Get Local | Acacia Swim’s Maui Island Guide with Naomi Newirth
Acacia Swim is known for intricately detailed designs, custom prints, buttery fabric, and a seamless dolphin-like comfort. Designer and founder Naomi Newirth grew up in the land of Aloha, on one of the most visited tourist destinations in world - Maui, HI. From adventuring in the Hawaiian wilderness and hand-sewing her own bikinis, to expanding the world renown line and launching a new brand, Naomi tells us how the island continues to be woven into her brand, her family life, and how she balances the two. We ventured to the island and asked Naomi for her ultimate experience -- where to hit the beach, eat, drink and chill out local style.
You began making your own swimwear at a young age and went on to complete a fashion degree. Fast forward to present and you now have a family, run ACACIA full time and are based between Bali and Hawaii. How has the line grown and changed with you over the years?
I started in swim and we have since expanded the line into ready-to-wear and a collection for little girls called HONEY. Since having my son, Hunter, I was inspired to design for young boys as well, and am introducing a few pieces into our upcoming collection. Becoming a mother changed my body, and I now need to feel supported. We are excited to launch our 2019 collection with a new fabric that offers women’s bodies more support. When we first started, our styles were more limited, but I think it’s natural to slowly expand. We also aim to accommodate styles for all ages and body types.
From where do you draw the most inspiration for ACACIA?
I draw most of my inspiration from nature and my surroundings – whether it’s at home in Hawaii, or during my travels.
What story do you feel is most important to tell with the brand?
I think the most important to share is how we started. I learned how to sew my own suits in high school because I couldn’t find the perfect suit at the time. I started small, setting up a little stock room in my teeny kitchen in the back Ohana of my mother’s house. The early stages were a struggle because people hadn’t caught on to small bikini bottoms yet. That was all I wore, and wanted to educate our customer that it can actually make your booty look better. Everyone told me we wouldn’t make it and that I should produce larger bottoms, but I stayed true to my vision and today our small cuts are our best sellers!
What are some of your #needs right now, both tangible and intangible?
A morning must have for me is my spicy Blue Lotus Chai tea – it’s amazing. I love my Naturopathica face wash and my facial therapist just got me into Yon-Ka from Paris. I also religiously use my ACACIA x EPICUREN Body Lotion. It was the only body lotion that really hydrated my skin before I did a collab with them, and then they let me create my own scent for ACACIA and it was so much fun. My main goals for ACACIA are to be innovative, and to be a leader in the swim industry. I am still navigating finding a balance between motherhood and owning a business.
Since Maui is HQ, we’d love to experience the island ACACIA style. Where is your favorite place to reconnect with self, and the island?
Hana is the perfect place to reconnect with self and unwind from the world. It is true Hawaii. Remote, beautiful, peaceful.
What are your most favorite beaches?
My favorite beach is actually in Hana – Hamoa Beach. It’s a black sand beach with the clearest, cleanest water.
Best local food spots?
For an island experience, try Mamas Fish House, which is always a go-to. It’s a bit pricey, but a beautiful place with yummy, fresh local caught fish. Nuka in Haiku is a local sushi/Japanese restaurant. It has really yummy fish burgers and tacos.
Mana Foods in Paia is truly the best health food store in the world. I think I go in there probably a few times a day. I do all my grocery shopping there and their hot bar is the best for a quick bite on the run. If you make it to Hana there is a delicious Thai Food by Pranee near Red Sand Beach.
Where would you go for a staycation?
I would go to Hana or the Andaz in Wailea if I wanted more of a resort-style staycation.
What is the craziest adventure you’ve ever had on the island and where would you take a visitor?
This is a hard one. I feel like every weekend was a crazy adventure growing up here. Endless waterfalls, hikes, surfing, camping, dirt biking. This sounds repetitive, but Hana is the perfect adventure for a Hawaii experience. Beautiful beaches, endless waterfalls, and yummy local food carts. Red Sand Beach in Hana is amazing – the hike down is a bit scary as you have to walk on a thin path on a cliff down, but once you make it down, there’s no place in the world like it. The sand is the most beautiful red surrounded by red cliffs, and the water is a mix between fresh water that seeps through sand and salt water.
Hawaiian is a beautiful language that is intrinsically connected to spirit and the islands, what is your favorite word and why?
ALOHA I think would be my favorite. I think people worldwide have an understanding of what ALOHA means. We use it to greet people and to say goodbye. But, the meaning of ALOHA run so much deeper than that. It’s a way of life. To live with ALOHA.
What does MISSBISH mean to you and who is your main bish?
It’s incredibly important for us at ACACIA to provide swim and beachwear that makes women of all different sizes feel great and confident about themselves. MISSBISH encourages and inspires women around the world, and we’re all about that!
My main bish I would have to say is my mother. She is a strong, inspiring woman. She raised two children as a single mother while teaching kindergarten at The Waldorf School. She has retired from teaching and is now a designer of home goods and interior design. She has amazing style. You can check out her online home goods store – www.clothandgoods.com. She also helps me daily in my personal life and my business.