhood… but all of my favorites involve being especially creative.
I remember times with my brother playing in the backyard and making up all sorts of storylines and scenarios, or with my cousin Krystal having our own costume parties and then when we got older, cooking fancy meals together.
- Cloud 9 One Piece Suit – $159
- Cloud Break Bikini – $158
- Moonlight Long Sleeve Suit – $189
- Website: www.hakunawear.com
- Phone: 3057902050
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hakunawear/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hakunawear/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/hakunawear
Alyssa Boynton Photography and Encinitas Surf Pics (Elyse Quartini)