Need New Bath and Body Products? Look No Further.

Over the last few weeks, I have accumulated some of the best bath and body products I think I’ve found to date. I wanted to share some of these with you as a sneak peek to some of my all-time favorite beauty and self-care products I will be detailing in my next YouTube video! Let’s get started.

 

img_5713-11. Love Beauty and Planet’s “Coconut Oil & Ylang Ylang” Shampoo and Conditioner

I was literally staring at the hair care wall at Walmart for about 20 minutes before I found these new beauties, glowing with the angelic light of promises of fantastic hair days. After browsing their selection of fragrances, I settled on the coconut oil and Ylang Ylang scent. Not only does this smell fantastic, but it helps control damaged hair (ever since bleaching my ends, my hair has never been the same…)

From what I could tell both in-store and online, the bottle is only available in one size (13.5 oz). However, a little goes a looooooong way, especially with their lightweight conditioner. The formula is made in a “less is more” fashion, so you get softer, silkier hair without using half the bottle.

I looked into the company and found some awesome missions and goals that they strive for with all of their products. They are 100% Vegan and NEVER test on animals. This is something that has become really important to me along with ethical resourcing–– and yes, they do that, too. LBP also pledges to release their annual carbon emission reports and tax the carbon they emit. Pretty awesome, right?

 

2. Love Beauty and Planet’s “Murumuru Butter & Rose” 2 Minute Magic Masque

Another LBP product I picked up was this hair mask. The directions say to use this after shampooing to give dull hair some of its life and shine back. It most definitely did. Immediately, I could tell that my hair was stronger, shinier and healthier than when I was using other brands (big plus = no split ends!)

My boyfriend happened to catch a whiff of my hair after I styled it and he really liked the scent. This mask–––paired with the shampoo and conditioner–––blended nicely together since they aren’t heavily perfumed. At just $3 plus tax, I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be purchasing this again whenever I’m in the need for a desperate hair pick-me-up.

 

IMG_57163. Bath and Body Works’ Aromatherapy Collection in “Focus” (Eucalyptus & Tea)

This is one of my favorite gifts I received from Christmas this year. I am a huge fan of B&BW’s Aromatherapy “Stress Relief” which smells like eucalyptus and spearmint. So, naturally, I fell in love with this scent as well.

I have yet to use the bath soak, but I have used both the bath wash and the lotion and they are wonderful. B&BW has a way with lotions and hand creams, and I will consistently use their products for that reason. Plus, their semi-annual sales always get me (some products farther down on this list were results of binge shopping their 75% off clearance bins. Oops.)

IMG_57174. Bath and Body Works’ Aromatherapy Collection in “Energy” (Citrus & Ginger)

A recurring scent with any B&BW products that I buy is the “Energy” scent from the Aromatherapy collection. Similarly to the “Focus” scent, I love that this is a staple item in my stash of self-care products.

I love my sugar scrubs, so having a body scrub I can keep in the shower is a plus. The smell immediately jolts me awake and is super invigorating. The body cream absorbs immediately and doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy like some lotions do. It’s ultra moisturizing, which is needed during these cold months in Tennessee.

 

IMG_57205. Bath and Body Works’ “White” and “Rose” Scented Cosmic Cream and Fragrance Mist

I picked this duo up at one of B&BW’s semi-annual sales (along with the “Rose” scented variation) when I first moved into my new apartment.

The “White” scent smells absolutely lovely, with a musky base and hints of vetiver and jasmine. It’s an aloe-based lotion, so it leaves your skin feeling hydrated and soft.

IMG_5719

Same goes for the “Rose” scent; it’s truly delicious. With a blend of rose absolute, red currant and patchouli, you really can’t go wrong.

Honestly, both of these were definitely impulse buys. However, they are awesome additions to my ever-growing supply of B&BW products. You call it an obsession, I call it true love.

I mean… if you find something good, why not indulge?

 

If you want to see some more products that I can’t get enough of then check out my YouTube video coming out Monday 12 p.m. (EST). Share this with someone you know that is just as obsessed with bath and body products and feel free to drop a like and a comment!

