Kaelin (aka Karl) hails from a small town in San Diego County and at an early age developed a love for snowboarding. That love propelled her into an internship at TransWorld SNOWboarding and eventually landed her a job at Volcom. Even while wearing multiple hats at the office in Costa Mesa, she spends ample time at Mammoth, often with the likes of Scott Blum and Stefi Luxton. If she’s not in at a desk or on the mountain you might find her working on motorcycles with Jamie Lynn. Her undeniable love and passion for the snow and skate cultures, coupled with her inordinate organization and attention to detail, is ideal in her role. Kaelin has all that. If you have the pleasure of hanging out with her, you’ll see firsthand. — Dylan Trewin
Birthdate: May 27th, 1990
Current title: Skate & Snow Marketing Coordinator
What does your current position in the snowboarding industry entail? Describe a typical day on the job.
This is a question that I feel that no matter how hard I try, I can never give a full answer. However, what I can say, is that for me, no two days are the same. As a Marketing Coordinator, I have a vast range of responsibilities including assisting with marketing campaigns, styling out photo shoots, focus on special projects such as collabs, specialty promotional product, and team rider product capsules. I am typically in charge of all logistics behind team travel, photo shoots, legal contracts, invoices, overseeing the schedule and maintenance of our 1983 Bluebird Wanderlodge (aka: The Road Rager) as well as our HQ skatepark. Not to mention, I have adopted very strong personal shopping skills for team riders and VIPs, focusing on getting them in the newest product most fitting for each of them.
Where are you from and where do you currently call home?
Born and raised in the small town of Bonsall, CA. Hopped up to San Jose for a couple years then back down to San Diego. Currently living in Costa Mesa, but calling Mammoth Lakes home.
How did you start snowboarding?
As a kid, our spring breaks were spent in Mammoth getting some skiing in and visiting family. I never really clicked with skiing – had no problem in the act of skiing itself, but remember absolutely hating everything else about it. Trying to get around in those unforgiving hard plastic moon boots, skis, poles, goggles in hopes of not losing one glove. . . it's a lot for an 8-year-old to carry around. I was over it. The following year I made the transition into snowboarding and never looked back.
At what point did you realize that you wanted to work in the snowboard industry?
When I was growing up, our mechanic's shop happened to be directly across the street from the old TransWorld offices in Oceanside – the waiting room never had a shortage of TransWorld publications. Every visit to the mechanic's shop, I would tell my mom that I would one day work in that office. . . or at least hoped to.
I never had any friends that were into snowboarding, so I was on my own for nerding out on the new TWSNOW issues by myself dreaming of one day becoming a snowboarding photographer. One Christmas, I was lucky enough to score my very first camera from my parents, which was my first step in the right direction. Still not a professional snow photographer, but very stoked at where I am now.
And how did you make that happen?
Years down the road, I was going to college at San Jose State University to study graphic design and photography. During my time there, the friends I had made either joined frats, sororities or were too busy going to football parties–all things I never had a lot of interest in. Instead, I would take the bus out to Santa Cruz and go to shows or hang with friends I had met that were living lifestyles closer to mine. I eventually transferred down to San Diego State University, where I joined the snowboard team which brought me back to Mammoth every weekend. Through this, I made a connection with somebody at TransWorld for a generic internship. Once that internship was coming to an end, Nick Hamilton overheard that I was into snowboarding and asked if I would be interested in interning specifically with TWSNOW, where I worked under Nick, Gerhard Gross and Chris Wellhausen. From there I built some really rad relationships that have led me to some pretty insane opportunities and incredible friendships.
Who did you look up to in the industry for inspiration?
It's hard to just pick a couple of people who inspire me when there are so many people that have left a serious mark with me. I have always been highly impacted by Laura Hadar, Desiree Melancon, and Jess Kimura for years and am still a big fan. Their strength in knowing who they were, insane style on and off their boards–I always wanted to embody that same confidence and drive. Straight up powerhouse snowboarders.
The creatives in the industry–their beautiful and unique mindset, confidently carving their own line into life apart from the rest. Mike Rav and his cosmic mind. The mythical nightcat, Jamie Lynn and his 1910 partner in crime, Schoph. Paul Kobriger, Wedge & Lever crew, Forest Bailey, Keegan Valaika, Jed Anderson. . .
My coworkers that are able to balance a long day at work then continue their day with their little ones, which are two serious full-time jobs. Knowing that I am going to eventually have to factor in the mini-me aspect of life, I aspire to one day find their same balance.
What do you feel has been your biggest impact in your line of work?
Out of all the jobs I have had over the years, there has never been a crew I have worked beside that grinds so hard to produce the campaigns, events, design and sell the product that comes out of Volcom. Working alongside the like-minded humans in this building shows me what kind of impact a strong and unified team can leave on this industry. I would say that executing these grand ideas into reality is my biggest impact. Seeing the final results and response of what we poured our blood, sweat, and beers into is extremely rewarding. Whether we are producing a shoot, launching a new campaign or supporting our team riders throughout their season, it is gratifying to know that I had a hand in what we are so proudly standing next to.
What do you want to accomplish that you haven’t yet?
So much. Career-wise, I really want to build upon my leadership goals, grow into a managerial position and continue to help produce content to forever keep the passion and core of snowboarding alive for the future generations to stumble upon and truly fall in love.
I would love to take an avy class, strengthen up my knee and finally start exploring the backcountry with the Mustard Media crew by splitboard. Make my way onto a true ToFakieCrew trip with the boys. Travel through the streets and mountains of Japan, New Zealand, Baldface, Switzerland, Iceland, France. . . experience all of it. Have an art show, design a skate deck, find somebody crazy enough to let me tattoo them. To stop blowing it and bring my camera onto the hill with me, maybe learning how to film (lady filmers are badass). One day perfect a smith grind and the sickest poked-out front rock. Finally get a proper frontside invert on a snowboard. . . on a skateboard would be insane, but we'll leave that one to the pros.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
My family for introducing me to the mountains and gifting me my first snowboard. Full TransWorld crew for all the memories, laughs and epic times. All of my managers over the years for giving me the experience that I needed to get where I am today. My bosses here at Volcom, Remy Stratton (SVP of Skate & Snow), Jeff Kabigting (Director of Snow) and Seth Huot (Team Manager, Social Media Manager, Filmer/Videographer and Forever Snowboard Genius) for bringing me onto the team, teaching me the ropes and Major thank you to Scott Blum and Stefi Luxton, my favorite roommates of all time, for always keeping home warm, welcoming. Jamie Lynn and Tony Nguyen for putting me back on two wheels to reinvigorate my soul–thank You. Tommy J and Mike Weatherall for putting boards beneath my feet. AK and the rest of the Soy Sauce Nation crew. Our Women's & Youth Outerwear Designer, Jackie Myers, for making all of my wishes and most magical dreams come true. My closest group of ladies Jordan Harvey, Taylor Carpenter, Kiki Hebner, Landyn Tedrick, Eunice Yang. And last but not least I have to give a most genuine thank you to our US Sales Manager of Men's, Snow and Skate / my boyfriend, David (aka: Nook) for letting me teach him how to snowboard all those years back, sharing his love of skateboarding with me, and riding next to me on this adventure no matter the transportation unit.