“I made a decision to live my life in an authentically enlivening way.”

This statement by Amanda Koss, founder of The Beachonista, perfectly encapsulates her energy and being.

We were honored to get to know this girl boss and to hear more about her lifelong passion for the ocean and her equally strong desire to empower others to fully embrace new experiences.

A Manhattan Beach local, Amanda is an advocate for the overall lifestyle that living in the South Bay affords. The Beachonista offers paddleboard and skateboard rentals, as well as accessories such as waterproof speakers and coolers to elevate the overall experience. We also loved to hear how Amanda uses her company to promote unique water-wear that is feminine AND functional (too often, we see one or the other!). A volunteer with the South Bay Chapter of Surfrider Foundation, Amanda regularly takes part in beach clean events and recognizes the worth in preserving our oceans for the generations to come! We look forward to seeing how Amanda Koss and the Beachonista continue to enrich our community and strengthen our ocean ties. As Amanda puts it, “we aren’t just a rental company, we are a water tribe family that knows when coming together can create good vibes!”

Read on to hear more about Amanda and her experience as an entrepreneur in the South Bay..

1. When did you start The Beachonista and what inspired you to open your own business?

The Beachonista was a long time coming. It gradually morphed into a business when I made a decision to live my life in an authentically enlivening way. I have always been passionate about water sports at an early age growing up in Manhattan Beach.

As I grew into my teenage years, I forgotten about my passion and focused on things that seemed important at the time.

Major life events – such as  getting a divorce from a man I always imagined being my forever and losing my mom (as well as other close family members) to cancer.  My soul felt so lost at the time and I embarked on an internal journey to explore the meaning of life and to really know what’s truly important.

I moved back to my hometown to start over again. I leaned heavily on the ocean to get me through a tough time. I raced to the water everyday after work before the sun would set to find my peace and serenity paddle boarding. I loved getting out there. Eventually, I got very good and comfortable paddling that I started helping random paddlers (who were struggling with balance and technique) how to paddle board.. Before long, friends asked if I would teach them.  It felt amazing to watch them light up when they connected with paddle boarding. I realized my heart was onto something. I mustered the courage to quit my day job at the end of 2015 and embark upon a journey of starting my very own stand up paddle boarding business to teach others how to paddle board and enjoy the water life.

My passion didn’t stop at the sport itself. It expanded into other areas of water life, like fashion and style. Clothing is an important part of sport activity but there was a void in the marketplace for women to acquire feminine and functional pieces for water sport activity. Most mainstream swimsuits and waterwear were either masculine or dainty and flimsy. I started searching for apparel pieces from large to tiny unknown online companies that mixed feminine and function together so I could paddle board in a way that made me feel good. People started taking notice and asked (more times than I could count) where they could find what I was wearing.

I consider myself a spiritual person – similar to what one might compare to a yogi – but in an ocean sense. I love sharing and incorporating “free-spirited” principles in my teachings and styles I carry in my shop as a way to help us connect with living our authentic life to happily charge toward our dreams. I feel it’s important part of the learning process because ultimately we are stepping outside of our comfort zone to learn something new and it’s helpful to know of what a beautiful and life enriching experience it could be.

Overall, my business touches on every aspect I have been wanting to share with others to help many people feel happy and connected to something meaningful to them. It’s a privilege to be a part of a personal in someone’s life.

2. We can see that you are very passionate about the ocean, what is your favorite thing to do out on the water? 

I absolutely love getting out in the water with a waterproof phone case and waterproof speaker. I’m the kind of person who loves music and photography. Anytime I can mix the two together, I am over the moon. The scenery in the water will be unlike any time I was there before, so I like to have my camera ready to snap a picture of sea lions or fish swimming underneath my board. I also love bringing fun and silliness into most things I do- that goes double for paddle boarding. I’ll sometimes bring an inflatable pool floaty – like a shark- for giggles. I attached it to the back of my board once before (as if it were following me) to make other people laugh. It’s also fun to take turns with a friend to ride on the floaty and paddle. It’s always fun to mix it up!

3. What is your vision for The Beachonista and where do you see your business going? 

My vision for The Beachonista is to continue helping others lead happy and full lives by the water. I want more and more people to remember to take a break from their fast paced lives and go for a ride on the strand, enjoy the ocean, cruise through the south bay and take time to really enjoy the life we have in the south bay. I want to empower men and women to learn something new and make life fun. I want The Beachonista to be apart of everyone’s wonderful beach life experience.

4. It seems like you are involved with the community, what organizations are you a part of and why?

I love supporting the community in ways that enrich the place we call home. I volunteer for Surfrider Foundation: South Bay Chapter. I help run the social media marketing department- as well as support beach clean up events every month. I love knowing that every little bit of effort we do helps the planet thrive. If there’s any way I can be apart of a helpful change- like reducing plastic pollution in our environment, I’m willing to help make the world better.

5. What role do you see The Beachonista playing within the community?

I see The Beachonista stepping into the role within the community to empower us to live our best life through fun, laughter and empowering activities.  We aren’t just a rental company, we are a water tribe family that knows when coming together can create good vibes!

All South Bay residents and visitors, swing by the Beachonista at 1136 Hermosa Ave HB 90254 and experience the good vibes for yourself! Mention the Weber Accetta Group and receive $10 off your first SUP rental!

Check out the Beachonista SUP Shack’s website and keep in touch with all things Beachonista on their Instagram & Twitter