January Model of the Month: Charlotte

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Photo: Molly Gilholm

Hi Charlotte. How’s it going? How is the new year treating you?

Great! 2015 is going to be the best year yet! How are you?

Doing great, thanks. Epic sunset tonight in Santa Cruz. 

I bet! I could tell it was going to be on my way out of town. I saw the back end of it… close to big sur on the other side of the hills towards Santa Barbara.

Nice. Where are you headed and what for? Fun, business or both?

I’m on my way to Santa Barbara to meet with Deckers headquarters tomorrow afternoon for my business Stand West and then down to the Huntington area to do a photoshoot with Crush Sunglasses. So mostly business with some play mixed in.

Nice. That’s exciting that your business is getting some traction. We looked at the textiles and pillows in your insta. Impressive. Did you start this business yourself or do you have a partner?

Well thank you! I am proud of where Stand West is headed in the near future as it is an extremely young business. Yes, I started Stand West myself early October of last year.

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Photo: Stephen Faris

You have a great aesthetic. We really like your style and appreciate your emphasis on a reuse and recycle way of doing things. How is your business eco-conscious?

Good question. I try my best to use as much repurposed fabric as possible. One of my favorite places to find second hand fabrics is at The Fabrica, downtown. They are a non profit community textile art and salvage workshop… Such a cute little place that screams Santa Cruz. I also focus on using organic and natural plant based dyes when I create my own textiles. The process is super fun and always different, creating one of a kind pieces for my customers. And when I am unable to repurpose materials for a project I make sure to source what I need locally or made in America.

Wow. How cool. And how did you get linked up with Deckers and Crush?

My relationship with Crush Sunglasses started when I tagged them in a video of my first experience dropping in at lahaina skatepark a few years ago. Before I knew it I was working with them as their main female ambassador and had the opportunity to represent them at the Surf Expo this year in Orlando where I hooked up with Deckers. I have a good friend who is the event producer for Deckers outdoor corporation (acquires lifestyle brands including UGG, Teva, Sanuk etc.) and is implementing a new innovative “super booth” (incoorporating all of their lifestyle brands into one united booth) for national expos. When he saw my cushions in the Crush booth this year he recruited me to design the appulstry for the Sanuk section of this new project. I am so excited I can hardly stand it!

Not too shabby. First times dropping in don’t always end so well. How long have you skateboarded?

Haha. That is very true. I wish I would have documented the amount of times I set my board up to drop in and chose not to commit before I finally let myself go for it. I remember the feeling of riding away and wondering what took me so long. Fear is a funny thing. I have been messing around on a skateboard since I was 19 but haven’t been taking seriously until about three summers ago.

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Photo: Stephen Faris

Sweet. So, do you model for any other brands or agencies? And, how do you like modeling? Who are some of your favorite photographers?

Modeling is very new to me and to be honest I am not quite sure how it all came about. With that said, I have learned to enjoy being in front of a camera very much. I don’t model for an agency but I have modeled for Tomboy, Santa Cruz, Crush Sunglasses, StarLooks Makeup and Miranda Frye Jewelry. A lot of the photographers that I have been blessed to work with are local to the Bay Area and incredibly talented. Molly Gilholm, Pasha Gavrilov, Julie Cahill, Brock Sanders, and Chloe Martinez are my favorite photographers to shoot with, by far.

What’s the most fun you’ve had on a shoot so far? What are the best parts of modeling? Is it the locations, the people, or the end result?

I would have to say that that the shoot I did for Miranda Frye Jewelry was the most fun because I had the opportunity to work with two different photographers with distinctly different styles of shooting. It was interesting to see their perspectives. I love so many things about modeling but meeting the photographers and becoming a part of their inspiration and creative process is what I enjoy the most.

That’s cool. It’s fun to work with inspired people. What do you like to do for fun outside of modeling? What else inspires you? Are you still skateboarding?

If I’m not behind my sewing machine I’m probably outside hiking, spending time at the beach with my dog, climbing trees, or skating. I’m a happy girl when I’m out about creating adventures for myself and being active.

I still skate but not as avidly since I broke my wrist. It’s one of those injuries that won’t heal unless I have surgery and at this point I’m unable to spend three months in a cast for a number of reasons.

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Photo: Christian Bacerra

What are some of your favorite spots to adventure?

I love Big Sur! If an opportunity presented itself I would sell everything, get an old airstream to renovate and post up somewhere down there for a while. Get me a guitar, a handful of good books, a solar panel for my sewing machine, the company of my dog and I would be as happy as a clam at high tide.

…. Well, only for a while I suppose. I think I would be best described as a wanderer or a free spirit.

Nice. Any plans for wandering in 2015 or do your meanderings happen more spontaneously?


It’s usually very spontaneous – I get an itch and off I go for month or two. I would really enjoy exploring Yosemite this spring and driving north up the coast to Washington, spending a little extra time in Oregon to skate.
Have you ever had any close calls on your adventures? How did you break your wrist?
I get myself in a sticky situation from time to time. A couple of years ago I was climbing rocks along the beach and I slipped at the top falling head first into more rocks below. Somehow my body naturally corrected itself mid air and I ended up taking most of the fall on my right side, primarily my right elbow. A handful of stitches later, I was as good as new and extremely thankful that I had busted my elbow open and not my face. I broke my wrist skating over the hill at the Sunnyvale skatepark. I got a little too big for my britches and went down on my right wrist. I thought it was sprained so I continued to be reckless with it until my doctor confirmed otherwise. First broken bone and hopefully my last. Fingers crossed.

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Photo: Julie Cahill

Well it wouldn’t be an adventure without a little danger. Let’s see: model, skateboarder, wanderer, entrepreneur, designer, and seamstress. You’re quite the dynamic young woman.  Who inspires you the most to keep doing what you do?
Wow, what an amazing question! I would have to gladly admit that my drive and inspiration comes from God. Without my relationship with The Lord I can’t imagine that I would be where I am today, willing to utilize my talents for the greater good and create a life that I am truly in love with. However, I can’t go without shining some light on my incredible and supportive friends and family. They have always encouraged my eclectic spirit and have inspired me to be anything that I want to be. I am truly blessed.

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Photo: Julie Cahill for Miranda Frye Jewelry


Jake Thomas


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