For Joelle Maynard, the beach was always a source of inspiration. But it wasn’t until two years ago, when she and her husband bought a home in Malibu, that she decided to launch her beach lifestyle brand, Hamabla. It’s a collection of beach-friendly lifestyle items, ranging from breezy dresses and caftans, canvas totes, pillows, umbrellas and more.
“I’d been to Malibu a ton, but never actually lived there,” Maynard told the Observer. “Being by the ocean on a daily basis, it became part of my daily life. It became so pervasive for me—just seeing that and thinking about doing a creative endeavor, I thought, ‘why wouldn’t I do something for the beach?'”
Maynard, her husband and their two children are currently living in Pacific Palisades, as they complete renovations on their Malibu home, though Maynard assured us it’s still in close enough proximity to the water. “I’m still driving by the ocean every day! There’s really no change,” she breezily noted.
Maynard chatted with the Observer about her Pacific Palisades house, why her living room is her favorite space, her must-have décor items and all things Hamabla.
Tell us about your moving process.
We moved here just two months ago, but I try to make my family and myself comfortable within a week of moving in—I’ll already have the 1-800 guys scheduled to take away all the boxes in two days. We just empty the boxes and get everything where it’s supposed to be. I cannot see boxes!
I always have flowers, and I call my window treatment guy right away. I will also have certain pieces of art hung, that I put up in my house by at least day two.
Who are your favorite artists?
I’m a big fan of Slim Aarons! I have a huge Slim Aarons photograph, and whenever it goes up, I feel like I’m home. I have a few others I sprinkle around; I’m mostly into photography. And I have a very good artist friend I collaborate with on my brand, Alex Mason.
What makes your living room such a special place?
It’s my favorite room because it’s the same wherever we are. We call it the blue room. I have this Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams blue velvet couch, and this really beautiful antique coffee table that came from West Palm Beach. It was from these two older women’s home, it’s this beautiful midcentury piece.
Between the sofa and coffee table, I have a formulaic set-up—I always try to recreate the blue room, no matter where we are. There’s always an orchid on the table, coffee table books and a tray with a candle.
You do have an amazing collection of coffee table books.
I have a coffee table book problem! I actually rotate them; I don’t have enough room in my house right now!
I have four beautiful Slim Aarons books, like Poolside With Slim Aarons. There’s this really cool interior and workspace book, and it stands alone on one of my tables—it’s called Los Angeles, by Taschen. Then there are the Kate Moss and Vanity Fair books.
When did the Hamabla brand officially launch?
At the beginning of this summer. We are brand new! The summer keeps on going here; endless summer is one of the things that inspires us and is always a topic of discussion.
How does living by the water inspire you?
It’s always different living beside the beach—it could be super moody and dark, or a bright, serene day, but it’s nonstop inspiration for me. I wanted to honor the beauty of the beach.
The full array of Hamabla products, whether it’s something you wear or take to the beach, it honors natural beauty and is made of natural materials. I took classic silhouettes, like a t-shirt or slip dress, and I thoughtfully put it together, using really amazing materials and focusing on fit.
What makes Hamabla stand out from other beach and lifestyle companies?
The natural materials. When I think of something used on the beach, it’s something you can get wet, and throw in a beach bag. We use a lot of cotton, canvas, linen and leather. It’s so much easier to just use a pretty rayon, but I am so anti dry-clean only! If you’re taking it to the beach, you shouldn’t have to dry-clean it, and I’ll never have ‘dry-clean only’ on any of my labels.
A lot of brands have beautiful beach products, but they’re like an afterthought—from umbrellas, dresses, caftans and so on. So why not make an entire brand around something luxurious, beautiful and natural?
What pieces from your collection do you keep in your home?
Pretty much everything! All the outdoor pillows and the umbrella outside on my patio, plus the pillows and blankets inside. It started out as product testing, but now that they’re finished, I just want them around me. They work well! And I’m constantly wearing my slip dresses and caftans.
I really love the Endless Summer sand throw—it’s this beautiful stonewashed, Turkish cotton towel, and I adorned it with vintage trim. It just feels happy. I take it everywhere! You can use it as a tablecloth, a wrap at the ocean, even a head wrap.