Name: Areta Szpura
Occupation: Co-founder & Creative Director for LOCAL HEROES
Hometown: Warsaw, Poland
Current City: LA
1) Tell us a little about how you got started with Local Heroes---- we hear you are the ultimate hustler!
I started the company two years ago with my friend Karolina just for fun. She was a huge Justin Bieber fan and out of boredom found his address on Google Maps (#stalker, #creepy) so we sent him a t-shirt & sweatshirt that said “DOING REAL STUFF SUCKS” (my life motto and title of my blog). One day we had gotten back from a party and checked my inbox at 4 a.m. and somebody had sent me a link to JustJared that said “Justin Bieber Doing Real Stuff Sucks.” Suddenly, people from all around the world wanted this t-shirt and we had to figure out what to do!
Then we did the same with Rihanna. And it worked! Instead of hiring a PR agency (we didn’t have money for that anyway) we just did everything our own crazy way. But it paid off! You don’t have to follow the rules all the time. Sometimes it’s good to make your own and do what you really want to do. We always knew we didn’t want to have a standard 9-to-5 job so I’m very grateful that it all worked out so perfectly. Having your own business is hard, because you are responsible and have to make all the decisions yourself but at the same time it’s the most rewarding thing ever. Experience is the most important thing you can get, so every time somebody would ask me for advice I would say - just do it, try. I’d rather regret something that I did than didn’t.
2) What’s it like running an international street wear brand based in Poland?
We love Poland and we try to manufacture as much stuff possible down there to support our local industry. But there’s not that much going on there so we spend a lot of time online, living our lives on Tumblr and Instagram and focus a lot on our work. It wouldn’t be so easy if we were living in Venice Beach
3) What has been your most surreal moment thus far?
Probably hanging out with Rihanna on her little private beach when she came to Poland last summer. But also, just everyday when I wake up and start working I remind myself how lucky I am to be able to do what I really love and follow my dreams.
4) What’s next?
We really want Local Heroes to go global and become Worldwide Heroes! We want to grow and spread the good vibe around the world. Our dream is to move our HQ to LA one day, just because we love it there.
5) Anything else we should know about you?
Steal all the LOCAL HEROES swag at NYLONshop