If you haven’t heard, my swimwear brand, Sienna Swim just launched our fourth collection! I am so incredibly proud of the artistry, teamwork, and time we put into this drop—this brand truly is a labor of love between my family and our closest friends. Even though I’ve talked about it here before, I think there is still a misconception that because I have an online presence, my brand is a corporate machine that I am simply a talking head for. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
I spend hours every week in design meetings, fittings, creative brainstorms, manufacturing discussions and photoshoots creating the suits, the photos you see online, and everything in between. I am so lucky to have a team of incredible people around me who help me in every way they can, but a lot of it is on me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way—my name is on it after all.
I think that when people see me running a business that doesn’t look like a traditional “job” someone my age would have, they assume I get to do whatever I want as CEO. That would be nice. While I do have a lot of freedom, and I don’t have a boss I’m reporting to each day, I have people who are depending on me—including myself.
Coordinating a campaign shoot takes a lot of time, effort, and juggling. My photographer, Ivana Burbage is a new mom who also has other clients. Our models were a mix of locals from Hawaii and California who all have other jobs and commitments. My brother Jacob, our videographer, also runs his own business and lives between Hawaii and California. We have to coordinate photoshoot dates based on all of the above criteria, while also factoring in when our shipment with all of the suits from our manufacturer arrives.
We fulfill orders in San Diego, so everything is shipped there, and then my boyfriend and I, and my best friend Liz, take massive checked bags with all of the suits, coverups, and props to Hawaii. Once we arrive, another round of sorting starts. It’s all hands on deck to sort the suits according to style, color, and size so that we can make our shoot days as efficient as possible.
After taking a full inventory, we generate shot lists for both e-commerce and social, integrating all of the mood boards we have created in the previous months so that we can plan out around three months of social content. Once all of that is together, then it’s time to model.
This time, after all the prep-work was done, I started feeling really sick. I woke up the day before our photoshoot with intense body aches, nausea, and an overwhelming sense of ickiness. Thankfully, it wasn’t covid or the flu, but sometimes the common cold really has a way of reminding us it still packs a punch.
I was miserable the entire day and night before the shoot, but I knew there was no way we could reschedule. I hadn’t yet met all of the models we were working with the next day, and the last thing I wanted to do was cancel on them last minute, or show up low energy. I try to make it a priority to get to know everyone I’m on set with, make them feel welcome, and have fun, especially when the client is my own brand.
The next day, I woke up feeling about the same, but I was so excited about this collection and I knew we had to get it done. I got up, brushed my teeth, did my hair and makeup, and prepared for one of three 12-hour shoot days. I felt like absolute crap on set all day, but I pushed through, and thanks to Ivana and Jacob, you really couldn’t tell in the photos or videos. Everyone had the best few days, we met our deadlines, and were able to launch on time.
As soon as the shoot was over, I sorted through thousands of images to plan out our social content, which thankfully, I could do from bed. I spent the next few days resting as much as I could, and it all paid off when Collection Nº4 launched and all the visions I had came to life.
My work ethic is something I hope to be known for with everyone that I work with. I’ve been told it’s a Capricorn thing, but I think it just runs in the family—my mom is the same exact way. Then again, we share a birthday, which makes her a Capricorn, too. 😉