Bigger than the Bear (feat. Hudson Jeans)


White Christmas came late.


The only way to prep for the new year is locking yourself in a cabin in the mountains with friends and create. A spontaneous trip to Big Bear was the perfect workcation. What was supposed to be a two days, one night stay ended up being a three day, two night stay instead. We couldn't go home just yet.

With #views like these and epiphanies bursting with creative energies, how could we resist?

atp-122916-mariel-4Top via Chicme / Pants via Hudson Jeans / Shoes and scarf via Zara atp-122916-mariel-6

Upon taking the shorter route for my motion-sick self, we arrived with barely enough light to spare. The moment we arrived, we started shooting. With @azusatakano and I sinking into the snow and @franciskenneth capturing the epitome of lifestyle shots with @justinquebral, magic was afoot.


Top via HM / Jeans via Hudson Jeans / Jacket via Muji


Azusa and I managed to fit in two outfits before the sun went to sleep and we were off to Big Bear's 'downtown' for dinner. Although we should've known, the village was packed for a touristy New Years weekend where we unknowingly passed by Ned of the Try Guys and his beloved wife, Ariel.

We inhaled our meal at Teddy Bear, which is why I lack photos of the food, but I promise it was good.


I insisted we warm up with hot chocolate down the street. A long-ish wait and four dollars later, we were meandering the gift stores; all of which, encompassed the most unnecessary gadgets like bear-shaped slingshots and fake geodes as well as the most necessary gimmicks such as shirts with bear puns (re: 'Bear Jordan') and bong-shaped mugs (not for me, at least).


We slid our way to Vons and finally made it out of the crowd with groceries for the next few meals before spending the rest of the night editing, emailing and drinking.

Unfortunately, I caught a cold/flu/sore throat/something and opted for tea for the most part. To be honest, I'm not a huge party goer and love intimate gatherings so by adding work to the mix, I was a happy camper...or is it cabin-er? Air Bnb-er?


Day 2 - Teamwork makes the dream work and also avocado toast, eggs and bacon.

Justin had woken me up and rushed me to the living room where the weather was much much warmer. Apparently, I had been shivering in my sleep. (Our bed was next to the bay door and we didn't realize we had an extra blanket and personal heater in the room until afterwards.)

Don't worry, I was fine.

After the team got ready, more emails were answered and more product pictures were taken, we were off to the lake for more outfits to be shot.


During my second outfit change, Justin and Francis were taking much longer than we anticipated - about an hour to be exact, and they weren't answering their phones. Worried, yet mostly annoyed, we went out to find them only to see Francis lugging a shovel around.

It turns out they were making a story-based photoset about Francis's own murder. *Kanye shrug*


Top via Urban Outfitters / Boots via Ego Offical


The second day was even colder than the first and we were even hungrier after having to wait. We went back to the village for pizza at Saucy Mama's, which we ended up taking home as well as a second round of hot chocolate with extra cocoa. I'm positive that the lines for a bite to eat was longer than the ones at Disneyland during the holidays.

atp-123016-mariel-11 atp-123016-mariel-19atp-123016-mariel-20

Unfortunately, pizza was not enough and steak sandwiches were in order after another work session and refueling on inspiration via Keone and Mari dance videos. Ultimate muse. To celebrate our productivity levels, we watched Space Jam as sent to us by Forever 21.

We also couldn't not have a sleepover without hair braiding and Korean face masks.

atp-123016-mariel-24atp-123016-mariel-25Photos by Azusa Takano

Day 3 - We were up early to be home by 10 for NYE celebrations; everyone except me at least.


I had a harder time waking up due to my sickness, which I ultimately passed on to Justin. I even missed his alarm.

Justin and Francis woke up the earliest to finish shooting the rest of their story campaign, in which Francis made snow angels in nothing but a T-shirt and jeans. Crazy, I know.


We cleaned up the house (faces pass) and we were homebound. Except this time, we took the even longer route. (About 30-40 minutes extra) My Dramamine-less self was going to have to deal. Luckily, being sick was enough to put me to sleep for almost the entire ride.

We of course, couldn't help but pull over at the lake before skidding down the mountain pass. You can never take enough pictures.


Jeans via Hudson Jeans / Shoes via Sigerson Morrison / Socks via Richer Poorer / Watches via Mstr Watches


I went into this trip with a box full of product and countless outfits I've left on the back burner (admittedly, not all ended up being snow friendly) and managed to shoot almost every piece. Talk about starting clean again.


There's something about surrounding yourself with other creatives that just makes work so much more enjoyable. The time spent in Big Bear was more than amazing. In only three days, I think I learned a lot about changing my perspective, stepping up to the plate when approaching others, and overall just maturing as an influencer and creative.

I am so blessed to have people who challenge me the way they do in such a short amount of time. I always feel like I learn something new when I'm around them.

With that being said, Big Bear - you were a first but definitely not the last worksperience we'll have as a team.

Thank you to all the brands that supported and contributed to making this a trip to remember. We'll be back.


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Photography by Justin Quebral