Yours Truly,

Allie

The Dreaded Job Hunt (and 5 Ways I’m *Trying* to Survive It)

*cue music from Psycho right before that woman gets, like, stabbed*

I have eaten a full bag of Andy Capp’s Hot Fries and I’m on my second cup of caffeinated beverages for the day. I’ve cried about three times before noon.

This all probably sounds very familiar if you’ve been in the realm of the dreaded “job search.” You’ve possibly Googled, “How much does a kidney sell for” and trust me, I’m right there with you. I’m reading endless resume tips, scouring the depths of sites like Indeed, Monster and Journalism Jobs to no avail, and repeatedly questioning why employers require 5-10 years of experience for entry-level jobs (???).

Finding a job is hard. Finding a job in journalism is harder.

Picture this: You’ve spent four glorious years at a university. You walk across the stage at graduation bright-eyed and hopeful of the future. Then, it’s like everything comes to a screeching halt. Classes are suddenly over. After that, you move nearly 800 miles away from everything you’ve ever known. You try and search for jobs in your field and nothing pulls through. Job hunting begins to morph into a metaphorical claw machine; sometimes you win, but most of the time you lose. Except the metaphorical claw machine of journalism is now on fire. And you’re on fire. And everything is on fire and you softly say to yourself with feined reassurance, “Everything is fine.”

So, what do you do? You sigh heavily, pour yourself the biggest glass of wine in existence and settle on taking a BuzzFeed quiz to find out what type of pizza you are based on your astrology sign. Self-deprecating, I know.

While this all seems daunting and scary (which—I won’t lie to you—it is), there are a few things that I’m doing to make this process a little less taxing for my steadily declining sanity.

1. Sign Up For Emailing Lists

One thing that I’ve found to be super helpful when searching for jobs is to add emailing notifications of new positions when they open up. Usually, websites like Google or Indeed will allow you to use specific keywords when searching for a job. For example, the terms “journalist” or “editor” or “freelance Stranger Things theory writer” might be suitable.

2. Look For Jobs That Will Use Your Degree

There is nothing more frustrating than going to a careers page and seeing “General Manager of Sonic Drive-Thru” in your recommended jobs (I know from experience). Try honing in on jobs that will not only challenge you but will also apply the things you learned from your time in college. Why settle for a low-paying job when you have a piece of paper that cost you roughly $60,000 and showcases years of tears, stress and coffee-induced all-nighters?

3. Find Something To Occupy Your New-Found Free Time

Say “so long” to the days of midterm papers and final exam cramming. As a real adult with no more college classes to attend, you now need to find things to fill the void. Try taking up a new hobby. Find a new video game to play through. Finally stop procrastinating and get to work on your blog and YouTube channel that you’ve been wanting to do for years… (Did you mean: psychological projecting?)

4. Don’t Give Up

It’s so easy to admit defeat when you feel like you are repeatedly hitting a brick wall. However, you can’t get discouraged every time you don’t get a call back or you don’t get past the first round of interviews. Easier said than done, I know, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and Edison didn’t invent the lightbulb on his first try, and other cliches like that. The point being: don’t give up, even if you feel like you’ve exhausted all options.

5. When All Else Fails, Network

Some of the greatest job finds have come from who you know, not what you know. Well– okay, it’s a bit of both. Reaching out to potential employers just to have lunch or to tour the facility is a great way to keep your name in their heads and stand out from other candidates, even if it doesn’t lead to a job right away. Chances are if they have an opening later down the road, they’ll give you a heads up. Plus, people know people who need to hire people and that’s always nice.

Sometimes, it takes a little extra initiative to be employed. If you’re a self-starter and don’t like conventional rules of the workforce, being a freelance writer or your own boss might be the road for you. Regardless, I’m going to try and use these tips as much as possible until I’ve landed a job I love. I hope you will, too.

Yours truly,

Allie

I Made My First YouTube Video!

After nearly four years of contemplating the idea of showing my face to the greater public, I have finally made my first YouTube video!

