Founder

Greetings, it's me Elayna Carausu.

 

I've realized that I'm not very good at remaining anonymous. I could speak in third person to sound more professional and keep things simple, especially for the poor fellows who may have stumbled upon this website by chance and couldn't care less who Elayna is, they just want some bikinis, damn it! 



For me, my swimwear feels like more of an expression of my current passions, emotions, and dreams. I find it hard to not share every part of the story, as well as my story. Here's a little tale about me and how Vaga Bella Swim came to be. 

After living on the ocean for 6 years now, I've realized a few things. I've realized what it really is that I like doing. Who I am, and who I want to be (kind of, well at least for now..). Spending any extended period of time out in nature will do this to you. You too, may have felt it on a camping trip, or a summer spent in a cabin by the lake. Stripped of all distractions and with enough quiet to really sit with yourself. We're forever learning and evolving, but what's become really obvious to me over the years spent in isolation is:

〰️ I miss being around feminine energy (I'm living with two boys onboard, my boys, both of which I so dearly love.. but two boys. Haha). 
〰️ I care and worry about the state of the planet, humanity, our oceans and all of its creatures. I want to help protect it. 
〰️ I've realized how lucky I am to have had the opportunities I've had. I have an overabundance of gratitude that constantly leaves me feeling overwhelmed. I feel so desperately the need to give back. 
〰️ I want to be a good role model to the youth of today, especially young women. I want them to feel confident in their skin and I want to encourage them to go and get whatever it is they want in life.

 

Then the idea came - I'll give back. I'll help the planet. And I'll create a community of women to join me in doing it. Then I thought, what do all women like? Well there's a lot of things but to name a few: chocolate, puppies, adventure, laughter, the liberation of swimming in the sea and therefore... BIKINIS!  

The idea of Vaga Bella Swim had formed. Vaga comes from the word vagabond. A vagabond is a wanderer, a person who moves from place to place without a home or job. Bella means beautiful in Italian. 


“If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.” ― Betty Reese

I reached out to our community when I had to turn my swimwear designs I'd drawn on paper, into something digital. Usually too proud to ask for help, I knew that there was no way I would be able to proceed with this passion project alone. Especially with my 8 month old son Lenny swinging off my legs, a YouTube channel to manage and a boat to sail. Immediately I had a dozen responses, but one stuck out to me. Ava Brannon, now co-founder of VBS is a young mother living in California who was quick to help and we fell into a bit of an endless conversation about my mission. Her excitement motivated me even more, and after a few months of her helping me out with odd jobs it was obvious that she wouldn't just be working as a free lancer for VBS anymore. I wanted her to be an official part of the (one man) team I had! I'm beyond grateful to have found a like minded woman like Ava to navigate this new world of swimwear and charity work with. 

With the fashion industry being one of the largest creators of pollution in the world, I always wanted the swimwear to be made of recycled plastic and other waste that would otherwise be thrown into landfill. I wanted my swimwear to be made ethically and sustainably, so I stayed up many nights, researching to find the right factory. I initially wanted to give 50% of profits to charity, but Riley my partner threw the idea out there to make it 100% of profits. At first, my eyes widened and I dropped my jaw at the idea, and then it felt so, right. Trying to pull off something like a not for profit swimwear line was right up my ally, although it's been one of the more exhausting challenges I've taken on so far. I know it'll all be worth it when we can really make a difference in the world.
So anyway, here we are.. 💛

Elayna