EB Spotlight: Brenton & Mia

Every once and in a while in life we’re lucky to come across a person or couple who radiates positivity. At Earthbound we’re used to having some of the most interesting and unique customers and they keep our job fresh and exciting.  Coming to work no longer feels like “just a job.” It’s more like a family reunion where we get to have a few laughs, catch up on each other’s lives, and learn something new.

We met up with one of our biggest fans, Brenton, and his wife Mia after reading his blog. Before we talk about his love of EB and all things nerdy, I have to talk about how cute this couple is.

Brenton and Mia met in 2014 when they worked next door to each other in the mall. During lunch one day, he was desperate for a microwave and Mia helped him out. He then started to bring her tea, which led to lunch, which ultimately led to him asking her out on a date. He took her to go rock climbing followed by a nice Italian meal. The relationship progressed, and they eventually moved in together. Naturally, Mia succumbed to puppy fever – specifically Siberian Husky puppy fever. (One of the most devastating)

Now this is where it gets adorable and you wish Brenton was your SO (significant other).

Brenton took Mia to look at some husky puppies just for fun – or so she thought. She instantly fell in love with a playful pooch and when it was time to go, Brenton started carrying her to the door. Mia was a bit confused and told Brenton they couldn’t just leave with this dog.

He said they could. He had already purchased the pup without her knowing.

Best. Boyfriend. Ever. Seriously. Now I know why she was quick to give up an entire room in their home so Brenton could make his version of a man cave he calls “Nerdvana.”

Brenton is a self-proclaimed nerd and Earthbound enthusiast. He loves all things nerdy: from books to video games to home décor. In his blog, “The Island of Nerd,” he argues everyone’s nerdy about SOMETHING and encourages his readers to discover their passion and follow it. Individualism and not being afraid to be who you are is a mantra we can get behind.  In his blog entry, “Nerdvana: A Place to Call My Own”, Brenton details his love for color and culture and how it shapes his room. He wanted a place that would feel like a sanctuary and an escape from reality. His walls are lined with tapestries, which allows him to feel a sense of comfort so he can truly tune out distractions and focus on his current projects. Brenton said there is something special about Nerdvana that goes behind the décor. He said it feels different, even smells different than the rest of his house. And this was even before he filled it with candles from Earthbound.

Brenton’s love for EB began while on a trip to Fredricksburg, Texas. Growing up in rural South Georgia, he wasn’t exposed to many different cultures. When he stumbled upon EB, he knew he found something special. He instantly fell in love with the treasures from all over the world and felt a deep connection. For a while, Brenton thought this was our only location and the good vibes of EB had become a distant memory – until Mia discovered our Stonebriar, Texas location.

*Cue Brenton’s mind being blown.*

Today, Brenton and Mia visit our Stonebriar location on a regular basis. That’s how we found out about Nerdvana. Henry, Emily, and the rest of the Stonebriar team keep in touch with Brenton and let him know when new things are coming in that may fit his style. Not only does Brenton love our products, he could not stop talking about how great the Stonebriar team is and how they feel more like family than sales associates. We feel so lucky to have a team that represents our brand so well and customers who appreciate “above and beyond” customer service. It’s not every day you find people who are willing to develop a deeper, human connection in the fast-paced world of consumerism.

After meeting with Brenton and Mia, I took the time to step back and reevaluate my own life. What am I passionate about? What do I care about? And what’s stopping me from taking the next step in my pursuit of nerdiness?

Next time you’re in one of our stores, ask us what products we currently love. And if you stop in Stonebriar, ask Emily for a singing bowl demo and some background history on the meditation tool. You never know what you’ll learn and maybe you’ll discover a new passion.

Stay nerdy, my friends.

EB Team Spotlight: Amber at Battlefield Mall

We’ve been looking forward to sharing our interview with Amber, the manager of our store location atBattlefield Mall in Springfield, Missouri! She’s so good at what she does, and clearly has her priorities in order. We’re lucky to have Amber on our team! Read on to learn a little about this awesome lady.

