Photographer, brand and marketing consultant, teepee maker, mezcal aficionado
Backpacks, cameras, travel books and climbing training board. Stefan’s place speaks of an adventure and his love for the outdoors. We tuned in Reverberation Radio, took pictures with one of Stefan’s cameras and spoke about Stefan’s family treasures that he has collected over the years. Also, his truck that got stolen about a month ago was just found, making Stefan even chattier than usually. As he would say: “YEW!”
The backpack is a kind of a traditional mountaineering rucksack that my mother gave me when I was pretty young. It is from this brand called Holubar, and Holubar started in Colorado back in the 40s and my mother when she was 18 she got poached from my grandparents bakery, and right next door was this mountaineering shop. My mom was big in the outdoors, and just a total nerd of the forest, and she got pulled to work in the shop. She was a very outdoorsy lady. As she got older she got more into it, and so did her brothers. She ended up managing the store for a long, long time and turning this store into into an amazing hub of mountaineering At that same time she met my father. The first date they ever had, they went camping. It is actually a fun story. They went on a five-day backpacking trip with my uncle and my uncle’s best friend’ Booky. My uncle is a stereotypical hippy guy, just doing his thing, total granola, and Booky was on steroids. They had these big plans to go backpacking into the woods, and five days, they did not pack food for five days, because they were hiking the high alpine lakes and the plan was to fish. They got to the lakes and there was no fish. They didn't have any food, they run out of the food after day two, day three, and they still had two days to get back out. When you go backpacking, and you finish up your food, and you have one of these moments what are the things you crave, everyone talks about it on the trail down. My mom was not happy. She is very much the organised person and like “what the fuck did we do?” My mom had this cute little Volkswagen Beetle at the time, and they got back to the Beetle and the the two things they landed on were of all things Cherry Garcia ice cream and Swisher Sweets, a little blunt cigars. So that backpack represents my mom in a big way. I feel like I was born inside of a down sleeping bag. Holubar as a brand is very unique, they were like the granda, granda of the mountaineering industry. Brands like North Face and Marmot would not exists without Alice’s sewing knowledge.
My parents got married super young, they didn’t had us till their mid 30s and so they had this whole golden period. My mom and dad lived in Volkswagen bus and were camping, backpacking and hiking and canoeing in their early years of life, and had this incredible group of people around. When they all started having kids they brought us along and stripped us on them. My parents definitely inspired my lust for the outdoors and adventure.
My parents built a house 40 years ago. My mom found the plants for the house in Sunset Magazine, which was a kind of a home living magazine. They had found this little property in Southern Colorado that they put all their money into.The most beautiful view of Pikes Peak. My dad took the plants and reworked them, and made it into their own home. And sadly as of last week we sold it to a young family from Parker and they will hopefully carry on the tradition. Inside the house we had our collective from over the years, and one of them was grasses and plants of Colorado. The one that was in my bathroom next to the toilet was Western Wheatgrass, a native grass to the West; beautiful. long, golden grass. So I think probably about 6 or 7 years ago I ended up getting a tattoo of it on my leg. My dad has an amazing architectural handwriting, and he wrote out the name of teh grass in genus and species and I had that tattooed on my leg. It is my tribute to Colorado and my home, and that home in particular. It kinda keeps me grounded and rooted where I came from.
Photos of Mom and Dad
Those who photos I take everywhere with me. They are from the golden period of my parents when they were travelling and doing adventures. The one on the right is of my mom in the National Park up in Alaska. This is a trip the did for two or three months, just kicking around. The two of them they did amazing job getting out there and finding things that were different. There is a ferry you take from Washington to Alaska and is a classic old ferry. There is a trick where you get up at 4 am and you go to the ferry terminal you line up with everybody and it is this race to the solarium deck, because this deck has this covering and you grab a lounge chair and camp on it for 6 days, otherwise you end up sleeping on the deck, so you have to pop up a tent on the deck, and it is just awful. My mom and dad when my brother and I were 14 and 12 we did the exact same trip. The other photo is a photo f my dad on the Salmon River in Idaho, and it is this trip they did with ten friends. They fly you in on an old World War II bomber and they strap the kayaks to the wings of the plane so there are all these funny images of kayaks strapped to a plane. That photo of my dad reminds me to stay fit, because it is him in its prime, he is just totally in his element. It keeps me in check. I need to look at the image more. Go out there and row a boat.
