10 Questions with Erin Scott, Production Manager

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1. How did you first get involved with This is Ground, and what do you do here?

I permanently joined the team about one and a half years ago, after starting as a contractor. I saw the huge opportunity for growth and knew this was something I wanted to be part of—from the ground up, so to speak. I am the Production Manager, so I am in charge of workflow from the design lab to the warehouse. I also order the supplies and materials that make up our product lineup, so I scour the world for the best leathers and hardware.

2. What’s the best part of working at This is Ground?

I love the group dynamic of the company. We are all an integral part of the team, and we have the opportunity to make a direct impact on an ever-evolving industry. I also love working directly with our in-house factory. Coming from the world of corporate fast-fashion, I have always worked with overseas factories. So here, I get to see first-hand how each product is made. That has really deepened my understanding of the technical aspect of design. I learn something new every day!

3.What song should play when you walk into a room today?

“Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus and Chaka Khan. . . as we are eagerly awaiting some fresh prototypes coming off the sewing line.

4. Are you originally from LA? Do you bring any influences with you?

I was born in Germany as an Air Force brat, so I travelled extensively as a child. That really was an education in itself and it shaped who I am today. I landed in LA after my dad retired and have loved it ever since. But the wanderlust never goes away and I need to travel as much as possible.

5. What’s the most recent photo on your phone, and what struck you in the moment to take it?

A most amazing breakfast bialy from Gjusta in Venice. It was so delicious, I had to Insta-immortalize it for posterity:

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6. Are you into cooking? What kind of food do you daydream about?

I love to cook, but my favorite thing to make is reservations. . . preferably to any restaurant helmed by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo.

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Taken at Son of a Gun

7. Who are your personal icons?

Amy Schumer for her outspoken viewpoints, Grace Kelly for her timeless style, and my grandma Dorothy, who was a consummate Southern Belle until the last days of her 92 years.

8. What are you currently reading?

I am a big fan of listening to audiobooks en route to work to ease the burden of LA traffic. Just finished Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso and Miracles Now by Gabrielle Bernstein. Girl Power!

9. What’s been your most interesting adventure so far?

A few years back, I went to Costa Rica on a solo surf/yoga retreat. I met wonderful people and came home with amazing memories and met lots of new friends. . . including this prickly little guy!

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10. Do you have any creative projects or leisurely pursuits on the horizon?

I am on a mission to mix up my workout routine, so this weekend entailed paddle boarding in Marina Del Rey, where I had a little too-close-for-comfort encounter with some sea lions. I like to keep it interesting!

10 Questions with Customer Service Manager Grant Perrins

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1. What’s the best part of working at This is Ground?

The team. I moved from Australia one year ago, and these guys make me feel at home. I have never worked for a company that makes me feel this comfortable—a place I enjoy going to every day.

2. What’s on your desk right now?

A protein shake, a stapler with my name on it, my iPhone 6 Plus, and an invitation to Let’s Make a Deal.

3. What is the most recent photo on your phone, and what made the scene worth capturing?

It’s a new product that is not released yet, and I’m offering it to one of our VIP customers to get their opinion.

4. Is there an element of your wardrobe that you’re particularly feeling at the moment?

My barely-there gym gear.

5. What are you currently reading?

My Facebook feed.

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6. Who are your personal icons?

My parents and Elvis.

7. What was the first film or album that had a significant impact on you?

As a child, I watched Calamity Jane the musical at least once a week.

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8. What’s been your most interesting adventure so far?

Traveling the world for five months in 2013 with my BFF from Sydney and going to every possible big gay party we could find!

9. What’s going on in the world right now that excites and inspires you?

Caitlyn Jenner. This is Ground. Mykonos. Making new friends.

10. Is there anything the rest of the This is Ground team doesn’t know about you?

I am pretty open. I think I tell the team everything—like that my mum is my favorite person.

Meet Nisha

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Meet the newest member of the team at This is Ground, Nisha. Nisha hails from Amsterdam and is a graduate from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute in menswear design. In her new role at This is Ground as Product Designer, she has lent her minimal menswear aesthetic to all the new pieces we’re working on and whips up a mean, professional quality prototype in just a few hours. Today we followed her around as she sourced leather, bought a skiver and worked on our newest prototype. We asked her some questions along the way.

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C: How do you start your day?
N: I wake up, do some yoga stretches and greet the sun, take a shower and have my breakfast.

C: What made you pursue design?
N: Well I had to choose something! [laughs] No, I always had a major appreciation for the quality and craftsmanship behind good design, be it clothes, accessories or architecture and I wanted to explore that notion in my education. The personal expression that is possible through clothing also interested me and led me to studying menswear.

C: And what made you want to work with leather?
N: Even as a young kid messing around I used leather for small projects. In my collections for school I liked to use leather as finishing and details for garments because I liked the look and feel of the material. I think it really elevates a piece. I mean, sometimes I wear leather pants and [a leather] top– I just love leather!

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C: So who are some designers that inspire your work?
N: Let me think… Ann Demeulemeester. Helmut Lang. Comme des Garçons. But I’m also inspired a lot by my surroundings. For example, Los Angeles. It’s a new city to me and the people, the culture and especially the architecture of DTLA are so inspiring to me.

C: How would you compare LA to Amsterdam?
N: Well, I really like the pampering culture here. People like to spend money and enjoy life which I think is the most important thing in life, to enjoy yourself. In Amsterdam there’s not so much of that. People are very stingy and like to say they’re being frugal when really they’re just greedy [laughs].

What else? Everyone has a dog here. And no one smokes! Cigarettes anyway.

Everyone in LA is crazy. I’ve never seen so many lunatics in my life but that’s what I like and I feel normal here.

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C: Did you enjoy growing up in the Netherlands?
N: Yeah, I think it was a great place to grow up. Obviously I can’t compare it with anywhere else but it’s really a city where you can do what you want. You have access to opportunities in whatever field you are interested in. Also the people are very down to earth which was good to grow up around. I might get swept up in things if I wasn’t down to earth.

C: What kind of things did you want to be as a kid?
N: For a while I wanted to own a shop where you could get anything. I was very skinny and would carry around a big, big bag twice my size full of everything I might need. I was super prepared. One time as a kid my family and I got stuck on the road and we needed a wrench and low and behold I had one in my bag! But what I wanted to be changed constantly. One week a Egyptologist, the next a painter…

C: Lastly, a few quick questions: What are you reading right now?
N: Strangeland by Tracey Emin. It’s a memoir by the artist, reflecting on her past and present as an English artist of Turkish decent. Really interesting.

C: What are you listening to at the moment?
N: A mix of old and new things. As always, The Doors and the Clash. I also listen to a lot of Nine Inch Nails but I try not to advertise that too much.

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C: What are your goals for 2014?
N: My main goal this year was to visit the States and live in LA. I just wanted to explore the world and myself. And now I’m here! I also need to get my driver’s license this year.