EB Team Spotlight on Amber at Battlefield Mall in Springfield, MO

Q: Describe yourself in ten words or less:
A: Motivated, faith seeking, family oriented, fandom lovin’ kind of woman.

Q: What do you love about working for Earthbound?
A: There is nothing that I love more than working for a company that makes me really enjoy my time spent there. We get some of the most interesting people coming in through our doors, whether it be customers or staff. I love the fact that I can walk up to customer expecting to teach them about our unique products, and have them share so much more with me!

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
A: My favorite thing to do when I’m not at work is to curl up in my coziest chair with a good book, a warm drink, and one of my cats. I tend to surround myself with books, and love getting lost in their pages.

Q: What song have you been jamming out to lately?
A: I am currently obsessively listening to Alabama Shakes, Imagine Dragons, and AWOLNATION. I will listen to the same albums on repeat until I am thoroughly tired of them, and it hasn’t happened yet with these three.

Q: What’s your greatest dream in life?
A: To make sure that my family is happy and well cared for.

Q: You’re stranded on a desert island. Excluding food, water and means of escape, what three items (one being an Earthbound product) would you take?
A: The first thing I would need would be a tarp. I feel like I could come up with countless uses for it (even if just to make shelter). I would also bring along my family. I’m going to count that as one thing and include my cats so I don’t get lonely. My family is full of smart, creative people, so I feel like we could survive together. And finally, I would bring along one of our large Bali drums, so at the very least we could entertain ourselves by making a desert island band!

EB Team Spotlight: Rick in Fort Smith, AR

Today, we’re talking with Rick, the stellar Store Manager of our location at Central Mall in Fort Smith, Arkansas. A fan of Texas football, a loving father and husband, a seasoned retail professional, and a fella’ with aspirations of winning the lottery… all in all, he’s one cool dude, and we’re so glad he’s part of our team! Read on to learn more about Rick!

EB Team Spotlight: Rick at Central Mall

Q: Describe yourself in ten words or less:
A: Truly blessed and grateful for all that I have.

Q: What do you love about working for Earthbound?
A: We have the best group of employees (family) and the coolest customers on the planet! I have worked in retail for many years and I have never felt more at home than with Earthbound. I love my team, I love my customers and I love what Earthbound stands for!

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
A: I enjoy painting, going to the lake, watching the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Longhorns with my three boys, discussing the woes of being a teenage girl with my daughter, and any moment I get to spend with my beautiful wife.

Q: What song have you been jamming out to lately?
A: I checked my most played list and apparently I listen to everything from George Strait to Harlem Shake. However, my most played song is Stellar by Incubus.

Q: What’s your greatest dream in life?
A: My dream is simple: winning the Powerball!! Just kidding; as nice as that would be, my greatest dream in life is to travel the world and simply live every moment of every single day.

Q: You’re stranded on a desert island. Excluding food, water and means of escape, what three items (one being an Earthbound product) would you take?
A: I’m assuming that my desert island has wifi, so I’ll obviously bring my cell phone so I can keep up with the NFL season. Also, a picture of my family so I am never really alone and last but not least, an Earthbound rice hat so I can keep cool and look awesome at the same time!

EB Team Spotlight: Kris at McCain!

EB Team Spotlight time! Kris has been with Earthbound for ages, working at and managing several store locations in Arkansas and Missouri. She recently transferred to our Little Rock, Arkansas store at McCain Mall as the Store Manager, and we know the store and its team will benefit from her awesome leadership! When nominating her for a blog spotlight, one district manager said that Kris “has an amazing aura about her” and we can’t help but agree. Read on to learn more about this creative chica!

Kris at the McCain Earthbound

Q: Describe yourself in ten words or less:
A: Ooooh tough ones first, ok… Overly talkative yet excellent listener, creative to the point of heathenary (I like to make up words, like HEATHENARY), deeply philosophical and profoundly hysterical. Is that good? [Editor’s note: good, but a great deal more than ten words!]

