Passionate about: Wildlife rehabilitation, my job, my family.
Outside interests: Wildlife rehabilitation.
Path to Patagonia: I used to have a custom sewing business and also waitressed at restaurants in Ventura. A lot of Patagonia folks came into the restaurants. I made friends. They knew I sewed. And they kept telling me to come work at Patagonia, which I ultimately did.
Favorite Patagonia product: Baggies™ Skirt
Biggest benefit of working here: The opportunities offered at Patagonia are amazing. You have to be motivated to take advantage of them, which may require extra work, but you can take classes at local schools (Patagonia pays for your books), as well as Brain Food classes, which we have on campus. (I took Japanese, Spanish, investments, cooking, knife sharpening and many more). There’s also a Patagonia speaker series that has hosted people like Jane Goodall, Rachel Carson, Sylvia Earle and other amazing people.
Done an enviro internship? Served on the environmental grants council? How’d it go? I did an environmental internship after my first year and it changed my life. I also served on the employee internship committee for about six years. The committee reads internship proposals and funds internships. Watching how employees’ volunteer experiences changed them, and sometimes seeing them go on to follow their newly found passion, is a gift that happens at Patagonia.
Have any of your children been in Patagonia’s childcare program? My granddaughter was in the program for three years, and it was the best thing ever for her and for me—bringing her to work and spending time with her every day. The dedication of Great Pacific Child Development Center staff and teachers is amazing.
Biggest accomplishment while working here: Working one-on-one with YC [Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard] in his ”skunkworks” [R&D with less emphasis on the D]. I worked on several out-of-the-box ideas with him, learning from a master craftsman and tinkerer. (I also met a lot of legends in the surf industry.) We developed surfboards and started the surfboard glass shop during my tenure in the skunkworks. Most of my other projects never made it into development. Another big accomplishment is founding the Ojai Raptor Center [a wildlife rehabilitator nonprofit]. Patagonia supported me and has allowed me to follow my passion and creatively manage my day-to-day schedule around the center. I also feel a sense of accomplishment by being part of the creative design process. Working with product designers to bring their visions to fruition is an amazing thing.