Interview with OT Surf – New Bikini’s

Christy and Scott of Ordinary Traveler just launched a new women’s bikini line designed to actually STAY ON for any woman who is tired of always fixing her bikini. We’ve pre-ordered a suit and can’t wait to get it for the summer! The line, called OT Surf, is manufactured in the USA and is being crowd funded right now through Kickstarter.com.  Since we think highly of it we thought we’d share it with you as well.

Tell us what prompted you to go ahead and design a bikini that stays put? Was there one specific incident? I know I for one have flashed too many people as the result of an ill-fitting swimsuit purchased in Costa Rica.

It definitely wasn’t just one incident. I think most women get frustrated with their bikini from time to time. I’ve had incidents in pools or just laying on the beach, but mostly it came down to every time I ducked under a wave with my board, I would have to pull up my bottoms. That slows you down a lot, especially when the waves are big. There were also times when I was just playing in the waves and would come up for air only to realize I had to readjust my top and bottom before anybody noticed.

Christy Close up Fixed 1024x682 Interview with OT Surf   New Bikinis

How did you research fabrics and seamstresses? Do you have a background in clothing design or are you a project runway groupie?

Nope, I never got into Project Runway. Although, now I wish I had. I have always been creative and designing bikinis seems to come naturally to me. It could just be because I’m a perfectionist or that I feel so passionate about making this product.

Google is your friend. Well, sometimes. We did a lot of research online, but you would be surprised at how little information we could find. Even finding information regarding places that sell the materials we need. Almost everything pointed us to buying overseas, which we feel strongly against.

After a lot of trial and error, we finally found a company that is extremely knowledgeable and they have been a wealth of information. This information doesn’t come cheap though. icon smile Interview with OT Surf   New Bikinis We wasted quite a bit of money before we realized that you get what you pay for!

Did you test the product? Any funny stories you care to share?

Yes, we definitely tested it. Well, I tested it because I couldn’t get Scott to put one on. icon wink Interview with OT Surf   New Bikinis As luck would have it, most of the testing had to be done in winter. Now, you might be thinking that winter in San Diego is mild, but the water temperature is usually in the fifties. I was the only person out there without a wetsuit.

One day I had to test just the bikini top, so I had this bright idea that I would be slightly warmer if I went out with my wetsuit up to my stomach. It helped give me the courage to walk out into the water, but once I did my first duck dive, my suit filled up with so much water that it was weighing me down and I had to keep letting the water out the bottom. It must have been pretty hilarious to watch.

Today so much in our society is DIY, but even in today’s world DIY doesn’t mean easy. What were the challenges you didn’t expect when you set out to design and manufacture this line?

I can’t even begin to tell you how challenging it has been to perfect this product. From sourcing quality and eco-friendly materials to finding contractors that actually know what they are doing and then learning how to market all of it, I feel like the challenges never end. It’s been a learning experience to say the least.

Bikini Denisa OT Surf Web Interview with OT Surf   New Bikinis

Tell us about your philosophy behind the product. I understand that the line is environmentally friendly and manufactured locally.

One of our main goals is to reduce our impact on the environment as much as possible. By sourcing materials in the USA and using local vendors, we are able to reduce our carbon footprint by limiting the energy consumed for shipping.

Another reason we chose to manufacture in the United States is because there are stricter standards for pollution controls and labor practices. Local production also allows us to closely monitor the consistency and quality of our products, which is great for us and for our customers considering we inspect every bikini to make sure there are no mistakes or defects.

We are working towards incorporating more recycled and eco-friendly materials into our bikinis. Sourcing recycled nylon/spandex has been quite a challenge, but we may have found someone in the United States who might be able to make the material for us out of recycled materials.

Right now we are focusing on what we CAN do and that is using eco-friendly hangtags and biodegradable mailers. Luckily, we have also found a great supplier for 100% recycled t-shirts.

How did you stumble upon Kickstarter.com? What are the advantages behind crowd funding? Tell us how it works.

I think Kickstarter is a great way to give people the opportunity to become a fundamental part of a new idea or start-up company. We love involving our community in decisions such as color choices for our bikini line and possibly even new designs. I like that we are also able to offer limited edition pieces that will only be made available to the people who pre-order on Kickstarter. It gives people more of a voice, rather than just buying a product.

Your funding video is amazing – I know you’re both photographers, tell us about shooting the video.

Thanks! Well, first of all, I had no idea how hard it would be to find willing friends to model a bikini. As we look back, we realize we should have just hired a model because we went through quite a few cancellations.

Scott shot some of the footage of me while we were in Baja in February and the rest of it was done on three different days in San Diego. The times when it was just Scott and I were comical because we set up a camera and tripod that was shooting video and one that was shooting photos, while I was modeling and Scott was holding the reflector. These are the times we really wish we had hired either an assistant or a model.

