Those who wander are not lost... breathing through moment to moment like a well paced melody, recognizing new places in their soul every step of the way. Travel photographer, illustrator, and lover of pretty things, Emily Faulstich wanders with a delicate eye, using her world as her canvas and sharing those moments through her work in photography and design; the way she sees it, the magic she extracts from it.
Emily has had a fruitful journey as one of the original creators of Wildfox, yet her fashion fame does not precede her, in my opinion she is just getting started and settling into a life all her own. Her photographs and blog, Hawaiian Coconut,capture the ordinary and extraordinary as if they were one and in the same, the result of her wanderlust spirit. She shares our true and unwavering belief in magic and a profound understanding that you can create the life that you want, it starts in your imagination - for all of these reasons and so many more, we are over-the-moon to have Emily as this week’s Girl Crush.
How have you been able to create a life of travel? What has been your favourite place to explore and can you share a few hidden gems?
I started traveling with my family as a child and it instilled a restlessness in me of the love of exploring new places. I always love seeing a place I've never been to- experiencing the people, food, the landscapes and their passions. My favorite places so far are : Notting Hill in London, wandering the Marais district of Paris, the Saronic islands in Greece (Spetses especially), biking around the sleepy seaside town of Montauk, swimming in the Bahamas, the smell of plumerias and coconut ice cream in Hawaii, Babylonstoren wine farm in Stellenbosch South Africa.
We love your blog Hawaiian Coconut. What cameras and lenses do you use for your photos and how would you describe your photography style?
Thank you so much! I use a Canon 5D , with a few lenses that I rely on- the 50mm 1:2 is my favorite.
My photography style is finding beautiful things wherever I am- small or big. The smallest things can be the most beautiful- details on a building, a font on a pencil, pink petals on hibiscus, etc. I find it helpful in life to focus on appreciating little moments of every day life, and my photography hopefully reflects that.
In many of your photos you take the seemingly ordinary and make it look extraordinary. How do you capture those beautiful moments? What does an extraordinary life mean to you?
That's so nice of you! I love post production in photography so I edit my photos to enhance them, not drastically but I love making anything more beautiful in any way. I capture moments by carrying my camera most everywhere, and not being afraid to photograph something seemingly mundane, or shy to photograph a person I find interesting. An extraordinary life to me means cultivating beauty and choosing the life you want every day. You can make your life whatever you want it to be by focusing on things you're grateful for , and imagining and living like you already have what you want.
What inspired you to co-create Wildfox? How was the aesthetic created and why do you think it resonates so distinctly in the fashion industry?
I felt there was a huge gap in the graphic tee market at the time, 2007. I would try and find soft and worn in tees with simple graphics but never would be able to find exactly what I wanted. We created soft and flattering t-shirts that we wanted to wear, and luckily other people wanted to wear them to!! It resonated because other people were also looking for what was missing, and we provided something new - and especially cozy.
After leaving Wildfox you collaborated with fashion brand Oh My Love and I read you are now creating your own fashion line. What can people look forward to in your collection?
That was a fun collaboration. I love London and had a great time out there photographing the line and was really happy with how it turned out. My illustration style developed during the 2 year period when I wasn't allowed to work in fashion after I sold out of Wildfox in 2013. I started drawing a lot and Oh My Love noticed my work on Instagram and it just went from there! I loved the naughty theme of the piece and the freedom to do something sexy and adult.
What is your travel love story?
Jumping off a yacht into the Aegean Sea at 9am, swimming in the warm summer sea, climbing back onto the boat soaked in salt , drinking tea in the sun, eating sweet tomatoes and tzatziki for lunch on the top deck, letting my hair air dry in the breeze as the boat sailed to our next island, and falling in love with the nighttime in Greece; the people, the warm wind, the magical history and landscape.
You chose cultivating a relationship over a career that you loved. What did you learn from that decision and how has it shaped the woman you are today
It was at the time a really emotionally difficult decision and a hard time for me. I wasn't allowed to talk about why I left and it was really awful for me to leave the company I built from scratch. It had been my life- and then I met someone I wanted to build a life with- and it turned out I had to choose between them unfortunately. But retrospectively it was one of the best things that's ever happened to me- and I felt a wonderful freedom and happiness I had forgotten. I am looking forward to moving on. I am still proud of Wildfox of course, and am grateful for what I learned and my work there, and will use it as a stepping stone onto greater things now. It taught me that I should listen to my body and my heart. Cliche as it sounds.... :)
One thing you cannot live without? Perrier . Addicted. Real classy....
Your spirit animal? A sleepy little otter in a tiny sweater.
A moment you will always cherish? Childhood- remembering the feeling of having so much time ahead of me. Also- eloping in the Bahamas and being married barefoot in the sand, running through palm groves in the rain afterwards in my Mom's wedding dress was pretty awesome.
Your life seems quite magical. What does magic mean to you?
Making your own magic is important to me. I read a lot of things to strengthen my imagination. Magic is real to me, I believe in it, like a little kid. I love Disneyland and fairy tales, musicals and dance numbers. Magic is whatever makes you feel tingly all over, kissing, helping others, being kind to animals, playing with your dog, calling your Grandma, making something exist that was once just an idea... happy things are magic.