Last Saturday, I attended the Fresh Produce Coastal Living event & had an absolute blast. When I first walked in, I was warmly greeted by smiles and friendly introductions. My eyes immediately followed the bright colors, beautiful patterns and accessories displayed in vintage furniture. Quickly after checking the store out, I met Mary Ellen the founder of the company who is down-to-earth and very easy to talk to. I love how she introduced herself to all her guest with a smile and ask them questions as if she was chatting to old pals. I had the pleasure of interviewing her and getting to know a bit more about the woman behind the brand. Read on for the interview & pictures of the event.
Tell me how and when everything started.
I saw my dad go to a 9-5 everyday and I simply didn’t want that for myself. I went to school for fashion design, because I wanted to create my own line. Fresh Produce first started in 1984 in Long Beach, selling silk-screened t-shirts in bright graphics and custom jewelry at the ’84 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in the parking lot across the street from the coliseum. The concept then is the same as now – to bring the emotions, the colors, the sensations, the leisure of beach life to everyday life through fashion.
What advice would you give someone considering a similar path?
Out of all the things that you like and you think you could be, identify one thing you truly love and follow your passion. You are going to be working really hard, so you might as well focus and do something you love.
What makes Fresh Produce unique?
We have always being about color, but also about comfort. We create pieces with patterns and colors that are easy to style.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is very eclectic & full of personality. I like giving pieces my own spin.