Welcome to our little corner of the internet, where we started this blog on a quest to boost our SEO game (for all you marketing enthusiasts out there). But somewhere along the way, it transformed into our very own “memo board”. As someone who oscillates between being a perfectionist-intro/extro-vert, stepping in front of the camera can be a bit of a challenge for me. I thrive behind the lens, directing the action and weaving magic. So, it's not surprising that you don't see too much of me.

However, once in a while, it's essential to hit the pause button and take stock of our journey. Celebrating our victories is a must, but equally vital is understanding where we can improve. From the get-go, we've received the same feedback: "Show us the BTS," "Share your story," "Be raw," and the list goes on. If you're reading this, chances are you've echoed these sentiments too. I won't say it's our "style," but it's feedback we've taken to heart. Think of this blog piece as our declaration of stepping out of our comfort zone.

Above all else, I want Eight to not just succeed but to thrive. It's not about me but about us. Imagine the little engine that could, revving up and soaring. So, let's do it, let's get personal.

Who is Eight? Who is the driving force behind the brand? What fuels our creativity, and what keeps us moving forward? First things first, the name Eight has numerous roots, with the most notable being the fact that we are eight siblings. Here's the lowdown: whether it's six sisters and my two nieces (for a grand total of eight women) or the fact that I have eight siblings (five sisters and three brothers), it all adds up to eight. The name is deeply rooted, and to truly grasp its significance, you can read more about it here.

As we were saying, each sister brings her unique personality and needs to the table because, of course, they are real people (we'll rope the boys if we dive into a men's line). And that's where a significant chunk of Eight's inspiration stems from. Take the aqua Monique Bikini, for instance; its top is designed to be wireless (when traditionally this piece would call for wire). One of the sisters has what's called a pigeon chest (don't worry, she's perfectly fine). Her chest bone slightly protrudes, making underwire uncomfortable. We made this design choice with her and others like her in mind. In fact, my sisters are often the driving force behind our designs, from cuts to colors to the tiniest details. While most of them prefer to stay behind the scenes and aren't deeply involved in day-to-day operations, they contribute in their own way. They're my support system, and with their blessing, as part of the brand's re-introduction, you'll be seeing more of them.

Continuing my rant - You've probably noticed our frequent use of the phrase "more than swimwear." Let's dive into what that means to us (pun intended). Yes, we're a swimwear brand, but our ambition extends beyond that. We're headquartered between Miami and Puerto Rico (P.R.). While Miami is our primary manufacturing hub, our design inspiration, creative direction, and execution come from P.R. Why, you ask? Well, I feel most at home there. And it's not just a superficial choice. Puerto Rico is home to an array of talented artists, and if we can shine a light on their incredible work, why not? It also keeps us connected to our roots and culture on a deeper level.

We're fully aware that inspiration can strike anywhere at any time. Part of our "community plan" is to highlight places that spark those "ah-ha!" moments. Being actively involved in the community also means meeting people who not only support our brand and vision but also challenge us. This past year, we've encountered some incredible individuals, with a strong emphasis on women-led/owned brands. Some encounters were intentional, and others were serendipitous, but they've all taught us something new.

When it comes to our surroundings, we're conscious of the impact that fashion has on our environment. While we may not be fully sustainable just yet, we're taking steps in the right direction. Let me explain what we're doing and have been doing to contribute to this movement. We practice what's known as SLOW fashion, deliberately producing in small quantities and ultimately having limited availability. Plus, we're in the process of launching our up-cycling program – yes, you read that right, upcycling! Unsold pieces will be reborn, redesigned into something fresh, breathing new life into the fabric. Additionally, we've revamped our hanging tags to eliminate plastic. Moving forward, we'll strive to use certified sustainable fabrics. This is our promise to Mother Earth.

Which brings us to our final point, Souleil. Our third collection has experienced significant delays due to unforeseen personal and professional circumstances. Our goals have shifted, and we had to take a breather to recalibrate. But as they say, the comeback is always more spectacular than the setback.