Q: What do you love about working for Earthbound?
A: I was hired on as a seasonal employee a LONG time ago, and immediately fell in love with the mission statement I read. Once I started working I fell deeper in love with the atmosphere we have with our products, coworkers, and the amazing people who shop in our stores. When I am having a bad day due to whatever, I submerge myself into my customers and focus on making THEIR day the best and in return I get great satisfaction in realizing I am just a speck in the vast universe and my problems are not that bad. In short, the positive vibes! And where else can I waltz with a random customer and they actually like it!??!

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
A: Making our own adventure with my sunshines (Kelten, age 10 and Izzy, age 6), listening to the indie-alt-folk station on iTunes radio (I’ve heard “The Stable Song” off of our Acoustic Cafe Cd on there!) while baking (usually with flowers and other edible plants no one thinks of putting in food but the French); debating light topics including but not limited to: religion, ethics, consciousness, parallel universes, politics, and the ever-so-great controversy: paper vs. plastic; painting and other messy activities, and of course, yoga!

Q: What song have you been jamming out to lately?
A: SUCH a loaded question. I am totally stuck in the 90’s musically. The Violent Femmes and The Pixies are 2 bands I must listen to daily. The newest (still over 10 years old) music I dig is Iron and Wine and my favorite song is “Beneath the Balcony” from their EP and my favorite album is “The Creek Drank the Cradle“.

Q: What’s your greatest dream in life?
A: Being able to take my kids around the world to let them experience all the fantastic cultures that make up our world and then retiring to a missile silo and living off the land. Isn’t that pretty much standard?

Q: You’re stranded on a desert island. Excluding food, water and means of escape, what three items (one being an Earthbound product) would you take?
A: Obviously I would HAVE to have a swiss army knife, I would also need a radio that is solar powered for sure because I have to have my tunes, and I would also want one of our katanas because that would give me that extra edge of “Amazonian Woman that don’t take no mess from no one persona” that I would need to fulfill the role amongst the other creatures on the island.

EB Team Spotlight: Coty at Regency

t’s time for another EB Team Spotlight! Coty is the stellar store manager of our Romancing the Stone location at Regency Square Mall in Florence, Alabama. Learn a little about this open minded, music obsessed dad, and then swing by his store and say hi! Feel free to take advantage of some of our awesome sales while you’re there.

EB Team Spotlight on Coty at Regency

Q: Describe yourself in ten words or less.
A: A beautiful being by intricate design.

Q: What do you love about working for Earthbound?
A: My favorite thing about Earthbound is feeling like I am apart of something bigger. I love to help people grow, and find themselves. I love being a leader, and continuing to learn myself. Every day here I have new opportunities to learn, and share my knowledge with those around me. I also am grateful to get to work in a place where work is greater than image. Here I can be who I am meant to be and help everyone understand the beauty in themselves and embrace others.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?
A: I have to say spending time with my 2-year-old son. I also love anything music (writing, playing, listening). Some people call me a walking mp3 player due to the amount of music I listen to/know about. Also, anything about the Universe is another guilty pleasure!

Q: What song have you been jamming out to lately?
A: That’s a tough question… I can’t say a specific song, but I can give my current top artist/album in certain categories:

Rap: Ces CruConstant Energy Struggles
Rock: Life On RepeatStruggle + Sleep
Electro/Dubstep: ZomboyReanimated
Metal: VolumesVIA

Q: What’s your greatest dream in life?
A: I have to say I have a lot of dreams I would like to achieve, but first and foremost, I want to be a great father to my son. I am so diverse in beliefs and I am not afraid of being who I am, and I just want him to know that it is ok to accept people based on their soul, not their appearance. I feel that I have been given this chance and I want to pass it on.

Q: You’re stranded on a desert island. Excluding food, water and means of escape, what three items (one being an Earthbound product) would you take?
A: I would say I would have to take a fishing pole to relax on the beach and get some delicious sea food! Also, I would bring a fire starter kit for those cold nights, and I think one of the awesome tapestries (maybe the great wave) to have a super awesome hammock during the day and a shelter during the night! I think it would also make a super sweet cape to have during the rescue!

EB Team Spotlight: Hannah at Gretna!

