My name is Avery Mills, and I am the sole founder, owner, designer, and seamstress of Blue Moon Bikinis.
I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, which is where I first started this business. Throughout my whole life, I have always dedicated myself to art, whether it was painting, drawing, designing, sculpting, photography, etc.- I was obsessed. When I started high school, I joined a special program at my school called the "Arts Concentration", which was designed for students who would be dedicating their high school careers to art. I immediately jumped into these art classes, and by the end of my freshman year, I knew I wanted to pursue the fashion route. I quickly started taking sewing classes to enhance my beginner skills, and worked on these skills for multiple hours per day. I started by altering and upcycling pre-existing clothes, then began to sew shirts, pants, dresses, etc., and eventually I worked my way up to designing and sewing gowns for my AP design portfolio.
Growing up in Florida, I was always surrounded by water. Whether that be oceans, lakes, rivers, or springs; I was always there. As I became older, I spent most of my time at the beach. I would always beg my family to go on beach vacations, and I eventually started taking day trips to the beach with my friends every weekend. During high school, I always knew I wanted to try to sew swimwear. However, designing and sewing swimwear is a completely different field of fashion. You need different materials, different notions, and even different sewing machine equipment; I didn't have time to pursue this field.
When COVID-19 first began to take full effect in the US (around March 2020), everything went into lockdown immediately. It was my senior year of high school; we were sent home from school, and all of our senior trips and plans had been cancelled as well. I had an insane amount of time on my hands, and as I started to get bored during quarantine, I decided to finally pursue designing and sewing swimwear. I started teaching myself and quickly became obsessed with it; I kept practicing until my friends and family could not tell the different between a piece I had made and a piece I had bought! I first started selling to my close friends, and then they convinced me to sell to the public; so I did. It quickly became popular in my hometown, Tampa, and as it grew on social media, my region of outreach grew with it.
Now I am here today, a student at Florida State University, where I am continuing my brand. I have been fortunate enough to be able to take this business with me, and I now have an office/studio space located about 15 minutes off campus. Hopefully this small business of mine will keep growing throughout my college career, and I can't wait to see what happens next!
ABOUT MY BRAND
When I started this brand, I first thought about all of the qualities that I look for in a good fashion/swimsuit line. Ethically made, quality material (recycled or recyclable if possible), and decent price points.
As someone who was an avid bathing suit purchaser, I knew most of the swimsuits I was buying, were way overpriced. I would pay about $100 per top and bottom for a suit because of the brand's name. I knew that when I started my own brand, I did not want people to think the same thing about my price points, so I made them as low as I possibly could!
One element that I wanted to play a major role in my brand, is the element of sustainability. Sustainability can include many different aspects when it comes to fashion, but the main goal of being a sustainable brand is to be ethically made (employees are paid a living and decent wage with good and humane working conditions), and to have as little waste & environmental production consequences as possible! Each piece in my collection is handmade by myself, and is made out of recycled material.
The fabric used to make these pieces is made of ECONYL, which is regenerated Nylon. Regenerated nylon is made of plastic and fishing net waste from our oceans and landfills, and can 100% be recycled! This means that with this product, you can create and buy new products without having to use new resources. The fabric is specially made and imported from Italy, giving you a luxe and high quality material while also being sustainable and eco-friendly.
There is no material or fabric that is 100% perfect for our environment. However, making the switch to using products and material like these, can save so many resources and help our planet so much, with one little step.