Designer Dana Dinerman of Hulabelle was inspired by her personal battle with breast cancer to create a swimwear line that is to help all women. When Dana was first diagnosed in 2011 at the age of 34 with Stage III breast cancer she opted to have a single mastectomy, without reconstruction. After six months of intense chemotherapy her family decided to take a vacation which would require a swimsuit. Dana, at the time, was used to being able to choose beautiful swimwear having grown up in San Diego, which is not lacking in quality swim pieces for women. The realization hit the young survivor that her ease of shopping for such a piece would not be as she walked into each swim boutique. The problem was many of the suits would not cover her scar on her chest or the flatness from having tissue and muscles removed. Dana discovered there was swimwear designed for post mastectomy surgery and they were not ideal. They had the look for being made for a woman much older than the 34 year old mom. Dana would opt for a mastectomy swimsuit that was quite uncomfortable, but having no choice she figured being alive was the most important thing. However, during her trip she would find herself creating a makeshift bikini top so she would not have to wear the tight one piece mastectomy swimsuit. She wore a sports bra and a rash guard with bikini bottoms as she kayaked in the ocean and went swimming in the surf. She felt liberated. She knew that if she felt this way, there had to be many others who felt the same way. After her trip she decided to start researching the market and found a niche. A few years later and much hard work the line was launched in 2016. It was received with open arms from the breast cancer community. The softness of the fabric, and fit of the suits were made comfortable so women would not feel too confined. Dana looks forward to her second season yet not without a tough personal battle. Unfortunately, Dana has battled breast cancer two more times since her original diagnosis and is considered to her doctors battling cancer as a chronic condition, or as some would say in harsher terms she is metastatic. This means she is no longer going to be considered cancer free. She will always be battling this disease however in the meantime the line keeps her encouraged and fills her life with a mission. Dana hopes to create swimwear and resort wear for women who would either like to take a once in a lifetime vacation and help them feel magical or to not feel hopeless during the summer months. The idea is to help these ladies embrace themselves and their bodies yet not bring the stares and questions from those around them. Also, the idea of the line is to bring awareness to breast cancer, in particular metastatic breast cancer which is the most overlooked diagnosis in the research industry for breast cancer. Women are able to live with breast cancer, however more research and discussions need to be made so lives can be extended for greater periods of time and quality of life can be made better.
Dana finds her enjoyment though each day, living for the moment, and mostly living for her family. Dana lives in Poway with her husband and 6 year old son. She is an animal lover and has two yellow labradors, one cat, and she likes to ride horses in her free time. She hopes her chance of being a designer in Fashion Week San Diego will shed light on metastatic breast cancer and to hear her motto mentioned which is, ‘Save The Women.’
Website | www.hulabelle.com
Facebook | Hulabelle Swimwear, LLC
Instagram | @hulabelleswimwear
Twitter | @hulabelleswim