Susie has that kind of smile that's utterly contagious. With a glint in her eye, that's half momma's girl charm, and half cheeky jokester. Susie Shaughnessy is the founder of Crawford Denim and Vintage, a small batch denim brand and vintage shop that's all about community. On our most recent trip to the desert we sat down with Susie for a quick chat about the women who inspire her the most, and the things she can't live without.
Susie: My name is Susie Shaughnessy and I'm the owner and designer for Crawford Denim & Vintage.
Nativen: What is your favorite stress relieving hobby?
Susie: It might be dancing in the middle of my living room. When I'm super stressed out, Huey Lewis comes on... Anything bad 80s I really like to dance to.
Nativen: Oh, now I'm gonna have to enlist that into my routine.
Susie: Yeah, that's my guilty pleasure.
Nativen: Who's the woman who's inspired you the most?
Susie: Our mom. Yeah. She was a really great artist and was super fun. Always made everybody feel like they were part of the family and she threw great parties and was just super creative, but also super down to earth and ... That's who we looked up.
Nativen: What a wonderful model.
Susie: Yeah, she was really encouraging to a lot of people. Our dad is a football coach at a high school and for years they had kids live with him before they ever had any of us, so there's a whole entourage of men that are 10, 15 years older than we are that are our brothers that they actually fostered throughout school and college and everything.
Susie: When our mom passed away, it was hard for our whole community, not just our family, because she took care of a lot of people. We had no idea that she was paying for people's prom dresses, and making sure that they had school supplies and our parents had arranged for a bunch of scholarships for a lot of the students, because it was a private school, and they just made sure that anybody who wanted to go there could afford to. We're a family of five kids on one schoolteacher's salary and they just made a lot happen and it was all because of her. She just knew how to make everybody feel welcome.
Nativen: How cool. I love that. Three women you would love to sit around the campfire with, dead or alive.
Susie: Oh, I don't know, I have to think about that. Our old art teacher, Wendy Sussman. Maggie [Susie’s sister] was her TA in school, and she was from New york and always wore black and she had this crazy, curly hair. It was just so incredible to ... first she was really off-putting, and then by the end of your semester you just wanted more of her craziness. Seeing her face and really motivating you. But yeah, she was an incredible person, I want to know what she thinks of now. Oprah. I think she's just so fascinating. She's got such an interesting history and she just keeps on moving and creating something new, and different all the time. Trying to think of a third person. I think it would be Joan Jett.
Nativen: Yeah! That's a really interesting combination too.
Susie: That's kind of all three parts of me.
Nativen: Definitely sums it up for you. Okay, so words of wisdom or a nugget of advice that you'd offer to someone that's looking to pursue their creative career path?
Susie: I think it's always good to have a balance in what you're doing. If you're only creative and don't know how to do the finances you're going to get in trouble later. Even if you don't do it yourself, you should know how to do it. Because I find that with a lot of creatives, both men and women, if they leave it to somebody else they end up losing their business. And I've watched a lot of friends who's brands are their names, lose their names. It's a shame, how you can lose your signature, to somebody else because you just didn't know how to protect your financial side. We're creative, you can come up with a million ideas and do a bunch of stuff and people are going to be influenced by you and take part of your ideas and you just need to know how to financially take care of yourself and make sure the books are taken care of, and all your permits are done. Because it would be terrible to lose your own identity and brand because you don't know that side of business.
Nativen: Yeah, absolutely. If you could spend a day in someone else's jeans, who would it be?
Susie: Ooh, I like that. I think it would be Bart Sights. I used to work with him a long time ago at Levi's, and I just think that man's a genius and their family is so incredible. I think what Bart's doing with Eureka is really fascinating. He's really making it look authentic, but still bringing in technology and moving the entire industry forward and trying to be sustainable with water and resources. That man's a genius.
Nativen: Last question, three things you can't live without.
Susie: Oh! That's easy. Salsa. It's just always in my refrigerator. We had this conversation, the three things that are always in your fridge. But also, coffee, and I think something to do. I never stop moving.
Nativen: So, Salsa, coffee and a good project.
Susie: Yeah, exactly.
Interview by: Lily Hetzler
Photography by: Ashley Turner
This interview has been condensed & edited
all images copyright of Nativen