Hi Bellas! It’s so lovely to meet you! My name is Ava Brannon and I have the pleasure of working alongside Elayna as Co-Founder of Vaga Bella.
I have a feeling you are curious how we came to be partners in this big little dream of ours. Well, I guess you could say it was thanks to social media and a little nudge from the universe..or so I like to think. I had been watching Elayna on Sailing La Vagabonde and found myself wondering if she might want to start a swim line of her own some day…it only made sense! Then, one sunny California morning, I read a post of hers, alluding to just that. Immediately I reached out to her with details and examples of my design experience and of course a little bit about who I am. Just 40 minutes later she responded and we dove in head first! After a few weeks it was clear that this could be more than just a little freelance gig for me. I was fully invested. From the passion that Elayna was bringing to the project to the excitement I felt while working on the line - I knew we had something special.
Prior to Vaga Bella I spent 10 plus years designing denim, children's, woman’s and young contemporary. All full collections for mass market department stores with massive units, sales and in turn an undeniable impact on the environment. Although I loved the challenge of fast fashion, it always left a little something to be desired and a lot of guilt. As a young girl growing up in the Midwest of the USA, I dreamt about the career I had made for myself but after a few years building my life in California - those dreams changed. So, I left my big corporate job, big paycheck and hours spent commuting. I began freelancing and consulting, finding more time to work passionately and appreciate this beautiful life. Now my favorite things are much simpler. Fresh fish speared while free diving by my husband and days spent under the sun, in and on the water. Any time I can be barefoot, in a swimsuit with a big hat on - this is when I am happiest.
Now with a little boy of my own and only the future ahead, I can’t help but want what is best for this incredible planet. As a Vagabond at heart I constantly consider life lived a thousand different ways and in any number of locations. I want this swimwear to transport us all. My heart longs for being a part of something bigger than just the status quo. This means doing what is right, first and foremost, before what cuts corners or is ‘easy’. It also means saying yes to the unexpected and striving to live life differently. Thanks to Elayna, we are all reminded of these extraordinary possibilities weekly.
~I hope our Swimwear can tell stories of places we love while becoming part of your own adventures.
~Striving to use the best, most earth friendly materials, curating colors and prints that inspire us, and designing styles that will become your second skin.
~ Connecting and creating community is a passion for me. I look forward to this being the start of a beautiful network of strong, passionate women. This is what I want for VBS.
I am a consummate searcher, I value change and exploration in every aspect of life. Vaga Bella is a puzzle piece that has brought so much into focus for me. As Gloria Steinem said.. “Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.”
And dreams are something Elayna and I are in no shortage of!
xx ~ A