My name is Navy and I am from the Big Island of Hawai'i. Growing up on an island has given me such a different outlook on life and I look forward to sharing more about myself and the way I live with all of you!
Starting with Midori
In May of 2014, I was just a freshman in high school. A young, sun-bleached beach rat who didn't even know "Instagram modeling" was really a thing. A the time I was up to my usual shenanigans, taking pixelated videos on my GoPro Hero2, sitting on the beach with a dead phone at 4pm waiting for my mom to pick me up after work, and paddling outrigger canoes as a sport. At the time, Midori had very few followers compared to what they have . now, and only really sponsored girls who were athletes/ surfers. If I were to take a wild guess, I would assume they had a solid 40k following at the time.
Since I was really enjoying paddling and found myself in the ocean every day, it was necessary to have a supportive bathing suit. To remind you all, this is when everyone was wearing the good old BodyGlove Brazilian bikinis (in every color). I reached out to Midori to ask about sizing and comfort for my sport and we got to talking about a "sponsorship" since my sport was unique. In Hawai'i, this is every young girl's dream. Bikinis here are the culture. To represent one of the sickest bikini companies in the game while participating in a sport was EVEN COOLER. It began with padding in my suits at races and eventually turned into my friends taking photos of me with our iPhone 5's until the trend of "Instagram modeling" or "influencing" came about.
I have a very close friend named Shayla, also known as "Shay Money." She was the photographer that everyone in our small Kona town RAVED about (and still raves about). Shay was just as clueless about the scene as I was but with our friendship, and motive to shoot bikini pics on our little island out of pure fun, innocence, and passion, we were able to succeed. At the time, there was no "pressure," just two little sun kissed gals and an old camera named "Joe." To this day, Shay still takes photos for me, and even though she is behind the scenes, she is a big part of the Midori family.
As time went on, I paddled less often and found my new passion in modeling. It isn't your mainstream ambassador story, it's just the story of some sunburnt little girl who got really damn lucky. To this day, around 4 years later, I still remain extremely loyal to Midori. The opportunities I've gained, the friends and connections I've made, and even the person I have become is all because the little "40k and growing" company, aka Midori Bikinis, decided to trust in this hot mess of a beach rat with pixilated videos. There is hope!
Home Life on the Island
Life growing up on an island is vastly different from life on the Mainland. On the island, surrounded by Hawaiian culture, I had many unique experiences and opportunities I wouldn't have had elsewhere. My childhood seemed pretty normal to me since no one from Hawai'i really hypes up "being from Hawai'i." The countless adventures with my friends were normal things for us to do on weekends.
Being outdoors and finding the next new place to adventure to or "Secret Zone" as my friends and I would call it, is what got us really excited. As small as the island may seem, there is always something new to explore. We run in a back of six, also know as the "HoneyGirls." I don't over exaggerate when I say that my friends could literally "out-adventure" any guy I know!
Where I'm at Today
Thankfully I was able to make some friends when I got to San Diego and also had the Midori Team very close by. After moving away to college, I learned to appreciate barefoot adventures to waterfalls, fresh fruit and poke bowls, mud baths in the wilderness, and miles and miles of untouched land.