This is Darby! Our new North Florida ambassador who holds many creative titles next to her name! An avid surfer and recent graduate, she’s navigating her way through life finding successful ways to marry her career and her passions. We’ve picked her brain a bit about her hometown, ideals and possible projects for the future, so get to know and love her as much as we do by reading on!
Eidon: Historically, St. Augustine is one of the oldest towns in Florida but to you it’s simply home. As a local, what are 3 things every visitor ought to know/do?
Darby: After spending the last 20 years of my life in the Nation’s Oldest City, I’ve grown accustomed to all of the amazing things that St. Augustine has to offer. This town has such a unique spirit that it certainly has a little something for everyone. With the holidays upon us, I’d have to say that visiting the Nights of Lights in downtown St. Augustine would be at the top of my list of must-see attractions. Our little town boasts one of the most impressive light shows in the United States (and maybe even the world) so it’s a sight to be seen, to say the least. Outside of exploring the historic district, I’d say that you have to head over to the Surf Station, a locally owned surf shop nestled outside of Anastasia State Park. The Surf Station is one of the largest surfboard retailers on the entire east coast, making this a stop that can’t be missed for any ocean lover. Outside of having a tight-knit surfing community, St. Augustine also hosts an incredible art scene. The town is filled with galleries and shops any visitor should explore, but Simple Gestures stands out as a favorite in my mind. Located along A1A just south of the Bridge of Lions, this quirky little gallery and gift shop is filled to the brim with local artwork and crafts. To me, few shops exemplify the creative spirit of the town more.
Eidon: God forbid you had to give one up, which would it be? Surfing or photography?
Darby: Gosh! That’s a tough one. If I’m being honest with myself, I don’t know if I could live a life without surfing. That may sound ridiculous, but surfing gives me a sense of belonging, connectivity and joy that I haven’t been able to find with anything else. Photography holds a special place in my heart and is such a satisfying creative outlet, but surfing is something that is near and dear to me emotionally, spiritually and physically. Sounds pretty crazy for riding a hunk of foam on top of moving water huh?
Eidon:What would be your dream gig or ultimate job?
Darby: That’s the million-dollar question for a recent graduate right? That’s also something that I wish I had a simple answer to. I was a double major in college, studying journalism with a documentary production focus and graphic design...so I have some varied interests to say the least. My ultimate job would have to be something related to the outdoors or the surf industry, creating multimedia projects including writing, video, photography and fine art to represent a brand that I believed in.
Eidon:If you could create your perfect wave in your backyard, what would it be?
Darby: Now that’s an easy one. First thing’s first, it’d have to be a right point break. I love really walled-up, steep faces with a lot of room and time to draw your line. A break similar to Domes in Puerto Rico or Soup Bowl in Barbados come to mind. Why not throw in some crystal-clear water while we’re at it?
Eidon: A little birdie told us you’ve dabbled in board shaping a bit. Do you think we’ll see some DJM surfboards in the future?
Darby: In one word? Yes. I’ve flirted with the idea of shaping for years now, after getting to know several local shapers and having more than a handful of customs made for myself. In my mind, there’s nothing as pure as the joy that you feel catching a wave on a craft that you had a hand in creating. Both the physical and aesthetic aspects of board building have such an appeal to me, it’s been a goal of mine to learn as much as I can about the process for quite a while now. Between the cost of materials and tools and juggling a busy work schedule it’s been difficult to make time to fully dive in, but shaping is definitely on my shortlist of upcoming projects.
Quirky details about Darby you should totally bring up in a conversation:
1. Her favorite animal is octopus (Does this mean you like to give hugs?)
2. Her long-time nickname is Lady Godiva (This tickles us Darby!)
3. Skating and knitting helps her unwind (Can you do this simultaneously?)
4. Surfing in Europe is high on her bucket list
5. According to a random quiz, her Harry Potter House would be Slytherin (Trust us guys, she would not fit in!)
6. Her high sense of determination is her favorite personal attribute (Go get ‘em girl!)