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Blowfish Malibu Spotlight: RJ Santiago

Get to know Blowfish Malibu’s Kids Footwear Designer, RJ Santiago! 

MEET RJ!

Tell us about your position at Blowfish Malibu.

I am the new Kids Footwear designer at Blowfish Malibu. I was brought in to help build with sneaker design for Women’s, Kids and the 4Earth line.

When did you first become interested in footwear design?

I’ve been fascinated with sneakers since I was 9 years old. After I saw a pair of Jordan 11’s in store. It totally blew my mind!

What did you do previously before joining the Blowfish Malibu team?

Before joining the Blowfish Malibu team, I was an assistant designer for a luxury footwear brand that opened my career as a footwear designer. I met and worked with stylists and collaborated with different brands and celebrities.

How did you get started with Blowfish Malibu?

Well… It started when Marcy (one of our lead designers) replied on my application through a job search site. I had a phone interview and did 2 presentations for the team. After waiting for a month, I got an offer to be part of the Fish Family and without hesitation I took it. I’m blessed and so happy to be here!

What creative projects have you been working on that you’re excited about? Can you tell us about them? 

I’m excited for 4Earth and the kid’s sneaker line. For 4Earth to be a part of something with a purpose and lead to self-sustaining products is one of my life goals. For the kids’ line, I’m really excited and happy to reconnect with my inner childhood. It’s also a dream come true that I get to have this strong connection and bond with my kids through sneakers, to see the fun, creativity and imagination from their point of view is really something!

What do you like most about working in the fashion industry?

Fashion/Footwear is one of the fastest moving industries. I love the trends and the technology behind it. I just love that the evolution of this industry is constant and now its gearing towards to becoming more eco-friendly.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

My favorite is to share my love for sneakers through my designs, I can reach out to millions of people. It blows my mind every time I think about it.

The Blowfish Malibu offices are in LA. What’s your favorite thing about the city?

The diversity in style, weather, people, and food.

Which is your favorite pair of Blowfish Malibu shoes?

Paige is my favorite so far, aside from it being my first design that would be included in the 4Earth line, I just love the details on the embroidery and panels. FYI my answer will change every season/collection, so I suggest you to follow me, lol.

If you weren’t a footwear designer, what would you be?

Aside from being an NBA player maybe Firefighter / Singer

JUST FOR FUN

What was the last thing you were obsessed with?

LA DODGERS! GOOOO DODGERS!

Where are you from and how has that shaped you?

I’m born and raised in the Philippines, growing up in a third world country molded my foundation. Having strong faith and a hard work ethic made a big difference. I have deeper appreciation of everything that I had.

What’s your dream travel destination?

Japan food tour with my family.

If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Tinker Hatfield

When do you feel best about yourself?

When I see people’s faces light up when they see my designs

What’s your personal motto?

Nothing is impossible with God – Matthew 19:26

What’s a fun fact about you most people don’t know?

I have my own karaoke mic and song list because I am a frustrated singer.

 

FILL IN THE BLANK!

I learn the most from EXPERIENCE
I can’t live without MY FAMILY
You can find me shopping at Amazon
My astrological sign is PISCES
I’m scared of goodbyes
The last book I read was …I’ll get back to you on this one lol
Most people would say I SMILE A LOT
I’m currently listening to Harry Styles – Harry’s house album
My style mantra is like if 90’s streetwear, Hipster and athleisure had a baby
I feel most comfortable in hoodies and SNEAKERS!
When I woke up today I felt grateful and blessed.
I feel the best when I leave from Sunday service.

 

Thank you RJ for answering our questions! We can’t wait to see all of your designs come to life.

Follow Blowfish Malibu on Instagram and check out more stories on the Journal.

Blowfish Malibu Spotlight: Maha Kolacek

Get to know Blowfish Malibu’s Director of Information Technology, Maha Kolacek! 

MEET MAHA!

Tell us about your position at Blowfish Malibu.

I am Director of IT.  I oversee all things IT, so anything system related.  My goal is to implement changes/updates in processes and systems, where needed, to make everyone’s job a little easier!

