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Women Making History: Tara Martins


Photo by Jason McDonald

Tara Martins rides a motorcycle, once owned a scrunchie business (vintage chic), and will beat you at Texas Hold ‘em.  She’s also the US General Manager for Aussie bag brand Crumpler. In 2003, Tara had a chance encounter with the owners and pitched them the idea that she could start their business in the US. Since then, Tara has personally overseen the design, installation, and opening of multiple retail locations, a shipping warehouse, and a US headquarters office.  She’s also an avid bike rider who’s somehow found time to bike the 550 miles from San Francisco to LA and dip into the Tour de France. This summer, Tara will ride her bike 300 miles across Zambia for charity. We got to talk with her about her work-adventure balance. Check it out!

 

Photo by Mike Vorrasi

What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?
Madonna for performing the super bowl at the age of 53.
How did you get your start at Crumpler?
A metal cash box and a red hard cover notebook.
In 2002 I met Crumpler owners, Dave Roper & Will Miller, through an Australian friend. They were in NY with the intention of opening Crumpler’s first US retail store, and asked me to help them do it. I agreed. Shortly after opening the store they had to return to Australia and handed me the keys, a metal box to collect cash, and a notebook to record the sales. There was a lot of “on the job” training and me just figuring it out one day at a time. Our first store is still in the same location, although these days we use computers and modern technology to run things.
What’s your favorite part about working for Crumpler?
Our people. This group is chock-full of the most talented and interesting people I’ve had the chance to meet.
You’ve done quite a bit of traveling and bike/motorcycle riding.  How have these experiences influenced your work at Crumpler?
I’m addicted to learning, but I have to be active and challenged during the process. Many of my experiences derive from a desire to step out of my comfort zone and participate, as opposed to being a spectator.  The same goes for my work at Crumpler, I’m very hands-on with every aspect of the business, and love a good challenge.
How do you balance work with your personal adventures?
I check my email about 400 times a day, so the answer would be modern technology, which allows me to communicate from anywhere. Well almost anywhere, I’m headed to Africa in June for a charity bicycle ride across Zambia (www.bikezambia.org). I’ll have to quit email checking cold turkey during that ride.
Who do you want to see Crumpler work with?
Ace hotel. Their spaces are brilliantly curated and we share the same love for intricate attention to detail.
What part of being the US General Manager for Crumpler is the most challenging and do you dislike the most?
I just recently had to go through the hiring process and ended up reading a total of 240 resumes and interviewing 30 people.  I’m not sure anyone likes reading piles of resumes, and interviews are often so contrived, it becomes a game of reading between the lines.
Any advice for ladies who are just starting out in a career path in the fashion industry?
“You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar.”
Check out Crumpler.com

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One Response to “Women Making History: Tara Martins”

  1. Jesse Gillingham says:

    on top of all that she is a rad boss! way to go Tara!

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