I love recycled/upcycled anything and I love how the world works within 6 degrees – and in this case, again, 2 degrees of separation. You see, Rose Ponizil, lives in a “little beach bungalow” in San Diego and just happens to know my friend, Darlene Conolly, who also worked as a surf guide in the Maldives and to whom I was introduced by Amy Kotch. Phew. I came first came across Rose`s recycled swimwear through the Bathing News blog, another bikini-riffic site. Not specifically for surfing but I can`t wait to rock a pair like these in the lineup. Rose was kind enough to share some thoughts on her unique line of swimwear….

Hey Rose, a beach bungalow in San Diego sounds like a pretty rad place to be making swimwear. What is the inspiration behind your business? The three things I have always looked for in a swimsuit are flattering Brazilian style bottoms, vintage inspired silhouttes and fashion forward prints that embody my style. This has been almost impossible to come across, even while growing up in a funky little beach town. I have been sewing and reconstructing garments since the age of eight so it was only natural for me to design my own. I showcased a few suits in a local fashion show and after an overwhelmingly warm response there was no turning back.

What challenges have you had? How have you overcome these? One of my biggest challenges has been keeping up with orders! I am a one woman operation from design to pattern to finish so I produce on a small scale. I have girls write to me every day requesting suits but unfortunately I can only keep up with the orders I take locally. I have even had to start a waiting list for order enquiries!

What is the coolest thing about being your own boss? Ever since a young age I have been mesmerized by fashion. At 5 I picked out my grandma and mothers clothes and at 8 I designed my first bikini top. Shortly after I was reconstructing old garments on my antique singer sewing machine. So I would definitely have to say the best thing about being my own boss is getting to do what I love on a daily basis and watch my dreams become a reality.

Where do you find style and design inspiration for your pieces? I pull a lot of inspiration from vintage evening gowns, lingerie and colour. I also love to observe different cultures and street style and incorporate aspects into my suits.

Where is your favourite holiday destination? My favourite place for vacationing would be anywhere I can spend the entire day in my bikini and be surrounded by foreign languages. I caught the travel bug on my first overseas adventure to Guadeloupe at age 15. Since then I have spent time teaching English in Spain and backpacking through Central America. So anywhere I can speak Spanish all day with sunkissed hair and salty toes?

 I`ve been told San Diego is a place I would love. Where would yu take us for the best coffee/shopping/spin-around-the-d-floor?? I live in this little house a block from the beach and next door to the best coffee shop in town, called the Pannikin. The building was once a train station many years before but now it has become a fabulous place to spend time with friends and enjoy a coffee in the sun. Encinitas doesn`t have the craziest nightlife. Nights out with friends are usually spent drinking sake and eating sushi or holding our own dinner parties. However, one of my favourite places to dance is a small family run Turkish restaurant called “The Bird House Grill.” They have belly dancing on the weekends and the atmosphere makes you feel like you have completely left the US.

So how can we purchase a piece of your recycled swimwear fabulousness? Right now I am still producing suits on a small scale. I will be releasing a limited edition collection in May and will also take custom appointments and orders. Follow us at and on instagram @roseflower88 to stay updated and for sneak peaks behind the design studio.

*Rose Ponizil is the creator of Recycled Swimwear by Rose. All photos were taken by Ryan Lusteg.

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