SHOE OF CHOICE
Owner of Sage Brush Bags
THE WHOLE STORY
Where are you from? What’s your story?
I grew up running around the canyons in Topanga. I saw a lot of the world with my parents who loved going off the beaten track – anything from spending weeks camping in Baja to climbing mountains in Borneo. I started surfing around the age of nine, getting accustomed to groomed right point breaks just down the canyon road. Surfing brought all my favorite things together and was another reason to keep traveling. I now live in an art studio in Costa Mesa. It’s the perfect space to sew and do what I do. There are always waves close by and creative people to surround myself with. I still can’t go long without coming back to Topanga for some fresh air, hiking, and First Point Malibu seshes.
What’s the best way to describe what you do?
I strive to be a part of the change in the clothing and surf industry. Another push forward into earth conscious products ruling the market. More specifically, I make board bags with upcycled materials (coffee bean sacks, and remnant/vintage fabrics). I surf singlefin longboards, fishes and eggs primarily. I shoot a lot of film photos, model here and there, and make sure I enjoy every day. I guess the best way to describe it all is just doing whatever I can to spend as much time in the ocean and on the road as I can while doing as little harm to the planet as I can.
Favorite place to travel to?
South Africa! Most magical place I’ve ever been. Stayed for three months a few years back. It changed my life and made me realize how important the ocean is to me and how accessible my dreams are to fulfill. I met inspiring people, worked with environmental and animal reserves, surfed the best and most frigid waves of my life, and lived out of a blue truck with a shell that took me all up and down the coastline, Namibian border to Durban and back again. I'm dying to return! Baja is my second favorite place, and slightly more accessible.
How have you impacted a community or the environment?
Once I volunteered to do sea turtle research and protection in Costa Rica. It was the most sleep deprived, mosquito-bitten time I can recall, but so worth it. I walked down beaches alone at 2 am with a red headlamp, finding and protecting sea turtle nests and relocating ones in danger to a hatchery we built with found wood. That was the most intense, but I think the biggest positive impact I have made. The choices I make daily also add up, like excluding disposable products from my life, eating vegan and mostly organic, only purchasing clothing made out of reclaimed materials, organic materials or from thrift stores, and advocating a life of simple happiness stemming from a relationship with the outdoors.
What are your plans for near future?
I usually don’t plan too much in the future, but I’ve been looking into alternative ways of living. Currently I’m in a warehouse in an industrial area. I love certain things about it, but I want to go everywhere, expose myself to all sorts of cultures, be closer to nature, enjoy lots of adventure, and grow portions of my own food in ways that don’t degrade the soil (permaculture). Living on a sailboat seems pretty ideal, but I would need a learn a little more about sailing first. Or maybe a solar powered barn/house on an orchard. For now, I’ll keep traveling, sewing, surfing, and looking into ways of lessening my footprint.
Any sponsors or things to plug?
So thankful I have the support of sponsors Axxe Wetsuits, Risebar, Josh Oldenburg Surfboards and Indosole, my friends, and the lovely folks buying my board bags. Visit me photo blog at annaehrgott.tumblr.com.