I was invited to the Ujena Swimwear showroom and factory for a tour this week. Okay, I may have invited myself, but they were incredibly friendly and happy to have me. Did you know that Ujena Swimwear has been making bathing suits and cover ups right here in Mountain View since 1984? And they’re just down the street from YouTube, Google, Intuit and Microsoft.
They’re located at 1931 Old Middlefield Way. Here’s a link to their website.
The showroom is pretty and girly, and they do a good job showing customers what's possible when you order a swimsuit from them, so many options, styles, and fabrics. You can certainly order one of the suits that they've designed, but you can also Design Your Own UjENA Suit (DYOUS) by selecting a UjENA style and a UjENA fabric, as sexy or conservative as you want and lots of fabrics to choose from, animal prints, dots, camouflage, tropical patterns or solids.
They have bikinis, tankinis, swim dresses, one pieces, monokinis, lounge pants and cover ups, all made in Mountain View. If you want to get the exact suit that was in Baywatch, this is definitely the place to go. Their swimwear and cover ups are sporty, functional and fashionable.
I loved watching people sitting at sewing machines, carefully sewing the suits. One big, burly guy was so proud of the bright yellow suit that he had just finished, that he held it up to show me, and flipped it around so I could admire his work, both front and back.
They have paper patterns that they trace onto the fabric and then cut out each piece by hand. And the fabric is really high quality and thick, with 4 way stretch, not like what you typically see in department stores. I looked at some of the crochet designs, which are very popular in Brazil and my tour guide, Catherine Cross, explained to me that they use mercerized cotton that comes from Belgium and it doesn’t get baggy when it gets wet.
The prices of Ujena pieces are reasonable because you’re buying direct from the manufacturer. They have loyal customers who have been buying from them since the 80s, and now their daughters are customers. People drive from all over California to visit the showroom. Don’t worry if you’re reading this and you don’t live in the area; everything is online too.
Ujena is a family owned and operated company. The founder, Bob Anderson, is also the founder of Runners World magazine and well known in the area. It’s nice to know you’re doing business someplace that is locally owned and that the employees are either part of the family, or have worked there for many years.
One thing that I noticed that they do exceptionally well is the red-white-and-blue, patriotic suits. American made, American flag bathing suits. Honestly, it doesn't get any more patriotic than that!
Catherine told me about all the films that have featured Ujena suits and so many magazines, including Seventeen, Vogue, Allure, and numerous covers of Swimwear Illustrated. The walls are covered in photos of beautiful models from all over the world, all wearing Ujena suits, of course. Catherine told me the models names and what country they were from and how they first met them in at a beach in Mexico or Costa Rica or someplace equally as exotic. For some of the girls, it was the big break they had always hoped for and now they’re full time models or working at apparel companies.
The showroom is open Monday through Friday, from 10-5. You can purchase directly from the showroom or you can go there to get a better idea about what the suits look like in person and then go home and order your custom suit online. Catherine was nice enough to give me a coupon code to include in this article. It is “ILoveMV” and it’ll get you 10 bucks off your purchase. Thank you Ujena Swimwear for making me feel so welcome. I love Mountain View.