Bikinis & Bangles – The Making of the Hobie Bohemian Bangle

Some of the 17 hand-painted styles we created for Hobie Girl. You cant even buy this collectors item! The only way to get one is to buy a Hobie Bikini at a partipating Dillards or other Hobie retailer.

I’ve spent the past two months working on a really cool project with Hobie, one of the oldest iconic surf brands, today a multifaceted conglomerate of fun things us ocean lovers do in the water, sailing, kayaking, surfing and much more. Together we created a Betty Belts private label product, a hand painted bangle to be used as a gift-with-purchase promotion for retailers who sell Hobie Girl Bikinis. Buy a bikini, get a free bangle.

On various levels I’ve worked with Hobie for years. We share two brand ambassadors, a.k.a. “team riders”, the lovely surfing twins Sierra and Hailey Partridge. Sierra and Hailey have been with Team Betty since 2005, when Betty Belts became their first surfing sponsor. Photographer David Pu’u, who around then became my own partner in life, started shooting them surfing and modeling BB and soon got them cast as models for a Hobie photo shoot in Hawai’i. One thing led to another, with the girls proving their water skills to be numerous, and they became the first female athletes since Joyce Hoffman (1962) to get signed on by the brand.

Hailey and Sierra Partridge modeling one of the 2011 Hobie Bikinis. Hailey is also wearing my new "surfboard resin" earrings, made from excess surfboard resin collected by local shapers. Upcycle with style!

Hailey and Sierra Partridge modeling one of the 2011 Hobie Bikinis. Hailey is also wearing my new "surfboard resin" earrings, made from excess surfboard resin collected by local shapers. Upcycle with style!

Every year since, Hobie has hired David to shoot most of their product lines, including the bikini line for their ad and retailer display campaigns. And Betty B. accessories make a frequent appearance on Hailey and Sierra.  I myself am the one who styles and accessorizes the bikini shoots every year. We all work really well together and the results are always gorgeous.

When they started thinking about their annual gift-with-purchase for 2011, Carrie Seifert, PR Director for the brand, contacted me about Betty Belts possibly creating the giveaway for them for 2011. Together we came up with the hand-painted bangle idea, using the patterns from the 2011 Hobie bikini collection to make them extra special and collectible.

Nyoman's beautiful hands add a layer of design to one of the Hobie Bohemian Bangles. Each one is painted by hand by the Balinese Artisans of Betty B. for the Hobie Project.

Nyoman's beautiful hands add a layer of design to one of the Hobie Bohemian Bangles. Each one is painted by hand by the Balinese Artisans of Betty B. for the Hobie Project.

My  artisans in Bali have been very excited about the project and diligently hand painted 9000 bangles in 17 different patterns to become a gift with a Hobie Bikini purchase at Dillard’s Stores and other select Hobie retailers this Spring. For a retailer near you, check with Hobie Girl.

Please see the photos below and their captions to get to know the people behind this project and enjoy the  interesting back stories. I am very proud of my artisans for pulling his off in a relatively short amount of time and especially to my Bali production manager Ketut, for coordinating everything over there so seamlessly and capturing the process in these photos.

My staff in Bali and I are looking forward to doing more private label jobs like this for other companies who want to have something more authentic and unique to represent their brand.

For more info please visit www.BettyBelts.com

Betty Belts artisan Komang Oka, age 25, carefully paints the Hobie floral pattern onto one of the Hobie Bohemian Bangles.

Here you can easily see the first two steps painting this Hobie Design on the bangles. They need to dry between each coat. They can have as many as 12 layers of colors in the patterns we made.

Wayan Karmini, age 22, is meticulously painting pink dots on the bangles. She is wearing her old stained clothes for painting, but still matched it up. Notice the way she holds her pinky finger, which is an aspect of traditional Balinese dance.

A close up view of Wayan's talented hands at work.

    These Hobie Bohemian Bangles have a few more layers to go before they are finished, but they already look really cool!

These Hobie Bohemian Bangles have a few more layers to go before they are finished, but they already look really cool!

Betty Belts Artisan Made Nguwer, age 17, paints pink dots on one of the flower Bohemian Bangles. She practices Traditional Balinese Dance, as you can see by the way she holds her fingers here.

Kadek Kenti, age 21, takes a break from painting to spend a moment with her daughter. Children are cherished in Bali. Interesting Fact: Balinese Babies feet are not allowed to touch the ground for the first six months of their lives to protect them from evil spirits.

Ketut and Ayu who work at Betty Belts HQ in Bali carefully pack the bangles for shipping to California. Interesting fact: Everything we make and process in Bali gets blessed every day in their Hindu rituals. It is an important part of the culture that is an important part of the making of BB products. You can always feel the love when you own a piece made by Betty Belts.

Ketut Lestari, age 23, sits behind a wall of bangles in the Betty Belts HQ in Bali, doing quality control of each and every one before they get stacked and packed for shipping. We had the same situation here in California when they arrived.

The Hobie logo is painted onto the inside of every bangle.

That's me, Donna, surrounded by boxes of Hobie bangles at our house. The shipment was too large to process at the tiny Betty B. shop in Ventura, so we did it over several days in the living room of our home. Our cats enjoyed their temporary perches on makeshift box towers in their terrain.

Sierra Partridge of Team Betty and Team Hobie was over at the house to shoot some surfing with David and helped quality control the shipment from Bali one evening. Thank you, Sierra!

Our cats Ninja and Samurai enjoyed having a house full of boxes while we processed the huge shipment of Hobie Bohemian Bangles in our living room.

One Comment

  1. Sarah February 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    These bangles are so cute. I got mine last week and it has so many colors so it matches lots of outfits. I want more!! 🙂

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