On a mission to elevate the voices of marine life species everywhere, Brynne Rardin founded OFAUNA in the early months of 2020. As a divemaster discouraged that she couldn’t find marine life rashguards that adequately and positively depicted the same kind of encounters she was having on dives, and disappointed by the lack of acknowledgment for the immense need for ocean and marine life protection, Brynne decided to put her art degree to use. A project that started out as an artistic possibility, has turned into a small growing business that is passionate about paving the way as a sustainable and inclusive rashguard company. Brynne's goal for OFAUNA is that it will be a brand that educates all people about the need for constant and drastic ocean and marine life protection and respect, while supplying those same people with exciting and accurately depicted marine life rashguards made from recycled materials.
Here at OFAUNA we believe deeply that each and every one of us has a special connection to water. It is our hope that our rashguards can give you either the courage you need to seek out that connection or the support to continue strengthening it. Whether you are a beach-goer who enjoys occasionally getting your feet wet in the waves, or a hardcore scuba diver, we are here to support you on your journey. We hope that our brand will remind you of your greatness and teach you how to be an ambassador for ocean and marine life respect and protection.
MEET OUR TEAM
CEO & OWNER | DESIGNER | DIVEMASTER
During her semester abroad in college in New Zealand, Brynne fell in love with the ocean and became a certified diver. In 2017, she graduated from Connecticut College with a Bachelor's degree in both psychology and art, and began a two-year term working for Aggressor Fleet, a liveaboard dive company. It was working for Aggressor Fleet as a divemaster in the Bahamas, diving with tiger sharks and great hammerheads, that Brynne realized her passion for ocean and shark conservation. On top of running a successful rashguard brand, she aspires to be a professional wildlife filmmaker, who uses her camera to communicate the incredible need for marine life protection. She hopes that her work will help to portray marine life more positively and realistically, and increase human awareness of the need to protect all life within our oceans. Check out Brynne's photo and video portfolios at:
MEET OUR ROLE MODELS
MUSICIAN | DIVER | OCEAN LOVER
Born in the Bahamas, RJ moved to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos when he was three years old. His first major passion being music, RJ is a talented lyricist and music producer. Through working with local dive operators over the last few years he has found a new love; for the ocean and all of the creatures that lie beneath the surface. He especially loves night dives with sharks! His upbeat attitude and distinctive roaring laughter is contagious as he eagerly takes on any adventure that comes his way. RJ also enjoys helping out the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund
, restoring the coral reefs and keeping the islands healthy for future generations.
DIVE INSTRUCTOR | VIDEOGRAPHER | WRITER
Growing up in a small-town in Texas, Kelly's only exposure and knowledge of the oceans and sharks was Jacques-Yves Cousteau and the movie “Jaws”. One fascinated her and the other terrified her. Loving the oceans, but phobically afraid of the sharks that inhabited them, Kelly spent her entire childhood, and most of her adult life, staying as far away from the sea as possible. After raising her family, she took a chance trip to the Turks and Caicos Islands. This was her first time outside of the United States, and the beauty of the turquoise water had an immediate affect on her.
Determined to overcome her embedded fear of the ocean; Kelly tried scuba diving, and her whole life changed as she quickly learned that the world that lies beneath the surface is nothing less than magical. When she saw her first shark, she realized that they are not the monsters portrayed in the media, but instead a beautiful, graceful, and necessary species for not only the survival of the oceans, but for mankind itself. She was determined from that moment on to be a leader in the fight for shark and ocean protection. After that initial experience, Kelly became a scuba instructor, and started using her platform to educate other people on the truth about the necessity of protecting the health of the oceans, reefs, and all the creatures who contribute to the ecosystem.
Kelly is motivated to continue protecting our planet because she has seen first-hand that when you change someone's fear into interest; that interest will then change into a desire to protect the planet. She will continue to fight for our planet so that her grandchildren can know the beautiful oceans the way she does; a place brimming with incredible life, a place she is privileged enough to now call home.
ENVIRONMENTALIST | TRIATHLETE | FIRE FIGHTER
A Connecticut College graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies and Anthropology, Héctor first realized his passion for animals, the environment and especially the ocean at a very young age. He loved flipping through animal encyclopedias and learning all about different species. In high school, Héctor had the opportunity to travel to the Galápagos Islands and immerse himself in the field of ecology. It was on that trip that his interest in marine science, the need for increased conservation efforts, and the impact humans have on the environment were reinforced. While in high school, Héctor worked at the Shedd Aquarium in his hometown of Chicago, IL as part of a work-study program where he engaged with aquarium guests about caring for the living world through the aquarium's exhibits. In college, Héctor conducted a semester's worth of independent research, quantifying icroplastics pollution and distribution on the beaches of Cape Cod while studying at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA.
An avid swimmer and triathlete, Héctor is always looking for the latest and most practical gear! Combining his passion for the ocean, marine life conservation and aquatic sports just makes sense!
ARTIST | RESCUE DIVER | FILMMAKER
Growing up in Minnesota, Nova has always had a love for water and an innate curiosity about the ocean. Currently, Nova works as a freelance artist, camera operator, and photographer. In addition to working as a filmmaker, Nova spends some of their time at sea as a Video Engineer and Expedition Documentarian for Ocean Exploration Trust aboard the E/V Nautilus. In their work they've collaborated with organizations such as National Geographic, Discovery, Netflix, and more. Nova is always working to expand their understanding of the ocean and finding new ways to share its stories.
