The Penny Rose

The Penny Rose

Interview Fridays are back! Today, we feature Christa Martin, who is the Editor of The Penny Rose, a fashion and beauty blog based in Santa Cruz, California. We first discovered The Penny Rose when we were looking for eco-beauty blogs last year, and found Christa a delight to work with. We’re beyond thrilled to feature her today at Wonderland Organics!

Wonderland Organics: Thanks for talking to us today, Christa! Tell us about your background.

Christa Martin: I’ve been a professional writer and on camera actress, ( for the last fifteen years in the Bay Area and I’ve been published in Oprah Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens,, and countless regional magazines and newspapers. I was the features editor of Good Times (a weekly magazine) in Santa Cruz, Calif., for 12 years and while there, I edited and created five fashion issues for the magazine. Producing those issues triggered an interest in me (and the community) for more fashion coverage in Santa Cruz and beyond.

Wonderland Organics: Very impressive indeed! How did The Penny Rose come about?

Christa Martin: I left my full-time journalism job after 12 years to become a freelancer. In March of 2012 I launched The Penny Rose—a Santa Cruz-based professional fashion and beauty blog and our reach expands far beyond the Bay Area.

The Penelope Bangle

The Penelope Bangle

Wonderland Organics: Happy almost three years! What’s the best part about being the editor for TPR?

Christa Martin: I work with a remarkable team of professional writers and industry insiders on a daily basis who are contributors to The Penny Rose. Also, I get to try out and discover new and upcoming brands and find some of my favorites in the process … like Wonderland Organics, Hipsters for Sisters, Legion (a boutique in San Francisco), or Acqua e Sapone (a skin care clinic in San Francisco). I especially love supporting independent fashion and beauty businesses.

Wonderland Organics: We love supporting independent brands too! What new things do you have planned for TPR in 2015?

Christa Martin: We’ll do seasonal photo shoots as we usually do, teaming up with photographer Nick Chao, featuring clothes from boutiques in Santa Cruz and San Francisco. I’d also like to expand our collaboration opportunities with fashion and beauty lines.

Wonderland Organics: We saw your photo shoots from Fall 2014- they look amazing! Tell us about the Penelope Bangle.

Christa Martin: The Penelope Bangle is a collaboration between The Penny Rose and Blank Verse Jewelry. Laamie Young (the owner of Blank Verse Jewelry) and I spent several months going back and forth with this idea. She’s a sweet friend of mine and I often use her jewelry in our photo shoots. The creative fusion of our interests seemed irresistible. We sketched ideas, came up with a product that would be affordable and adjustable and the Penelope Bangle was born. (It’s named after my mom, as is The Penny Rose.)

Penny Rose Shoot: image credited to Nick Chao

Penny Rose Shoot: image credited to Nick Chao

Wonderland Organics: It looks gorgeous- we’re sure that our readers will agree. Where do you find inspiration?

Christa Martin: Everywhere! I live in Santa Cruz right near the beach, so the ocean provides endless inspiration. Also, I go hiking every week. Being in the outdoors in the redwoods infuses my mind with all sorts of ideas. And then, of course: Pinterest, Instagram and all sorts of magazines.

Wonderland Organics: Definitely! There’s much inspiration to be found in nature. What are your current fashion and beauty obsessions?

Christa Martin: I’m rather obsessed with anything that Legion (a boutique in San Francisco) is carrying. The owner, Sydney Pfaff, has impeccable style and carries some of the most beautiful, classic, original, creative lines I’ve seen in a long time. I’m also obsessed with my hometown favorite stores, Stripe and Cameron Marks. Beauty-wise: I adore the Wonderland Organics Balance Serum, Acqua e Sapone moisturizers and Mandelic Serum, and my new discovery that I’m thrilled with is Matcha Scrub by Urb Apothecary. Your skin will feel undeniably soft after using it.

Wonderland Organics: We’re honored to be included on your beauty list! What is a typical day like putting together TPR?

Christa Martin: Emails roll in from writers on our team, blogs are sent to me, people query me to review products … so there’s definitely some time spent with the inbox. Besides that, I’m usually laying out at least one story every day (inserting images, editing text, writing text). And when I’m not doing that, I’m looking for new ideas, new brands to discover, and poring over what my favorite lines are creating for the next season.

The Penny Rose: image credited to Nick Chao

The Penny Rose: image credited to Nick Chao

Wonderland Organics: Studying upcoming fashion lines sounds fantastic! Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs?

Christa Martin: Go for it. Don’t let anything hold you back. When it’s hard, keep going. When it’s even harder, keep going. Carve out time every day for your passion. Give it time to grow. Find a genuine support system. Believe in yourself. Never let your dreams die.

Wonderland Organics: Brilliant! And last but not least, what’s your favorite part of the Wonderland Organics blog/site?

Christa Martin: The products! I am in love with the Balance Serum, so much so that I went through a bottle in no time on my first order. I’ve tried a lot of face oils in my time as a beauty blogger and this is by far my favorite. I’m a loyal fan and customer now.

Thanks so much Christa for talking to us today! Be sure to check out The Penny Rose for their great fashion and beauty posts! If you live in Santa Cruz, TPR posts plenty of local fashion shops to browse. What’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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