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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.

Blowfish Malibu Spotlight: Susanna Carlow

We sat down with Susanna Carlow, Kids Casual and First Cost Casual Designer in our Design department. 

Get to know Susanna in the interview below:

Tell us about your role at Blowfish Malibu.

I design and oversee both the kids casual and the women’s casual first cost product line.

When did you first become interested in Design?

At age 15, I was the art and sports editor of my high school newspaper. My journalism teacher handed me an issue of Women’s Wear Daily (fashion trade magazine) as she thought I might find it interesting. I had never seen so many photos of haute couture fashion and fashion runway photos before. It completely inspired me to become a designer.

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

In the past I’ve worked as a footwear designer for brands such as L.A. Gear and Guess. I’ve also taken on the role of senior line builder and design director for branded and private label companies. After a few short years designing home décor, I missed footwear and got back into it.

How did you get started with Blowfish Malibu? 

A friend referred me to a recruiter who knew of an open position at Blowfish Malibu. She immediately got me an interview, and the rest is history.

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

When I came to Blowfish Malibu, about 90% of the line was just women’s shoes taken down to girl sizes. Using my own experience in kids shoes, I built a line that was very kid focused. From easy functional features to stylish fun colors and materials designed with toddlers and kids in mind. I’m proud to say that now, 10 percent of the line is from women’s and 90% are shoes exclusive to girls.

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

Getting to travel to the different parts of the world to shop for the latest trends in fashion is definitely a fantastic perk.

What’s your favorite part of your job?   

The beginning stage of conceptualizing the shoes from drawings or rendering my ideas in photoshop. A close second is the trend shopping!

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

Los Angeles is so special because of the diversity in its people and food. There’s a casual and open vibe that allows you to explore other cultures.

Which is your favorite pair of Blowfish Malibu shoes? 

The Rya-K. It’s my favorite kids shoe I’ve designed.

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

Always draw your ideas as soon as you can or take pictures when you’re inspired by places or objects. Be open to where your path may take you. I thought I was going to be an apparel designer, but once I started designing shoes, I never went back.

JUST FOR FUN

What was the last thing you were obsessed with?   

Buying good wall art when I was redecorating my home. I would comb through hours every day on different websites. There’s a lot of bad art out there.

Where are you from and how has that shaped you? 

I was born and raised in Clearwater, Florida. It’s a lovely little beach town that has friendly people and is very relaxed. Growing up there makes you more mindful of manners and being polite.

What’s your dream travel destination? 

I’d love to see the Aurora Borealis and the Maldives.

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

My dad, who passed few years ago. He was always very supportive of me and my career. He was proud that he got to wear the shoes I designed when I was a design director for a skateboard footwear company.

When do you feel best about yourself? 

First thing in the morning I usually do a gratitude ritual and give thanks for everything that is meaningful to me.

What’s your personal motto?

Trust your gut- only you know what’s truly best for you.

 

FILL IN THE BLANK!

I learn the most from: Observing other people and how they do things.
I can’t live without: My kids and really delicious food!
You can find me shopping at: The Reformation, Free People, Zara, Zadig & Voltaire and The Kooples.

My astrological sign is: Libra
I’m scared of: Missing my connecting flight when traveling internationally. Running through the terminals to catch your flight is stressful and airport hotels are the worst if you are stuck overnight.

The last book I read was: The Power of Now
Most people would say I’m: happy
I’m currently listening to: Dua Lipa
My style mantra is: Dress in what makes you feel good

I feel most comfortable: Relaxing on the beach
When I woke up today I felt:  Gratitude for all the good things and people in my life.
Most people don’t know: I can do the Bart Simpson voice perfectly.

 I feel the best when: I’ve finished a workout at the gym.

 


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

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

Blowfish Malibu Spotlight: Marcy Cail

We sat down with Marcy, Sr. Product Designer in our Design department. 

Get to know Marcy in the interview below:

Tell us about your role at Blowfish Malibu.

I have been designing Blowfish Malibu footwear collections since 2013.

When did you first become interested in Design?

Directly outta college- I have been in the fashion and footwear industry since 2004.

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

I mainly designed dress footwear before coming to Blowfish Malibu.  I worked for various footwear companies in Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles.

How did you get started with Blowfish Malibu? 

I emailed them my portfolio directly.  There actually was not a job posting at that time, but it worked out perfectly.

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

I have been working on vegan and 4Earth product since the beginning.  Both of these collections excite me because they are more than just creative fashion projects- they represent a bigger purpose and goal.

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

Innovation.  It’s creatively challenging and when I create something new, it’s beyond exciting.

What’s your favorite part of your job?   

Color and materials.  I love taking little pieces of materials, putting them together to create unique color and material combinations.

