We are so excited to introduce our first of many interviews with ladies who inspire us to take on the world every single day! We’re not profiling celebrities, we’re talking to everyday women who have beautiful and powerful stories. These women stand up for what they believe in and aren’t afraid to stand out from the crowd. In short, they’re serious TAMGA babes!
We are kicking it off the series with the dazzling Melissa Crouch. Three words to describe this beauty - strength, beauty, and perseverance. Scroll down to read the full interview and photos of Melissa rocking the Novi jumpsuit and Tika top!
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
My name is Melissa. I grew up in the Joshua Tree desert. It was an interesting place to live throughout my adolescent years, and I will say that I probably didn’t appreciate this place as much as I do now as an adult. Joshua Tree rooted me in a way that will never leave me. I’m happy that I got to grow up in a slow paced environment where I had to really use my imagination and learn to appreciate silence. As of right now, I’m 24 and living in San Diego with my baby boy. He’s five years old, and just the cutest little boy ever! I’m in grad school at SDSU and I’m living out my dream job. I teach public speaking to freshman in college. I also model on the side. Lately I’ve been interested in all sorts of crafts. I’ve been taking up photography and jewelry making (soldering). I’m a busy momma!
How did you get into modeling?
After I had my son, I went through a depression and my self-esteem plummeted. I went through a unique situation and was left to take care of my son on my own. I began to see a couple of my friends modeling (nothing big time), but I was so curious how they did it. They told me to write every photographer that I could and just start shooting and networking. I did, and immediately fell in love with the people I was able to meet and the experiences it gave me. I was getting out of the house, people wanted to photograph me, and I was slowly getting my confidence back. Once I realized that I could begin making money, I put myself out there and started modeling as a part time job. That was an amazing realization for me because I could choose my own hours, which worked perfectly for my son and I. Modeling is not a priority of mine, but I love it and will probably always do it on the side. (I will say for young girls that it’s important to be safe and only shoot with people that you or your friends know. Never go anywhere alone with any strangers). Just a safety tip!
How would you describe your style?
I feel like it’s always changing in subtle ways, but I’ve always had a bohemian look, or at least really loved that style. I also really love wearing vintage jeans and a tee without a bra. Anything that is comfortable and simple is great. Tribal patterns are beautiful too! I’ve noticed that I have a lot of floral patterns in my closet.
How is sustainable fashion important to you?
I think we all need to be using products and supporting brands that choose to take a stand for what is right. Using alternative/sustainable products will benefit the future of our people and children is the way to go. A company that cares about animals, humans, and the world is so unique and hard to find these days. TAMGA has a vision beyond money making. I also love that TAMGA designs supports and encourages women. We need more of that! I think about my imprint on the world all the time. There’s an overwhelming amount of guilt that I experience because sometimes I feel like I’m not doing everything I can. When I wear TAMGA clothing, I don’t have to feel that way. Plus, I love that their fabric is so natural and soft. Everyone comments on my TAMGA clothes and asks if it's silk!
Your Instagram page is gorgeous! Do you consider it a creative outlet for yourself?
Oh absolutely. I have a hard time with Instagram, though. Sometimes I try and take a break from it, or change up my writing. When you want to gain followers, there is a specific way to do so: always post (good) photos, have a lively spirit and be consistent. It can be hard and get really superficial to me. This is why I recently started my blog. I’m always trying to be better for myself and my followers. I’m not saying Instagram is bad or anything, I just always want to be real and sometimes I feel like a space like Instagram can be limiting. Writing is my creative outlet!
You’re obviously a nature gal - what’s your favorite thing to do outdoors?
Definitely camping and hiking, I love to be in the wilderness, with no internet and phone reception. This is especially great when you have a group of friends or family. Bonfires, football, hiking, all the good stuff! I love taking my son camping. He is always so excited to be in the tent!
What are 3 things you can’t live without?
Water, food, and sleep? Haha kidding. My conventional self would say…
1.Chapstick (I will literally stop and buy it at the store if it’s not in my purse or pocket.
I know I sound crazy!
3. Friends and family… connection.
What has motherhood taught you?
A LOT! I would say that patience and selflessness have been two big lessons I have learned in motherhood. Most of all, I have learned to slow down and enjoy the small moments. Those are the moments that matter. Reading books to my son at night, sipping on smoothies, riding bikes, kiss attacks. Those are the things that shape our lives and make for colorful days. I think you begin to see how fragile life is and realize that it doesn’t revolve around you. You are meant to help others grow just as much as yourself.
You recently started a blog - what can we expect to see on it?
I want to give substance to people and hopefully inspire others. This is what I am aiming for!➳I nspirational stories
➳ Travel diaries
➳ Fashion blogging
➳ Personal stories
➳ Health tips
While I love both (and get complimented on both) my favorite has to be the Novi Jumpsuit. I have to say, this piece surprised me! When I first got it, I couldn’t tell if it was a dress or jumpsuit. Once I tried it on, I realized that it was a jumpsuit that had a high slit up the leg. Oh my goodness does that jumpsuit feel like satin and make me feel sexy! The amazing part about it is how soft and comfortable it is, and I feel like I can wear it out to anything, anywhere. I actually wore it for this past Easter. I got so many compliments. It was also amazing for my road trip out to the Valley of Fire in Nevada. Wearing it during the car ride was cozy, but I still felt beautiful when I stepped out of the car wearing it. A favorite piece of mine!
Big thanks to Melissa for the wonderful interview and stunning photos! Be sure to check back to learn more about TAMGA babes around the world.
GET MELISSA'S LOOK!