Weekly updates from BLDG 25

employee profile – Malea

Name: Malea
How long have you worked for Free People?
2 Years
Please tell us about your job.
I am the Store Manager at store the Suburban Square store in Ardmore, PA. I love the atmosphere. I work with the most amazing group of girls and have met some of my closest friends through FP. I love styling up our customers! It’s a great feeling knowing you helped a person find that perfect outfit they are going to look and feel awesome in!!!
What do you like best about working for FP?
Kickin it with my girls in my heady little store! :)
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I do a lot of Yoga. Spend time with family and friends. Go out to different little restaurants around the city. When I can get a few days, I love taking road trips to go see live music and dance the night away! :)
Please tell us about some of your favorite things!
I love the small boutiques around Philly; my favorite is a small conscious clothing boutique in Queen Village called Revelations. They carry some great brands, super cute and comfy, and the people that work there are really chill. And they carry Free People!!!
I’d have to say my favorite movie is Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken. It’s about a girl who runs away to follow her dream to be a horse diver. She overcomes all the hardships life decides to throw at her. Really it’s just a heartfelt good old-fashioned movie that I used to watch as a little girl, because I was obsessed with horses. I recently re-discovered it and it’s just as good as I remembered!!!
Oh and of course Almost Famous…gotta love it!!!
I love Colorado!!! I was born and have family out there. I love to visit, but I never seem to get out there enough. It is such a beautiful state- fresh air, mountains, trees, hiking and SNOWBOARDING!!!! I love to snowboard! The best feeling is standing on top of the Rockies, taking in a big breath of fresh mountain air, looking down at an untouched run of powder you’re about to shred…. and then shredding it!!!
I love discovering new music!!! I actually get a lot from our store mixes. Like I said above, I love going to live shows. I have met so many amazing people going to see music throughout the years, and I love to go to visit them whenever a favorite band is playing in their area!
My favorites to see live are The Disco Biscuits, Brothers Past, Lotus, Sound Tribe, The New Deal… really anyone who can make me dance.
I love everything though, from Madonna, Erykah Badu, Zap Mamma, The Blow, Brazilian Girls, Feist, Laurnen Hill… To old school rap like A Tribe Called Quest, Fugees, Outcast, Gangstarr, Bone, TuPac, Biggie, Jay-Z, Snoop. Classic hippie stuff like The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, the Doors (I have the same birthday as Jim Morrison!) I’m really into down tempo electronic stuff like Kruder and Dorfmeister, Theviory Corporation, Shpongle, The Bays, Air, Bonobo, Explosions In The Sky. Also some Indie bands, Postal Service, Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem, Of Montreal, Architecture in Helsinki. Of course reggae, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Easy Star Allstars, Matisyahu, Dub Specialist, Israel Vibrations… I could go on and on but you get the idea… I’m obsessed with music!!!
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I just wanted to be able to ride horses all day, every day. Now it’s evolved into riding horses and doing yoga!!!
What inspires you?
More like who…My dad!!! He is the most caring, funny, intelligent, supportive, kind hearted, hard working, understanding, genuine, and just AMAZING guy ever… he inspires, motivates and supports me! I just hope one day I can be as much to someone as he is to me.
Is there a current trend you wish would go away?
What isn’t right for one person may be perfect for someone else! If you love it rock it!!! Who cares what anyone else thinks! :)
Is there a current trend you wish would stay forever?
Tie-dye will never die!!!
What superpower would you most like to have?
Funny you should ask, because we were just discussing who everyone in our store would be if we were to be super heroes. Then my MIT Jamie drew me a little character… check it out!!!