We just cleaned my old house in Colorado and I found this ore in the garage. Then I realized it is the actual ore that is in the picture. It is a backup ore. It is kinda rad that it popped up in the photo.
One of them is Western Wheatgrass and the other is Buffalo Grass. Those are little trinkets that my mother had made. She was a weaver. She had this big thing where you make rugs and blankets. Those are bundle of grasses she whipped with a yarn and they always been in our house. I am very excited to have my dad up here, because it will hopefully feel like he is walking into a home.
Baxter of California
That drawer full of Baxter is a bunch of samples that I had given to me over the last year. I moved back from NYC to work with Baxter of California, and I was brought up as a consultant to help carry on the story, lifestyle and culture of the business. For the past years we have been diving into different stories and finding ambassadors. It is what I have been doing for the past two years of my life, just working with different brands, helping them to make the brand more robust, authentic and legitimate.
The one little guy with the strap is my father’s camera. It is a beautiful Olympus 01, 35mm camera. Every slide, every photo we have at home was shot on that camera. He gave it to me as a kind, it was my introduction to photography. It travelled around the world with him, and now has been about three times around the world with me. It is probably my most prized possession, it shoots good damn photos. My dad made the strap on it, it is made of climbing rope. He made it about 40 years ago and it still works today.
Mom and dad had an amazing style, and little did they know that mid century Scandinavian furniture was going to be a hip thing in 2015. Those shelves were in my parents home and it is almost a tough one walking into my house everyday, because it is just like my childhood home with all the furniture surrounding me. I feel very fortunate that my parents allowed me to carry it on and use it for the space that I live in now.
So many succulents. We are in California, it is what you are supposed to do! They are easy to take care, although somebody I know can’t keep them alive. But hey, each to their own!
If I don't start the day by making a coffee, it doesn't feel right. The glass pour over is a Chemex. They say that the Chemex is the most powerful coffee you can get, because the way you grind the beans and then pour it over is the most caffeinated coffee.
This a sample of Mezcal that we are going to be importing into the states. My childhood friend Tony and I are starting a mezcal business called Madre. The name came from Tony when he was in Mexico about 4 years ago. He was documenting a shamanistic culture in Veracruz and it got heavy so he went to Oaxaca. He was exploring the hills of Oaxaca and discovered Palenque, which was producing madrecuishe, which is particular kind of agave that exists in the mountains. They call it the Madre, because it is a much smoother, less smokier flavoured mezcal, it is a much more feminine flavour. Then Tony was in an ayahuasca ceremony and the mother figure kept appearing, but I think that we both landed on it as a decision, because that matriarchal figure in our lives has been very important to both of us. And it is everything; it is the mother nature, from ancient times that figure is everything. We want this brand to have a softer, feminine quality to it. Mezcal is marketed as such a manly drink, but in reality when it’s done correctly it can be very smooth. This bottle is one of the first of many samples that we are testing. We are flying to Mexico next week to finalise and hopefully launch in summertime.
