ThriveInspire: Strange Bikini CEO Ali Conway
I am so excited to introduce a new ThriveMomma Series — ThriveInspire — a series featuring Mom-Preneurs who are willing to give us some insight into the good, the bad and the ugly on balancing motherhood and business!
“Making women feel their best and looking their strangest, Ali Conway: killin’ the bikini game.”
The only thing more awesome than Strange Bikinis is Ali Conway, the mom behind the brand! Ali is momma to an adorable 6 month old boy, Calvin, and the mastermind behind the handcrafted swimwear for women, Strange Bikinis.
I wanted to interview Ali for this series for a few reasons. For starters, I first discovered Ali and Strange Bikinis via a fundraiser she sponsored called The Big Dip. Not only did this event seem super fun (think fancy polar bear plunge — Tahoe, rad bikinis and yoga) it also raised money for two deserving causes centered around women supporting women (LOVE THIS): Women as Change Makers and Zawadisha. Take a read about the event here and check out the featured story on the Strange Bikini Insta. I immediately wanted to know who was behind creating such an event and was pleasantly surprised (although I don’t know why I surprised!) to see that it was an entrepreneur momma!
Second, after a bit of social media stalking, I realized that, not only did this momma make to die for bathing suits, she was also working to create a community of women supporting women: “We’re all about keeping the vibes good and encouraging Strangers to embrace what makes you, You.” (Stranger = member of the Strange Bikini community — STILL LOVE). Further, Ali says:
“My main goals are to make women feel amazing in a swimsuit and to build up a community of supportive women (and men)”.
Long story short, I had to know more about Ali!
Ali started Strange Bikini, headquartered in Reno, after obtaining a degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA. Having originally made swimsuits prior to fashion school, Ali embraced that passion, made a few swimsuits and Strange Bikini was born! Fueled by a strong social media following, Ali worked 2, sometimes 3, jobs to to get the Strange Bikini going, reinvesting every saved penny back into the business. Ali actually hand made each bikini for the first 5 years at which point she had saved enough for production!
“People love Strange Bikinis because of the inclusivity and the way they look and feel on.”
Ali’s dedication to her business and her son is really inspiring. Ali takes Calvin to the office with her and while she hopes to find a better balance between running Strange Bikinis and giving him (what she considers to be) a better day she does offer some important advice for working moms, Ali says, “know that you are showing your child leadership, dedication, perseverance, entrepreneurship, work ethic, the list goes on by choosing to work and be a mom. Some of us don’t have the luxury of a baby sitter or nanny and we have to find a way to make it work. Just know that you can do it and don’t let the guilt of doing both weigh you down” and honestly, I just love this.
I’m so happy to support Ali! Her mission and support of women is admirable and the example she sets for her son and other working mom-preneurs is inspiring! In conclusion, you’ll find this postpartum body running after a toddler on the beaches of Coronado in a Strange Bikini suit all summer!
Here’s some contact info for Ali and Strange Bikinis:
Phone Number: 775.499.4888