Saturday, February 13th
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"When I was in college all the girls knew me and began calling me Carlini Bikini."
Carlene Santos was born and raised in a tiny village in the beautiful and exotic country of Brazil. The small village had a population of only about 3,000 people. It was customary for most of the women of the village to learn to make their own clothing. As a child she wore clothes made exclusively by her mother. By the age of 14 she was making her own clothes as well as clothes for her family.
She earned a degree in communications and paid for school by making clothes for classmates. She later moved to the United States and started making swimsuits for herself. She would travel to Miami from Palm Beach to buy fabric. Then she started making the swimsuits for her friends. Her first taste of entrepreneurship began when she took 20 pieces she made to Palm Beach Community College where she was studying business and marketing. The pieces sold out within 2 days then she started selling about 60 a week. She found a manufacturer in Brazil to produce the swimsuits that she designed since the demand became too large for her to handle by herself. She also owned her own store, Mangarosa in Delrey Beach, Florida for a few years before decided to close it.
She now spends her time designing, selling her collections wholesale, and doing fashion shows and trunk shows.
Carlene’s fabulous fashions have been featured in several publications and media including Boca magazine, The Tyra Banks Show, Sunset Now Newspaper, Fortune Small Business, CNN Money, Boca News and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, 2009.
If I could bring back any trend from the past, it would be mini-skirts from the 60's.