A beach baby who thrives by the sea, find out what else inspires our stylist of the week, Cassi!
It’s probably been about 2 years now since I met Cassi on one of our first ever FP Me shoots here at home office. A short car ride was all it took for her and I to instantly form a bond. She made mention of Long Beach Island, NJ as we were driving to a post-shoot dinner, so I chimed in and elaborated on how connected my family is to that island. Turns out, she has a house on the same avenue where my dad grew up life guarding, and her best friend’s mom may have even dated him in high school. You know those instances when you realize just how small the world can be sometimes? Yeah…
We were automatically friends. I think we both have a little bit of the same sand in our blood. Beach babies at heart, neither one of us would pass up an opportunity to be under the sun, right by the sea. We’ve met up a few times this summer on the island, and never is there a dull moment with this one. Cassi brings an energy to any situation that’s uplifting, carefree and fun. During the summer when she’s not working at Free People Bridgewater, she spends most of her time working at one of my favorite boutiques on L.B.I called Sur la Plage where she’s been merchandising the FP wholesale line for about 8 years. She blames falling in love with the brand after her first trip to the Free People showroom, and she most definitely wears the FP heart on her sleeve. Get to know more about Cassi below!
Where are you from? Can you tell us a little bit about where you grew up?
I’m originally from Pennsylvania, then spent majority of my life in Virginia Beach. I remember it being a huge neighborhood that had kids always playing outside, tons of activity! It was a way bigger town than what I’m used to now, and I have met a lot of amazing people from living there.
Get the look: We The Free Free Fallin Tee
Where do you spend most of your time now?
Long Beach Island, NJ, where I’ve spent every summer since I was born. I moved here year-round going into high school, I had moved to my little paradise. I grew up sailing, surfing and spending countless hours on the beach. I can see the ocean from my deck, bike anywhere, and I’m able to work at an amazing clothing store. Living the dream.
From wholesale to stores, you’ve been around the FP brand for quite some time. Can you tell us a little bit about what you do and how you got involved with Free People/FP Me?
Well, I got my first job at Sur La Plage in Beach Haven 8 years ago. My boss was amazing and opened my eyes to buying and merchandising from a very young age. The first time I walked into the Free People showroom I felt like I had been missing out on something amazing. It’s because of her I pursued an interest in fashion and the Free People brand. When FPMe first began I remember receiving an email that explained how you could upload images and tag what you were wearing so people can shop through lifestyle photos. I thought it was the coolest idea, and now I have built this amazing community of friends I may have never had the chance to follow or meet without FPMe.
What does a day in the life of Cassi look like?
Well, I work… a lot! But I love it. In the summer when I am not working at Sur La Plage or Free People’s Bridgewater location I spend the entire day outside — whether it’s raining, or a beautiful sunny day. It’s my day to myself to enjoy the salty air and warm weather. So I’ll wake up, find a friend who is also off of work, make myself a coffee, and head up to the beach! We’ll venture around the island to grab lunch or smoothies, jump in the bay, swim in another friend’s pool, head back to the beach… I love that I have the ability to do all of that in one day!
Get the look: Free To Be Top
How do you juggle school + two jobs?
If you love what you are doing it’s not too bad. The hardest part for me is the planning. I need to map out my week to make sure I don’t overlap anything! I’ve never enjoyed school too much because I really love learning by doing rather than sitting in a classroom, so retail has become second nature, and I always make the place I’m working my safe haven. It definitely comes in handy when school gets too stressful. I listen to my body, and when it’s had enough I take time to relax and travel during my breaks. (Shoutout to Rincon, Puerto Rico!). It’s all about balance and making sure you’re happy.
Get the look: Beads For Days Tunic
Long Beach Island was the common denominator that helped foster our friendship. Would you call the island home? How is it special to you?
My goodness that island means so much to me! It’s the only place that’s been consistent my entire life, so it’s always been home. It’s given me countless opportunities to meet and connect with such awesome people. The winters were rough, but I now have this great group of friends that have become my family.
Where are some of your favorite places on the island?
This is a hard question because I could just give you a list! I love going down to the south end, all the way to Holgate where you can see Atlantic City. I take a lot of pictures down there because it’s really so beautiful. There’s a store in surf city where I get all of my rings called Sun Dog, I spend countless hours in that store… so much so that I’ve become great friends with the girls that work there! Lastly, my beach. It’s so small after super storm Sandy, but it’s where I grew up.
Get the look: FP Denim Cutoff Shorts
What does a perfect weekend look like to you?
Beach, boat, sun, water, bikinis, beachy hair, freshly sun-kissed skin, and being exhausted from having so much adventurous fun.
Get the look: Heartbeat Printed Tunic
What are three things you can’t live without?
My family, I would do anything for my parents and little sister.
My friends, they are the most amazing support system, and I truly love them all so much.
And of course, the beach.
In 5 years, where do you see yourself?
That is such a hard question to answer because 5 years ago I would have never guessed I’d be where I am now! I guess I hope to see myself loving whatever I am doing. I have a great “go with the flow” mentality, which allows me to be completely open to whatever opportunities life throws at me.
What does being ‘free’ mean to you?
Being able to love yourself and live the life you were destined to. Not to let any negativity pull you down, and to be open to the inspiration life has to offer.
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