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

Palm trees and the silhouettes of palm trees when the sun goes down.  I live in Berlin- we do not have palm trees in Berlin.

Which is your favorite pair of Blowfish Malibu shoes? 

Balla4Earth because it was the first style of its kind in the collection.

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

Creative positions require the ability to receive criticism – which can be difficult because of the vulnerability that comes with loving the things you create.  But the truth is, taking criticism is key.  If you are open to receiving it and using it – it will make you a great designer.

JUST FOR FUN

What was the last thing you were obsessed with?   

Serpentwithfeet.  The song Four Ethers is magical.

Where are you from and how has that shaped you? 

I am an American living in Europe.  Being an expat can rock your reality.  It has shaped who I am whilst making me appreciate my roots.

What’s your dream travel destination? 

Right now, any travel is a dream 😛

When do you feel best about yourself? 

When I have been eating well, sleeping well, and doing my workouts.  But I also feel great dancing around my apartment in my socks – socks being key for floating across the hardwood floors.

What’s your personal motto?

You do you.

 

FILL IN THE BLANK!

I can’t live without:  Music
You can find me shopping at:  Second-hand
My astrological sign is: Pisces
The last book I read was: Here Be Dragons

I’m currently listening to:Perfume Genius
My style mantra is:  If it sparkles, it fits
I feel most comfortable:  Lazying on my couch
When I woke up today I felt: But first coffee

 


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

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

Blowfish Malibu Spotlight: Ashley Solano

We sat down with Ashley Solano, Activewear Designer in our Design department. 

Get to know Ashley in the interview below:

Tell us about your role at Blowfish Malibu.

I’m an Active designer and developer. In my role, I research trends and create patterns with the Blowfish Malibu DNA. Prints are a big part of who we are. We spend a lot of time creating our very own unique prints that you won’t find anywhere else.

When did you first become interested in Design?

I have always been a creative person and enjoyed sketching and painting. But I was a junior in High School when I knew I wanted to pursue a career in footwear design.  I researched footwear design schools in the US and that brought me here to Los Angeles. I moved here when I was 19 to study at FIDM in DTLA.

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

For the past five years, I was designing for a Surf inspired brand. In that position, I was lucky to travel all around the world for trend shopping and shoe development.

How did you get started with Blowfish Malibu? 

I have been familiar with the Blowfish Malibu company and team for a few years now. When I saw there was a position open, I was excited and applied. Chip reached out and here we are lol. I’m sure they all regret it now since I blast Justin Bieber’s album in the office all day every day.

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

We have really exciting new developments in the works but cannot share details at this time. However, I’m excited about working with kids and toddler sneakers and creating fun prints for them. I’m a child at heart and love Disney and fun things. Whenever we get a request for mermaid, unicorn, and fairy prints, I’m here for it!

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

I get bored easily so I love that it is constantly changing. I love everything from making trend books and finding the perfect font (which can take hours) to creating a cool-looking sneaker and seeing the sketch come to real life. It’s a great place to be fun and make mistakes and figure out what works the best.

What’s your favorite part of your job?   

My favorite part of my job is the environment. I love working with the team. We get along so well and get to do what we love. I love that I can come to work in my 90s T-shirt and black eyeliner and know that we will be listening to Justin Bieber all day.

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

I love the food, more food, and food. The team and I have recently been obsessed with Susie cakes. But apart from that, I love the beaches and hikes. I’m a huge outdoor person and love to explore trails on the weekends. Especially ones that lead to some breathtaking waterfalls.

Which is your favorite pair of Blowfish Malibu shoes? 

I love a good chunky sneaker. The clay is my go-to height it is classic and edgy.

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

A footwear design career is not your average career. There are not many of us. It’s a risky career to go into with a lot of competition. But if that is your passion, just like any other career you should follow your heart and dreams. It’s a great and exciting job. We get to travel around the world and get to be creative.

JUST FOR FUN

What was the last thing you were obsessed with?   

Susie Cupcakes and I’m still obsessed *send help

Where are you from and how has that shaped you? 

I’m from a small town in Texas. But I think it’s my family who has shaped me. I grew up with the most amazing parents and brother and sister. I think my parents would say I’m wild and free-spirited but my heart is pure. I think moving out here so young on my own and seeing my schooling and career through is on them. They taught me how to make good life choices.

What’s your dream travel destination? 

Someplace I have always wanted to visit strangely is the Amazon River. I have this daydream that I’m fishing in the swamp, and I catch the weirdest creature-looking fish. I have no idea why but that excites me. Check me into a mental hospital now.

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

Easy, my grandfather who passed away 4 years ago. He was my favorite person who had the warmest heart. He was very exciting and always said yes to everything. He went bungee jumping with me when he was 65 because no one else wanted to go with me lol he was a real one.

