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11 Aug

Designer Spotlight: Kaileigh Swimwear

Posted by Bikini Owner in bikini, designer, Kayleigh Swimwear, Montauk, New York, swimwear

Ariana Jasuta — mega beach babe, designer and founder of Kaileigh Swimwear — lives, breathes and hustles that coastal lifestyle we live by in her hometown of Montauk, NY.

It's not all dreamy, though. Her determination to live a beautiful beachside life took a lot of guts — like quitting a high-executive NYC job to grind a full-time job in a surfing town, all while starting up her own bikini brand. Here's that story. Take a read — and shop our fave Kaileigh Swim looks here


BIKINI: The brand comes from Montauk, NY. Is that where you currently live? 
ARIANA JASUTA: Yes, I do! I live here full-time and travel in the winter.

BIKINI: Where do you travel to in the winter? 
AJ: Last winter I traveled to Hawaii, California, Miami, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

BIKINI: Are you chasing the warm water? 
AJ: Yes, basically chasing summer all winter long. I do surf a bit but nothing very serious.

BIKINI: Can you tell us about Montauk? 
AJ: Montauk is amazing. It's a small surfing and fishing town that has gotten extremely popular in the summer months for vacationers. The weather is great May through October. The best month is September because it's still warm, the ocean is at its warmest, and the summer crowds have died down. It may not be warm year round like southern California, but it's my favorite place to be in the summer.

BIKINI: What places in Montauk do you frequent and absolutely love? 
AJ: Ditch Plains Beach and The Ditch Witch are great when spending the day at the beach and surfing with friends. Montauk Brewing Company — who doesn't love it? The Dock has the most amazing tuna melt you will ever eat. Sunset at Montauket is a must; it's so beautiful up on the cliff overlooking the bay. I love going to The Surf Lodge on Sunday evenings to enjoy great music, a few cocktails, and the sunset.



BIKINI: You went to California after graduating college to pursue modeling. What made you pursue modeling and life on the West Coast?
AJ: I had modeled in New York City before heading to California. I wanted to check out Los Angeles, and my boyfriend at the time lived in San Diego.

BIKINI: You returned back home to Montauk after a year — why is that? What was your experience like in the modeling industry or LA in general?
AJ: I really loved California. I think about moving back all the time. The modeling industry was tough, though. LA is huge, so you are driving around everywhere, and I had just moved there, so I never knew where I was going — thank God for Google Maps. I moved back to Montauk because nothing quite beats a summer out here. I missed my family and friends and my lifestyle out here.

BIKINI: It seems like you adore Montauk — what does that lifestyle look like?
AJ: A typical day for me – waking up early with coffee on my front porch and answering emails. I usually then take a run on the beach. If I don't have a ton more work to do, I'll head to the beach and finish up my work in the afternoon. I usually get sunset drinks and dinner with friends on the weekends.

BIKINI: Why were you so drawn to start a bikini business? 
AJ: It almost happened on accident. It wasn't my intention from the beginning. But I think what drew me to start a bikini company was thinking about what I loved — life in a bikini. All the things I love to do mostly involve being by the ocean. I love the summer and warm weather and traveling to warm destinations. By starting Kaileigh, I could envision this kind of life all the time. It's what keeps me going.

BIKINI: Where does the name Kaileigh come from? 
AJ: Kaileigh is a middle name. 



BIKINI: You started Kaleigh Swimwear from the ground up and self-taught yourself how to operate a business. What's been the most challenging thing about this? 
AJ: I think the most challenging part has been doing it on my own. I've also worked a regular job most of the time I've had the company, and it's really challenging to work all day and then get home and put in more hours of work. My friends and family help as much as they can!

BIKINI: Do you do it all yourself, from design to sales and shipping? 
AJ: I get a lot of design input from friends. My mom helps me a lot with shipping out orders. I have quite a few friends that are great photographers so I'm always shooting with them. For the most part, I do it all myself, but am always willing to have help!

BIKINI: Wow, essentially you work two full-time jobs, what's the other? 
AJ: I left my advertising job in New York City and I now work at Montauk Brewing Company.

BIKINI: Why did you leave your advertising job in NYC?
AJ: I moved back from New York City because I was ready to move on from my job and I had gotten a great offer at home to work with the owner of Surf Bazaar, a boutique at the Surf Lodge in Montauk. 

BIKINI: It must take a lot of dedication and determination to work both jobs, what has kept you going? 
AJ: I think what keeps me going is that I love doing it. Sometimes it's extremely stressful and difficult, but at the end of the day I really enjoy it — it allows me to have the kind of lifestyle I want.