By Christine Duval | OCEAN Style writer
Inspired by the beauty they have encountered in their travels, mother-daughter business partners Jayne and Shannon Lewis have created a clothing line that is all about style with a conscience. Bubululu Malibu is an ethical, sustainable, planet-friendly fashion line featuring chic, sexy resort wear. OCEAN Style had the opportunity to sit down with this dynamic duo to discuss the challenges and joys of being in business together after Shannon attended the OCEAN Style Fashion Showcase in Montego Bay, Jamaica, last November.
“My mother always encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do,” Shannon says of her mom who she lovingly refers to as Calamity Jayne.
In fact, the two began pairing their business sense when Shannon was just a teenager. After a trip to Mexico, Shannon wanted to bring back the art and accessories she fell in love with while on vacation and Jayne was quick to support her in forming an import/export company.
They didn’t know it back then, but this planted the seed for what was to come once Shannon graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles a few years later. Shannon launched Bubululu and Jayne was quick to come on board, contributing her eco-conscious vision.
A passionate environmentalist, Jayne has journeyed the world many times over and uses what she sees in her experiences as her design muse. “When I was (very) pregnant with Shannon’s sister, I went to Jamaica to see Bob Marley in concert,” she says. “I was so moved by the vibrant colours of the fabrics I encountered there. They stayed with me.”
Jayne’s wanderlust has influenced the expansion of Bubululu from what started out solely as a swimwear company into what is now a full line of casual, elegant, day-to-night fashions. From bathing suits to bridesmaids dresses, Bubululu’s use of eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton, silk, hemp, soy and bamboo is helping to reduce their carbon footprint. All of their clothing is ethically produced in North America.
Their direct-to-consumer approach allows them to reach a global audience although you will find several famous Malibu locals strutting their stuff in a Bubululu bikini. Kate Hudson, Pamela Anderson, Pink and Eva Longoria all own a piece from the line.
“Eight years ago it was much harder to find eco-friendly, sustainable fabrics that you wanted to work with,” Jayne says. “But today there is a whole array of fabrics and colours, much more affordably priced, too.”
When asked what the biggest challenge is working as a mother-daughter team, they both agreed, “It’s very personal.” But, they are quick to point out they are always on the same team and as a result of their bond, they share an openness and honesty you may not find in other business pairings.
Along with being the company’s visionary, Shannon is also the face of Bubululu often doing double duty as brand ambassador and model. Both Jayne and Shannon are very active in their community, and they truly embody the concept of “Think globally, act locally.”
So what does the future hold for Bubululu? A lot! In addition to continuing to produce and expand upon their specialty brand, they are launching a more widely commercial start-up this spring called Malibu Bikinis.
OCEAN Style looks forward to their continued success and seeing much more of their swimwear, sarongs, clothing and accessories on beaches from the Bahamas to Bali!
Photos Credit: Photography by Gina Sinotte