If you want to give it a watch, here is a link to the video (it’s only about 3:30 long; introductions should be short and to the point). I talk about my biggest influencers on YouTube, what I hope for the channel and what you can expect from me in 2018!

This is really monumental for me, especially since I was extremely shy growing up and hated being the center of attention. I never had enough confidence to make a video, but here it is.

I can’t wait for you all to see it and for the channel and the blog to take off. I think this is really where the magic is going to happen.

Enjoy!

I Went to my First FGCU Ignite Fall Retreat…

img_3838.jpg*Before you read, this was written and sitting in my drafts folder for the longest time. Enjoy.*

This weekend, I am fully immersing myself in the glory and salvation of God. As a newfound Christian, I can tell you that this journey was not an easy one. If you had asked me ten years ago if I would ever go on a weekend-long retreat to revel in the joy and the word of the Gospel, I would have thought you were absolutely mad. However, here I am, at just a week shy of 21, on said retreat.

When I was younger, I dabbled in religion. I know from an objective point of view that sounds awful, but religion was never “hard pressed” in my family and so any and all experiences with religion were solely my own.

I was 11 years old when I had my first, very basic conceptual understanding of what my christened religion of Catholicism was all about. At half my age now, I didn’t really view religion as anything more than something I had to conform to like a label to wear so I could fit in. I had friends in middle school who would take part in the Wednesday church group YoungLife, but I never expressed my interest in joining to my family and consequently pushed off my endeavors into Christianity.

At 12 years old, I joined my Catholic church’s children’s choir and began to go to Edge, which was our version of Wednesday school. I met a lot of cool kids my age, but I just never had a grasp of what the whole concept of “devoting yourself to Christ” was about. I figured this was just a place to talk about how good Jesus is and meet friends (a very superficial understanding, now that I can look back on it). Almost everyone in my grade had these amazing and borderline prolific understandings of the Bible. They could recite John or Ephesians with their eyes closed while I barely knew the reason why I was going to church, or why I believed in God, or if God even existed.

I was never really sure of the reason we left the Catholic Church, or why my family didn’t continue our education of the Bible, but I remember one day just not going to church anymore on Sundays. I stopped going to Edge, and in turn, I stopped actively pursuing Christ. For my high school years, some of the most formative years of my life, I didn’t know if I was really the textbook definition of a “Christian.” I felt outcast when topics of religion and God came up, and I finally settled on not defining my religion beyond, “I believe in God. I believe in Jesus.”

When I was about 15 or 16, I went to a non-denominational Christian church. Twice. I was still living with my parents, obviously, and didn’t have a car. During our time at the church, they were asking for donations to fund their newest church being built in Cape Coral, a city about 45 minutes away from where I grew up. That was all it took to strike a familiar chord with my parents and we stopped going (we were used to giving money to the Catholic Church every Sunday). I asked why we stopped because I really enjoyed the atmosphere, and I was given some reason that didn’t make sense to me at the time; something that now I can’t even remember.

I went to a Baptist church once with my father because he was dating a religious woman at one point in my life, but that—like most church trips—didn’t last long.

Fast forward to just last year around February. I was talking to Jacob, my boyfriend, about trying a new church group and restoring my faith before my big move to Tennessee in December of this year (just two months away now). I knew of three ministries at the time; Thrive, Ignite and Chi Alpha. I was hearing all sorts of good things about Ignite and really was interested in trying it out. We—meaning my S(he) Will Fade girls and I—got our group together and headed over one night in the spring semester, possibly sometime in March or April.

I instantly fell in love. The people, the environment, the service, and most importantly of all, our pastor Adam Alexander. Adam is one of the kindest, most understanding, accepting and welcoming people that I have ever met. When talking to him, you really get the sense that this is what his entire life is about; upholding the word of Christ through His people.

This retreat was… incredible. It was enlightening, beautiful and honestly soul-crushingly real. I felt vulnerable but in a good way. The way that makes you feel new again after you’ve been hurting for a while and finally let yourself show.

