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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.

Blowfish Malibu Spotlight: Ashley Rodriguez

Get to know Blowfish Malibu Marketing Assistant, Ashley Rodriguez!

MEET ASHLEY!

Tell us about your position at Blowfish Malibu.

I am the new Marketing Assistant at Blowfish Malibu. I was brought on to help the marketing team with various projects, but my favorites include any in-person events and creating behind the scenes content for TikTok! Recently I have taken over Influencer Marketing for Blowfish Malibu and Blowfish Malibu Kids.

When did you first become interested in marketing?

I first became interested in social media marketing after landing my first internship at 17 as a part of my senior project on social media marketing in the fashion industry. I’ve loved it ever since.

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

Before joining the Blowfish Malibu team I was running my own business as an independent lash artist and educator. I started just wanting to do lashes on my friends and family but it quickly turned into more than just a side hustle! I realized I love creating and building a brand so I changed my major from nursing to business administration with a concentration in marketing management.

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

We have a really special launch coming up that I can’t give toooo many details on, but it’s my first big project at Blowfish and I’m super excited to lead the campaign push.

How did you get started with Blowfish Malibu?

One of my goals for 2022 was to join a company that prioritized a healthy work-life balance but that also allowed me to be creative and learn from others on the team. They say when you know, you know! After my first interview with Blowfish I knew I wanted to join the team and luckily I got the offer.

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

I love seeing trends come and go. It’s always fun to see the shifts happen in real time.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Content creation! I love TikTok so now that I get to create them as apart of my job is amazing for me.

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

I love LA and this will always be home! My favorite thing about LA is that there’s always something to do or a new restaurant to go and try.

Which is your favorite pair of Blowfish Malibu shoes?

The Zelie sandal is such a staple for me! You can never go wrong with square toed sandal.

If you weren’t a marketer, what would you be?

Probably a real estate agent.

JUST FOR FUN

What was the last thing you were obsessed with?

Bridgerton on Netflix. (Thanks, Allie.)

Where are you from and how has that shaped you?

I am originally from LA and often find myself feeling so lucky that I was born somewhere that so many people want to live. Just seeing how many opportunities there are in LA from a young age inspired me to explore different paths and always have a strong work ethic in whatever I do so that no matter where I end up, its something I genuinely love.

What’s your dream travel destination?

The Maldives or Singapore.

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

Bad Bunny!

When do you feel best about yourself?

When I wake up early enough to do my entire morning routine without rushing.

What’s your personal motto?

“ What’s meant for you will never miss you.”

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

I was actually named after a power-ranger by my brother! My name was supposed to be Cindy.

 

FILL IN THE BLANK!

I learn the most from others.
I can’t live without my dog.
You can find me shopping at Amazon, always!
My astrological sign is Taurus.
I’m scared of snakes.
The last book I read was Dark Places.
Most people would say I’m a go-getter.
I’m currently listening to Bad Bunny’s new album.
My style mantra is comfy cozy or super extra, there is no in-between.
I feel most comfortable in a cute matching set.
When I woke up today I felt excited about the sunrise!
I feel the best when I can light a candle after deep cleaning my apartment.

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

Blowfish Malibu Spotlight: Minjung Shin

Get to know Blowfish Malibu Graphic Designer, Minjung Shin!

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.

FIRST UP, MEET MJ!

Tell us about your position at Blowfish Malibu.

I am the Graphic Designer here at Blowfish Malibu. I work with our Art Director in creating new content and brand assets for the marketing team.

When did you first become interested in graphic design?

My first job out of college was as a graphic designer in the Marketing Department of The Los Angeles Film School. Working in the entertainment industry, in the heart of Hollywood, was a very eye-opening experience that led to further interest in working with a marketing team and designing in-house.

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

I was freelancing for exclusive clients.

How did you get started with Blowfish Malibu?

I was overly ecstatic to be scheduled for a virtual interview with Blowfish Malibu after applying during my trip to Hawaii. Luckily enough, we made a positive connection, and I was just counting down the days to joining the team.

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

My first photoshoot experience ever was with the Blowfish Malibu team. It was a very rewarding learning experience. I’m excited to be a part of this for each season!

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

Working in the fashion industry has put me in touch with the latest trends. I enjoy learning about the latest and greatest.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Every day is different from the next in terms of project. From email blasts to IG Stories to ads and trade show assets. It keeps things interesting!

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

I love this city so much that I’ve never moved out of it! I totally appreciate the variety that the city has to offer.

