By Tatiana Wilcox-Ha  
Vanessa Rivers, founder/designer for Happy Endingz® Eco Swimwear, grew up on an eco-ranch in Central California and attended college at UC Santa Barbara where she fell in love with surfing. The line's green concept was born out of Vanessa's passion for protecting the environment and her bikini's signature "butterfly cut" bottoms with minimal back coverage are inspired by the Hawaiian Islands. Despite having a celebrity lineage including father, singer Johnny Rivers, grandma, actress Debbie Reynolds, and aunt, Carrie Fisher, (aka Princess Leia), she has managed to stay grounded and dedicated to her goal of helping green become mainstream. Vanessa also spends her time teaching surf lessons when she is not busy designing swimwear. 

 S805 Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from?

VR I was raised on an eco ranch run completely on solar energy in San Luis Obispo County. The town I'm from is called Creston, population 200 people. I grew up riding horses, fixing fences & milking cows with my mom and driving around in an electric car with my step-dad Todd, who taught me everything I know about 'going green'.  

S805 Describe the general process you go through to design your swimwear?  

VR I am an avid surfer/ surf instructor so most of the inspiration for my swimwear comes from surf trips I have gone on. I was in Hawaii last fall & took tons of great photos and those pictures have become my inspiration for our next collection, which I just started working on. I chose the colors for the line from some amazing sunrise shots I took on the Big Island. 
As far as the actual designs go I try to create bikinis that my friends and me want but can't find anywhere in the market place. I try to take elements of other bikinis I have or seen in magazines and incorporate all the best parts into a single design. Our first collection, “One Bikini to Change the World” Collection and it consists of just one bikini style in three colors. This bikini, the recycled nylon ruffle bikini, has super long side ties, minimal back coverage and cute ruffle detail, all of which I wanted in one bikini but could not find so I made it!


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