I got really sick the second day of the three-day retreat, but I only missed one session out of the entire weekend. We were surrounded by good company, singing, the Gospel and the spirit of Christ. I know that might sound hokey, but it truly was an etherial weekend.

I watched one of my SWF friends, Lexi, get baptized and I can promise you that nothing will make your heart soar more than seeing someone who you care about give themselves over to God. Lexi had always gone to church with her grandmother, and when she passed away Lexi fell away from Christianity for a bit. However, this weekend she redeemed herself on Deerfield Beach in the middle of the ocean while Adam and Stephen baptized her under the blue waves.

Fall retreat is a special trip that will always hold a special place in my heart. This was the first time that I had given myself over to my religion entirely and it only sparked a greater fire in my heart to find a home at a church in Knoxville once I move.

Yours truly,

Allie

An Open Letter to My Former Self

Hey Allie, or should I dare say “Alyssa,”

Let’s get something straight. Who you used to be in your teens and who you are now are two completely separate people, let me tell you. Everything that you have ever wanted was practically handed to you and I don’t want you taking that for granted. You worked your ass off, and therefore everything fell into place.

I want to give you a few examples on how cool your older self is now:

1. You graduate college in a semester. Can you believe it? 

There is going to be a day when you go to the beach with your real dad, his wife and your sisters. You’re going to tell him that you want to go to college and he is going to laugh in your face and ask how you expect to pay for it. You’ll tell him that you’ll find a way and he tells you good luck because, “I had to pay for everything on my own, so don’t think I’m going to help you.” Turns out, he never went to college. Think of it as taking a few AP classes, which you did. That’s about the extent of his higher education. You’re gonna cry about it when you get home and think that there is no college orientation in your future.

But guess what? You’re going to get accepted into the Accelerated Collegiate Experience (ACE) Program at Florida Gulf Coast University. You’re going to have all four years of your college paid for, plus housing, plus books, plus extra. You’re going to get your first “C” in a class and you’re going to think it’s all over. But C’s get degrees, so stop worrying so much.

2. You were the section editor for your college paper. 

Yes, of course it was entertainment and lifestyle, don’t worry. I wouldn’t have you writing the police beat every week. Things started off slow, you were a contributing writer (like all great editors start as). Then, you wrote every week – sometimes even twice a week – and that earned you the title of staff writer. You took this to heart and did the best you could, giving you the opportunity to cover Eaglepalooza your freshman year.

After this, you took on the assistant editor position for E&L, worked yourself to death every Tuesday night and did the same thing again the next year as E&L editor. Things were really rocky in the transition from your assistant year to your editor year because of the staff, but you welcomed in the new year with open arms.

Things ended up not turning out so great during the spring semester and, well, the Bears are who we thought they were (you’ll get that reference later in life). So, you quit. Not to worry though, you quit with dignity and your head held high, even when everyone around you was losing theirs.

Besides, you’re the newest editorial intern for Gulfshore Life magazine, so things can’t be all that bad, right?

3. You found a boyfriend. But, like, this one you’ve been with for almost four years. 

Makes that first relationship look like a blip on the radar of life now, huh?

He, Jacob, is everything you could have possibly wanted and more. He really listens when you have a problem, he jokes around with you when you’re feeling shitty. He spent so much money on you in the beginning because all he wanted was to play videogames with you, and that’s pretty damn special.

You met him online. I know it sounds weird but it was the best decision you’ve ever made. Things are going to get very hard Jan. 8, 2014. You haven’t told mom about him yet and she’s going to find out. You’re going to feel like your life is over. You’re going to stupidly run away for less than eight hours and then you’re gonna be right back home. You’re going to have to embarrassingly apologize to his parents over the phone and hope that they don’t think you’re absolutely crazy.  You’re only going to be able to talk to him by email every few days and that’s going to be hard. He said he’d wait, but you didn’t believe him. Nevertheless, he did.

