The Story Behind The Name: Dirty Hippy Swag
Written By: Kelly Stewart
One look at Marisa Rheem is all it takes to see the creative, driving force behind Dirty Hippy Swag:
the gleam in her eye, the effortless eccentricity of her style. One morning back in 2013, while walking around campus at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Marisa paused and looked out at her peers: a ragtag crew of dusty hippies, gardening in the campus farm. Lit by the morning sun and radiating in sweat, she thought to herself,
“Look at all these dirty hippies working in the fields.
Look at them owning what they do.
They’ve got such dirty hippie swag.”
This was the single moment of clarity that lead to an avalanche of ideas for Dirty Hippy Swag.
In less than a year’s time, she moved from the tranquil deserts of New Mexico to the huge hectic, bustling city: San Francisco. As she struggled to adjust to this new, fast-paced lifestyle, Marisa found her energy depleted. Working full-time in downtown San Francisco with an hour-long commute, she was out of the house for over 55 hours a week and could feel a growing disconnect from her sense of self. Try as she might, she had no energy left for strangers on the sidewalk.
Marisa laughs as she recalls how she blossomed into a “glorious, pessimistic, miserable woman, protected by sarcasm.” In response to the stress, Marisa grew a hardened, city edge, an “I don’t have time for you” mentality. This transition, while exhausting, ultimately led to an invaluable discovery: it is absolutely essential to establish healthy boundaries in order to stay sane.
It is absolutely essential to establish healthy boundaries in order to stay sane.
Marisa expresses this armored disconnect in her fashion line, with necklaces and t-shirts like the “No Time For You” clock and the “No Energy For You” battery. By preserving and nourishing our energy, we are able to harness and channel it for self-care and creative endeavors. Now, Marisa is eager and poised to deliver her message to the world on a number of platforms. What’s next for the young designer? Marisa leans back against the wall and smiles as she contemplates the possibilities. First and foremost in her thoughts is helping to save abused and neglected animals. It’s clear that whatever this bold visionary puts her mind to, she will surely unearth a fountain of exhilarating ideas.
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