Meet Sami Huerta, a passionate fashion & lifestyle blogger who's the Visual Director and Editor for Treefort Magazine! She's also finishing her undergrad at the University of Minnesota in the Retail Merchandising program through the College of Design! Read more about her passion for sustainability, fashion, and helping those in need!
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO RIGHT NOW?
I am the Visual Director and Editor for Treefort Magazine, an online Editorial Fashion and Lifestyle Magazine that will be going live in July for content purchase.
WHAT'S YOUR DAILY ROUTINE TYPICALLY LOOK LIKE ON A WEEKDAY?
Right now, since it's summer and I'm not in school: 6:00am I wake up and go on a 3-7 mile run (currently training for a marathon). 7:30am Shower and get ready for the day. 8:00am Make breakfast (A Shakeology shake with blueberries, a banana, coconut/soy milk, and sometimes peanut butter if I need some extra protein). Sometimes if I have some extra time I'll make some avo-toast or almond butter and raw honey. 8:30am I have my devotions. I write in my journal, set goals, pray about the day, sometimes meditate. 9:00am I head to the office (10 mins from my place). 9:45-10:45am Emails and phone calls. 10:45-12:30am Edit magazine, plan shoots, etc. 12:30 Bike (when it's nice out) or go to Whole Foods. Usually I'll just make a salad and drink a La Criox. 1:30-3:00am Go pull for items for the next shoot. 3:30-4:30 Usually meetings. 4:30-5 Wrap up and head home for dinner. 5:30-6 Social media catch up time. 6-6:30 Dinner. 7-10:30 Usually I just work on my blog or any other creative projects I'm working on at the time. Sometimes I will meet friends at a rooftop patio for drinks or a bonfire.
TELL US ABOUT THE CLOTHING COLLECTIVE EVENT. WHAT LED YOU TO DO IT?
The Clothing Collective was a high-end consignment shopping event I hosted in Minneapolis to help aid a non-profit called Wipe Every Tear that helps women coming out of the sex-trafficking industry by giving them a safe house, an education, food, health care, and a future. Our first shopping event raised $10,000 and we are continuing to reach our goal of $50,000 through our e-commerce store (which will go live in July) as well as our various pop-up shopping events. I started the Clothing Collective because I'm passionate about shopping with a purpose. The issue of human/sex-trafficking is one that I am very passionate about so I decided to put all my projects and everything on the back burner to help them in any way that I could.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH FASHION AND MODELING. WHAT HAS HELPED SHAPE YOUR SENSE OF STYLE?
I started my blog 2 years ago because I was in love with fashion and writing and I wanted to be able to share my life experiences. I started modeling just through my blog and realized I enjoyed modeling as well. To me, modeling is being able to create art through my body and connect with other creatives who enjoy creating art as well. My experience in fashion started as I studied sustainable apparel and retail merchandising and converted over into actually implementing what I was learning to my blog and with the way I shopped. I've worked retail in high school at J. Crew and that lasted 2 years. I also study sustainable apparel through compostable apparel with an independent research project that I conducted through the University of Minnesota. I published my research findings through the College of Design and my search was recognized and awarded by the The Odegard Scholarship and the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Project Scholarship as one of the most interdisciplinary research projects in the College of Design in 2016. In April, my research was accepted by the National Conference of Undergraduate Research and I was sent to the 30th annual conference to present my research findings. Although this research has little to do with modeling it has everything to do with fashion and the way it shaped my mindset behind ethical and conscious consumption.
My research on sustainable apparel and fashion has shaped my sense of fashion in that my style is very basic and minimalist. I try not to shop for anything I don't need and I don't like to promote clothing companies that are not ethical. My style is very tomboyish but lately I've been getting into more feminine looks.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE BEING A STUDENT WITH ALL OF YOUR OTHER PROJECTS?
I am constantly reevaluating everything I'm balancing. A lot of the times it means that I have to say no to things that I really want to do. It definitely means that the people that are close to me; my close friends, boyfriend, family are either in the same industry or understand that my time is so limited as far as social interactions.