You meet him for the first time, in person Dec. 14, 2014. The day before you had lunch with your mom on the beach and talked about all your hopes and fears that the 10-day-long vacation would bring. You can’t stop smiling when you see him waiting for you by your gate. You cry, a lot, and he gives you an awkward hug because that’s just who he is then. The week is perfect, and there are many more vacations to come. Each time, however, they feel shorter and shorter. You spend one of those Spring Break weeks at his apartment. Surprise, you lose your V-Card. See? You won’t be a 40-year-old virgin cat lady, I promise.

You still have a really hard time letting people in, and unfortunately it has taken you up to the summer of 2017 to finally let all your walls down and stop defending yourself from him. You’ve gotten into a few near-relationship-ending fights, but that’s because you don’t trust him completely. So please, from the bottom of my now twenty-something heart, be more open with those that love you. I know you’ve been hurt before but it’s doing you more harm than good. Let them in. You’ll be glad you did.

4. You’re moving to Tennessee in December.

The first time you lay eyes on this state, you’re going to fall in love and never want to come back home. And I promise, every night before you have to fly back, you are going to cry to no end, without fail.

Of course, maybe 10 percent of the appeal is because Jacob lives there. However, you’re going to spend a day in the mountains near Gatlinburg during a week trip there. Cades Cove, specifically. You’re going to find this little shoulder on the road to stop at and walk into the field. All you can see around you is trees and mountains. And, you being you, are going to plop right down in the middle of it all and just be. In this moment, you know you are meant to stay here. Something is calling you and you can’t say no.

This, again, is one of the last days you are in Knoxville and, upsettingly enough, once you experience a feeling like this nothing can compare to it. You’re gonna go home really sad and upset and angsty. But hang tight, because December 2017 is going to come faster than you know it and you’re going to wish you spent more time appreciating those around you in that moment than wishing you were gone.

Find time for your Florida friends and family –– Tennessee will still be there.

5. Your body has changed a lot.

You know, you used to be able to fit into a size nine skinny jean. You’re probably a size 12 now at American Eagle, size 14 if you want to wear high-waisted stuff. But honestly, high-waisted stuff makes you feel like a stuffed sausage, so I wouldn’t even bother. You’re going to start realizing that working on your feet eight hours a day is going to make you feel like a cripple in the morning. You’re going to have to wear sole inserts for your shoes because you have plantar fasciitis. Sounds like a disease, but it just means that your feet suck at being feet, essentially.

You’re going to want to lose weight, so you hit up a spin class at the Rec Center and have to sit out for all of it because you almost pass out 15 minutes in. You are going to get discouraged, you’re going to feel useless and I know you’re going to look into the mirror and hate your curves and dimples and rolls.

Then, you’re going to find yoga and all of that will change. Because here’s a secret: thick girls and skinny girls can do yoga. Hell, anyone can do yoga. And yoga can get intense. It’s the perfect balance of heat and relaxation that you need. Throw in some cardio here and there and I promise you’ll feel a lot better. Some things take time, and learning to love your body and make the right changes is one of those things.

So, Alyssa, among all these great things that happen in your life, there are going to be lots of trials. There will be a lot of nights trying to understand what you did wrong or how you got to where you are. All of that is necessary. There is a song that one of your favorite rappers, Logic, just put out. The title is 1-800-273-2588. It’s the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. This song is going to get you through so much and make you realize how precious life is. Everything this song conveys you have felt at one point. There is a line that sticks out the most; “What’s a day without a little night?” And it’s true, you can’t have highs without some lows.

For now, you’re adulting just fine. I’ll check in some five to 10 years later and see what advice you have then.

Yours truly,

Allie

Taking a Sick Day and Dropping a Class (Life Update)

Hey kids, here’s a pro tip:

Don’t get sick on the first day of your new internship.

Saturday night, my sister came home after a while of not being home. Maybe a week and a half or so. I have since taken refuge in her room because I moved away from campus housing. To clarify, it was completely and 100 percent not my choice to take over her room. However, Saturday night she comes home, realizes that my other sister is using the guest cot and decides to camp out on my floor. Little did she tell anyone that she was extremely sick.

Guess who ended up getting said “sick?”

