Today, I have the ENORMOUS pleasure of sitting down to chat with Karina Irby– trust me when I say that you will want to be best friends with her after this podcast. I’ve been following Karina and her bikini company, Moana, for at least 6 months now, and I am just more and more obsessed with them both every day. Karina is a 27 year-old entrepreneurial powerhouse who essentially turned an $800 loan into a massively successful swimwear company. On top of that, she is also the co-founder of Bikini Body Burn, which empowers women of all sizes and ages to get active! Now, something that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE about Karina is that she infuses her fun, upbeat personality into everything she does, and hundreds of thousands of other people must agree, because her personal Instagram has well over 800 THOUSAND followers. And she doesn’t just use that massive influence for showing off her amazing bikinis– she also talks a lot about body positivity, embracing your flaws, and living a healthy and balanced lifestyle.


Karina shares the background of her company and how she went from getting fired to creating a highly successful swimwear company. She says “it has been a wild few years.. I just couldn’t be more thankful and grateful” (4:45)


She loves being an entrepreneur and is so grateful for the journey, but she says that the hardest part is “friendships– friendships change. People can see you in a different light and it’s a bit sad and painful” (11:15)


Moana’s motto is “Be you. Be carefree. Be beautiful” which was absolutely groundbreaking when the brand was new, and now Karina has cultivated a worldwide community around the brand and its values (13:00)


Karina shares some insight on her day-to-day routine and how she’s achieved great work-life balance“I used to have a hard time balancing everything… but now I’ve definitely learned to separate it as much as I can… when you step away from your work and come back to it, you pick up on things that you didn’t notice before, or see things in a different light” (15:00)


When it comes to social media trolls, Karina welcomes the (negative) feedback and says “people should use it for motivation” (16:50)


Part of the reason she is so passionate about celebrating different body types, saying no to photoshop, and being 100% raw and real is because “growing up, I had really bad eczema… so if were to take a photo…  it was very embarrassing… back in the day, I had MySpace… and if I had a big rash on my leg, I’d either crop out the photo or try to cover it up… it got to me so much and I was so sad that I couldn’t be me” (19:00)


Body image and self-love have become a huge part of her platform and the Moana brand because “the moana fans… have really made me who I am right now… now that the community has grown so much, I wanna be there for them… everyone is so different, so I think it’s cool that we can finally talk about and be who we are” (22:30)


After realizing that her diet and exercise weren’t serving her, Karina now trains and eats to nourish her body and honor her body type instead of fighting it (23:30)


Her and I have a similar journey with body image and realizing that having a “goal body” isn’t the best idea when setting fitness goals. “Don’t look at somebody and want that look, because you’re not necessarily gonna get it. You’re gonna work out for you and your body, and you’re gonna develop into this beautiful unique woman”  (25:30)


And finally, the #GrindAndBeGrateful question (33:00)


“In life, when you do get dished negative things, you can either take it the wrong way, and go to the wrong side of the track, or you can learn from it and grow, and just become a better person from it” (36:00)