Which is your favorite pair of Blowfish Malibu shoes?

I love the wedge sneakers. They are comfy and provide extra height!

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

Don’t be afraid to take risks with your designs.

JUST FOR FUN

What was the last thing you were obsessed with?

Finding new and easy recipes for meal prepping and the great outdoors.

Where are you from and how has that shaped you?

Growing up in Los Angeles has exposed me to ethnic and cultural diversity, as well as a city rich in the arts. I have to remind myself of how fortunate I am to have been raised in a city like this.

What’s your dream travel destination?

Australia or Japan

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

I think it’d be delightful to grab a bite to eat with Robin Williams or Anthony Bourdain. I’ll take either one!

When do you feel best about yourself?

After a session of self-care!

What’s your personal motto?

Don’t be scared, be prepared.

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

I’m left-handed.

FILL IN THE BLANK!

I learn the most from YouTube and hands-on training. I’m a visual learner.
I can’t live without Hank, my German Shepherd.
You can find me shopping at Amazon.com
My astrological sign is Libra!
I’m scared of Dismemberment. I watch too many true crime shows.
The last book I read was the Harry Potter series.
Most people would say I’m honest.
I’m currently listening to Hall and Oates.
My style mantra is casual all day.
I feel most comfortable in lounging around on a Sunday afternoon.
When I woke up today I felt happy but hungry, lol.
I feel the best when I’m adequately hydrated.

Thank you so much for your time, MJ! We loved catching up with you!

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

Blowfish Malibu Spotlight: Leah Sullivan

Get to know Blowfish Malibu Marketing Assistant, Leah Sullivan!

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.

FIRST UP, MEET LEAH!

Tell us about your position at Blowfish Malibu.

I am a Marketing Assistant here at Blowfish Malibu! Which means I assist social media & community building efforts and assist on a variety of projects in the Marketing Department.

When did you first become interested in marketing?

I don’t think I ever had an aha moment where I realized I loved marketing, but I have always loved visuals & story telling, and enjoyed the learning how to build a brand around telling a story when I was in college.

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

I started a swimwear company, Peachy Keen Swim, a few years back and still work on it now as my role at Blowfish Malibu is part time. Before working here I also spent a lot of my time freelancing and helping other brands build their TikTok marketing strategy, but I enjoy being able to work at an established company now and having continuity in my projects.

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

I really enjoy learning about the 4Earth collection and the sustainability efforts going into this line. Learning about the partnerships with Oceana and Bloom and being able to dive into the science behind the collection has been really cool! I took a lot of environmental science classes in college and I’m happy that I’m able to.

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

The ability to make make major changes globally and individually. I love the ability to express yourself and build confidence through creating your personal style, but know that the fashion industry can be very detrimental to the environment. I’m excited to learn more about the ins and outs of the industry and try to create change that will allow us to celebrate our style in a way that works in harmony with nature.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

There’s a great culture! I’ve gotten to meet a lot of great people and go to fun events.

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

I loooove living here. The combination of nature and nightlife is a perfect balance for me. I love being able to go on a hike in the morning and a concert at night. You can really find so many interesting people and activities in this city.

Which is your favorite pair of Blowfish Malibu shoes?

The Redsen boots! So cute and minimalistic. I don’t think it will ever go out of style.

If you weren’t a marketer, what would you be?

I have a lot of interests but can never pick just one! Some type of artist would be cool.

JUST FOR FUN

What was the last thing you were obsessed with?

Painting pottery!

Where are you from and how has that shaped you?

I grew up in New Jersey and was very motivated to move out to California. I definitely feel at home here but the older I get the more I appreciate New Jersey, and I especially love the farm my family lives near. It’s really peaceful and laidback.

What’s your dream travel destination?

Bali!

When do you feel best about yourself?

When I’m having a meaningful conversation with a friend.

What’s your personal motto?

Be authentic or die trying!

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

I studied Mandarin in college, but I’m not very good. 我中文不太好!

FILL IN THE BLANK!

I learn the most from meditation.
I can’t live without my friends.
You can find me shopping at the anthropology candle section.
My astrological sign is Aries sun, cancer rising, cap moon!
I’m not scared of public speaking.
The last book I read was The Women who Run with the Wolves.
Most people would say I’m fun.
I’m currently listening to Mac Miller.
My style mantra is don’t follow trends, express yourself through your own style.
I feel most comfortable in comfy pants with a fun print.
When I woke up today I felt like hitting the snooze button lol.
I feel the freest when I’m in the ocean.

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

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