We had the good fortune of connecting with Camille Preymann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Camille, how do you think about risk?
Life is a risk. There’s risk in everything you do and everything you don’t do. I grew up in Europe where we’re brought up to be quite modest. If someone gave me a job opportunity that might involve a skill I didn’t fully possess at that point in time, I would have declined immediately, not believing I would be capable of doing it, but then ending up regretting my decision and wondering what could have happened and how it could have impacted my life if I had said yes. I used to dwell in my comfort zone, where I was not at risk of having my ego crushed or potentially having to disappoint the people I made a commitment to. But the comfort zone isn’t the zone in which I learnt. It was in discomfort, when I failed, fell, fought and suffered that I evolved, learnt and grew to be more resilient. You could spend your whole life improving your skillset or expanding your knowledge but the truth is you’ll never be ready for that job because the potential space for generation of new knowledge is effectively infinite and so is the room for improvement. Today I have a different approach to risk taking. Being asked the same question now, I would take on the challenge. I’d be completely stressed out, most likely anxious and under pressure but I would learn fast because I would hate to disappoint myself or the people to whom I had made a promise, and I’d be very excited to meet the improved version of myself on the other side. Adopting some of that shameless LA “Fake it til you make it” mentality can be very helpful in ones’ career. It can act as a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’m still quite modest because that’s in my DNA but LA has taught me to be a little more brave. I learnt that it’s okay to see life more as an experiment. Pressure works like a miracle and when your heart’s in it, working towards something night and day feels like building a treehouse as a child. You just don’t wanna go home. If you like your comfort zone a little too much, try surrounding yourself with people that will push you into the wild waters. You’ll have to learn how to swim, or else you’ll drown. When something excites you, don’t wait for it. Make a commitment, challenge yourself, tell others that’s what you’re doing. Its a manifestation. Also, you’d sound like a total dick if you didn’t live up to your own stories!
What should our readers know about your business?
“Try to see life like a game. Don’t try to win, try just to play.” This is one of the many lessons I have learned along the way and constantly have to remind myself of. I tend to exhaust myself, stubbornly working until my brain is fried, when it comes to subjects like decision-making and finding alternative ways in order to not to have to make compromises in the field of sustainability, which is one of my biggest challenges. Lots of certified organic textiles and fabrics made from by-product are new to the market and haven’t been tested properly. This can be a huge financial strain for a small business like mine. This brings me to the biggest and most obvious challenge of all, and I believe I speak for all small businesses: “funding”. It would have been a lot easier if had raised investment but I wasn’t ready to have my creative vision enslaved as I feared I might and haven’t come across the right people to take on that role. Starting with a very small budget was rather frustrating at times. I’m a small business owner, producing locally, on a small scale, using expensive, often organic certified and plant dyed textiles. My production costs are therefore accordingly high. I’m trying hard not to make any compromises in sustainability. Instead I chose to compromise my time. I could’t afford to hire employees or contractors in the beginning so I had to teach myself a lot of those skills. I didn’t have a cutting table so I built one. I forgot how to make patterns and how to sew so I taught myself again, I couldn’t afford a photographer, a videographer or an editor, so I learnt and so on. Working with limited resources makes you come up with a lot of creative solutions. I’m busy creating nonstop, but I switch it up so much that I never get bored of one thing even if I work on something all night – as they say a change is as good as a break! This is how I stay excited.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Some of my favourite things to do in LA include: Malibu farms (Their cafe at the end of the pier has the best locally grown veggies). If I had my family or a group of people in town, I’d take them to the Malibu cafe at Calamigos Ranch for afternoon weekend games and drinks. (Best for hangovers) I love taco night at TLC in Topanga (sometimes they have life music too), and who doesn’t love Gjusta in Venice. I’d probably take them The old place for dinner so they be transported into a western film. I’d also force them to eat my favourite goat cheese and lavender ice cream at Salt and straw on Abbott Kinney (even if they hate it, cause its sooooooo good). Another one of my favourite spots on the westside is Cholada on PCH, a yummie Thai restaurant. You can walk across the road and have it on the beach while watching the moon rise above the city lights. For some action I would take them to the Marina to rent jetskis and go looking for dolphins, go surfing in Malibu, hiking and cave exploring at Eagle rock in Topanga Canyon, skating or cycling down the the boardwalk in Venice. I’d also take them on a trip to Pyramid lake to go quad biking and wake boarding. If they’re into markets, I’d take them to the Rose-bowl and Trading post. Hidden treasures in Topanga is a must see for vintage and festival clothing, we’d have brunch and go shopping on Abbott Kinney and obviously I’d take them to Moona Star Collective in Topanga Canyon. My clubbing days are over so I’d probably just take them to a house party, perhaps organise one myself. Or I’d take them to my LA “family” Scott and Julia who founded the Saga supper club and always throw fun parties on the westside and Joshua tree.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
If it wasn’t for Charlie who introduced me to Dawn, who introduced me to Liz who introduced me to Juliet who introduced me to Monica who welcomed me into Moona Star Collective, I wouldn’t be where I was today. If my parents wouldn’t have been so laissez faire with my upbringing, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Thanks to all the wonderful people who have helped me become the person I am today.
Summit Jaffe and Camille Preymann