We’re overdue for another EB Team Spotlight! This time we’re chatting with Hannah, the rockin’ store manager at our location in Gretna, Louisiana at the Oakwood Center. If you’re vacationing in New Orleans, be sure to hop over the Mississippi and go see Hannah and her crew in nearby Gretna!

EB Team Spotlight: Hanna at Gretna

Q: Describe yourself in ten words or less:

A: A messy, yet happy collaboration of eccentricity and enthusiasm.

Q: What do you love about working for Earthbound?

A: Honestly, everything. I love the products and the customers; I learn something new every day. I love the atmosphere and the energy that is infused into all of my staff; I smile fifty times more when I’m at work than I do anywhere else.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?

A: Sleep? I’m actually a pretty big geek. I love playing video games, shooting pool, and watching old movies. I’m really into food; I love trying new restaurants with friends on my off days.

Q: What song have you been jamming out to lately?

A: Anything by Lana Del Ray. I love the bluesy, smoky feel of her music.

Q: What’s your greatest dream in life?

A: My greatest dreams are to travel around the world; I love to learn about other cultures, to explore other places that feel like they are a world away from what I’m used to, and to eat. Eat all the food!

Q: You’re stranded on a desert island. Excluding food, water and means of escape, what three items (one being an Earthbound product) would you take?

A: My dog, of course. I would be extremely lonely without her! Taking a few liberties, and praying to every deity that solar powered energy is available to me, I’d bring my salt stone and my iPod. I don’t think I could survive without music.

EB Team Spotlight: Sharlene at Flagstaff!

We’re back with another EB Team Spotlight! We love getting to know members of the Earthbound family a little better. This time we’re chatting with Sharlene, the awesome store manager at our location in historicFlagstaff, Arizona.

Sharlene @ Flagstaff Earthbound Trading Co.

Flagstaff Earthbound Trading Co.

Q: Describe yourself in ten words or less:

A: I’m a light being working on making my light brighter!

Q: What do you love about working for Earthbound?

A: I love that everyday when I go to work it feels like I am not going to work! Earthbound has been such a fun atmosphere for me. I have met so many talented people and look forward to meeting more. The other thing I really enjoy about Earthbound is that even though we are a growing company I still feel like I am part of a very special family!

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?

A: I really enjoy baking and cooking. I especially like to find alternative recipes such as gluten free and vegan recipes. I always like accepting a challenge!

Q: What song have you been jamming out to lately?

A: This one is a tough one. If I had to choose at this moment, I would have to say Leafy Green!

Q: What’s your greatest dream in life?

So many dreams, so little time! If I had to narrow it down, I would have to say living in a treehouse community somewhere in the Northwest. My neighbors would be all my beautiful friends!

Q: You’re stranded on a desert island. Excluding food, water and means of escape, what three items (one being an Earthbound product) would you take?

A: A wrap skirt for sure; gotta look sassy while being lost! I could probably even use it for shade coverage! I think a journal would be just dandy. I am sure there are means of making my own pen. Last but not least, a knife would do quite well on an island!

Spotlight on Choke Shirt Company

For about a year and a half now, we’ve been working with Choke Shirt Company after meeting them at a show in Vegas. We love bringing their unique t-shirt designs to our customers, and we love supporting these Seattle entrepreneurs! This week we reached out to Matt at Choke to learn a little more about their company’s story.

Q: Tell us a little about the history of your company.

A: Choke is based in Seattle, WA. Jeff and I started Choke out of our apartment in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood after checking out many local t-shirt companies who frequently sold their wears at farmer’s markets. Like many great ideas, ours started out with a “we can do better” attitude. In 2008, we launched our first collection of designs online and at our semi-permanent spot at the Fremont Farmer’s Market.

In early 2009, we bought our first screen printing press and rented a 400 square foot studio space in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood. With no windows or ventilation, we sweated through our first summer.

In 2010, we participated in our first outdoor festivals, selling our shirts just about every weekend in a new location around town. At the end of 2010, we moved into an amazing 1,500 square foot space in Seattle. We took with us the largest Choke collection to date. In 2011 we hired our first employee and brought on an investment partner.