Pre-sales through Kickstarter run through April 2nd, I highly recommend you order one now – your tush will thank you this summer!

Christy and Scott run the popular travel blog, Ordinary Traveler and they just launched a new innovative sports bikini line called OT Surf. They are trying to raise $15,000 by April 2, 2012 by pre-selling bikinis and t-shirts. If they reach their goal of $15,000, then they will go into production and start shipping bikinis! Click here to pre-order now. And remember, what makes Kickstarter so cool is that it runs on the all-or-nothing funding approach, so if you pre-order a bikini now and they don’t reach their $15,000 goal, you will be refunded 100% of your money! (Check them out of Facebook too!)

Review: Chaco Shoes

These sandals are the best footwear known to man. Seriously. We wear them daily whether on the trail, in the city, or swimming through a rapid. The vibram sole always has superb traction and our feet never feel tired or sore…regardless of how much mileage we do. Added bonus…the tan lines one grows while wearing Chaco’s are a mark of honor. icon smile Review: Chaco Shoes
Chacos – There is only one sandal I will ever wear. Review: Chaco Shoes

Chaco’s come in many colors and designs, Danny wears Z1 (no toe strap) with the new lightweight sole, while Jillian is in the ZX1. Made of 25% recycled rubber, you can send your Chaco’s back to the company to have them resoled or even replace the straps, reducing waste in your local community.

Do allow some time to break these in and get used to them as adjusting them the first few times can be difficult.

Highly Recommended.  Get a Pair Today

Vasque Low XCR Trail Shoes- Womens

Rugged and tough, these low profile light trail shoes lived up to the Vasque reputation. My fourth pair of Vasques, these shoes are supportive and comfortable. They’re lightweight and at the end of the day, whether hiking uphill or through city streets my legs are never tired from hauling the boots around. The boot is supportive enough for hiking with a light pack, but since its a low profile, it lacks the necessary ankle support for heavy backpacking.

Fit:
My feet are very narrow and I have high arches so I’m difficult to fit in a boot. The fit is excellent and I’ve replaced the bottom with my custom made orthopedic without problems.
The shoe itself is breathable so I never have the problem of wet or sweaty feet. At the same time I’ve hiked in all temperatures, from hot and humid jungles to mountains of 4700m and have never had cold feet. Over the last 5 months my boots have been soaked numerous times and covered in mud more than I can even imagine. Since I’m backpacking they’re often crushed in the bottom of my pack, so to say boot are holding up well really means something! No tears or structural problems to date, and I’ll admit, I NEVER take my boots off correctly, they always get pushed off while tied!

Update December 2009: I love these shoes so much, they have been perfect for what I wanted.  I just bought another pair!

Men’s Travel Shirts

ExOfficio Polo – This is undeniable my best shirt. It is a polo shirt and can look quite ‘smart’ with the right pair of pants but since it is completely wicking I can even work out in it if I wanted to. Naturally, I don’t work out in it, but as hot as it might sometimes get this shirt still performs well and is thick enough to still be comfortable in the winter time. The shirt really doesn’t show its wrinkles once I put it on but the thing that puts this shirt over the top is that it has a zipper breast pockeet. While this is normal for an ex-offico shirt it’s not quite standard for a polo shirt.

ExOfficio Trip’r – These shirts are my formal shirts. Again, with the right pair of pants I look like a perfectly normal guy going out for the night rather than dirty backpacker. Both of these are button down so their fabric isn’t as wicking or forgiving as the polo shirt but the material is still surprisingly lightweight with a vent in the back as well. Long sleeved or shirt both shirts are impressively wrinkle resistant and both have zippered breast pockets as well.

Mountain Hardware Polo – This would be my favorite shirt of all if it wasn’t for one thing, it’s missing that breast pocket. The shirt is far lighter than the ExOfficio polo and I believe it wicks better as well. With a different material on the shoulder it is a bit more stylish too.

Review- Chaco Sport Sandals

Chaco Sandals

These sandals are the best footwear known to man. Seriously. We wear them daily whether on the trail, in the city, or swimming through a rapid.  The vibram sole always has superb traction and our feet never feel tired or sore…regardless of how much mileage we do.  Surprisingly supportive for a sandal, these shoes have a great foot bed and fully customized straps. Added bonus…the tan lines one grows while wearing Chaco’s are a mark of honor. icon smile Review  Chaco Sport Sandals

Chaco’s come in many colors and designs, Danny wears Z2 (no toe strap) with the new unaweep lightweight sole, while Jillian is in the ZX2. Made of 25% recycled rubber, you can send your Chaco’s back to the company to have them resoled or even replace the straps, reducing waste in your local community.
Do allow some time to break these in and get used to them as adjusting them the first few times can be difficult.

Chaco Sandals