We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Long and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anna, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When I zoomed out on my life, I knew I wanted more. More travel, good times with family and close friends, and more opportunities to find genuine moments of happiness. My goal has always been to tie these elements into my company.
I acquired another company that had not been successful but had a solid foundation, and I evolved it into RIVI Swimwear. It is so special to see a bikini you created in a picture of someone who is free diving in Hawaii, hiking amazing waterfalls, sailing in the BVIs or simply lounging pool side. I look forward to helping women find the perfect bikini and being part of creating sun-soaked memories in RIVI. As I like to say, our suits are “worn best on vacation, with a cocktail in hand”.
Taking the leap of faith with RIVI Swimwear ultimately came down to freedom, the ability to be in control of my schedule and explore a little more in life. The funny part is how exchanging a 9-5, plus weekends, turned into working 24/7, but it was well worth it. Although the design process and day-to-day management is very serious and time consuming, it is outshined by the creative process and small-win moments.
I’ve had to learn to become a jack of all trades with photography, swimwear modeling, marketing, designing and learning the behind the scenes of managing inventory and shipping. Entrepreneurship keeps me on my toes, and I’m looking forward to where RIVI Swimwear will take me. The most rewarding part of this experience has been meeting a community of ladies who are passionate about travel, adventure, soaking up the sun, and enjoying life to the fullest.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I pour my energy into small collections and unique launches of different swimsuit types. Comfort and functionality always come first in the design process, because being confident in what you wear is so important. Focusing on slow, sustainable and ethical fashion is also a priority. We are creating suits that last, not to be worn for one season and thrown away. I’ve had the pleasure of being able to find and work with a woman-owned manufacturing company who aligns with my goals to ethically produce small collections of swimwear. Small orders as well as biodegradable packaging for orders help us minimize our footprint on the environment.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A lake weekend getaway would be on the top of my list! Your destination: Lake Texoma, but first you have to make a pit stop in Downtown Denison. A quick shopping and lunch date is always a good idea. I would start at Cafe Blackbird for a delicious lunch in the cutest building. Then stroll the charming main street shops and then treat yourself to some bath and body goodies at Totally Addicted for all-natural ingredients, handmade products, and the owner is the sweetest person! If you end up staying later in the day – sip a local beer or craft cocktail at 1880 Icehouse while listening to live music. Once you’ve soaked in all that Historic Downtown Denison has to offer, the lake is calling your name. My summers are spent at Highport Marina, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. All the boats tie up at North Island, and you have plenty of sandy beach areas to hang out on all day. Catching the sunset while cruising back into the marina is always a highlight of the day. For more live music at night, hit up Island Bar & Grill, and they won’t disappoint with entertainment.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A huge shoutout has to go to my other half, John. I call myself the CEO of Chaos because trying to navigate through entrepreneurship is not an easy feat, and he is the constant motivation to not give up on this dream. He is my sounding board for ideas, master of holding the reflector during beach photoshoots, ready with a bottle of wine when I’m about to cry, and the one who celebrates every little milestone the company has. He also was the co-designer on the Envy Bikini!
Other: tik tok: @riviswimwear