While working at an orphanage as a therapist for autistic children, KINDKINIS founder Merilyn Lopez was assaulted by one of her clients. After she was attacked, Merilyn spent some time on disability leave and went through a period of deep reflection. Helping others has always been Merilyn’s mission in life, where her family’s journey with her autistic younger brother deeply inspired her. After graduating from the California State University of Northridge with a degree in psychology, she interned at an emergency helpline, and later became a therapist for autistic children. These difficult moments shaped her. They steered her onto a path of philanthropic pursuits. After the assault, she knew she still wanted to help people, but because of this personal trauma, she decided it had to be in a different way. Growing up in Southern California, Merilyn spent a lot of time outdoors and by the water. She found it difficult to find a swimsuit she felt catered to all women and all body types, where they could feel comfortable and confident in. She decided to create a for-profit business with giving at its core. The idea? To disrupt the swimwear industry. Merilyn dreamed of building a brand that would not only sell swimwear, but also a company with a greater purpose in mind. One that not only catered to all women, was eco-friendly and would desexualize the swimsuits image of women in bikinis, but also one that would bridge the gap between an item for consumption with charity and education. And with that, KINDKINIS—short for Kind Bikinis—was born.