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Meet Kayla Bell of Arrow + Phoenix Swim in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kayla Bell.

Kayla, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started Arrow + Phoenix Swim when I was sixteen years old. I knew at a young age I wanted to do something fashion related and over the course of my life, all signs pointed towards swimwear. I wanted to do something different and to have a company that gave back, and that’s where the sustainability came from. My own personal struggles with finding a cute and supportive bikini as a 5ft 3in well-endowed woman inspired me to create something for women who may also be looking for the same thing. Now, at twenty-four years old, I’m so proud of where my brand is going, and I’m so grateful, so many people are taking notice. Receiving messages on Instagram and emails from happy customers makes me so insanely happy, and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for us!

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?
Ahhh this road has been so far from smooth lol, but it has indeed made me tougher, wiser, and has kept me on my toes for sure. In the beginning, I did tons of research but was still pretty green to how the manufacturing process worked and was definitely swindled and charged way too much for what I received when I was working with my first manufacturer. Earlier this year, my second seamstress was killed by a drunk driver two weeks before our biggest launch thus far and being that we’re a small company, that was a huge loss not only for the company but I’d lost a dear friend and two young children loss their mother. I had about a month not only to grieve and pull it together but to start the collection from scratch and hire someone new. Aside from various manufacturing woes, financial support was really hard in the beginning because I’ve never had an investor. All start-up costs and the money used to fund Arrow +
Phoenix has been from the money I’ve earned from my other career jobs and from the sales of our incredible customers. At times, it has been a pretty tough road but I absolutely LOVE what I do and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Arrow + Phoenix is home to swimwear (and pretty soon, activewear) that is created from fabric and thread made from recycled water bottles. All of our pieces and skincare are handmade here in the US and our team, thus far, is all female which wasn’t planned but has been a beautiful experience. We have swimwear and activewear that caters to women with bra cup sizes A-H, and that makes me so proud because I never want anyone to feel excluded from our brand.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up I was always a quiet kid, a bit nerdy, and interested in anything art related. I received my first sketchbook at the age of seven from my grandmother and never went anywhere without it. I was born and raised in New Orleans and only moved away because my family lost everything during Hurricane Katrina. From there, I lived in Florida, Texas, and California.

My hometown is a vibrant and exciting place unlike any other and has always inspired me as it still does today. I read tons of books, and on some level, I always knew exactly what I wanted to be, and now, most days, it feels like I’m living my childhood dreams. I’m so grateful.


  • Swimwear $50-200
  • Activewear $40-100
  • Skincare $5-100

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
@jaredspink, @ivycoco, Jenna Kole Visuals

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