Wave Wam and The Outsiders
The whole concept of this book was documenting this new outdoor lifestyle culture that is coming through the mainstream. People who really appreciate the outdoors and have built communities and business around, appreciating the outdoors. My project that I did two years ago called Wave Wam a little beach teepee that got featured in the book with my friends from Indoek. We did this collaborative project and they sold the teepees through their website. The story of the teepee goes back to my best friend Tai and his girlfriend who did store displays. Once day we were at Malibu beach, and they had their dog with them, but you can’t have a dog at the beach, so he brought the teepee. Slowly we started to bring it all the time and it turned into this central hub to store your gear. It was totally a joke at first, but it really picked up. We tried to keep up with the production but it got too much. We manufacture them here in Los Angeles. I have a little factory downtown that manufactures the canvases, and I was manufacturing the poles out of my house. My neighbours hated me, cause I was running till 3 am. The canvas is such a great platform for collaboration, so eventually we will do tie-dye and screen printing. Our teepees are rustic.
Japanese Sushi Knife
In college I studied International Studies with minor in Japanese. I did it because I grew up snowboarding and my ultimate goals to work for a snowboard company in Japan. I love sushi and I ended up working at a sushi restaurant. In my last couple months they put me behind the sushi counter, and I ended up cutting some sushi rolls. I bought that knife long time ago and always made dinners for friends.
Climbing Board and The Geodesic Planter
It is a planter that has been in my house. It is a beautiful cedar wood planter. We are planning replicating them, do some planters like that. It is just an awesome piece that you can put a hanging plant that grows out, grows over. The climbing board is Jonathan’s, my housemate, but we share. Jonathan is from Colorado as well, and we were climbing a bunch, but then we got really busy and I messed up my finger racing motorcycles and it hasn’t healed up yet, so I am trying to get stronger so I can shred the rock.
Climbing and Sailing Books
Those were given to me by a friend, but they are all climbing books of Southern California and parts of Colorado, and North West, There is also a bunch of sailing manuals. I got really into sailing by shooting photos for The Sailing Collective. I am trying to get my captain's license. The ultimate goal in life is to own a sweet vintage sailing boat, 35 foot, and sail around the world with my dog that I don’t have yet, but I will one day.
This bike has been around the world with me twice now. It was my work-bike. It is a surly steamroller. It is the most indestructible thing ever. At the end of my college I moved to Australia, where I was finishing my studies and I was also working as a messenger. I grew up racing bicycles and was always interested in what the whole messenger thing was around. It is this underground scene of grubby dudes and girls. It iis the best job ever, the most rewarding job, because you are really earning your money. You go from drop to drop to drop. I was fitter than I have been ever before. With that there is this whole underground racing scene, with whom I travelled to London, and we won the most drunken team. I’ve ridden it from Sydney to Melbourne. It was also my commuter bike in New York. Did the commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan every day, and I miss it.
Those motorbikes are Jonathans.
Chris Reeve Knife
This is a very cool swiss knife that my dad gave me. We were boys scouts and shit like that mY mom got us involved in that, but we already did it before. So my brother and I were the cool kids, because we knew it all. My first memory as a kid was my dad buying me a pocket knife at Yosemite. and it has been a kind of tradition ever since. My dad has this one, my brother has one, and I was so jealous that my dad gave me this one for Chrissy. But I keep losing them. It is the ultimate utility; use it for everything. It is an essential piece
This surfboard was a gift from two awesome dudes in Bali. I worked for this brand called Deus Ex Machina and we opened up a store in Bali. Chris Garrett is the name of the shaper. I wanted a sweet, little nugget fish. I have started this club in Sydney that was a kind of a joke, but kind of for fun, called the Gentleman's Club. It was just a crew of friends, we would just roll up on surf breaks in Sydney and everyone hated us, because we would just take over the water. Very non-serious, non aggressive, amazing group of dudes that taught me how to surf. I surfed a bit before that, but my buddy Banjo got me ripping on the board, and and surfing has become a very important thing in my life. Two guys who are regulars to Deus drew all those mustaches all over the board in tribute to my mustache. I had this board for ever. I think every member of the Gentleman's Surf Club has had a solid wave on it.
I had this mustache for about 8 years, but every once in while I cut it off, but I loose about 5 years, I look like 16. Facial hair is a funny thing, it grows on ya.
Learn more about Stefan and his adventures here.
Photography: Andrea and Stefan