Surf Stories: Monica Medellin, Co-Founder & CEO of The Gnar Gnar Honeys
For today's Do Good Feature, we caught up with surfer, skater, powerhouse, and all around rad human, Monica Medellin, Co-Founder & CEO of The Gnar Gnar Honeys!
Let's start off with where you're from!
MM: "Proudly born and raised on the Westside of Los Angeles on the border of Venice and Santa Monica."
When/how did you start surfing?
MM: "I’ve definitely been an athlete since I was a little girl even though surfing wasn’t an obvious choice for me. My mom was an immigrant from Mexico and a single, working parent who worked hard every day to make ends meet. Growing up, even though we didn’t have a lot, she wanted me to have as many opportunities as possible. She knew I loved sports, so she always looked for scholarships to sports camps and after school programs. Initially I was into gymnastics and volleyball, but then I discovered surfing. I’ve been a surfer girl ever since!"
When/How did you start The Gnar Gnar Honeys?
The Gnar Gnar Honeys at work | pc: @jefemercado
MM: "The Gnar Gnar Honeys started as a group of friends who surfed, skated and did anything and everything gnarly! I actually met most of our team surfing or skateboarding in LA. Within a few weeks of hanging out, we learned we all work in creative fields as filmmakers, photographers, producers, art directors and everything in between. As women in media and athletes ourselves, we often talked about the gap in action sports content and the female representation we wanted to see. Morning surfs turned into weekend trips and we began to compile a whole reel of footage –– visuals and stories we’d been looking for our whole lives. We realized we could create the change we want to see, together. From there, we tapped into our skills and formed a production company. The rest is history."
Who inspires you?
Dia de Los Muertos | pc: @meganatsea
MM: "My family. I’m proudly Latina and rep my Mexican heritage whenever I can. I come from a long line of strong, independent women! I do what I do for my abuelita, mom and sister."
Love that, and can totally relate. Any fun surf or ocean related stories you want to share?:
MM: "The Gnar Gnar Honeys were just in Hawaii shooting a docu-series about a group of young, Native Hawaiian surfer girls. We were working full-time most days during that month of production and barely had time to surf. On one of our few off days, we decided to head to town and rent a couple logs in Waikiki. It was probably ankle high at best, but we all paddled out together for the first time in months. There’s nothing like a lineup takeover on a small wave day with your best girlfriends."
Monica on location in Hawai'i | shot by @yoshitanaka1
Any advice/tips for young surfers?
MM: "To anyone who may have been told surfing is not for you because you don’t fit the typical “look” –– I hope my work inspires you to do it anyways. And to all of the girls and women heading to the ocean or to the skate park, you deserve to be there as much as anybody else does.
Never be afraid to claim your space."
Powerful words and a message of love from a beautiful human. Love the work that Monica and her crew are doing to help underrepresented surfers and skaters claim their space and feel seen and represented all over the world. Thanks so much for sharing part of your story, Monica!
For more on Monica and her work, check out her IG: @monicamedellin_ and her work with @thegnargnarhoneys.