When do you feel best about yourself? 

I have the best people in my life. I feel my best when I’m around the people I love. Whether we are out getting drinks or laying out at the beach laughing, you can feel the warm energy when good people are around.

What’s your personal motto?

Something that I live by and tell others often is to live life for yourself. To do what makes you happy. I stress to my younger siblings to find who they are and to do what they love. I tell my younger sister often to forget about what others think as long as she is happy with herself.

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

I’m pretty much an open book, but I dislocated my shoulder playing kickball diving to first base when I was 18. I was trying to impress a boy and that clearly back fired.

 

FILL IN THE BLANK!

I learn the most from:  my experiences! Good and bad
I can’t live without:  my family and friends.
You can find me shopping at:  a good vintage shop, I love to find unique pieces.
My astrological sign is: a triple Cancer.
I’m scared of:  Snakes, spiders, and the biggest one of them all the DARK!!!
The last book I read was:  probably in high school because I was forced to read it. I prefer to watch stories than read them unfortunately.

Most people would say I’m:  rather pleasant really (In an English accent)
I’m currently listening to: Peaches by Justin Bieber …. Go listen
My style mantra is:  classic with a bit of edge.
I feel most comfortable:  when I wear red Lipstick.
When I woke up today I felt: like flying
Most people don’t know: I’m really a fairy

I feel the best when: when I have a fishbowl margarita in my hand.

 


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

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

Blowfish Malibu Spotlight: Chantal Romaguera

We sat down with Chantal Romaguera, administrative assistant in the operations department. 

Get to know Chantal in the interview below:

Tell us about your role at Blowfish Malibu.

I’m an administrative assistant for the operations department. I primarily work with production and making sure the product is ordered correctly, registered with vegan, labeled, and transported safely from China to the U.S.

When did you first become interested in Production?

I first became interest in production when I started attending L.A. fashion week. All the different and unique styles from the clothing down to the shoes caught my attention and made me interested in the production side of the industry.

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

Human Resource for Senior Living Housing

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

I like how fashion can change how a person feels about themselves. It provides room for self-expression, creativity, and growth.

What’s your favorite part of your job?   

My favorite part of my job is being able to catch a glimpse of the new trends in designs before they hit the stores and then seeing people wear our shoes. It is a very proud moment for me. I feel grateful to be part of awesome team like Blowfish Malibu.

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

I like the diversity that L.A. offers and its functionality – you can do almost anything in this city!

Which is your favorite pair of Blowfish Malibu shoes? 

I have two favorite shoes which are Raco booties and Mazaki sneaker.

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

Keep going forwarding even in doubt. Don’t stop striving for more. Just try again. Be patience and kind with yourself.

JUST FOR FUN

What was the last thing you were obsessed with?   

Tiny houses and how it can aid with the homing crisis. They can providing temporary housing and mental health solutions, which could help many.

Where are you from and how has that shaped you? 

Los Angeles! Being from L.A. has shaped me by teaching me how to be independent and resourceful.

What’s your dream travel destination? 

I would like to backpack around Europe.

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

My power house trio women: Cher, Bette Midler, and Billie Holiday

When do you feel best about yourself? 

After a nice hike or swim, then I’ll usually go straight to have breakfast and coffee 🙂

What’s your personal motto?

I have two:

 

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

I am learning to play the ukulele and banjolele.

 

FILL IN THE BLANK!

I learn the most from: Trial and Error

I can’t live without: Music, Coffee, and Dessert

You can find me shopping at:  Local business

My astrological sign is: Leo

The last book I read was: : The four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Most people would say I’m: A self-advocate, resilient, hardworking, and caring

I’m currently listening to:  You’re on (feat. Kyan) Madeon

My style mantra is: Street, tomboy, sporty, and bohemian

I feel most comfortable: Wearing huge sweater/ pull overs and listening to music

When I woke up today I felt: I felt peaceful, focus, and ready

Most people don’t know: I am very dorky and shy

I feel the best when: In nature and meditating or writing

 


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

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

Blowfish Malibu Spotlight: Nikol Drapeau (Macias)

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.

First up, meet Nikol!

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!

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

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!

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

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.

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

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!

What’s your favorite part of your job?

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!

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

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.

Which is your favorite pair of Blowfish Malibu shoes?

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!

If you weren’t a graphic designer/art director, what would you be?

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!

JUST FOR FUN

What was the last thing you were obsessed with?

My 6-month-old daughter! Haha – still obsessed and forever will be!

Where are you from and how has that shaped you?

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!

What’s your dream travel destination?

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.

When do you feel best about yourself?

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.

What’s your personal motto?

“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!

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

This is a hard one for me to answer. I’m an open book, even with strangers I don’t tend to hold back!

FILL IN THE BLANK!

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.

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

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