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What inspires you? Oleema: “What inspires me most are people and places, and for me, I never know when something will spark a creative thought. Meeting a new person, an interesting conversation, or visiting somewhere new all leave me feeling inspired!” Kalani: “I am most inspired by travel and experiencing new cultures, and constantly learning. I always say that learning new things every day keeps you young.” What inspired you to start Mikoh? Oleema: “Having grown up in an extremely creative household, it was instilled in us from day one to take the path less traveled. Our parents raised us to be free thinkers, and I’ve known since a very young age that I wanted to create something that was my own and served as a creative outlet.” Kalani: “We noticed a hole in the marketplace (which was suits that had a skimpier cut, which are super flattering) and Oleema and I were lucky enough to be motivated and to fill that niche. Working with Oleema, who is my sister and best friend, is my drive to work and inspires me to do this every day.” What is your favorite part of your job? Oleema: “My favorite part of the job is definitely the people that I get to work with, as we’re a very family run company and the people that start out as friends that we work with quickly become family. Being able to design something that makes women feel confident and sexy is very rewarding.” Kalani: “Every single day is different, and I’m always learning something new or a having a new experience. Also, being able to travel while working a keeps it exciting.” As sisters, how do you run Mikoh as a business? Oleema: “Kalani and I have the perfect partnership. I work on the creative side, and handle all of the design — whether that means creating the line, to the photo shoots, and everything in between while Kalani handles the business end.” Kalani: “I handle the business side, while Oleema handles the design and creative. It really is a mesh of both of our sides, and this is why it works so well. We work as a team and we enhance each others strengths and balance each other out.” How did growing up on the beach in Southern California influence what you are doing now? Oleema: “We grew up living the quintessential Southern California lifestyle, and spent almost every day at the beach, in the ocean, surfing — and obviously in bikinis. Our SoCal roots run deep, and the laid back lifestyle that we grew up with definitely translates into the look and feel of the brand.” Kalani: “This influences every part of Mikoh. We never forget where we came from, and all the time we spent at the beach and surfing really created the DNA of Mikoh. We love that we can always call California home.” How have your travels influenced your line? Oleema: “Having traveled since the young age of 13, each

destination that I’ve visited has inspired the line in a different way. Luckily, the majority of my travels have involved tropical destinations, and the colors, textures, and feelings of these places have influenced the prints, patterns and shapes of each piece in the collection.” What are your favorite surf spots in Santa Barbara? Oleema: “We’re lucky enough to have grown up going to Hollister Ranch as our dad has been a property owner since the 1970’s, and some of my fondest childhood memories are from surfing Little Drake’s and Ranch House.” Kalani: “We spent a lot of time in Santa Barbara since a young age, and I still call SB home part-time. I love taking my dogs down through Hammonds and Butterfly and spending days at the beach.” What would your ideal early summer day in Santa Barbara be comprised of ? Oleema: “My ideal early summer day would start off with a green juice from Juice Ranch, a hike in the hills of Montecito, followed by a breakfast with girlfriends at Jeannine’s. From there, I’d love a drive up the coast to the ranch and a day spent on the sand in the sun.” Kalani: “Summer days in SB make me want to move there full time. There’s nothing better than waking up early and walking to Jeannine’s. I love the scrambles there, and a dirty chai latte with almond milk. I like to top it off with a trip to the beach all day and a stroll around Coast Village Road.” How do you stay bikini ready year round? Oleema: “It doesn’t matter where I am — whether in city, snow or sun - I am constantly outdoors, going for a walk or doing something active. I think it’s always important to keep moving - no excuses!” Kalani: “Nutrition and health are really important to me. I do Pilates on a Reformer as often as I can, and think that walking is an easy way to stay fit and also gives you a chance see your surroundings when traveling internationally. I also take vitamins every day, and feel that the most important facet of living a healthy lifestyle is eating healthy.” If you weren’t a swimwear designer what would you be doing? Oleema: “If I wasn’t designing swimwear, I would still be doing something creative. If I ever did try to enter a different field, I think my surfing and Southern California roots would always bring me back to doing something ocean and beach related.” Kalani: “I would love to be a children’s book writer.” What role does social media play in your business? How important is it? Oleema: “Modern day social media is extremely important, as it never ceases to surprise us how influential Instagram has become. It is such a powerful tool for us to be able to reach a vast audience in so many different ways.” Kalani: “Social media is very current, very now, and very important to us. It’s fun being able to interact so closely through social media. It’s so useful to be able to shape your brand’s image via a curated selection of imagery and messaging.”

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Santa Barbara Life & Style | June 2015  
Santa Barbara Life & Style | June 2015  

Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine | Volume 3 Issue 6

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