February's Featured ICON
Each month we showcase an incredible woman to be our featured Amaiò ICON. This woman is someone who has style, grace, kindness, and integrity, all while inspiring us on a daily basis.
Our Icons have a certain je ne sais quoi. They carry themselves with poise, they have an effortless and distinct style, and they are more than skin-deep.
Stephanie Hill (@thestylebungalow)
Living in West Palm Beach, Florida, Stephanie’s distinct personal style is a beautiful mixture of feminine elegance and tropical vintage flair. Even on her diminutive frame, she packs quite a punch with every outfit she wears, mastering monochrome dressing in dramatic silhouettes against dreamy palm tree backdrops.
Stephanie’s style is timeless and authentically her, as she mixes her Hispanic heritage with romantic details, pops of color (usually including a gorgeous red lip), and statement accessories.
Although Stephanie has mastered her craft, her road to success was a winding one—a fact that only endears her to us more. Her aesthetic sensibilities evolved from an early career as a professional ballet dancer, but it wasn’t until 2008 that a financial recession forced Stephanie out of her comfort zone and onto a new career path.
Thankfully, with lots of hard work and newfound confidence, she has come out on top. Far more than just a “content creator,” Stephanie stands for women who are fearless in pursuing their passions, who allow themselves to be vulnerable, and who, with persistence to succeed, have turned their hardships into triumph.
Her voice as a lifestyle blogger is certainly a powerful one as she maintains ongoing collaborations with her favorite fashion brands while continuing to pursue her numerous passions. Whether it’s fashion, interior design, travel, or planning her wedding, make sure to keep an eye out for this shining star and see where her passions take her next!
Cheers on blogging for six years! Are there any major learns you've had that you could pass on to others starting out in your industry?
It has definitely been a journey - one where I've had to walk through a lot.
I've tried everything to "find myself" in this sea of digital clutter. So, this may sound like kindergarten advice, but be yourself.
It wasn't until I leaned into what makes me uniquely me that things started to change and make sense.
How did you discover Amaiò? What stood out about the brand to you?
I discovered Amaiò on Instagram! Immediately, I was drawn to its classic photographs, vintage feeling, and unique designs.
Something about [Amaiò] felt cinematic and reminded me of my ballet days.
So, upon receiving my first piece, I was blown away by the beautiful craftsmanship and quality.
You have such amazing style. Any treasured possessions in your wardrobe that you’ll never get rid of?
Thank you! I have a few pieces of jewelry that mean a lot to me, but perhaps the number one item I will never get rid of is a jewel encrusted makeup compact from my grandmother. We never met, since she passed away from breast cancer in her 40's, but she danced professionally like I did, so I feel very close to her in ways. I also have some treasured items from my mom's closet, like belts and costume jewelry that she's handed down to me over the years - I'll never get rid of those pieces. Oh, and anything Chanel! You can't get rid of Chanel.
If you weren’t blogging, what would you be doing right now?
Good question! I'm an entrepreneur at heart, so I'd probably be consulting with brands on the side while going back to school to learn all things fashion design, interior design and art direction. I also love choreographing ballets...not sure my creative side would be fit for a desk job, lol.
What is a book that you think everyone should read?
Aesthetic Intelligence by Pauline Brown - read it 3x.
It's finally 2020! Any exciting ideas or plans to launch this year? Personal resolutions?
I wish I had big plans in the making (professionally), but truth be told, I don't. That said, 2020 feels so different (in a good way) because I have a clear sense of direction with my blog (and brand) and cannot wait to tap into that further. Personally speaking, I'm getting married!
What does being an Amaiò ICON mean to you?
Thank you, I'm still so touched! Being a traditionalist at heart (I'd rather buy things with staying power) and someone who takes their time to do things the right way, I love that Amaiò's brand ethos mirrors mine so closely. I'm also a former ballerina who (once upon a time) struggled with body image, so representing a luxury swimwear and resort wear brand says a lot about how far I've come with myself...
Who are your own personal icons (and why)?
I'm deeply inspired by bold women like my grandmother. She had a zest for life...a passion for living and loving, despite her terminal prognosis.
Do you find yourself putting on your ballet slippers every once in a while?
All the time! A few months ago I was taking private ballet lessons to get back into it, but I had to put that on hold due to work. I have plans to go back this year though. Dancing is something I do for myself. I don't share it often with Instagram because it's so personal for me, and I don't want to find myself criticizing my body or poor technique. It's been years since I did it for a living, and I just want to dance.
If you had a daughter, do you think you'd sign her up for ballet lessons?
I think so. Ballet instilled grace, discipline and grit in me. I gained a deeper appreciation for aesthetics. I learned how to be resourceful, because a dancer's salary is very little...and how to trick the eye (especially when it comes to elongating my bod, since I'm petite), which has come in handy today. These are qualities I would want my future daughter to have.
That said, ballet is hard, and "making it" is even harder.
If she wanted to pursue it professionally, I would make sure she had a close support system around her, because it can take a toll on your emotional health, especially when you're so young, as do all professional sports.
Congrats on your engagement! We are all dying to know...when is the big day!? Any must-haves for the big event? And how did you know Pedro was the one?
Our big day is taking place in November! Before we get married in Mexico, we're having a private ceremony at a church in Coral Gables for our immediate families, which happens to be the same church my parents got married in. And thirty years later, they're still married.
The only must-have I want on my big day is my family and friends. I hope they can all make it!
Everyone talks about having that "a-ha" moment...I didn't.
It was a gradual process for me and occurred every time I laid my head on his chest, holding hands as we talked about our hopes and dreams...laughing about silly things for hours...it just felt right and I kept falling deeply in love.
You and your fiancé recently turned your apartment into an office, and it is STUNNING! Can you walk us through the steps for that and how your design vision came to life?
It's funny, my fiancé and I still have separate apartments. He's in Miami and I'm in West Palm Beach, but we are on the hunt for the perfect home together! Since I spend most of my time in Miami, we had the flexibility to redecorate my West Palm Beach apartment where my team works.
It was his idea to convert the bedroom in my one-bedroom apartment into a closet, so I enlisted the help of a local professional organizer who specializes in NYC apartments to put my closet together. Then, we turned my living room into a bedroom-living room space (think of it like a hotel room). I consulted with interior designer Danielle Rollins to help execute my design ideas. It took a long time--almost an entire year!--but it turned out to be so beautiful and such a fun exercise!
During the process, I learned so much about interior design and fell in love with the outcome. Now, I can't wait to redecorate my next place!
Amaiò Swim is made for women, by women. At Amaiò, it is our goal to not only help women look beautiful in our pieces, but to create a community of encouragement and support. Each piece is designed with each woman in mind. All the women of Amaiò are thought of in the design process and all of these women inspire us daily. We want every woman who wears our pieces to feel elegant and channel their inner Bardot.
We pride ourselves on positivity and constant personal growth. With this being said, our Amaiò Icons initiative was born. This initiative was created to continue the support and growth of other women alike, women who inspire us, who uplift us, and who do all of this while looking effortlessly chic.
Amaiò Icons are mothers, career women, wives and friends. She has no boundaries of who she is or where she wants to be. She is always evolving, always progressing. Her style evolves with her growth; sometimes she feels sophisticated, other times she feels playful. She has a taste for adventure, for experiencing all the world has to offer her, and of course, a taste for fashion and beauty.
Know an ICON?
Do you know an incredible woman who should be featured as our next ICON?
We're always looking for the next inspiring woman to feature. Let's continue to fix each others crowns, shall we? An Amaiò ICON can be from any walk of life and in any career field. See below for more information how to nominate someone, or even submit yourself!