Interview | Walk Around the Block with Erin Perez Hagstrom

Erin grew up in Redlands, California and returned to raise her children there. Here they take a walk with their Peli stroller by Joowaa.

Erin Perez Hagstrom is one of those people who has that magical quality of being both supremely cool and totally down to earth at the same time. She's a style blogger / vintage shop owner / mother of two living in her SoCal hometown, with a beautifully curated Instagram feed. When we met up with her recently to take photos, video, and ask her some questions for our Walk Around the Block series, Erin's quick smile and easygoing vibe put everyone at ease instantly. We want to wear what she's wearing and be BFFS, too. 

I Knew That I Loved Clothes

I was that kid who was always playing dress up and going to thrift stores and estate sales trying to find unique clothing. Obviously, since I was a teenager, I didn't have a ton of money to spend, but I knew that I loved clothes. I was heavily inspired by vintage films, by music that I was listening to at the time—punk and emo. I was drawing all these different references and going to thrift stores to find unique looks. And that turned into a business selling vintage clothes.

Around that same time, I discovered that people were going online and writing blogs. I decided to give it a shot and it turned into my full time career. From there, it also turned into an opportunity to work within the fashion industry. I hadn't even considered doing such a thing, but a brand approached me and offered me a job. I didn't study fashion in school. I was actually still in college at the time. But I just went ahead and did it, made the leap. I was working in Content and Digital Media, creating videos and editorial content for fashion brands.

I did that for a number of years, but obviously things changed when I had my kids. I knew that I still had my fashion blog, so I decided to go independent again. It meant I could be at home and do the creative work that I loved while also raising my two kids.

Erin Perez Hagstrom playing and laughing with her kids at home.

The World Through His Eyes

My son, Adam, is four and a half, and my daughter Edith, is a little over two.

Adam is our old soul. He's almost like a little man. He can be very serious. My daughter, Edith, is almost the complete opposite. She's our wild child. She likes to roll in the dirt. She pours sand onto her hair, and she's very much into experiencing things. So it's kind of fun to have polar opposites, almost, between the two of them. They're a fun little foil for one another.

I didn't have this glamorous notion of what it would be like to have children,  and I think that saved me some of the grief when I first brought them home. But I also didn't anticipate how special the bond is that you have with your children. As my son gets older, we can sit and have conversations, and it's just so special to be able to hear him talk and look at the world through his eyes. He's such a sweet little kid. It makes me feel really good that I have him in my life.

A Fine Little Day Apple Papple print hangs in the bedroom of Erin Perez Hagstrom's children.

Erin Perez Hagstrom and her daughter Edith share a fun moment while getting Edie into her Joowaa Peli stroller.

Thought Behind the Design

I'm a very visual person, so when I'm looking for products for the kids, I want it to look good. If I'm gonna have it in my house, my kids are gonna be playing with it, I want it to all be a part of this environment that I've created. And I want it to feel good. I don't like the house to be cluttered with things I don’t love. I like to create a serene environment, and that extends into the products that we buy for the kids. Things that are functional, but are also clean and simple to use.

Maybe I shouldn't tell you this, but while on a family trip we just ran to the store and bought this cheap folding umbrella stroller thing, thinking that it would be helpful. It was a nightmare. I couldn't open or close it, and when I hit a bump, my daughter actually leaned forward and hit her head. It made me realize how important it is to have a smoothly functioning stroller where the pieces snap into place. You can clean it easily. And that there's been some thought behind the design. Something that is comfortable for the kids, but is also comfortable for me and my partner. So that was a moment that made me realize, a stroller is NOT something where you run to the store and buy the first thing you see. You really do need to be thoughtful with what you're looking for.

Erin Perez Hagstrom, vintage boutique owner, fashion stylist, mother of two. Peli stroller by Joowaa in Agave (green).

Godard Films & Georgia O'Keefe

I have a soft spot for the '60s. I was really obsessed with French New Wave, so obviously I was watching Godard films and trying to be one of those girls. I think I'll probably always be influenced by that in some way. It might look different over time. When I was younger, I would literally dress like that, almost like a costume. Now I still enjoy borrowing from that time period, for sure.

And even though I've always loved the 1960s for fashion, when I was in high school I got a coffee table book with pictures of Georgia O'Keeffe at her ranch in New Mexico. That's always been sitting in there as a strong influence. I love that she has a work wear aesthetic going on, with the whole desert vibe—living near the desert is obviously something I can relate to. She's also very artsy—I think a lot of her style creeps into mine.

California Spanish architecture surrounds Erin and her family as they take a walk with the Peli stroller.

a walkable neighborhood

I grew up in Redlands. When I was growing up I absolutely hated it, as most teenagers do. But moving back here as an adult, I can really appreciate the history that's here. It's an old city. There are a lot of historic buildings, particularly in the downtown area.

One of the reasons that we bought this house was because it's so close to the downtown area. It's really important for us to be able to just grab the stroller, walk down the street, we can go the grocery store, we can go to a coffee shop, there's an independent toy store that we take the kids to, and I just really love living in a walkable neighborhood, even in the suburbs.

Erin Perez Hagstrom at her favorite local coffee shop in Redlands, CA.

Downtown historic Redlands, California with Erin Perez Hagstrom and Joowaa.

I Can't Imagine Living Anywhere Else

I love California. I actually have a California tattoo. It's a really beautiful and unique place.

The weather is amazing most of the year. We have really hot summers, but the rest of the year is just perfect. It's so temperatewe can spend a lot of time outdoors which is important to us as a family.

Everyone always says the same line about how you can go to the beach, and you can go to the desert, and you can drive up to the mountains—it's all within an hour's drive. And that's very true. I really enjoy being able to wake up in the morning, and say, "Hey let's drive up to the mountains." We can drive out to LA and go to the art museums, which I really love being able to do. Or we can high-tail it out to the desert and climb rocks in Joshua Tree. I love being in the middle of all of that, and I can't imagine living anywhere else.

Erin is using the Peli stroller in Agave. 

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