Erika Martins - Brazilian Woman Who Turned Tape Bikinis Into A Business

Erika Martins - Brazilian Woman Who Turned Tape Bikinis Into A Business - Moniedism

The secret to perfect tan lines like these belongs in a toolbox. It's a bikini made from electrical tape. Why?
The tape bikini is better because the tan lines get very straight, well-marked, while the fabric bikini is always moving around.

The woman behind this original idea is Brazilian entrepreneur Erika Martins. She's been running the business from her rooftop in Realengo, on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, since 2014.

Erika shapes the bikini by expertly applying the tape directly onto the skin. On average, she goes through 30 rolls of tape per day. 

The amount I spend on tape, I could buy a new car every summer. I use a lot of tapes. Some want it thin others want a thicker strap. They also choose if they want hight-cut, thong, retro. We make all styles. - Erika Martins

The clients are ready to spend 80 minutes in the sun, half front, halfback.

The advantage of tanning here on the rooftop and not on the beach is that we have a safe environment here. We care for the clients, keep them wet. We use sunscreen all the time. So it is better than getting toasted on the beach. - Erika Martins

And it's not just women coming to Erika Bronze. Erika had the idea as a teenager. Her business went viral in 2017 when Brazilian pop star Anitta wore one of Erika's creations in a music video.

But the coronavirus pandemic put a strain on the business, even with summer in full swing in the Southern Hemisphere. Through reopening and restrictions like a lower capacity, she's been able to stay afloat and keep her nine employees on the books.

The rooftop also provides an alternative to crowded beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema about an hour away.

Tape Bikinis Models on Rooftop in Brazil - Moniedism

Last peak season, Erika made around 200,000 reais, or $40,000. Erika also continues to build her business as she sells a line of tanning creams and gives speeches about entrepreneurship all over the country.

Erika influenced a lot of women and they are now a network of 150 "personal bronzers". Growing her network is also a sign that all her hard work is paying off.

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