As you may have seen in your inbox this morning, we’ve officially taken our love of fanny packs to the next level: we designed an exclusive one with Avenue Dee just for all of YOU. You can check out our colorful design right here, and buy this hot-ticket number in the B+C Shop! But our fanny pack dreams could never have come true without one totally inspiring maker.
Meet Deeana Garcia, the founder of Avenue Dee, a Los Angeles-based accessory brand where “fun meets function” and where fanny packs reign as the brand’s pioneer piece. Why fanny packs? Well, aside from a love of throwbacks, this became the brand’s signature piece due to convenience! As an avid traveler, Deeana was always on the search for a minimal travel piece. Enter the fanny pack! :)
I spent a morning in LA with Dee chatting about what inspires her, why she started her company and more. One of the coolest things I learned that morning is that everything used to make Avenue Dee fanny packs is within a two-hour radius of Dee’s apartment. How awesome and local is that? Read on to learn all about this badass maker, in her own words.
What inspires you? Why do you love to design, create and make?
I’m often inspired by nostalgia. Things that I was once obsessed with and just don’t want to let go. Somehow I end up finding ways to revisit or reinvent these beloved brands, products or designs, not only for sentimental reasons, but also for function and practicality. Unconsciously, Avenue Dee has developed into a reincarnate of some of my childhood and teenage favorites, including The Lion King, Esprit de Corps, Triple 5 Soul and Sanrio, to name a few.
Where in LA do you go for inspiration?
1. Fabric District: From the piles and piles of textiles to the fresh juices in a shopping nook, you’re bound to be inspired.
2. Little Tokyo: I am often inspired by nostalgia, and Japan is a place in my past where I think I learned a good deal about myself.
3. The Commissary at the Line Hotel: The Line Hotel specifically is inspiring because of the people behind it.
What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?
Absorb all you can from the experience of making and sharing what you create with the world. Even when you may run into something that’s hard to grasp or doesn’t come naturally, embrace it. You are exercising your intellect and developing an acumen that will be useful in so many aspects of your life. As long as you continue to learn, you can’t go wrong.
Tell us how technology has changed and supported what you do.
Back in high school and college, when the list of potential career paths to pursue was undiscovered, I never once thought that technology would play such an integral part in my personal and professional growth. In 2012, I left a decade of working in education to pursue a career in digital media and learned so much about content creation, branding and merchandising — all things where technology has helped to drive progress in all aspects of my business and career.
What’s on your studio playlist?
’90s Hip Hop and R&B never gets old! But if I’m looking for some new sounds, my go-to are mixes by KCRW’s Anthony Valadez. If it’s a day where I don’t want my thoughts to be guided by words, I play instrumentals from Nightmares on Wax or foreign music I don’t understand like Les Nubians.
How do you get into the creative flow? How does it feel?
To be honest, the flow is nothing I can turn on and off, it just comes to me when it does. One thing that has always sparked creativity is novelty experiences — things I have not yet done, eaten, seen or heard. And somewhere in that process of exploration and discovery, inspiration tends to lead to something creative and I feel like a kid again.
What do you love about teaching people to make? And inspiring people who don’t think they are traditionally creative?
I’m all about trying something out of your comfort zone. Whether it’s living in a new country or making a career change, I value the journey and process that goes with it. Setting an example for people means the making of a new experience, and inspiring people to just give it a shot. It can be scary, but in the end we end up taking something valuable from it.
Be sure to head to the B+C Shop to shop all of our fave Avenue Dee fanny packs! And you can meet Dee and shop all these goodies in person at Re:Make — get all the deets right here. Now, a few more outtakes from our morning in LA! :)
What makers inspire you? Tell us about them in the comments below.