There’s something about my life I can’t help but just love. Even though some people I know may look at my lifestyle and think that I’m crazy or out of my mind, there’s one particular thing I can’t complain about: I am inspired.
I open my eyes in the morning and feel the need to create something. It can be a connexion with a new person, writing something or simply to create a future trip abroad. Nouvelle Vague has been one of the things that’s kept me grounded, and has allowed me to meet such talented human beings around the globe.
Like Olivia Peyre, founder of Modern Collective.
You’ve probably seen her website on your Facebook feed or I am sure some of your friends visit the website every week to get their daily dose of inspiration. Or maybe you even contacted her while being in France to rent her really cool Volkswagen 1997 for your surf adventures around Europe. Who knows? Anywho, wait until you learn more about her and how cool she is – she will makes you want to do the same thing as her; live from your passion.
We recently chatted with her about Modern Collective, her thoughts about Paris and the surf culture that inspired her.
Olivia, you are the founder of Modern Collective and you’ve been on this adventure for almost six years. Where are you from and how did you got hooked on surfing?
I created Modern Collective in March 2010 while I was living abroad in Australia. Since my childhood, I’ve been attracted to the ocean: sailing, surfing, and diving – this is an environment where I feel comfortable. With my experiences abroad and my different surf trips (Bali, Australia, Sri Lanka, Portugal, California, etc.), I wanted to create a page dedicated to this sport. Through surfing, many values that are important for me are conveyed: respect for others, nature, ocean defense.
Modern Collective is way more than a simple website and we quickly realize it when we check it out. Surf blog, communication agency, renting vans… What were your goals when you first launched MC?
The idea came to me while I was living in Australia. I stayed there two years and this is over there that my knowledge about the surf culture upgraded.
People live at the ocean rhythm and are really close to nature.
At first, I wanted to create a blog shaped around the surfing world to share videos, photos and artwork around that universe.
When I came back to France, I wanted to mix it up with my skills in event management, which is my original career.
It’s now your full-time job, if I am not mistaken, isn’t? How do you like working for yourself, without a boss to deal with?
Indeed, this is my full time job since 2010. Working for myself was always obvious to me. Having the freedom to work at your own pace without having to render accounts to anybody but yourself is a precious chance. This is a chance that’s doesn’t have a price for, but need to be deserved. The days keep coming, but do not look alike, no routine, but also sometimes no weekend or holiday either!
Paris seems like an amazing city for many things, but when it’s about surfing or travelling, it doesn’t seem like the right fit. Why did you pick Paris to establish your communication agency?
Paris is primarily for working – I have a large network in the city. Today I wish to relocate MC in the South West, specifically in Bordeaux, my hometown.
I must imagine that if you like surfing, you must try to go out and surf as often as possible! What is your favourite location?
In France, I enjoy Cenitz or Guethary. During the summer, I love to lose myself in the Landes where after long walks through the dunes you find a spot without anyone. The joy!
I have been fortunate to travel a lot and one of my latest discoveries is Sri Lanka. A destination that has a lot of criteria I am looking for: culture, food, sharing with the people, affordable prices and surfing!
And inevitably, Bali wins first place.
We are talking a lot about surfing and Paris, but tell me… where did the idea of renting vans through your website came into your mind? It’s something pretty unusual and innovative!
It’s true that Paris isn’t the capital of surfing!
When I left Bordeaux to settle in Paris to follow my studies, I felt a desire for freedom and elsewhere.
Paris is a fascinating city perpetually boiling and it is sometimes necessary to take off somewhere else to learn to appreciate it better. In 2006, I invested in a van Volkswagen 1971. At the time, I bought it for almost nothing.
The engine dropped me after 50km, but a short love story was beginning!
It has always been my favorite means of locomotion, from Sagres to Ericeria through the Galice, it follows me in all my European surf trips.
The idea to rent came much later.
I had requests from my friends and I wanted to offer it as a separate service for events or photo shoots.
Where do you see Modern Collective in a few years?
I would love to do more events in the South West, around surfing in a way, but also to combine different universes that would not necessarily go together, but I won’t say more for now.