I was in a contaminated room with her for probably close to ten hours or so, because I had to get up for work the next day (Sunday). So, I’m at work and everything is fine. Even yesterday, everything was fine. Then at about 7 or 8 p.m, I start feeling a tickle in my throat. You know the lump that all of a sudden springs up on you and you’re left wondering, “Where did that come from?” I figured it was nothing more than a little sore throat that would be gone in a few hours and went about my business. I knew I had to be up early to get to Naples by nine, so I started winding down for bed and talked to my boyfriend a bit. The throat got worse, and at about 10 p.m. I felt like the flames of Satan himself were inside my esophagus. I was absolutely writhing in pain by 11 p.m, and at midnight I knew that I was down for the count.

I got up at about 4 a.m. and walked into the bathroom, praying to God that this would go away by 7 a.m. when I had to actually be up for work. My nose was stuffed, I was breathing out of my mouth (which only hurt my throat more) and I hastily began gargling as much hot water as I could.

I don’t know why I thought that would work. Maybe burn the bacteria out?

I don’t know.

I wake up again at 6 a.m. and it felt like the world was coming to an end. My eyes were slightly swollen, my throat felt like I was swallowing glass. Every bone in my body hurt. I did the only thing I thought to do at the time.

I called in sick on my first day.

And not only that, but I called out for the only two days this week I was supposed to work because I didn’t know when I was going to feel better.

From what you can tell, this was not a Mean Girls’ “I can’t go out, I’m sick.”

This was full blown WWIII happening inside my body.

I’m finally okay enough to lie back and write out this post because one of my only three options is to write, play Crafting Mama on my DSi or watch Pewdiepie on YouTube. Or sleep, but I don’t feel like going unconscious for the time that I could be writing.

Also, because I wanted to share about how I dropped my very first class in my nearly four-and-a-half years of college.

I was in the process of getting myself set up for a little course called Computer Softwear and Technology (GCS 1100). Everyone that I have talked to about this class said that it was one of the easiest courses they have taken, especially because it’s as simple as getting a certification in Microsoft PowerPoint. I’m already pretty good with technology, so I was ready to finish this class in like two weeks max.

When I started logging into the course, I realized that I missed a little introduction post. I did that, then logged into the website that we were going to use for the class called Cengage. After logging in, I realized that the access code for the course –– ACCESS CODE, not even a textbook –– was going to cost $194.75. 

To your right, you will see an example of the absolute petrification I exhibited when realizing not only did I not have enough money to even begin to cover that, but also that I missed an ENTIRE WEEK of random assignments I had no idea were due.

Cue “Surprised Patrick” meme.

I let out a slightly-less-than-dignified, “F–k this” and promptly dropped myself from the course. Granted, after checking the academic calendar, I found out that yesterday was the final day to withdrawal from a course. Great timing.

On any note, after the last 24 hours, all I truly want to do is eat a good amount of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream and maybe have a good cathartic cry.

Yours truly,

Allie

Meet the Beautifully Brilliant Mind Behind “Seven Swim,” Hannah Marjon


I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Hannah Marjon, 20, as she shared the challenges and experience of becoming her own boss with her swimwear line “Seven Swim.” Here is Hannah’s story:

Allie: When did you first have the idea that you wanted to own your own business? And more specifically, when did you know you wanted to make swimwear?

Hannah: I have wanted to start my own business for a long time now. I would always start businesses, like dog day cares and things like that, when I was younger. I started seriously playing with the idea of starting my own business around a year and a half ago. I have always known that I wanted an unconventional job; I just didn’t know what format that job would be in. Being my own boss seemed like a good start. The idea for swimwear came when I was reading an interview with Moana Bikini owner, Karina Irby. In the interview, she talked about when she decided to never work for someone other than herself ever again. I love fashion and growing up on the beach every weekend has given me a solid respect for the perfect bikini. I’m going to have other jobs in my life, and I’m a public relations major and I do want to pursue that still, but owning my own business was something I always wanted to do so I figured, why not do it now?

 A: Where did the name Seven Swim come from? Does it have any significance to your life or to the company?

