I grew up in a rural foothills community in Northern California called Paradise. While it wasn’t all its name implied and lacked much excitement often times, it was a special and meaningful place to grow up. The town straddles a ridge that is bordered by two canyons on either side, both containing rivers with excellent swimming holes. It was here we’d spend summers hiking down the steep terrain to bask in the sun and enjoy the clear, refreshing waters.
After high school, I moved to the coast for college and then adventured north to Alaska for several summers and a winter in Colorado along the way. A strong sense of adventure has always driven me to explore. I discovered Strange Bikinis through a mutual friend on Instagram and loved their vision of female empowerment, self love, and embracing one’s unique and beautiful shape. I was stoked to support a company whose ideals I identified so closely with, and I purchased a custom Arancia top from Ali in 2016. I remember the first time I put it on. I felt STRANGE and CONFIDENT, and it enabled me to feel comfortable in my own skin on many subsequent adventures! I re-settled in Paradise in the last couple years to be closer to family and roots.
On the morning of November 8th, the unfathomable happened. A firestorm swept rapidly through our town creating an inferno and turning it into a literal hell on earth. Many were trapped and sheltered in place for several hours. I was able to load my adventure partner-in-crime (Echo, my golden retriever) in the car and evacuate. After spending over two hours in gridlock traffic trying to go a distance that would have normally taken me 15 minutes, we safely arrived in Chico. I was so thankful that my family and friends all made it out alive. My deepest and most heartfelt condolences go out to those 86 who weren’t as fortunate.
I am proud of the resilience of Butte county and my community in the wake of this disaster. We are slowly beginning the process of piecing our lives back together, most in an entirely unfamiliar direction.
After losing all my belongings, I reached out to Strange Bikinis to inquire about the possibility of any compassionate assistance in replacing my beloved bikini. I was met with a prompt reply and a resounding confirmation that my suit would be replaced! I am incredibly humbled and honored to have the support of Strange Bikinis during my new beginning. What a rad and thoughtful company that continually promotes self-love and positive body image. Thank you for allowing me to embrace my strange and find my wild again!
Many of today’s garments use synthetic materials that are chemically produced and non-biodegradable, even though they are recyclable. While recycling is one way to prolong the lifecycle of the fabric and delay its entry to a landfill, recycling still involves the use of chemicals, dyes, and processes that are not environmentally friendly.