We sat down with Liv Houghton, one of our customer service representatives for the West/Midwest. She’s been a part of the Blowfish Malibu family for about a year and a half and knows all about our customers and the products they love!
Tell us about your role at Blowfish Malibu.
I provide customer service for the West/Midwest. Basically, most of the states west of the Mississippi as well as Canada.
When did you first become interested in customer service?
Sadly, it was after I graduated from college with a degree in Fashion Design and got my first job working in design. It was then that I realized I enjoyed selling a finished product more than designing it!
What did you do previously before joining the Blowfish Malibu team?
I had taken a break from customer service, and was the Buying Office Manager for a group of luxury clothing stores in Carmel, CA. I had previously been in customer service with Robert Talbott Ties for a number of years.
How did you get started with Blowfish Malibu?
Long story short, hopefully… I moved back to LA and was job hunting. There were some rules for where I wanted to work next. I wanted to work for a company that had – for a lack of a better term – family values. I wanted to go to work each day happy and excited to hang out with my co-workers. The commute had to be within 30 minutes of home. Also, their product already had to be in my closet! It took me about five months and lots of interviews before I applied at Blowfish Malibu.
I love shoes, seriously L.O.V.E, love shoes and there were shoes everywhere I looked! The vibe in the office was laid back, open and welcoming. Everyone I met that day made me feel at ease, and I could tell they really believed in the company. Most importantly, I could tell that the company really believed in their employees. A few weeks later, I started. Now, of course, we are all working from home. But the energy and vibe are still the same – only we’re all on Zoom!
What projects at the brand have you been working on that you’re excited about? Can you tell us about them?
Prior to Covid-19 I was on the Green Team. Which was a small group of people from different divisions in the company working to reduce the carbon footprint of the office. I have even implemented some of the green initiatives that we brought into the office into my home. Another great project has been introducing our customers to NuOrder. Showing them how to view line sheets, inventory, place orders, download photos and more. It is really a great tool and I am excited we are able to offer it to our customers.
What do you like most about working in the fashion industry?
I love the creativity and the energy that surrounds it. I love the fact that we are essentially all making the same thing whether it’s shoes, jeans, suits, dresses, whatever it is, the end use is the same but the design is all different.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Connecting with the customers! I love hearing about everything going on in their stores, and helping them sell our product.
The Blowfish Malibu offices are in LA. What’s your favorite thing about the city?
The fact that you can be hiking in the hills in the morning, downtown eating cuisine from anywhere in the world for lunch and sitting on the beach at sunset. We have everything within a short distance.
Which is your favorite pair of Blowfish Malibu shoes?
What advice would you have for someone who’s trying to pursue the same career as you?
Just start working, the earlier the better. I started working for a small retail store when I was 15. Get an internship, part-time job, anything to get your foot in the door. There are so many facets to the fashion industry, the more you know about each the better. Like me, you might think you’re interested in one area then discover that there is another one you like better.
What was the last thing you were obsessed with?
I have Celiac Disease; I am totally obsessed with finding delicious gluten free bread and doughnuts! Anyone have recommendations? Please send them my way!
Where are you from and how has that shaped you?
I was born here in the Los Angeles area. When I was 11, we moved to Carmel. I went from a big city to a small town.
As an adult it has made me truly appreciate what both a big city and a small town each have to offer.
What’s your dream travel destination?
No matter how many times I go, it is still a dream come true…Lago di Como, Italy.
If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
When do you feel best about yourself?
When I see my friends and family enjoying a meal I have made for them.
What’s your personal motto?
Hakuna Matata, it means No Worries for the rest of your days!
What’s a fun fact about you most people don’t know?
My name is not short for anything. It’s just Liv, pronounced leave. It is Danish, it means life. Also, most people don’t know my last name isn’t Nilsson anymore, it’s Houghton. I got married in June!
I learn the most from: Observing everything around me
You can find me shopping at: Specialty food and wine shops
My astrological sign is: Taurus
I’m scared of: Fire
The last book I read was: Technically the last book I read was to my son. Disney Babies, Look at Me! But for personal enjoyment it was George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution
Most people would say I’m: Trustworthy and a good cook
I’m currently listening to: It’s December so…Christmas music!! I absolutely love Kacy Musgraves Christmas album.
My style mantra is: Classic yet comfortable
I feel most comfortable: When I’m surrounded by friends and family
When I woke up today, I felt: tired. I have a 5-month-old!
Most people don’t know: I am a total Disney-Fanatic
I feel the best when: I should say, when my family is happy and healthy. Which is totally true. But really, it’s when I’m at a Disney Park!
Thank you so much for your time, Liv Houghton! We loved catching up with you!
Get to know Blowfish Malibu Art Director, Nikol Drapeau (Macias)!
