Desert and Denim Travel Journal
Co-Founders and Designers Cristina and Megan took Diego the Trailer on the road to Desert and Denim, a festival at the Institute of Mentalphysics in Joshua Tree for entrepreneurs, artisans, and makers to gather, inspire each other, and collaborate.
In our travels, we fell in love with California all over again. The journey there was gorgeous and the sense of freedom ignited the best conversations. We talked about what we love about FREDA (which is the community we are gathering of strong, bad ass women), design ideas, and where we want the company to go. We started concepting and designing PreFall and Fall 19. We were heavily inspired by our ‘perfectly imperfect’ surroundings and started researching Wabi Sabi. We designed shoes that are slightly deconstructed, making them interesting and beautiful.
Our two days at Desert and Denim were magical. To have time to wander and talk to other brands with core values similar to your own. Many of the brands we’ve been fans of for a long time, but to see and hear their passion in person was remarkable. Other brands we discovered for the first time and they left just as big as an impression.
Our Road Trip to Joshua Tree
7:00 am. Left Sausalito. The van and Diego the trailer are packed to the gills as we head out through East Bay/Oakland to the 5, where we blast south for a couple of hours. Get gas and snacks…beef jerky and candy.
12:00 Stop for lunch at Taco Bell (a mutual favorite) and take an interview in the parking lot. Keep on driving.
3:00 Los Angeles traffic is already building, so we get routed through the Mojave desert which is beautiful! So happy about the re-route. Scenery is well worth the extra few minutes in the car. Go through the most amazing little towns and we day dream what it would be like to live there with our families.
4:00 Stop for cold beers. Going to be a long afternoon setting up the trailer at the Institute for Mentalphysics in prep for Desert and Denim
5:00 Pull into our spot! It’s gorgeous…surrounded by a huge flower bush, which hopefully provided some shade…it’s 100!
6:30 Finish setting up our spot and head to our Airbnb, which is literally stuck in time! We had to travel down long dirt roads, winding and turning, and pulled into a 70’s dream house. Nothing had changed. The carpet, the furniture, the records player, the little owl decorations everywhere. It was a serious blast from the past and so perfect.
7:30 Dinner, drinks and love music at The Joshua Tree Saloon. And a little smack talk about basketball, as the Warriors were playing the Cavs. Cris is pro Steph and Megan is pro Lebron
10:00 BED. So tired.
8:00 Run out to local coffee shop and Walmart for food.
10:00 Make an ENORMOUS tray of nachos for brunch.
11:00 Start playing records (The Eagles Hotel California) and start designing PreFall Design, design, design. It’s the best and we wish we could do this all day everyday. Designing in Joshua Tree was super inspiring…things came to us really easily there.
3:00 Start getting ready to head over to Desert and Denim for the vendor day and to hear guest speakers talk about the power of storytelling and staying authentic. “Don’t be scared to start over” was a quote that resonated. Sometimes we try so hard to make something work, exhausting all options…it was such a profound (and simple) message…START OVER. Phew.
4:00 Spent the rest of the afternoon touring the grounds of Desert and Denim, getting to know our neighbors. Discovered unbelievable brands like Crawford denim, Apprvl, Mohinders (actually an old friend) The Crystal Cowgirl, and Willy, a one man shop who makes custom Medicine Hats in the most magical tiny home trailer.
6:00 Book to Pappy’s and Harriet’s in Pioneertown so we get a table. The food, music and ambience is so good and it gets crowed, quickly! More nachos and margaritas happening here.
10:00 Early bed time again
8:00 Bagels and Coffee and get ready for our first open to the public day at D&D
10-6pm At the trailer all day with the Citizens of Humanity girls…we invited them to come along to pop up with jeans. The day was amazing…it was HOT, but so amazing. Tons of people came by and loved hearing about FREDA…who we are, what we believe in as a brand, where we are made etc etc. Pure love fest. It was great.
6:30 Dinner at The Joshua Tree House. Sara and Rich Combs invited us to their house for a BBQ. Was such a blast. There were a lot of new and old friends there so being able to catch up in such a spectacular place was surreal.
8:00 Breakfast on the road as we are rushing out back to The Joshua Tree House. We are photographing Sara Combs and Aleksandra Zee there this morning in Citizens of Humanity denim and FREDA shoes for a blog post. These girls have been friends for a long time, so it was so sweet to see them interact on camera. It was super casual (as we try to keep it always) so lots of coffee, lack of focus, and laughter. Just hanging out.
10-5 Back at the trailer for another day of D&D. Was another amazing day and one of the highlights was the Hawaiian Shave Ice truck. It was so hot, so such a good way to cool off.
5:00 Started our journey north! Drove for a couple of hours and stopped in Bakersfield at a Ramada Inn
8:00 Dinner in Bakersfield…again Nachos. But this time the base were tater tots, not nacho chips. Genius and amazing.
7:00 Up early to get some work done in the hotel lobby. So many emails to catch up on 🙁
11:00 Hit the road
1:00 Taco Bell (of course) for lunch
3:00 The side of Diego literally BLEW off as we were driving…thankfully we had black duct tape. Good as new!