Shop UO UO Blog

Vanessa Chiu, Insight's Marketing and PR Manager, lives a block from the beach in a house shaped like a boat, where she and her boyfriend hoard jeans and put up with a mean bird.

Photographed by Kassia Meador

Interview by Kate Williams

The house is a block from the beach, and one block away from Encinitas downtown. And it's two blocks away from the Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation gardens. And then everything else outside of these two boat houses is totally vanilla.

Everyone wants to see inside. It's common knowledge that the preservation society owns the house, and so there are boatloads of old people who show up in tour buses. The door's usually open or unlocked, so once this old lady just strolled right in as I was getting out of the shower.

It's two bedrooms with one and a half bathrooms. There are five closets—I wouldn't let Kassia go take pictures of all of them—but we have probably 150 pairs of jeans, about 60 percent from Insight. I probably have 100 plus pairs of shoes, but all of my shoes are in shoeboxes, and then I have photos of the shoes on the outside.

On the bow, we have tons of plants. These steps lead up to the bow and from there, you can basically see all of Encinitas.

The bird's name is Capone. He's 15 years old. I got him when he was nine months. I was living in San Francisco and I walked into a pet store to buy a chinchilla and I walked out with a bird. He's really fucking mean. He just punks people. Like if you scream, it excites him. But if he bites you and you ignore him, then he'll be your buddy.

I haven't been sewing as much since I got a real job, but my dad actually showed me how to sew when I was a kid. I still do the rare costume, and baby clothes, housewares, and I've been doing a lot of jacketing lately. Oh, and I made a chicken costume for Halloween. I have lots of half-finished projects. You should see my storage unit.

I used to teach piano lessons. I also used to play the bassoon. In high school, no one wanted the bassoon, and I thought it was the best thing ever because it looked like a piece of bamboo. I thought I was going to do jazz bassoon. But come to find out, it's not really that cool. I thought I was going to be the best jazz bassoonist ever. But I would have been the only jazz bassoonist ever. I don't think I would have had a lot of friends.

The boats were built by this guy Miles Kellogg, who was an inventor and a businessman, and his father was a sea captain. He built the boats from a lot of salvaged materials, and there is an original porthole from the 1800s in the bathroom.

Miko is old, she's 17 years old. She goes on walks with us. She climbs trees with us, without a leash. She'll walk four or five blocks with us, then we'll tell her to wait, and she'll sit and wait for us! We don't really cage our animals. My bird has full wings, and the cat is indoor/outdoor.

These are all my boyfriend's surfboards. Water doesn't like me. I swim, but I don't like sand. But I totally go down there and get in the water every once in a while. I just don't like sand and all the live things in the water, but I'm really good at watching people's bags. I'm super awesome at that.




Shop Insight