When did you first become interested in tech?

Honestly, I fell into it by accident, but has been an adventurous lifelong career.  Technology was “the thing” to do during my college years.

What did you do previously before joining the Blowfish Malibu team?

I have a lengthy IT background.  Before Blowfish, I was at The Honest Company.

How did you get started with Blowfish Malibu?

I originally replied to a post on LinkedIn and interviewed with Greg Kearns.  Our conversation impressed me; I became curious about BF.  Although that position was not the right fit, I am happy to say that Greg reached out a few months later to discuss the position I now hold!

What creative projects have you been working on that you’re excited about? Can you tell us about them? 

I am currently working on the implementation of a 360 Photo Studio.  This will greatly improve the quality of images of our products, as well as provide a 360-spin feature for our website/line sheets.  In addition, this will eliminate the need to send images out to be retouched which will mean Marketing will have access to the images much sooner.  And it will greatly reduce the need for human intervention, which means images will be more consistent.

What do you like most about working in the fashion industry?

I love fashion, but it’s hard to keep up.  This can help me stay in touch with what’s trending!

What’s your favorite part of your job?

The people! Blowfish has amazing people 😊 And, I love seeing our shoes at the stores and pointing them out.

The Blowfish Malibu offices are in LA. What’s your favorite thing about the city?

The weather.  The diversity.  The endless things to do, and places to discover. And all the different food!

Which is your favorite pair of Blowfish Malibu shoes?

I’m still new, so I have yet to figure that out.  But I can tell you that I’ve randomly picked up BF shoes on many occasions when shopping.  They seem to catch my eye!

What advice would you have for someone who’s trying to pursue the same career as you?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Don’t feel like you should just know.  Every industry, every company, has its own jargon, its own acronyms.  And take notes!  You will be glad you did.

JUST FOR FUN

What was the last thing you were obsessed with?

My granddaughters…the 2 cutest babies ever!

Where are you from and how has that shaped you?

Originally, I’m from Egypt!  Moving to the MidWest as an 8-year-old was quite the adventure, snow was a fun feature!  Till I grew up and came to my senses…lol!  But honestly, I loved growing up there and raising my kids there.  I moved to LA about 5 years ago.  Ironically, we were supposed to move from Egypt to LA, but my dad stopped in Wisconsin to visit his brother and decided to stay in the Chicago area.

What’s your dream travel destination?

I’d love to travel the world!

If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

My dad.  And the cast of Friends 😉

When do you feel best about yourself?

When I get a lot done, check things off my to do list!  When I have things organized so I don’t feel frazzled.

What’s your personal motto?

Be present and enjoy. It really does go by fast!

What’s a fun fact about you most people don’t know?

Most people are surprised that I’m a grandma!

 

FILL IN THE BLANK!

I learn the most from experiencing/actually doing/participating.
I can’t live without My family
You can find me shopping at Marshalls…I love finding deals!
My astrological sign is Aries.
I’m scared of hmmmm?
The last book I read was: A play “Time Stands Still”
Most people would say I’m: easy to talk to.
Most people don’t know: I’m from Egypt.
My style mantra is look good, but be comfortable 😉.
I feel most comfortable in in my stretchy pants and cute top.
When I woke up today I felt tired.
I feel the best when I don’t have to be anywhere or do anything, and can just spend time with my family.

 

Thank you Maha for answering our questions!

Follow Blowfish Malibu on Instagram and check out more stories on the Journal.

CULTURE CLUB: Blowfish Malibu Goes to a Dodger Game!

It’s time for Dodger Baseball!

This month our Culture Club team organized a Blowfish Malibu Dodger Night for employees and their families. Everyone who came out go to enjoy the game plus a credit for food and / or merch. Although the Dodger’s lost, the outing was still super fun and it was the perfect ending to a busy week. We love getting to do fun activities through our Culture Club and we can’t wait for the next one!

Scroll through for some BTS of our night at Dodger Stadium

 

Follow Blowfish Malibu on Instagram and check out more stories on the Journal

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