by Crista Grasso June 28, 2017

Up next in our Summer Interview Series is New Crop.  When I first discovered them on Instagram, I instantly fell in love with their brand. Their beautiful caftans, especially their red serape caftan, reminds me so much of Rendezvous - the primitive camping event that had so much influence on the Criscara brand and that inspired our Rendezvous jewelry collection.  

I love New Crop's approach to slow fashion and creating high quality heirloom pieces. Each piece they design feels like the perfect blend of vintage and timeless.  Definitely individual works of art!

I hope you enjoy learning more about their brand and their story.    XO, Crista

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An Interview with Charmie Stryker, New Crop Founder and Designer

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Tell us about New Crop.

New Crop is a harmony of design and culture. We believe in wearable art and slow fashion. Our goal is to design limited, one of a kind, heirloom dresses that our customers can cherish for a lifetime and pass it down for many generations to come.

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Your Woodstock Caftans are amazing!! What was the inspiration for your designs? 

Our Woodstock Caftans is New Crop Shop’s heart center. To us, it represents counter culture, evoking a spirit of travel, both through time and space.


This was actually inspired when I got engaged! I knew I wanted something feminine, vibrant, playful, and a work of art. This was also the time we just arrived to the U.S. so immediately started looking into partnering with artisans in Mexico.


 

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Tell us about the person who loves New Crop. What are a few words that describe their style and vibe?

Our customers are our muses. From artists, to musicians, and creatives of all kinds, they inspire us to stay true to the art form of the creative process. The dresses become fully alive once they are in our muses’ hands. Their self expression and appreciation is every bit of the creative process in our pieces.

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Tell us about you.

This question is always hard to answer b/c I definitely practice being a jane of all trades and a master at none - I’m definitely a true Gemini!

I come from humble beginnings being raised in the province of the Philippines by my lola (grandmother) and moving to Los Angeles when I was 7 years old. Soon after my family moved to a very small town in TN in the Appalachian Mountains.

What you hear about country folks being friendly is so true. Barely knowing how to speak English- everyone was so friendly, curious and welcoming! I will always cherish my time here! This is also were I met my partner Aaron who is also a pacific islander from Palau. We always joke that why our families ended up in a random small town was we were meant to meet.

We both have always dreamed of moving to California. San Francisco to be exact. We took a lot of pit stops along the way, such as living in Austin TX, and living abroad for 2 years before we finally felt the courage to take the plunge and move there. It was very intimidating at first, but now were happy to call San Francisco home with our little yorkie Gonzo!

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What was your inspiration to start New Crop?

The inspiration to start New Crop started in Austin in 2013- but I was stuck as to what or who New Crop should be. I knew I wanted a creative outlet, and more fulfilling work than my current 9-5 job, but just didn’t know what.

It was later that year, when we quit our full time jobs and decided to book a one way ticket to Thailand that New Crop left the drawing pad to its early stages of what it is now.

Leaving the states, and leaving our jobs, leaving our default world and stepping out of our default path changed the way we looked at how we spent our time, our creative energy, our money, everything!

I started volunteering as a teacher for an indigenous village in the mountainsides of Thailand. It was the first time I have seen clothing made outside of the US. I learned about different kinds of embroidery, learned about their ways of weaving, and learned their traditional batik techniques.

This is when I began partnering with artisans to create pieces for New Crop. These early stages is where a lot of learning happened. I will always come back here to re-connect with that gratitude and inspiration. As I write this- I am actually in Thailand right now =)

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What is your proudest accomplishment to date?

To me, I feel my proudest accomplishment is having the creative freedom to work and travel. Its not always fun, or easy - in fact, I work a lot harder and a lot more hours now that I’ve ever had. Work and life definitely coexists together in my day to day.


I love having the flexibility of spending a few months at a time in a different country to work on a project or a line, on the other hand this means I never really take a “vacation”. I’m constantly sketching, journaling, photographing, imagining different ways to weave in experiences, lessons, and inspiration into how I approach New Crop.
 

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Any fun facts we should know about you?

I can’t decide on what I want to be when I grow up! Aside from running New Crop, I am also a yoga teacher, a graphic designer, and about to be a home owner to a little humble abode in Joshua Tree! Me and my partner wanted to collaborate on a new creative project- looks like these next few months we will learn a lot about renovating and interior design. We have no idea what were doing and we have a very limited budget- but we couldn’t be more excited to try!

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Any favorite types of jewelry you just can't live without?

I got a turquoise and brass ring made and I haven’t taken it off since!

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So, what's coming up next for New Crop that you are most excited about?

We are planning to call Mexico our 2nd home!! We couldn’t be more excited about living in Mexico for part of the year and collaborating side by side with our team. Oh and yes, Mexican food and culture is a big plus! I’m getting giddy just thinking about it!

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Where can people find your products?

 

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Photo Credit: New Crop


✧ ✧ ✧  Shop Rendezvous Jewelry  ✧ ✧ ✧

Crista Grasso
Crista Grasso


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