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  • Writer's pictureHeather Schantz

Growing Up SoCal...

An interview with our creative director on how "growing up SoCal" inspires her on everything from travel to print design, water life, and silhouettes.

Who are you?

I'm creative director & owner at ANVE. I grew up in Orange County, specifically the Laguna Beach/Dana Point area. I love the ocean, cameras, travel, music, art history, and cooking for people!

What is your first swimwear memory?

I'm not sure it's a memory, well my own memory, but there's a photo in my parents house of me at the beach in Laguna in the 80's. My dad had bought me this matching printed swimsuit & shorts set. As I got older we would reminisce about that suit/short combo and there was always talk about going down to the Raisins headquarters. At that time they had an offer where you could "design" your own suit. It never happened but it's probably why i'm doing this today. I should find that photo! [laughs]

Did you grow up near the beach?

Yeah, about 2 miles up from PCH at Salt Creek was our family house. Every day in the summer my mom would load up the car and we would camp out at the beach for the entire day. I mean everything; towels, boogie boards, umbrellas, toys, food! I don't know how she managed it all by herself since my dad was working but i treasure those summers now. At night the fog would roll up the canyon, through the chaparrale, to our house. It was like being enveloped in the ocean. I will never forget the way fog smells.

What about the ocean inspires you?

The visions it allows you to see and how the ocean can wash all your worries away after a session. It's always changing, always rejuvenating. Last December one of the coolest things happened, I was out stand up paddling in Baja paddling up the coast alone while my friends were surfing. Suddenly I had a feeling of how alone I was a few miles out with no one in site. The swell was picking up and I was starting to question whether or not this paddle out was such a smart idea. I remember telling myself to just relax, it's the same ocean where I always felt at home, just take a deep breathe and feel the swell and trust its energy. Just as I opened my eyes a pod of dolphins surfaced all around me. I couldn't help but yell in excitement it was so beautiful and had so much power behind the ocean in that moment. That pod of dolphins tracked with me the two miles back to the point break where my friends were and then slipped away!

Favorite wave or beach?

I'm very partial to my home breaks Salt Creek, Trestles, San O but I recently went to Bali and the beaches there blew me away with their beauty. Growing up in the Pacific I'm not use to water so clear and so warm.

Favorite book?

I have a lot of favorite books but I just finished reading "Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life" by William Finnegan. A must read for any traveler.

Do you have a favorite art moment inspired by SoCal?

My aunt lived with us for a year when I was younger and every other Saturday she would say it was my special day with her and we could do whatever I wanted. However, somehow what I wanted every single weekend was to go down to the art galleries in Laguna Beach and see what was new, re-look at our favorites or just take in the art scene in general. Even though at the time it may have been what my aunt wanted to do it really left an impression with me and art history has been a favorite subject of mine ever since.

Are there concepts or theories that you find particularly relevant for today?

I think that water conservation is not only relevant but crucial for every one today in the world whether or not they might realize it. With an ever growing population, climate change, and pure water making up on 3% of the source on earth it's important now more than ever we focus on how to conserve and re-use water. The fashion industry is one of the biggest culprits of wasting water. It can take up to 2,700 litres to produce the cotton needed to make a single t-shirt! I'd like to focus on fabric mills who are recycling the water needed to generate cloth by converting the leftover water into gas, separating out the chemicals, then converting the gas back into water leaving you with clean re-usable water.

What are your requirements for excellent travel?

The perfect combination of beach, history, textile design, adventure & culture!

What countries have inspired you the most?

I'm really curious about the places I haven't been yet but in recent travels, Morocco, Colombia, Bali and India have been major favorites!

Where will you travel next?

It's a toss up. I have a few things on my list but a revisit to Bali is in the works, and SUP trip to southern Italy this summer with friends. I would love to get back to India! I only saw such a small part of the country; beautiful colors, warm people, ancient history and tons of coastline! The perfect mix.

Are you ever fearful of traveling to these places or alone?

First of all, I'm not fearless at all! That's such a huge misconception. I feel like to be fearless, you have to be completely ignorant of the fact that what you're doing is dangerous and can cause you bodily harm. And I'm super-aware that all those things can happen, so I think that's more being brave and not fearless. Fear is healthy because it keeps you alive! Fearlessness makes you do stupid things. Also the more I travel the more I have come to see that people in the world are inherently kind & generous. Be fearful of what you are missing by not taking the risk to understand new places and new people!

Tea or Coffee?

Oooo give me a good Italian espresso any day! [laughs]

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