Our mermaid ship is run by two boss ladies, who are all about creating sexy bikinis for curvy girls, slim girls, fit chicks and everyone in between. But as much as they love flattering bikinis, they’re all about exploring the world and jumping at the opportunity to be adventurous too. One half of that duo, Kara, took the trek to South Africa last year and go inspired for our new collection including the Bohemian Queen styles. The result? Besides a kick a** collection of bikinis and sexy one-pieces, the experience of a lifetime. But don’t take our word for it, hear it from Kara herself in part one of her two part South African Q&A.
What made you want to visit South Africa?
I’ve always wanted to check out Africa. I’m really into adventures and I love hiking and animals, so it seemed like the perfect time to go. I was already taking 9 months off to explore the world, so I just added it to my list of places to see.
What was the most memorable moment that you had there?
Hmmm. Of the overall trip? I’d say when we went camping from Kenya to South Africa. It was pretty wild. Trying to go to the bathroom at night was a challenge because you’d see a hyena two feet outside of your tent waiting to eat you. You can’t forget that.
But also, we stayed at a really cool reserve in Durban. You’d drive your car in and there’s a giraffe about three feet away from you. It was so special. Aside from that, I’d say the culture, the animals, the sunsets, the spirit of the people (they’re so different than here in the U.S.) and the landscape were just amazing. So much to love.
What was the biggest challenge?
You ready for this? There’s no wifi on the whole continent. Ha!
Really, the challenge was camping across Africa–not glamping, camping. No one set up things for you, you do it all yourself. It’s arduous over time. You’re on the ground, you’re outside, you can’t go out in the middle of the night to the bathroom because there may be an animal ready to have you as dinner. The experience there was very different from our day-to-day here in America. But it was nice to disconnect. It was good to put in the middle of nowhere where you could actually breath for a moment. The experience was a real challenge, but a true blessing as well.
Did you go with intentions of getting inspired for the next collection?
We didn’t go with that intent to be honest. It just kind of happened.
For me I love love love love jewelry. So when i travel, I always pick up local jewelry. It was hard not to be inspired. All the jewelry from different tribes is so intricate. The prints are amazing. The fashion is really cool too. There are these colors that you’d never put together in your head, but then you see them put together and they work. It’s kind of impossible to not get inspired while you’re over there–from the sunsets to the landscape, I was really just blown away. You can see all of that in the Bohemian Queen capsule.
What did you enjoy most about the trip?
It was really cool seeing the animals in their own environments. Usually when you see animals like that, it’s all very curated. This was not.
I appreciated seeing South Africa in person. It’s a very complex place–amazing, but complex. Being there was a reminder of just how much opportunity we have here in the states.
If you could do it all over again what would you do differently?
I would go glamping! Kidding. I wouldn’t do a thing differently. This was really and truly the perfect experience. I joke and say we called this our “YOLO Tour,” because (if you can) you should definitely experience this once in your lifetime.
I do wish I had spent more time in areas like Durban and Stellenbosch. Maybe I’ll go back at some point and volunteer with an anti-poaching organization.
The thing about South Africa is there are so many stereotypes, but you have to look past all of those. You’ll hear that the people there are poor–and yes some of them are, but they’re rich in other ways. They don’t’ have to look at their IG feed every eight seconds to feel validated. That counts for something in my opinion!