A South Bay entrepreneur turns a love of the beach into a fashion endeavor.
It was only natural for Bettina Bell to launch her swimsuit company, Bettinis, in the South Bay. The North Carolina native and beach devotee fell in love with the area and moved to Manhattan Beach following her graduation from the University of Colorado. Self-trained in the art of bikini design, Bell started the company in 2009 with inspiration from the creative artists and architects in her family and several entrepreneurial friends. “I was very naïve,” shares Bell. “As it turns out, the bikini is the hardest garment to make and is a very competitive industry.”
But the learning curve didn’t slow down her success. One year into business, one of Bell’s designs was featured on model Bar Refaeli in the Sports Illustrated famous swimsuit edition in 2010. Today, her fashions are carried at more than 100 stores nationwide.
“I am inspired every day by the ocean, sand, sunsets, sun-kissed skin and that free feeling one gets while at the beach,” she says. “My favorite designs are the ones that are very feminine and fun. I love pretty colors—pinks, blues and greens with a flattering fit make any body look good!