A new beachwear store is open on Main Street in Tisbury that focuses on chic and sustainable bikinis, swimsuits, airy dresses, and much more.
“This is the kind of store that Vineyard Haven has needed — something lively and fun, with a focus on eco-friendly brands,” Cory Ochoa, co-owner of Lani Beach Club, told The Times about her new shop.
Ochoa and her boyfriend, Zach Stevenson, opened the store after Stevenson’s father and former owner of Mosher Photo, Carlos, decided to close the business.
Stevenson said Ochoa and he came into the opportunity this past winter. They both knew they wanted to start a clothing store, but weren’t sure what kind of products they wanted to offer.
“We came in here and put something together that we really wanted to provide for Vineyard Haven, something that we were passionate about — sustainability,” Stevenson said.
Although the store is geared toward younger folks, Lani Beach Club has something for everyone, as all the brands the store carries are size-inclusive.
“People really seem to like the idea. We are doing mostly swimwear right now, but we are moving toward more beach essentials in general, while keeping with the sustainability goal,” Stevenson said. “We want to be seen as a staple for sustainable beachwear on the Vineyard.”
Initially, Stevenson was thinking of starting a T shirt shop, and Ochoa always wanted to source her own sustainable and affordable beach brands.
“I’ve always been into thrifting, and I didn’t feel comfortable selling things in my store that were going to harm the earth,” Ochoa explained. “I didn’t want to put any more waste out there.”
With this ambition in mind, Ochoa and Stevenson were selective with the brands they curated, and made sure that the core values of each clothing company aligned with their own.
One thing that has been lacking on Main Street, according to Ochoa, is a full-fledged bikini store with cute and varied styles. “We really needed a bikini store — I don’t know how else to say it,” she laughed.
One central goal for Lani Beach Club is to offer clothing for everyone, which means sourcing size-inclusive brands.
“All our swimwear goes up to like 2X and starts at XS, so there is something for everyone in here. It hurts my heart if someone goes into a store and they leave saying, ‘Oh, nothing fits me,’” Ochoa said.
According to Ochoa, the word “Lani” means “heaven” in Hawaiian, which she said was catchy and stood out when the two store owners were brainstorming for a shop name.
Lani Beach Club carries a number of hand-picked green clothing brands like Deep Blue Bikini Co., which Ochoa described as a one-woman clothing company offering ethically handmade swimsuits out of Santa Barbara, Ochoa’s hometown.
They also carry AlmaBoa bikinis — a small brand based in Hawaii that sells uniquely patterned swimwear made from high-quality fabrics. “All their clothes are sustainable and ethically produced,” Ochoa said. “It’s honestly my favorite thing to put on.”
Night Dive is another brand the store carries, offering plus-size bikinis that are all made from fabrics woven out of recycled plastic bottles.
So far, the response from the Island community has been “great,” Ochoa said, and folks are excited to see a new kind of shopping experience come to Main Street.
“It’s a spot with new things. Our brand offerings are always going to change, because small brands make small batches, so they are going to run out of that product and change it. There will always be something fresh,” Ochoa said.
As the shop gets underway after only a short time being open, Ochoa and Stevenson are planning on branching out to new kinds of clothing, such as more dresses, shorts, and T shirts.
“There’s a lot of research going on to decide where we want to go with it next, but I really think sustainable should be the norm nowadays, and I think we are really putting it out there that you can be cute and look good, while also helping the planet — you don’t have to sacrifice one or the other,” Ochoa said.
Lani Beach Club is now open seven days a week, from 11 am to 6 pm. In the future, the shop is planning to open in April, and close sometimes in September, with the potential for a Christmas pop-up. Private shopping appointments are also available.