Made in America: Bikinis inspired by NorCal beaches

February 13, 2013 7:17:30 PM PST
Tonight we have a "Made in America" story of a young woman in Pacifica whose time at the beach is now beginning to pay off. She combined her business degree with her hobby for some amazing results.

This is the byproduct of what happens when a bliss becomes a business.

For Chelsea Bell, company headquarters has yet to expand beyond a couple of rooms in her Boulder Creek home. Instead, the world is coming to her.

She designs what women want to wear and men want to see -- bikinis, really small bikinis.

"Oh it started with a serious addiction to bikinis," Bell said.

A lifelong one for a girl who grew up along Northern California beaches and never got the wind, water, or waves out of her system.

"It's so calming and peaceful, and I feel like it really centers me," Bell said. "Sometimes I like to just come down here and sit in my car and work and stare at the ocean."

So last summer when no one would hire the artsy young woman with a business degree, she began turning the drawings into dreams come true. And Stone Fox Swim, as she calls her company, began making little waves.

When asked how you know if you've made it as a bikini designer, Bell answered, "Well, I would say if you made it into Sports Illustrated Swim."

On a whim she mailed Sports Illustrated some bikinis, 40 pieces off to New York. Just the suits, mind you, not the models. Then she waited.

"There's lots of little details that go into making it," Bell said. "Even the way, like, it has to be sewn perfectly, especially if the bikini is teeny tiny."

Well, if you open up the new magazine you may notice that Bell didn't get her exact wish.

"They are using four," Bell said. When asked if that's a victory, she exclaimed, "That is a huge victory!"

Massive, life changing, and all from bikinis so small that she can make three from one yard of fabric.

Not bad for a business she taught herself, "You mean, how did I learn to do all of this? Google!" she said.

To check out Bell's company, click here.

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