Bella's factory I made your clothes seamstresses

Meet the Makers: A Look into One of Seea's Factories

The Seea team visited one of our three factories to talk about the business, our long standing relationship with the local manufacturers, and what it is like to work as a seamstress.

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All photos by Cara Bram.

In the very early days of Seea, Amanda, the founder and head designer, would drive her 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon up and down the California coast in search of local factories to produce her swimsuits. On one of those drives Amanda found a small factory just a 45-minute drive up the I-5 from the Seea HQ and has been partnering with them ever since. From the outset, Seea has been committed to local production and supporting small-scale manufacturing, a cornerstone of our brand ethos. By collaborating closely with small, independent California-based manufacturers, we we ensure the highest quality products while upholding our pledge to eco-conscious swimwear production. Moreover, this partnership allows us to contribute to our local economy and community.

hand made swimsuits sewing machine
{Seamstress Omar Moreno's hands as he sews a Seea swimsuit.}

In celebration of our manufacturing partners and to shine a light on the people who actually make our suits, we took the opportunity to spotlight one of our factories and the remarkable individuals who bring Seea swimsuits to life. Without the dedication and craftsmanship of our local manufacturing partners, producing high-quality, thoughtfully crafted, and environmentally conscious swimwear would be challenging. We take immense pride in our partnerships with factories that prioritize fair treatment of employees, foster safe working environments, and produce beautifully constructed garments. We extend our gratitude to all the talented individuals whose hands and hearts infuse each stitch with love and care.

people sewing swimsuits at Bellas Fashion
{Seamstresses sewing Seea swimsuits. }

Husband and wife team, Noe and Bella, laid the foundation of their factory in 1992. Having immigrated from Mexico in 1975, Bella initially honed her skills as a seamstress in another factory. For over a decade, Bella sewed for various companies until she persuaded her husband to embark on their entrepreneurial journey. “She is the one who started, she was sewing for other companies for a few years and then they closed down and she told me to start buying machines. We started with one and she said get me another one. Then when we bought the third one she said help me, and that’s how we got started,” reminisces Noe, co-founder and owner.

Noe and Bella Vargas couple who own Bella's Fashion
{Noe and Bella, husband and wife, who founded their factory in Southern California.}

The inception of the factory was marked by hard work and perseverance. While challenges abound, what remains steadfast is Noe and Bella’s unwavering commitment to their craft and their employees. “I take care of my sewers. I have some sewers that have been working for me for 20-some years,” shares Noe. Noe and Bella cultivate a familial atmosphere, where they prioritize the well-being of their employees. One couple has been part of the factory family since 1995. As Noe notes, “When we are doing good, they are doing good too.”

Presently, their factory employs eight individuals, though during peak years, this number swells to eighteen. Seea takes pride in collaborating with small-scale factories as it not only creates job opportunities but also bolsters the local economy. This year, Seea expedited product development to offer additional support to them and provide more work opportunities. Our relationship with our manufacturing partners is symbiotic; they bring Seea’s designs to fruition, and in turn, Seea sustains their businesses through consistent work opportunities. We are committed to nurturing and empowering local factories, ensuring their longevity, and enabling them to continue contributing to the local economy while supporting their employees.

Fidelia Celestino, a seamstress here for over two decades, cherishes her time at the factory. “I like to work here because when I was very young I learned how to sew and make my own clothes.” The factory fosters an environment where employees can acquire new skills and unleash their creativity. During our conversation with Fidelina, she proudly sported a pink floral shirt she made herself. The skills employees acquire empower workers like Fidelina to express their creativity freely.

seamstress sewing swimsuits
{Fidelina Celestino sewing the Georgia bikini and wearing a floral blouse that she made herself.}

The employees exude genuine passion for their craft. “This is very family-like. It’s very beautiful. The truth is, I’ve had other jobs and in comparison, I like this one very much! It is very good work, and I learn a lot!” remarks Ana Silvia Perez, a seamstress with four years of tenure at this factory. Ana Silvia admires her bosses and finds her work dynamic and enriching. She likes to think about the work she is doing and how she can do it differently by problem-solving and learning new things.

Ana Silvia takes immense pride in her craft and infuses every garment with love. “When work is made with a lot of love, it is a lot more beautiful,” she affirms. Sewing and creating clothing for others bring her a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Knowing that her creations are cherished by customers and that they can feel the love woven into each piece brings her deep satisfaction.

seamstress at Bella's Fashion factory making Seea swimsuits
{Ana Silvia Perez adding labels by hand to each swimsuit.}

Elvira Barajas, another seamstress here echoes Ana Silvia’s sentiments. “We are happy. It is like another family that we have here.” At the factory, mutual support among colleagues is paramount. Together, they troubleshoot pattern issues, impart new skills, and foster a culture of kindness. The camaraderie among employees resonates in the garments they meticulously craft. “We make the clothes with love so they can be beautiful,” affirms Elvira Barajas. Indeed, beauty emanates from within.


Elvira and women holding a sign that says I made your clothes
{(left) Elvira Barajas holding a sign saying, 'I made your clothes.' (right) The women at the factory laughing together.}

At Seea, we are privileged to forge personal connections with the artisans behind our products. The ability to drive 45 minutes to inspect a sample is a luxury, one that enables us to deliver the finest, high-quality products to our water women. Each Seea suit is crafted with love and care, by skilled hands, for you to cherish and feel confident in. Whether you're catching your first wave or hanging ten, know that Seea and the myriad of kind hearts, skilled hands, and thoughtful minds behind each garment are right there with you.

the people and seamstresses at Bella's fashion holding a sign that says I made your clothes

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