What do you like best about where you live?
I just moved into an amazing little apartment in an up-and-coming area in Philadelphia- Fishtown. I love coming home at the end of a night, sitting on my couch, looking out the window at the skyline or up at the stars through my skylight, listening to some chill music, eating dove chocolate caramels… just taking a little time to myself. :)
What are some of your favorite places to hang out?
The farmer’s market is my favorite place to go on my break. It’s right up the block from the store and you can get anything from fresh produce to pastries to Chinese and sushi, coffee, candy, these little hotdogs wrapped in pretzels, a.k.a. smokey cheesers… a store favorite (among the non-vegetarians) along with the chocolate covered strawberries. (vegetarian friendly) :)
Have you any favorite places to travel?
I studied at the London College of Fashion for a semester back in school and loved it! I traveled to Paris, Ireland, Rome, and Amsterdam. It was amazing. If could travel anywhere though, I would have to say the moon… I would love to see the world from up there. It would certainly put into perspective how insignificant we are in the whole grand scheme of things. Just thinking about it makes me appreciate how beautiful life is and how lucky we are… also floating around weightless would be saweeeeet!!!!
We heard that you really love Yoga! Tell us more!
What type of yoga do you practice?
I do Bikram Yoga. It’s a type of Hatha Yoga, a series of 26 postures including 2 breathing exercises, over the span of 90 minutes, in a room heated from 90-105 degrees. It’s amazing, unlike any other type of exercise. You leave feeling more energetic, confident, positive, motivated and with more strength to deal with anything your day decides to throw at you.
Where do you practice?
I practice at Bikram’s Yoga College of India, located at 1520 Sansom St in Center City Philadelphia. It’s an amazing studio with caring, dedicated, motivating instructors and students!!! If you can, check it out! It’s only $20 for your first week and you can go as many times as you want!!!
What is your favorite yoga position?
It’s so hard to pick a favorite- I love them all for different reasons. If I had to choose one I would say Dandayamana-Dhanurasana, or Standing Bow Pulling Pose. It’s a lot of fun once you get your balance and start kicking your foot higher then you ever imagined you could. It’s extremely challenging to keep your balance while focusing on staying in alignment, deepening into the posture and holding it for a minute. It’s really an inner struggle with your mind, telling yourself you can do it and not getting too frustrated when you fall out. In this practice you constantly want to push your edge- it helps develop concentration, patience, and determination while firming the abs, upper thighs, upper arms, hips and buttocks. It also increases the size and elasticity of the rib cage and lungs and improves the flexibility and strength of the lower spine and most of the body’s muscles.
Another favorite is The Toe Stand. I won’t go into as much detail, but basically I like the mental challenge of the balancing series. It has taught me to accept where I am in my practice and in life. Some days you can balance all day long others hardly for a second. Accepting that, letting it go and giving it another shot tomorrow is when you’re really doing yoga/living.
What position kicks your butt?
OMG! Tuladandasana or Balancing Stick has been kicking my butt lately. It may not look like much but to do it right is ridiculously difficult. There are so many things to be concentrating on all at once. Standing on one leg while trying to get the stretch where you know you should be. Look forward, chin up, hip down, point your toe, heel out, reach your arms, and squeeze your palms. It seems once you get one aspect you loose another so this is definitely my personal posture of perseverance, for now. It strengthens the heart muscles and gets your heart rate going!!!
Trikanasana, triangle pose, is what’s up in the butt-kicking poses!!! Straight from Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class book “the only posture in the world that improves every muscle, joint, tendon, and internal organ in the body. At the same time, it revitalizes nerves, veins, and tissues. It helps cure lumbago and rheumatism of the lower spine by flexing and strengthening the last five vertebrae, and it improves crooked spines. This is the most important pose to increase the strength and flexibility of the hip joint and of the muscles of the side of the torso. It also firms upper thighs and hips, slims the waistline, and improves the deltoids, trapezius, scapula, and latissimus muscles.” Basically, it’s awesome!!!
What are the benefits of your yoga practice?
The benefits of Bikram’s Yoga are tremendous!!! Each and every pose is scientifically thought out and strategically placed within the series to improve your entire body inside and out, fingertips to toes, bones to skin, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Get a copy of Bikram’s Beginning Yoga Class by Bikram Choudhury for a guide through every pose, all their specific benefits and personal stories from Bikram and his students if you want the complete rundown.
Have you any advice for someone who is interested in yoga but has never tried it before?
My only advice is to do it!!! As one of my favorite instructors puts it, “We have a great deal going on right now. If you practice 5-6 days a week it will change your life!”
Oh, and remember to breathe! :)
Well that’s it. I hope you enjoyed my profile. Let me know if you have any music suggestions, snowboarding spots, decent restaurants, shops, or anything at all you think I might enjoy now that you know me a little. It’s been real!



fprebecca -August 8, 2008, 3:26PM

Malea! I love you!!! And we have the EXACT same taste in music! ha ha, but we knew that already ;) It was nice to read your profile- you rock!
Radiohead on Tuesday, right?! See u there! xoxo

amy -August 9, 2008, 7:47AM

MALEA!!! my ex -manager.
best free people girl ever. MALEA!!! my ex -manager.
best free people girl ever. <3

John Reed -August 9, 2008, 10:22AM

Thanks! Really funny. I wish i could spend my time on writing articles…just have no time for it.

Jaime -August 10, 2008, 10:00AM

Malea! I just learned so much about you, haha! I love that movie Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken, we should have a movie night. You look very cute! See you at work Malea! I just learned so much about you, haha! I love that movie Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken, we should have a movie night. You look very cute! See you at work <3<3

Julie -August 10, 2008, 9:11PM

Kickin’ it with me in Ardmore! I love you Malea, and these pictures are killer!

fpgirl(katie!) -August 11, 2008, 2:42PM

Malea, I miss you!!!

Megan -August 11, 2008, 4:48PM

Great form Melea! I also LOVE Bikram, I have been meaning to get to the downtown Bikram studio, so I will look for you if I do…

Kristina -August 14, 2008, 7:48PM

Hey Malea! I love shopping at the Suburban Square Free People and I thought that I would offer a few suggestions for you since I enjoyed reading your post.
I think you might like the band Dr. Dog, which is an up and coming Philly band with a great 60’s sound. (Perhaps you’ve already heard of them.) Some of my favorite restaurants downtown are Dock Street Tavern (West Philadelphia Pizza,) Shouk Lounge (Middle Eastern,) Tinto (Spanish Tapas,) Mantra (Indian Asian Fusion,) Rouge (Expensive French,) and if you like farmer’s markets, definitely try Reading Terminal Market! Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Malea -November 5, 2008, 12:40PM

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions!!! Amy I miss you!!! Julie were kickin it as I type:) Rebecca when r we gettin down next? Kristina, I love dr. dog and thanks for the resaurant suggestions Mantra sounds interesting I think I’ll go there for my b-day!!! Katie we need to get a drexel reunion going on, I miss you!!!
Hugs :)

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