My love affair with everything tropical began in the 80's, when I was born into the trend, which has thankfully come back full circle and is totally on fleek. I come from a long bloodline of surfers and my Dad used to bring me, my brother and sister on his surfboard basically from the time we were able to walk. Since I learned to surf at a very young age, I had pipe dreams of living on a beach, surviving off the sea, growing bleach blonde dreads, surfing all day, and that's all that mattered to my simple mind. For my 16th birthday my Dad bought me a custom made Shane Smith 6'8 surfboard in my favorite color with a hibiscus Hawaiian pattern that he designed. Needless to say, I balled my eyes out in a fit of joy- to me it was the most amazing 16th birthday present ever and it totally trumped all those Sweet 16 MTV idiots. So, you can understand my overly aggressive excitement when I was given the go-ahead to use Hawaiian prints in the development stages of a 2016 Women's Apparel and Headwear line that I am currently working on. This particular brand has not yet tapped into the Hawaiian look but I say- it's about time. My inspiration comes from tropical patterns being in my blood from birth anyway, but more importantly, from my fiancé and I being in the midst of planning our wedding in a very, very tropical place. Seems fitting right? My advice for introducing the exotic look; small hints to start out, and if you think you can handle it, go bold. Since it became clear that living on a beach and growing dreads wasn't really a solid career path for me, I worked towards the next best thing, which was becoming a Designer so I could create clothing and accessories that have personal meaning to me and hopefully evoke the same out of my consumers. I came across a quote the other day that read, "Style is my own, and no one can take that from me" and I thought, hell yes. So very true, and as a side note I also might get that tattooed on me in French. But anyway, I could sit here all day and preach about tropical prints in my Roxy Quick Dry SPF palm tree pants, but I'm off to a craft beer festival.