Life isn’t meant to be coddled, swaddled or stressed and worried over. It’s meant to be enjoyed, lived and celebrated. That’s exactly how NYC native Tara Martin lives her life. She’s the head of US operations for the rad and very respected Australian bag company Crumpler – a brand that shares a similar sense of verve, vigor and adventure. Tara is an avid surfer, she’s biked across Zambia and even toured Europe with Julian Casablancas of The Strokes.
Enjoy our Q&A with her below.
“I like to explore my edge and the limits of my comfort zone.”
First off, where are you from?
NYC via Queens Via Long Island.
How long have you called NYC home?
You’ve worked with Australian bag company, Crumpler for about a decade now. What exactly do you do for them?
A better question might be what I haven’t done. I started with Crumpler at the very beginning, in a tiny store in Soho – now I’m running the operation in the USA. We are about to embark on our next stage of growth and I’m getting a wingman from Australia so that I can focus my energies on the Brand Management aspects of the business, Online, Marketing, Product Development and of course, the million other things that crop up in an average day.
Crumpler does all kinds of cool, creative campaigns and events – like Beer for Bags etc. What would you say is Crumpler’s core brand DNA?
We make bags for people who know how to live: Adventurers, photographers, riders, designers, makers, thinkers, doers.
You’re also a big outdoors active person: riding motorcycles, cycling, surfing – what is it about the outdoors you love so much?
I like to explore my edge and the limits of my comfort zone. Nature and the outdoors has lots of lessons to offer if you take the time to be aware of them – I’ve found that many situations I’ve found myself in outdoors (biking across Zambia for example) have taught me about patience, the value of hard work and how to make miracles out of nothing more than a bit of string and some lateral thinking.
Of all your years in NYC, what do you love the most about living here?
NYC can be a bitch of a city to live in, and what I love about this city is that people are driven to do what they love, succeed and ultimately to make it work. It’s like the biggest extended family, your coffee guy, that random person you seem to always ride the subway with etc. Everyone has a hope and a dream and this is the place you can make it happen – you just have to work for it.
What about the things you loathe the most about NYC?
The freezing winters – Like most New Yorkers though, I won’t fail to mention that this helps keep population at check.
You’ve also had the chance to travel pretty extensively around the world – if you weren’t living in NYC, what city would you love to set up shop?
Portugal, Algarve Coast. It’s where my dad is from and it’s such a beautiful place.
You also toured Europe with lead man of the Strokes – Julian Casablancas – you have to tell us a little bit about that ….
Ha – the Strokes guys are old mates. Julian was starting up something new at that stage (Cult Records – check it out!) and he asked me to be involved. It was everything you might imagine. Julian is obviously a brilliant artist; what most people may not realize is that he also has a great mind for business. He is also just a solid guy with great values and has an awesome family, suffice to say I really enjoyed that project, and look forward to working together again.
Since we are a men’s lifestyle site, what are the attractive traits you look for in a man?
Confident, without being arrogant and a good relationship with his mom.
Do you have cooking skills?
I like cooking – perhaps it is more relevant to ask “Do I like eating?” My sister is a great chef so I learn loads from her. I like Italian food, it’s in my blood.
What does a perfect day for you look like?
Early morning surf (the new Crumpler limited edition range is named after my trips to Rockaway beach), bike ride to work, play time with my puppy (Pirate) after the day is done, then hosting some friends at my apartment for dinner – brilliant.
Lastly, what are you most excited about with regards to new experiences and adventures in the coming year?
Crumpler is moving its headquarters to San Francisco and this will be the first time I’ve lived anywhere other than NYC. I’d say I have endless new adventures ahead, all the way down to finding a new go-to shoe repair place, I have a lot of shoes. Any recommendations?
For more information on Crumpler, visit www.Crumpler.com