Hamabla Experiences Bricks-and-Mortar Success With Beach Pajamas
Following the successful 2017 launch of her direct-to-consumer beach-lifestyle brand called Hamabla, Joelle Maynard decided to introduce the Beach Pajamas collection during the Fall/Winter 2018 season.
While the East Coast–raised Maynard has always lived near the beach—from Connecticut and New York to holidays spent in the Hamptons on Long Island, N.Y., and Nantucket, Mass.—it was a move to Malibu, Calif., that inspired her to create pieces made from natural materials that women could invest in for the long term.
“Because I am very passionate about the oceans and the beaches, and my environment inspired me, I decided to make all of my apparel and accessories out of natural materials,” Maynard explained. “You won’t find any polyester or rayon—except for the fabrics used to make the outdoor goods. The clothing is all cotton, linen and silks.”
Named for Maynard’s grandmother, who emigrated from Italy, the Hamabla brand started with a focus on beach accessories such as umbrellas, pillows and chairs. She admits that building a successful clothing brand was not her intention. But due to customer demand she decided to cultivate her apparel offerings.
Throughout the remainder of 2019, Maynard intends to focus on the Beach Pajamas line with designs inspired by liberating 1920s-era fashions that included loose silhouettes resembling sleepwear such as those favored by Coco Chanel.
“Over the course of the past two years, the apparel has really taken off,” she said. “It was almost an afterthought when I started the company, but it was something that people really gravitated toward because of the feel of the material and the design.”
Made in small batches in downtown Los Angeles, Beach Pajamas relies on 100 percent natural double-gauze cotton. While the pieces can be worn as sleepwear, true to the collection’s name, they are created to be worn as part of a woman’s wardrobe.
The next collection, which launches on May 20 for summer, will include two new colors and 12 pieces, five of which are new silhouettes—a skirt, hooded poncho, scarf, tube top and shirtdress.
Beach Pajamas will feature pieces in black and Nantucket red, which is a light hue resembling a pink, popular with men who summer in the affluent seaside resort destinations in the Northeast region of the United States.
“We’re planning on that collection to be the foundation of our apparel,” Maynard said. “Because they are classic pieces, we expect them to repeat. We might add new colors or additional silhouettes, but because these are so classic this will be our enduring collection season after season.”
As a former finance-and-technology executive who worked with companies including Salesforce and Oracle, Maynard is experiencing a second career as an apparel designer. She has quickly learned valuable lessons regarding maintaining the quality of a clothing brand. After starting her brand with a small manufacturer located in downtown Los Angeles, she moved on to a larger producer as the company grew but quickly realized that bigger isn’t always better.
“Working with a big manufacturer was a process that was overcomplicated,” she explained. “I went back to this one woman, and we have a wonderful relationship. For my production runs at this point, I don’t have to farm it out to China or a larger company in L.A.”
Part of the excitement Maynard is experiencing with Beach Pajamas is due to a temporary 1,600-square-foot bricks-and-mortar location launched April 1 on Santa Monica, Calif.’s, Main Street, which will remain open through the end of August. Preferring to use the term “residency” rather than the popular “pop-up shop” description, Maynard is enjoying the shift from an exclusively online presence to the client interaction she experiences with her storefront.
“When people come in, I can talk to them about the materials and the fact that we’re a direct-to-consumer brand,” she said. “They can see the value proposition where we’re not marking things up three times. I am able to provide high-quality items at a fraction of the price of a lot of other brands.”
For the launch of her shop, Maynard chose to bypass a large public-relations campaign, opting instead for a smaller push on social media and promoting the news herself. The move proved successful with traffic from women of all ages. Shoppers have included local Santa Monica residents and tourists alike.
“We are true to ourselves in terms of branding, materials and our network of folks, who help us do what we do. We talk about being an all-natural brand, but we’re also all naturally true to ourselves,” she said. “There are choices that I could make to make what I do a lot easier, but we focus on quality, and we stay true to the brand at all costs.”
Available in the shop until August and online at www.hamabla.com, the Summer 2019 Beach Pajamas collection features the Carmen Cami, Carmen Pant, Carmen Short, Perrine Playsuit and Suzel Slip in sizes XS–L. The collection’s Bruna Robe and Tosca Wrap Top are available in two sizes, XS/S and M/L. Retail pricing ranges from $60 to $175.