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Meet the ladies behind ISSA DE’ MAR

We got the chance to catch up with the lovely ladies of Issa de’ Mar, Marissa Eveland and Melissa Jasniy. These Hawaii girls launched their debut collection, Tahitian Sunrise, one of our favorites of 2013.

BIKINI BIRD: Tell us about Issa de’ Mar?

ISSA DE MAR: Issa de’ mar comes from Melissa & Marissa, a lot of our friends call us the Issa’s because you can usually find us together surfing, working, cruising etc. and then de’ mar means of the sea, where we spend most of our time!

BB: How did u get started? Any funny experience with starting your own brand?

IDM: We always joke that we should’ve had a reality show in our  starting months because we started hand sewing each suit in the beginning and making all of our patterns to sell them in our mobile store, Roam Hawaii. Let’s just say there was definitely blood, sweat, and tears that went into each suit. Late night breakdowns because we’d been sewing all day and missed our evening surf session all for a pattern that didn’t actually work out and we’d been stuck in our sewing lair for days, we were definitely committed! But we wouldn’t have it any other way, it just makes each milestone of success that much sweeter!

BB: How did the two of you meet?

IDM: We met in college, but Mel actually knew my family before she actually met me so our paths were apparently intended to cross. And we’re glad that they did! We clicked from the beginning and became insta best friends- same crazy, ocean, fashion loving personalities!

BB:What was your  inspiration?

IDM: We wanted to bridge the gap between high-end boutique and sportswear. We both love fashion and design but needed suits that were going to stay on when we surfed. We saw that there was a gap in the market so we created a line with everything we would want in a bikini, design, functionality, adjustability, removable pads, and seamless bottoms. We try and keep the beach girl and the surfer in mind when we are designing.

BB: You both seem to travel a ton. What are some of your favorite places to go?

IDM: We love the ocean so a lot of the places we travel to have the ocean involved. We have been blessed to travel with all our close girl friends. Our favorite places are French Polynesia- Moorea, Raiatea, Tahiti- all of it. We can’t wait to go to Biarritz and Morocco! We haven’t been but we know it will be a favorite.

BB: How are you involved with ROAM HAWAII?

IDM: We are two of the four “roamers.” All the roamers are Brooke Dombroski, Cassandra Rull, Melissa, and myself. When we graduated college the four of us came together, got an old mail truck & painted it like a tiger. From there Melissa and I started hand sewing bikinis and selling them out of the truck. Cassandra made clothing, and Brooke made the graphic T’s and jewelry. We would surf all day and then drive the truck around to events and sell out of it. It’s where our roots started with designing bikinis and girls liked the suits so we decided to still hand make items for Roam but manufacture Issa de’ mar so we could grow and put them in stores.

BB: Any daily regime secrets we should know about to look like a hot Issa babe?

IDM: We don’t have any specific routines, we just stay active in the ocean. Mel is more fitness oriented and enjoys yoga & running but we both just surf all day and then work all night. Just find something active you love and own the body you have- all it takes to be an Issa.

BB: Can you tell us your Favorites of the North Shore:

Food Pupukea Grill, the hummus wrap with grilled chicken (Marissa’s fave) or Coconut Quinoa special (Mel’s favorite)

Beach You can find us sliding all day at Pupukea.

Coffee We lost Starbucks on north shore, so we have been swinging by the coffee shop in Turtle Bay- pretty sweet place to grab a cup of Joe with a view.

Place to Shop Guava Shop is the one stop when you are looking for the perfect outfit on the North Shore.

Hike The boy scout trail up the hill in Pupukea is very beautiful.


Photos by Brooke Dombroski  and Tahiti Huetter.

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