Karina Irby – @KarinaIrby
Today our Bae All Day is Karina Irby, a fierce Aussie bikini-wear entrepreneur and even more inspiring workout guru.
In Australia, you’re known as a bikini mogul, can you tell us how you started Moana Bikini and what motivated you?
First and foremost, I just love bikinis. I have always lived, travelled to and wanted to be, at the beach. Bikinis are my favourite item of clothing.
Throughout my teenage years, I always had a huge interest in cheekier-cut swimwear, and especially those with bold, unique designs. Unfortunately, there weren’t many brands producing the styles I wanted, or my friends wanted, or at least not in Australia at that point in time. I would be endlessly hunting, either online or in retail outlets, trying to find the perfect cut bikini with the perfect pattern.
It wasn’t until a holiday in Hawaii where I started to see a few more brands heading in the direction I was interested in. One thing led to another and I began wholesaling for a Hawaiian company that attempted to satisfy the growing demand for cheekier cut, eye-catching swimwear. This only lasted for a short period of time as I began to grow confidence in the designs that I had in my head and desired more and more control of the business model. The company I was wholesaling for actually wanted me to become their exclusive Australian distributor, but I felt, more and more, that I wanted total control of the design, marketing and sales process.
After many late nights and many trips back and forth to visit manufacturers overseas, I had a product I was happy with, separated myself from my wholesaling relationship and began producing my own cuts, designs and prints under the Moana Bikini label. Fast-forward seven years, and seven ranges, and here I am!
My timing couldn’t have been more perfect and, luckily, I rode the Social Media wave – specifically Instagram – as it grew in popularity, and as a marketing tool, and have built Moana to a position where our consumer-generated marketing activities almost match our own internal activities. We have a huge, active and really supportive following that push and market the Moana brand for us. It’s really quite amazing. We love our Moana Babes!
Let’s talk vibes, give me a five song workout playlist & a five song relaxing on the beach playlist.
My workouts are usually pretty intense and fast-paced, so I like a soundtrack to match.
To be honest, my go-to is usually a GirlTalk mix as it’s fast, always changing and incorporates lots of songs and artists that I love.
I am a sucker for old and new-school rap and hip-hop, as well as classic rock and some pop/electro.
GirlTalk manages to throw a bunch of my favourites together and it really keeps me motivated until I can’t exercise any more!
When I am at the beach, I love to switch off completely and just enjoy the sound of the surf, so it’s usually a no-music zone for me; it’s total chill time!
But if I was to have a go-to chill out playlist
Would you say you’re the Dinner & Movie or Netflix & Chill type?
In all honesty, I’ve never been a hugely social person. I’m an only child and I’ve always been very comfortable in my own company and in entertaining myself. I have a small circle of close friends on the Gold Coast, but we don’t live in each other’s pockets as we’re all very busy.
I don’t drink, and because of that, I’ve never had a great time going out to bars, clubs or festivals surrounded by drunk people or people taking drugs and so on. To be honest, I’m so content spending the majority of my time relaxing with my partner, Ryan, and my puppies, Billie and Barnie, either at the beach or at home… taking time to relax and chill outside of Moana and Bikini Body Burn.
So, in summary, probably a Netflix and Chill kinda gal!
Single or taken?And who’s your celebrity crush?
I’m taken. My partner Ryan and I have been together for three years. We have a beautiful home together in Currumbin on the Gold Coast.
He’s been in marketing for years and was the editor of an Aussie Surfing Magazine for a number of years, so his skills are very valuable and I’ve pinched him to work with us in at Moana and Bikini Body Burn.
We like to think we’re a bit of a dream team!
And my celebrity crush? Hmm, let’s just say I do like to watch a lot of Zac Efron movies!
What’s your number one turn off?
Oh tough question!
I’m really not a fan of stubbornness in a guy.
My life is fast-paced, hectic and changing every day.
My man has to be open and flexible and easy-going.
I can’t be with someone that isn’t like that!
What’s your number one turn on?
I’m a bit of a sucker for a good smile and/or a guys’ eyes.
If you’ve got both – eyes that smile – then it’s win win!
Who are some of the Instagrammers you’re currently obsessed with?
I am a big fan of Logan Paul: @loganpaul
I watch his daily Vlog’s on Youtube, and his Instagram story.
I find it really inspiring how he built his following and presence from Vine and then onto Instagram and now he’s making his way into Hollywood and really killing it!
I am personally starting my Youtube channel right now (https://www.youtube.com/c/karinairby) so I like to keep track of the people, like Logan, who are at the top of the Youtube game. It’s inspiring!
Also, Meredith Mickelson: @meredithmickelson
She’s such a beautiful and talented model and we’re looking forward to working with her at Moana Bikini.
We make sure to keep on track of what she’s up to on Instagram, and just generally marvelling at how gorgeous she is!
Looking toward the future, what are some of your plans in the pipeline and what do you want to accomplish next?
Everything I do in my business and public life revolves around making my customers happy.
I just want to continue to create products that help to make girls around the world feel comfortable, confident and carefree in their own skin.
Moana began as a way to create swimwear that I, personally, wanted to wear, but wasn’t being manufactured by the major brands in the industry.
Since it began, seven years ago, however, it’s become so much more than that; it’s a lifestyle choice for females now and the brand embodies so many positive, empowering values.
I want to continue to build on that side of the brand with products and projects (like Bikini Body Burn) that help girls be, and feel, the best version of themselves that they can be.
On a personal front, I just want to live a healthy, happy and fulfilling life – experiencing as many places and cultures that I can, building a positive and enjoyable life with my partner in a location that I love.