We had the good fortune of connecting with Athina Garcia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Athina, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
This is definetley an interesting question for us. Usually brands are categorized under one industry. ” Fashion industry” No Name Just People is a whole different story. I would like to Begin by saying that we are not a brand. We are a project that uses design as an economical and social development tool. With That being said lets get into the question.. No name just people works within two “Industries” we work with the Design industry and with the political one. Our project finds its essence by working at the intersection of this two. The design and fashion industry is relatively new to me .. I hold a bachelors degree in government and have no background in Fashion other than my appreciation of it .. Working in this industry has allowed me to discover that the Design industry or the fashion industry is not necessarily banal or superficial. You can design with purpose and actually its impact is so broad that it can become a powerful tool of change if directed properly. You can change the lives of millions of workers around the world and even have a positive impact in the environment if you make the right decisions and build a socially and environmentally responsible brand or project. Politics.. I always knew I didn’t want to go straight into politics even though I studied it. I have a creative soul and politics has this way of being known as tedious , extremely formal and bureaucratic and kind of dull actually. All we ever hear about politics is related to how corrupt the system is and how global leaders fail in creating a better world order, about how elections are rigged and so on. This is the only face of politics we know. Working Politics through a creative vehicle has allowed me to see the other face of it. Same as with Fashion if you treat the political industry with creativity and innovative thinking it is with out question the most powerful tool in the world to actually create REAL change. To actually help people and to actually build a better world for everyone. So my advice is to try to see things differently , try always to think outside the box no matter what industry you are working with. If its the Tech industry, pharmaceutical , agriculture , education or whichever try to always bring a humane side for it , merge it with other things you love .. you don’t always have to do things the way they are established. This is what drives innovation and change. And well I hope you see Design and politics different now .. that is kind of our purpose with No name Just People.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think that what makes my work stand apart from others is that I am trying to bring together two areas that are completely opposite. I am working with government and politics through a creative and humane angle and I am trying to change the negative connotation which is intrinsically associated with it. I believe it has being a successful experiment and definitely a fun one! I love what I do and I think that is the real success behind anything you do. If you love what you do the rest will follow. One advice I wish somebody gave me was to be a little more patient in finding my way.. I was in such a rush to start a project or a job which gave me some purpose that I forgot that it is all a journey.. Be sure of what you love ; for me it was making a difference in the world and then Just keep your eyes open, travel, talk to people , read , take an internship, attend a summit or talk.. it will all fall into place when you are ready for it , and when it does do the best you can with what life is presenting you. Do it with all your heart to the best of your abilities. You don’t even have to think about success if you work in this way , it will just follow. I want people to know every difficult moment in my life not only the ones brought up by work. I mean the ones going back all the way to my childhood have made me the woman I am today and are the backbone of everything I have accomplished, the moments and situations I went through gave me the vision I have today and it is the reason this project exists.. It was all just meant to be.. it always is. Embrace your story because it is YOUR story that makes you special.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love road trips so… Visit west palm beach on a Sunday and have lunch in Saint Ambroeus or stop for coffee at the restoration harbor tea room , maybe stop for a drink at the breakers hotel .. it is definitely one of my favorite things to do in Florida. You can take the brightline and enjoy a beautiful ride to west palm from Miami. Visit the Dali museum in Saint Petersburg. You cannot imagine the amazing Dali collection they have and just the beautiful architectural piece the museum itself is. If you are into more local plans , definitely Mandolin restaurant never gets old. If you are into vegan food try Planta in Miami Beach or full bloom. Have lunch or stop by for a drink at Verde. The restaurant at the PAMM ( Perez art museum) beautiful spot.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Hanna Ferrer, she was the first designer to work with no name just people and the person which started no name just people with me. without her input we wouldn’t be where we are and I am and will always be grateful for her time with us. Every person who has bought a piece from no name just people even when our products where not perfect. Thank you for supporting and believing. The Americas society organization which invited me to a conference back in 2o18 and hosted a talk with Alida Boer you absolutely changed my vision towards fashion and the world of politics. My creative journey wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for this moment. Thank you for creating this educational spaces. My family and friends for staying with me in the highs and lows. And I can’t not mention this book that found its way to me “The surrender experiment by Mickey singer” It arrived at the perfect moment to teach me a valuable lesson about work and the flow of life.