H: Once I had the concept to create my own swimwear line, I went through a few hundred possible name choices. Nothing stuck. I came up with some amazingly awful names. Seven is a word my boyfriend and I use. I can’t really explain how it started or exactly what it means to us because it represents a concept between us. However, I started saying “Seven Swim” to myself, and I sounded kind of nice. It stuck, and I kept it.

 A: Can you tell me the process of making one of your swimsuits? From start to finish, how is it created? What materials do you use? How are they manufactured?

H: The night I decided to do this, for real, I sketched my designs. I decided to start with seven pieces because 3 tops 3 bottoms and a one piece seemed like a nice first collection. I hadn’t even decided to name it Seven at this point. I had never sketched a swimsuit before. I looked up what swimwear sketches should look like; what measurements to include, what figures to draw them on, everything. There would be a million and one different types of swimsuits I would create if I could, so for the first seven I had to boil them down to super minimalistic designs that would be the starting point for my line. I wanted these to be pieces that would go with pieces girls already had in case they didn’t want to be a full set or wanted to mix it up.

Next came finding a manufacturer. I can’t sew to save my life so finding someone who could was imperative. I knew most of the bikinis I ordered were manufactured in Thailand so I started there. I don’t know if a lot of these places don’t have websites or what but I could only find like 2 manufacturers in Thailand. I ended up widening my search to any country. I emailed about fifty manufacturers in the next two days. After about a week, I found my lovely manufacturers in Brazil. They use eco-friendly / bio degradable nylon.

Getting my first patterns and samples made was one of the more painful experiences I have ever been through. My manufacturer had to think I was crazy. They would send me a picture of a sample they had made, and I would send about fifteen completely disorganized emails back with notes.

Finally, we somehow got the patterns done so they sent me the samples. I cried out of happiness when I received them, and shot off another 20 emails with notes on things that needed tweaking on the samples. I placed my first order once they had redone the samples about 15 times.

The only time I have ever missed class in my college career was the week I was waiting for my 300 pieces of swimwear to arrive at my apartment from Brazil. Customs is the worst thing that has ever happened to this planet. I cried and cried and cried when they called me to say I needed to send more forms and more this and that to get the pieces through customs.

When they arrived, I literally just hugged the boxes which were disgusting after what they had been through. I almost hugged the courier.

A: Where did your idea for the styles of your swimwear come from? Are all of the designs original or was there someone helping in the design process?

H: All of the designs are original in the sense that I start to finish designed them, but they are obviously influenced by the big swimwear trends right now. The cheeky bottom, one piece, triangle top; they’re all super popular right now and I wanted to reflect that in my designs.

A: What were some of the challenges of starting your business? Were there any people that thought you wouldn’t be able to do it as a college student?

H: There are challenges literally every day. I work on Seven like it’s my full-time job. For some reason I kept thinking it was going to get easier or less hectic once I had received the suits from the manufacturer, but that was wrong. I have never emailed, been on social media, or had so many phone calls in my entire life put together as I have in the last 10 months.

I’m sure a lot of people still think I can’t do this as a college student, but whatever, I’m doing it.

A: What were the proudest moments you’ve had with the business so far?

H: When people post in my suits!! I get so so excited every time someone who has bought a suit posts in it. That’s when I’m like, “Okay, this is all going to work out.”

 A: Can you tell readers anything exciting that you are working on? Any future projects or promotions that you are looking forward to?

I just placed an order for a restock of the items I have sold out of and in new colors! I’m so excited to start getting some color in the collection. I also have already started sketching my next collection even though that won’t come out for about a year. It’s going to be super bomb though.

A: Any final thoughts?

H: I am so excited to see what the future of the brand will be because I feel like it’s changing every day. It’s my child.

Follow “Seven Swim” on Instagram and Facebook, or visit Hannah’s site Seven Swim to browse the “Fire Collection.” Pieces start at $40. Subscribe to the “Seven Swim” newsletter to find out when new products are in stock. Apply to be a Seven Babe online for discounts and ambassador perks.