Today we’d like to introduce you to Joelle Maynard.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Joelle. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Hamabla was born out of a lifelong desire to do something creative that came naturally, at the right time. Growing up in a variety of seaside locales in the Tri State area of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, the beach was close, but not part of my everyday life. But it still spoke to my soul and my fondest childhood memories were spent on weekends and holidays at the beach. Always a bit of a type-A personality, I had a choice to make when I set off to college. Although I had plenty of creative interests that included fashion design, cooking, and filmmaking, I ultimately decided to take the “safe route” and ended up majoring in Economics at NYU and heading off to a career on Wall Street. I worked part-time in the fashion district of New York, learning a lot about textiles and the business of fashion. But after graduation, my creative interests became more hobby than a career choice.
Years later, after a successful career in finance on Wall Street and the Silicon Valley, I decided to make a change after motherhood took over, and a corporate job became second to that, and then ceased to exist at all. Still wanting to keep one foot in the door, I did some business consulting after my kids were born and volunteered a ton for charity organizations. But it was only after my family’s move to the seaside community of Malibu that I realized I wanted to plunge full force into a creative endeavor, and that the nostalgia and passion for the sea that I’ve had all my life was the perfect muse. As a nod to that nostalgia, I named the company after my late paternal grandmother. “Hamabla” was her given name, but as an immigrant from Italy, her name was “Americanized” to Mabel when she came to the US. Her motto in life was “a little bit of everything”, and that perfectly described what I wanted to do with this brand focused on the beach. Inspired by the beach is a part of my every day with my family, I wanted to create products that would be functional for seaside living, but also beautiful enough to honor the gorgeous surroundings. That’s how Hamabla was born. A true lifestyle brand in a world that likes to describe everything as a lifestyle brand, I decided to take on a wide range of product categories, focusing on an artful and natural take on classic silhouettes. This ultimately manifested in a line of outdoor, home, accessory and apparel products that are beach-inspired works of art to live your life in.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We are still within our first year (we launched in June of 2017), and have learned a lot! While the idea of creating “a little bit of everything” for the beach really spoke to my creative desires (I have a passion for a variety of creative pursuits and had a hard time picking just one, which is why the “beach” as an aesthetic category was perfect!), it is not so easy to pull off from both a production and marketing perspective. While I wanted to go wider in terms of product offerings (I had plans for beach tents and hats, to name a few things!), I had to be realistic in my ability to achieve the scale and efficiencies that come from focusing on just a limited number of product categories. I’ve had to make tough choices that balance my creative desires with the reality of running a business. To that end, I’ve actually had to edit down the product categories, and have plans to spin off the apparel business into a separate brand later in 2018.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Hamabla story. Tell us more about the business.
Hamabla is a beach lifestyle brand based in Malibu, California. Our products span outdoor, home furnishings, accessories and apparel, all inspired by life by the sea, but with a sophisticated urban appeal. What sets us apart from other brands is our commitment to using the highest quality, natural materials in our product assortment. In a world full of aluminum, plastic, rayon, and polyester, we pride ourselves on grounding our products in the highest quality materials, that are constructed locally by artisans we are proud to know by name. We personally supervise the production of each item and are able to oversee that process because our facilities are right in our backyard (so to speak). We design our collections in Malibu, where the inspiration of the sea informs our aesthetic. Then we produce all of our items in downtown Los Angeles. While the bamboo in our umbrellas and chair frames are handcrafted in Vietnam, they are finished with fabric in our downtown studio. We are proud to support our local artisans and believe that enables us to ensure the highest quality product and most trusted ethics when it comes to working conditions for our wonderful producers.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I believe that in business you make your own luck. The way that luck plays a role in my life and my business is through the people that I surround myself with and are lucky to know! 😉 I’ve been able to call upon the people in my life, friends, and family alike, for help on some of the creative aspects of the business, but also as a sounding board for some of the decisions I make. I have an amazing network of friends and family, which is lucky in a way, but I believe comes down to the choices you make in who you decide to surround yourself with.
Philosophically, I’m lucky to be alive, healthy, and surrounded by my family in the most beautiful of cities. But from a business perspective, I believe that hard work and perseverance contribute to your “luck” more than anything.
- Address: 23823 Malibu Road, Suite 50277
Malibu, CA 90265
- Website: www.hamabla.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @shophamabla
- Facebook: @shophamabla
- Twitter: @hamablabeach