BEAUTY CONTENT CREATOR | ACTIVIST
As an advocate for educational access by day and a beauty content creator by night, Ramata is deeply passionate about BLM, beauty and climate justice. There is no social justice for Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities without climate justice. Her identity as a Fulani-American Muslim woman motivates her to continue learning, advocating, building community, and being sustainably-focused.
ARTIST | EDUCATOR | HEALER
As a writer and digital content creator, Lexi is deeply interested in the depths of the ocean and the creatures that live there. Water is such an important theme in her work and shows up when she addresses climate change and ocean acidification. Follow Lexi on Instagram.
MINISTER | EDUCATOR | SOCIAL JUSTICE ADVOCATE
Maurice Tiner is a diversity, equity, and inclusion professional, currently working as the Director of Race & Ethnicity at his alma mater, Connecticut College. Maurice has always had a spiritual connection to water as it gives life and has also taken so many Black lives through the transatlantic slave trade. As a minister, Maurice is called to advocate for environmental justice as it is crucial to protect the greatest gift God has given us all.
SOFTWARE ENGINEER | ENVIRONMENTALIST | PLANT LOVER
Jennifer has always had a deep connection and love for the natural world and has grown to have a deep respect for its beauty. Her entire family is from a small town in the south of Ecuador, where she grew up swimming in the rivers and walking through the rainy jungle. She has been taught to respect the environment around her, and all its creatures. This is why in college Jennifer was heavily involved in the Office of Sustainability and the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment at Connecticut College. She mainly focused on waste reduction and plastic pollution. She was a part of several successful initiatives to reduce the college's high plastic over-consumption areas. These days, Jennifer is trying to concentrate on the issue of high plastic consumption in the beauty industry. She is starting a business that focuses on biodegradable products and entirely plastic free cosmetic containers. She hopes to continue taking care of the Earth and its creatures and appreciating the planet that we have! Things she enjoys doing most include: swimming, being out in the sun, gardening, and taking care of all of her plants at home.
BRAND CONSULTANT | PROJECT MANAGER | FACILITATOR
A Connecticut College graduate with a Bachelor's degree in American Studies, Gil's draw to the ocean is deeply connected to his love and dedication to dance. He connects with the ocean's free flowing rhythm and the admiration it commands. Gil currently works at a tech company as a Customer Success Manager, where he develops plans and resources that advance mission-aligned initiatives for non-profit organizations. He is a strategist, trainer and project manager who advances the growth and development of individuals and brands.
SCHOLAR | PROJECT MANAGER | COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
A graduate of Harvard Divinity School with a Master's degree in Islamic Philosophy, Lamiya has set out to work towards building stronger and more empowered Muslim communities rooted in principles of social justice. Her work with the Islamic Leadership Council of New York strives to uplift the Muslim community after years of being targeted by law enforcement post-9/11. In an effort to be a better and more God-conscious Muslim, Lamiya has always felt connected to the environment, environmental justice, and protecting the planet as part of her spiritual obligations to society.
MUSLIM | ENGINEER | SELF-DEVELOPMENT
Mohammad obtained his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Connecticut College, where he focused on research in Artificial Intelligence, particularly Artificial Neural Networks and Robotics. Since then he has worked as a Software Engineer at Amazon, eBay, and most recently Google. He is passionate about psychology and how to help society with greater accessibility to mental health, technology for good, and environmental care. He loves the sheer diversity in nature, and thinks that it is our responsibility to be stewards on this planet and beyond.
ARTIST | VEGETARIAN | FUTURE ICHTHYOLOGIST
At age 5, Livi discovered the life and legacy of Dr. Eugenie Clark, a.k.a The Shark Lady, and boldly declared herself a vegetarian and a future "Shark Scientist!" Now three and a half years later, she still maintains that animals are friends not food and enjoys spending time with her two pugs, two ball pythons, a lion head bunny, a cat, her betta fish and seven various snails! Livi is also a budding artist who enjoys drawing and painting marine life and all things Harry Potter. Her favorite sharks are bonnethead sharks because they eat mostly plants which makes them the only omnivorous shark known to science. It's almost as if they are vegetarians too! Livi is a rising 4th grader and will attend Community Preparatory School in Providence, Rhode Island this coming Fall.
Livi is PSYCHED to help her friend Brynne launch her business OFAUNA
to help raise awareness about the beauty and importance of the world's oceans and the immense need for protecting them and the marine life that call them home, but she is especially psyched about helping protect SHARKS!
SAILOR | FRIEND | WATER BOY
Whether sailing, swimming, clamming, or jumping off the Opti dock, Kilian loves living in the water. He's learning the importance of protecting the beautiful ocean by picking up and limiting waste. He recently had the opportunity to swim with gentle manatees near a marine sanctuary and learned how imperative it is to respect their safe spaces.
SAILOR | SURFER | OCEAN LOVER
Madie loves sailing, surfing, swimming and living in a seaside town. She’s always been drawn to the sea and loves the ocean. It is important to her that the fish and reefs are protected and that its beauty is preserved for generations to come.