Diary of Charlotte Marin, Marine Biologist and Artist turned Entrepreneur!

Diary of Charlotte Marin, Marine Biologist and Artist turned Entrepreneur!

I was ten years when I looked through a book about the ocean during a trip to the school library, and that was the moment I decided I was going to be a marine biologist. The combination of the beautiful colors, magical creatures and mystery of the depths had me captivated. Ironically growing up in Wisconsin, I never even got to see the ocean (or fly in an airplane) until I was 18 years old when I finally made it to Florida. 

I enrolled in Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, where I double majored in Biology and Spanish. It was an amazing experience that offered so many opportunities in marine science as well as to study abroad (I went to Mexico for January term and The Canary Islands for a semester.) However, it was extremely academically challenging, and I did not enjoy organic chemistry or physics, to put it very nicely! I thought to myself, if I don't make it through these classes, then I am going to design school!  I always had a creative and artistic side to me, and I was bit different from my peers in science because I LOVED fashion! Although design school would have been a fabulous back-up plan, I persevered and finished my first science degree.

Shortly following graduation, I got my first full-time job working for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute doing field work with commercial fishermen in Gulf of Mexico. I absolutely loved this job and through this work I realized my passion for the policy side of marine science.

Although I was having a blast and fulfilling my first passion, my overactive brain just wouldn't stop. While driving to a fish house one day, I had the brilliant idea to start a mobile swim school business. I became a certified lifeguard and swim instructor in high school and had a few clients of my own that I taught on the side. I knew there was a demand for the service with all the water in Florida being such a safety issue, so not long after, Mermaid Swim School was born. After a few short years, we had grown to have an office manager and almost twenty swim instructors servicing the entire Tampa Bay area. 

At this point I was certainly managing to stay busy with my full-time job, swim school business, and full swing into my first master's degree in environmental science at Florida Gulf Coast University. In 2011, I decided to take a little break and take a trip with my then boyfriend to his home country of Colombia in South America. It was an absolutely beautiful country with amazing people, food, culture and scenery. However, what absolutely BLEW me away was artisan goods, especially the handmade bikinis!

So besides getting engaged in a helicopter, I became literally obsessed with swimwear and a light bulb went off. Being such a lover of water, designing my own swimwear seemed like the perfect idea - finally a way to fulfill my creative side and make a physical art piece I can share with people all over the world! I immediately got to work on my designs and searching for my production partners.


I am so blessed for the all the amazing experiences that have come with having this business, and all the incredible people that I have met. I have been fortunate that the brand has brought me to seven Carribean Islands on at least a dozen trips, and being the official swimwear brand for the Miss World Bahamas pageant has accounted for some of the best memories of my life! Watching young ladies blossom into women and gain incredible confidence throughout the course of their pageant training has been eye opening and so rewarding. 

Walking the runway after my first fashion show in Miami Swim Week was like a dream!

Now at this phase of my life, I am so grateful that I found a way to merge my two passions, marine science and design. I have pivoted slightly to give the brand a greater purpose and have collaborated with Rescue a Reef to help restore the coral reefs in the Florida Keys. The 2023 coral bleaching event was the worst in ten years, and unfortunately, it looks like the bleaching events will be stronger and more frequent. 

Dead Coral at Sombrero Reef

Dead Coral at Sobrero Reef - Courtesy Coral Restoration Foundation

The good news is that scientists are working hard to restore the reefs. They are breeding corals to become more resilient to climate change so they can withstand these heat events in the future. 

Our Atlantis Collection features dreamy, whimsical designs inspired by these reefs that so desperately need our help.  Each purchase from Lottie Holiday is going to help support these scientists that are working so hard to save these magical reefs from extinction. So not only will you look good, but you can feel great knowing that your purchase is helping to save the environment! Shop the beautiful Crystal Coral set here!

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