Updated: Jul 11, 2021
I am passionate about creating connections with humans working in entrepreneurial, creative ways. I want to surround myself with folks who chase their dreams and live with their faces lifted toward the sun, because people like that make my heart feel free and fired up. Also, science shows that we really do become who we surround ourselves with!
I'm excited to bring that passion to this blog with my small business shoutout series! This series will feature small businesses that deserve alll the love & attention, and that I support 100%. I will be highlighting visionaries, activists, dreamers, doers, and creatives from a wide variety of industries. For part one, I can't think of a better business to highlight than this beautiful team & their ethical swimwear line: Amini Swim by Cierra Porter and Aubrey Maggard. Not only have I had the opportunity to collab with this dynamic duo a few times modeling their suits, but Cierra is also a lifelong friend (literally since I was five).
Here are some things I love about Amini:
~ Amini is a sustainable swimwear line. Its fabrics are made from recycled plastics and fishing nets found in the ocean. Especially in the midst of record wildfires in California, I am wondering how we can imagine a kinder future for Mama Earth, and I am so thankful for businesses like Amini stepping up to offer us solutions. The labor I've seen Cierra & Aubrey pour into this project - even when getting sweatshop fabrics would've been way easier and cheaper (and is sadly the industry norm) - really inspires me to be more intentional in my day to day decision making when it comes to sustainability.
~ Amini means "believe" in Swahili. Cierra & Aubrey are passionate about Amini being something that not only they believe in, but also that their customers can believe in. They give 10% of all profits back to charities that work to make this earth a better place.
~ Amini suits are super high quality (I can confirm from experience)! Not only is their fabric recycled from ocean plastics and fishing nets, and super cute, but also the ECONYL fabric is built to last - just another way the brand is sustainable.
~ Amini interacts with its customers- a lot! Cierra & Aubrey call it the "Amini family" and they mean it. No following is too small to get a shoutout on the 'gram, and Amini celebrates its customers successes (from a Sports Illustrated audition to a DIY beach photoshoot with friends) with an enthusiasm that makes me smile.
~ Amini has "Rookies of the Year" who are diverse, passionate, kind, intelligent, and caring women. Diversity is extremely important to me, and I love supporting a brand that not only has a Black woman running it, but also highlights women with different bodies and backgrounds on its platforms. And it's not forced or performative at all - these are ladies that Cierra & Aubrey know intimately, so everything you're seeing when you go to their website or their Instagram is a direct product of love and community.
I have to especially shoutout Cierra right now: She is (and I can confidently say this after twenty plus years of friendship) one of the very best I know at balancing creativity & success. I struggle with implementing my dreams; others struggle with coming up with the dreams; Cierra has big ole dreams and makes them happen. That level of dedication & passion creates a beautiful product every time. Earlier today, I told her that her life is attention-grabbing - you never know what's next, but you know it'll be unique, emotional, creative, and alive. And the same is true of how she runs this business with Aubrey.
We talk about wanting to create more sustainable and beautiful futures. Where you put your dollar can be a great place to start. Check out Amini for your next swimsuit, and in the meantime, visit their site to plug in your email to stay up-to-date on sales and product launches, and their Instagram to connect.
To end, here are some photos of me frolicking in Amini swimwear in Miami :)