Welcome to the Blowfish Malibu Spotlight, a new feature on the Journal! We’ll be spending some time each month talking with different members of our team and giving readers a little bit of insight into what each person does in the office every day.
Tell us about your position at Blowfish Malibu.
I am the Art Director here at Blowfish Malibu! Which means I’m the lead graphic designer, producer of our photoshoots, and oversee most artwork that goes out. My role recently went to part-time, as I just became a mommy!
When did you first become interested in graphic design?
My mom has always had a knack for creativity and we would always scrapbook or be doing something creative growing up. In my senior year of high school, I was on the yearbook committee and my school actually offered a graphic design class that I took and really found my passion!
So random, but after I graduated college with my bachelor’s degree in graphic design, I moved to the South Bay and got a job at a dental office. It started as a front desk position and then quickly moved to me developing their social media channels and updating all of their branding and marketing. I stayed there for three years and then decided that wasn’t for me. So I started freelancing for myself and at an agency and shortly after, found my home with Blowfish Malibu!
I’ve been here for five years now!
We’re launching a new line of shoes called 4EARTH that I’m very excited about! These shoes are made with recyclable upper material and we, as a company, are doing our part to move towards a more green, sustainable way of working. This even goes down to our environment at the office; getting rid of all paper plates, plastic silverware, no more k-cups, etc!
It’s an exciting initiative that I’m excited to be a part of and it makes me so happy that Blowfish Malibu is making an effort to make less waste.
Working at Blowfish Malibu was my first job in the fashion industry (not including retail!), but it’s really made me step up my fashion game and makes me want to dress for my personality and not just wake up and throw on whatever I can find that’s clean and run out the house.
I’ve never owned so many shoes in my life!
The creative outlet that I get to express when designing things like hang tags, email blasts, brochures for customers or store posters! We’ve worked hard over the past five years to create a cohesive look and feel for the brand and it’s exciting getting to implement that in my design. It’s also really cool to walk into a store and see my work being displayed!
I live in the Southbay, which is a little sub-city of LA that has a slower, beach-like feel. But I love that LA is only a 20-minute drive (with traffic, more like 45 mins) and that there is so much near us. You can go to the beach, take a hike up to a waterfall, and have a drink on a rooftop overlooking the city all in one day.
I gotta say my Granola-B sandals! Every year since they have come out I have had a Granola tan line on my feet! You can ask anyone in our office. It never fails! They are so comfy and come in so many color variations for every outfit. Plus living in SoCal means I can get away with wearing sandals almost year-round!
I have a ton of side projects/creative outlets that I do aside from my graphic designer life! I love the wedding industry and have coordinated a handful of weddings. My husband and I have even talked about buying a property where we host weddings, and I coordinate and design the look and feel. I have experience in event management and this really has helped me with weddings.
I also love photography and could see myself pursuing that more seriously.
In addition, I even love to buy old furniture and give it new life. My husband and I have also joked about starting a business doing this!
My 6-month-old daughter! Haha – still obsessed and forever will be!
I’m born and raised in California! I grew up in a town called Palmdale (some of you may know it from the popular song by Afroman). It’s a desert city with not a lot to do. I learned a lot growing up there and also knew I never wanted to live in a desert ever again. So as soon as I graduated high school I moved to San Diego, where I attended college and have been living by a beach ever since!
Oh, way TOO many places to be listed here! I’ve only been to Europe once and I went to Italy, so I’d love to return to visit more places like Paris, Greece, and Amsterdam. I’ve always wanted to go on a safari in Africa. Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand are on my top bucket list places to visit.
Basically, I want to travel the world someday! I always say I’m not a materialistic person and would rather spend my earnings on experiences and building memories.
Probably when my to-do list is complete. This just makes me feel accomplished and feels good to not be stressing over all that I have to do.
“Risk it all every day.” I even have it tattooed on me.
For me, this means that you never know when your last day will be and to live each and every day to its fullest. Don’t turn things down that scare you or challenge you!
This is a hard one for me to answer. I’m an open book, even with strangers I don’t tend to hold back!
I learn the most from my environment.
I can’t live without sweets.
You can find me shopping at Old Navy, BooHoo.com, Blowfish Malibu (hehe), Hobby Lobby.
My astrological sign is Scorpio.
I’m not scared of snakes! I used to have one for about 6 years until I moved in with my now-husband (who’s deathly afraid!).
The last book I read was The Client by John Grisham.
Most people would say I’m caring.
I’m currently listening to Lennon Stella.
My style mantra is comfy.
I feel most comfortable in jeans and a cute top with sandals.
When I woke up today I felt thankful for my amazing life.
I feel the freest when I’m in the comfort of my own house.