In the early 2000s, Hoffman started her brand with handmade silk pieces she would sell in boutiques. “I’d paint, I’d sit, and I’d paint,” she says of the one-of-a-kind prints and patterns she created during the time. By 2005, the designs were getting mass-produced on other fabrics like jersey. “That grew into a much broader ability to sell and to distribute because I wasn’t handmaking everything,” she says. “Then, I introduced swim [in 2008].” This marked a turning point for the brand, with print-forward swimwear and vacation-ready dresses becoming a signature of the brand for the next decade. Celebrities du jour like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie wore Hoffman’s clothing, the brand’s Miami Swim Week fashion show appeared on an episode of MTV’s The Hills spin-off The City, and Mara Hoffman pieces were everywhere.