However, the best way I've been able to find balance is to keep a close pulse on my energy in-take and out-put. I need to schedule in 5-10 minute breaks between every meeting, project or emails. Whether that's 5 minutes to sketch, browse VSCO journals, enjoy a walk, ice cream, listening to your favorite song- not out-putting anything, just taking it in.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO GET INTO RETAIL MERCHANDISING AND SUSTAINABILITY?
I started working at J. Crew the second I could work there. Seriously, I applied 2 days after I turned 18 and kept calling them until they gave me an interview. But I didn't know I wanted to go into retail merchandising necessarily. I knew I would never be a typical retail merchandiser but I knew it offered me the information and education I wanted to be able to get a foot into the door of the fashion industry. I fell in love with the concept of sustainability when I spent a semester backpacking through the Rocky Mountains through an outdoor education program called NOLS my sophomore year of college, and 90% of my education in that area was personal research.
HOW DO YOU REPRESENT THE TRAIT PASSIONATE? DO YOU SEE YOUR PASSIONATE PERSONALITY TRANSLATED IN THE WORK YOU ARE DOING NOW?
I represent passion through every situation in my life. Whether it's an Instagram post, watching the sunset with my boyfriend, researching sustainability, styling a shoot, or emailing back and forth. I don't really see my passion but people often tell me that I am. I just do things. I look at everything as a problem with a solution. The solution to accomplish anything is by taking something and making it your own. How can you use your OWN knowledge to find the answer, if you can't then find the answer through research or if nothing else works, ask someone. The second you attach yourself to the problem, it becomes a medium to channel your passion through.
My personality is translated into the work I'm doing right now by being the voice behind each shoot. Giving vision to a fashion magazine demands the use of every trait in my personality. My personality trait of openness to the different expressions of art and fashion, my personality trait of creativity to coming up with ideas to implement, my personality trait of courage and strength to give direction and my personality trait of love to empower the people I work with to become the best versions of themselves by showcasing the best aspects of their work.
ASIDE FROM BEING PASSIONATE, WHAT ARE THREE OTHER PERSONALITY TRAITS THAT DESCRIBE YOURSELF AND HOW SO?
Creative, Strong, and Loving.
I use my personality trait of openness to different expressions of art and fashion, my personality trait of creativity to coming up with ideas to implement, my personality trait of courage and strength to give direction and my personality trait of love to empower the people I work with to become the best versions of themselves by showcasing the best aspects of their work.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES AND GOALS? WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
In 5 years I want Treefort Mag to be the number one content provider for malls, online fashion media, and fashion trends and news in the USA. I want to expand to global clients. I want to turn the Clothing Collective into a non-profit with employees with large annual events. I want to move to California, and I want to pay off my student loans.... haha. So really I should say I want to move to California OR pay off my student loans.
WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE TO ANOTHER YOUNG WOMAN ABOUT PURSUING HER PASSIONS?
Don't be anyone else but you. Don't settle for anything besides the best. Don't let social media define you. Don't look for your identity in your friends, boyfriend, or your body image. You are stronger than you ever thought imaginable. You were put on this earth for a purpose that is DIFFERENT than anyone else around you. Take care of your body and treat it well. If you're going to try hard in any aspect in life make sure that the reason is not for anyone else besides yourself. Your future husband or wife will love you for you no matter what, so don't be afraid to let them in. Partying is mostly boring, repetitive and makes you depressed. If you find yourself envying other girls in your network... Stop, force yourself to genuinely encourage her in what she's doing instead of screenshoting her post and sending it to your bestie to make fun of her. Seriously, it will force you to check your heart, send out positive energy, and will give YOU life. You will accomplish any thing you put your mind to. Being emotional is normal and good for you. It will pass and you will be okay. Set goals, push yourself every day, open your mind to loving the most unlovable, including yourself. You are LOVED, no matter what.
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