Today's featured feed is Nati's - an LA based surfer chick. A few days ago she posted a really nice picture of her pair of Miistas and scanning through her Instagram we knew we had to talk to her. She sounds really down to earth and smart and inspired, and we absolutely love the enthusiasm that shines through everything she says - even via email! Check out the interview we did with her and don't forget to check out Nati's blog
and follow her Instagram
. You are a west coast girl. Allegedly LA is a super rad spot - is it true? What do you love about it?
Although I was born in Toronto and lived in Ohio most of my life, I am a west coast girl through and through! I never in my life thought I would be living in Los Angeles (Orange County was my goal) but I ended falling in love with it. Los Angeles is like this living and breathing thing that you want to take care of; and you really don’t understand that attachment until you’ve lived here. What I love about Los Angeles is that you can have a different experience every day. You have a little Tokyo day, Silverlake day, A beach day, a Little Armenia, etc. Plus, DTLA is going through a revival and it’s sick. For all the people that say Los Angeles is terrible and vapid; yeah there are those areas/people like that, but in the end I think the naysayers missing out. OF COURSE you’re going to hate a city when you’re just stuck in traffic and going to tourist hot spots. If you do your research and live like a local, you’ll avoid all that and find the gems. How old are you?
I am 26. Though, I feel way younger. What do you do? And more importantly, what are you about (if its not the same thing)?
What a loaded question! During the day, I work in digital brand communications for an athletic company. I guess people in my field call ourselves “digital storytellers” since that is our main medium and goal. I am also an agency-represented model and a photographer. I never thought of myself as one fitting inside of a box and I never fit in with a certain crowd. I grew up in a super-preppy town (think kids popping Abercrombie collars and driving BMWs at 16) where I wore my hair short, didn’t party, wore thrift store clothes and hung out in the art room after school since my friends were few and far between. I’ve been an outcast and weirdo all my life; so I never really know what to say when people ask what my “dream job” is. All I know is that I want to travel, story-tell and build relationships… and if there is surfing involved then I game for whatever situation you throw me in. Do you have any people, bloggers, IG users or magazines that inspire you? In terms of fashion and the things that you do?
I really gravitate to the “roman candles” of the world: travelers, thinking surfers, photographers, humanitarians and artists – incorporating their style into my clothing and décor choices. The only people I’m completely uninspired by are the ones who stand on their soapbox, critiquing everything and everyone around them. I’ve been bullied and ostracized in every season of my life; I just don’t have brain space for those folks anymore. As for IG, I love my friends; like @mattcbauer, @philchester, @jonduenas, @jobimanson, @chrisburkard, @sianricho and @juliana_johnson’s photos. I like watching companies/talent like @deusemporium, @hurley, @kassiameador, @feaverish, @jackbelli, @laura_austin, @whatyouth, @bwgmag and those types of accounts. Seriously, I can go on – there is too much talent on there. For me, the most important thing in these galleries is authenticity. The moment you start to sound like you’re forcefully pitching something, you lose me. I love more “artsy” magazines like RUSSH, BULLETT, LOVE, etc. (Strange, it must be the all caps thing). But being a surfer/log-lady, I love magazines like Monster Children, Paper Sea Quarterly, Kinfolk, Darling, Desillusion and What Youth. My favorite bloggers include people like Ashley from Purse ‘n Boots, Shauna Haider from Nubby Twiglet, Molly McGlew from Vixxxen and other creative types. They inspire me to think outside the box and explore my voice. I love the rough around the edges style (something you’d see some skate kid or grom wearing) with just a tiny bit of refinement. Also Kassia Meador’s (one of my favorite surfers) and Erin Wasson’s styles are just so on point. They’re so effortless and cool – You think it would be cool if I just helped myself to their closets? Which designers or fashion companies do you like and why (don’t worry – you don’t have to say Miista)?
You guys are going to think I’m insane because I’m just all over the place. I honestly love thrift stores because I’m a pack-rat that just loves finding a treasure that someone else has overlooked. I really do love designers like Alexander Wang and the late Alexander McQueen; but I also gravitate to companies like Free People, Acne, Need Supply Co, Tallow Gallery, One Teaspoon, Nasty Gal, Poler, Patagonia, Levi’s, UNIF, etc. I actually JUST discovered Miista and when I found those amazing beetle-wing like oxfords, it was the perfect drama to add to an outfit. I’m pretty sure I gasped as I saw them. I love having something different. Theatrics, mystery and drama has always attracted me from a young age. I’m 6’ tall and I don’t even blink at an opportunity to wear 5” platforms. The thing I love about fashion is that clothing can definitely “make” the woman, but you decide your worth and who the person is on the inside. Don’t let your clothes define you. The style you own is the one that gives you confidence to pursue the best version of you – not what someone else thinks is the best version of you. I’m going to sound like such a turd; but if you got it, flaunt it. Life is too short to try to be cool, just own it and do your thing. Now, that’s cool. You take great IG pictures! Are you a photographer or are you just a very talented amateur with a great eye?
Thank you. I am a part-time photographer, haven’t taken the complete jump yet. It’s something I’ve always loved to do. I like to have fun with it and I used to care about being called “just another girl with a camera that think’s she’s a photographer,” F--- that! That is so self-deprecating! Now I just do side projects and weddings to keep the creative juices flowing. Instagram is such a great outlet for that, plus you get to meet others that are interested in the same things you are. I’ve met so many people I admire just from IG. I hope it’s around for a long time. The closest body of water to us is a pool at London Fields so the idea of surfing sounds is foreign but amazing. What’s the best part about it?
First off, I just want to preface that I am in no way an excellent surfer! Ha! It’s something I feel I am always trying to improve on and I started my blog to actually document the process and help others in the same boat. I remember seeing this one shirt that said, “Only a surfer knows the feeling” and I finally understood when I rode my first wave. I still remember the warmth of the sun that day. It’s an inexplicable feeling, really. I love that everyone is basically equal – I’ve surfed with transients and I’ve surfed with CEOs. We’re all wearing that same black seal suit waiting for the same waves. It is by far the most humbling thing I’ve ever ventured on and I think that is why I like it. For the first time in my life, it’s something I didn’t “get” right away… and that excites me to this day. Surfing always keeps me on my toes, keeps me grounded and my mind fresh. You can’t go out into the water with your head heavy. Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you for liking my work and I hope you guys make it out to the west coast to surf! I’ve actually always wanted to try surfing in the UK and Europe. Next time on my travels…