We had the good fortune of connecting with Mariah Chastaine and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mariah, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Well, as a little girl, I always wanted to run my own business that gave back to the community. Back when Hurricane Katrina hit, I set up my first lemonade stand in my neighborhood and donated all the money I made to the Red Cross. I volunteered at local animal shelters all throughout high school, and then in college, I would bartend at pop-up events that donated a portion of their proceeds to various charities. After college, I couldn’t wait to move to a more fun and warmer area, and that’s when my heart found San Diego. I started by working for a local boutique accessory store that taught me the ins and outs of running a small business, and it was about a year and a half when I felt ready to start my own brand. I first did a ton of research on the different markets that I felt aligned with but eventually zeroed in on the active San Diego-influenced Lifestyle segment that I live and breathe every day. When brainstorming product ideas, I knew that I wanted to create something that was sustainably sourced but something that I’ll be forever passionate about. My research led me to find the most incomparable manufacturer that recycles plastic from the ocean and converts it directly into a sewable fabric that we then have made into swimwear. The swimwear is perfect for anyone who values a bikini that’s super comfy and stylish yet super Eco-Friendly. In summary, we are a strategic company that sells Eco-Friendly swimwear to anyone living an active lifestyle.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Absolutely. As a company, RYS Life is an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle Brand, saving the earth one bikini at a time. As I mentioned, all our bikinis are sewn by using fabrics made out of recycled plastic from the ocean. The once wasted materials are pulled from the sea, chemically-broken down into tiny particles, and then repurposed into the super soft beautiful fabric that you feel here. The bikinis are 80% recycled polyamide and 20% elastane. We believe that every little detail makes a big difference, therefore we pride ourselves in delivering quality swimwear that was made with minimal environmental impact. The most crucial aspect that separates us from the competition is our creation of beautifully fashionable Eco-Friendly swimwear that encourages a body-positive image for girls and women of all body types; We fit into your lifestyle to make you feel active and sexy. We want everyone to feel beautiful, comfortable, and sexy in our bikinis.
Our overwhelming volume of positive reviews and encouragement inspires us to set bigger trends within the fashion industry by reshaping such an incredibly wasteful industry into a more environmentally conscious commercial enterprise.
- We’re working with some of the biggest influencers in the industry to promote awareness of our eco-friendly revolution;
- We’re actively having conversations with some of the biggest TV networks in Hollywood regarding future sponsorship opportunities;
- We’ll even be showcasing our line in Miami Swim Week this July which is the biggest annual swimwear fashion expo in the world.
It definitely hasn’t been easy upsetting an entire industry and paving the way for unfamiliar mindsets within fashion and sustainability, however, we’re learning so much so quickly and we’re building such an amazing team seemingly overnight. Our next immediate stage will be content creation for TikTok and I can’t wait to circle back with you on the progress of that new venture in the next few months. Seriously, words can’t express the excitement, opportunity, and achievements we have on the way. Stay tuned.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Certainly. When my best friend comes into town for a long weekend, we typically prioritize a beach day at Pacific Beach; it’s fun, lively, and close to my house! We’ll either grab tacos and margaritas at El Prez or have dinner parties at my house. I’ll usually plan at least one night out in Little Italy for a nice dinner since the area has my favorite food and reminds me of home. I would also try to take a trip to Coronado to see the Hotel Del. On other days we’ll go hiking along the coast or up in the mountains in North County. One of my favorite things about San Diego, besides the amazing weather year-round, is all the different activities to do. Every weekend you can plan something completely different
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to recognize my mom! She has single-handedly been my backbone and coach; she has been my shoulder to cry on, and most of all my biggest supporter through everything. I could not have started my company without her, and I do not know where I would be today if it weren’t for her. Thank you, mom! I love you always.