As our online sales grew, we decided to branch out of the weekend markets and festivals and begin the process of finding retailers to sell our wears. After less than a year in our new space, we moved next door to our current space. At 3,000 square feet, it was surprisingly quick how fast we filled up our new warehouse with a second manual press and our giant baby, an automatic screen printing press named Carl.

After just 2 years of successful trips to fashion’s famous MAGIC Market Week in Las Vegas our clothing line has grown to (currently) 300+ locations around the US and Japan and expanding every month.

Choke: Brian Printing

Choke Dog!

Q: We know you’re a very small crew – how many people (and dogs) make up your company these days?

A: Currently we are 9 people strong and only one pooch. Leo has the summer off because the shop gets pretty toasty and we are so much busier now than we were when we first started that he gets lost in the shuffle and ends up being annoyed with us all day. The 9 of us (and Leo) continue the mission of Choke: To provide the masses with a line of smart, interesting, comfy affordable tees.

Q: Do you design and print everything in house at Choke?

A: Yep! All our designs are designed and printed by us here in Seattle. We have a custom print shop and ourown line of tees for guys and ladies, hoodies, tote bags and baby onesies.

Moon Monster Choke Tee

Q: What’s your favorite Choke tee that we’ve carried at Earthbound?

A: My personal favorite is Moon Monster which is in Earthbound stores now. It’s actually part of our new Fall/Winter 2013 collection which we will be launching August 19th at MAGIC in Vegas. But Earthbound got a special preview of our collection before anyone else and you guys decided to pick it up! We’ve already been hearing great things from some of our fans that love shopping at Earthbound!

EB Team Spotlight: Margaret at Eureka Springs!

The first in a series of posts featuring EB team members is Margaret, the store manager at our Eureka Springs location. We asked Margaret a few questions so we can all get to know this beautiful lady a little better.

Margaret @ Eureka Springs Earthbound/Romancing the Stone

Q: Describe yourself in ten words or less:

A: “Profound, Brilliant, Just, Powerful, All-Victorious”. Ha Ha, just kidding! That is actually the meaning of the Tibetan mantra that I have tattooed on my chest. I only feel that way after I have been drinking coffee…

Q: What do you love about working for Earthbound?

A: My favorite thing about working for Earthbound is the ability to mentor and encourage growth within my staff, as well as to be mentored and continue my own education and growth. This is a great company for promotion from within and Earthbound has really been able to maintain the integrity and community of the small business paradigm while building the security network of a larger corporation.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?

A: My husband and I are buying a small “fixer upper” farm in rural Arkansas. I spend most of my time working on the property, building the garden, helping with the chickens and learning the ropes of farm life (not an easy task!). We currently have 4 dogs, 2 horses, 6 chickens and 5 feral cats that adopted us. We also enjoy going to bluegrass shows in Eureka Springs and I am trying to find more time to commit to art and found object jewelry making.

Q: What song have you been jamming out to lately?

A: I am a big bluegrass fan (anyone else who is should check out the Putomayo Bluegrass collection!). One of my favorite songs is “Alone” by Trampled by Turtles. I also recently starting listening to a really cool band calledShovels and Rope that is really worth looking up.

Q:. What’s your greatest dream in life?

This is a hard one. I really feel like a lot of my dreams are coming true these days. I would love to be able to do more international travel in the future. I would like to travel to Tibet with my mother one day. But my greatest dream is really to be doing what I am doing now, building a great life and family with my amazing husband.

Q: You’re stranded on a desert island. Excluding food, water and means of escape, what three items (one being an Earthbound product) would you take?  

A: I am a bit of a survival nut actually so I take this question pretty seriously! The Earthbound product would have to be our new book “Ultimate Worst Case Senario”, the survival guide that we carry in our really coolCuriosity Shop collection. That way if there was a zombie attack or an elephant stampede I would know what to do! My other two things would be my husband and my dogs (if we can count all 4 as one thing). It would get lonely on the island without them!

Its great getting to share a little about myself with other Earthbound fans (I’m definitely a customer as well as an employee!) and I hope anyone traveling through Eureka Springs, Arkansas will make it down to our shop on Main Street to say hi