Well hello there! I'm Natalie, the founder of Party or Perish (otherwise known as Chief Party Officer). Welcome to my very first blog post. I was thinking an introduction would be appropriate! Back in August 2020, I did a fun local interview with SDVoyager Magazine detailing how Party or Perish came about, and I think it would be fair to start here. Enjoy!
Transcription of SDVoyager Interview

Natalie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.

Self-expression through creativity is extremely important to me; I am at my happiest when I’m creating. I have always valued originality & going against the grain – a plethora of unfortunate fashion choices in college can attest to this! Growing up I would fill my time with art projects & entrepreneurial dreams. However, somewhere along the way in my adulthood, I started to lose sight of that.

In 2015, I started a sales career in the Wine & Spirits industry and dove in headfirst, determined to excel. It took up most of my attention and energy; I kind of lost myself in it at the beginning. After a few promotions and a career move, I started a new role at an amazing wine company that I love dearly. I figured out how to fine-tune the work/life balance everyone speaks of, but never tells you how to achieve. With this extra time, I now had for myself, I was itching to fill it with a creative outlet, an area I felt I was lacking. There was this part of me that felt a little empty, as though I was not living up to my potential (one of my biggest fears), and I was desperate to feel fulfilled. The irony though is that when you are trying too hard, you sometimes fail the most. A couple years of frustration led me to understanding the power in finding peace and being content in where I was at instead of stressing about where I was not. It sounds cheesy, but when I stopped worrying about wasting time and feeling unaccomplished, that is when Party or Perish came to fruition.

At first, I had written that last sentence down as “…that is when Party or Perish fell into my lap” but anyone who tells you that anything ‘fell into their lap’ is not telling you the whole truth. The truth is chasing your dreams or passions takes hard work and dedication. It also means sacrificing sleep, social plans, that extra ‘spending’ money and more. I know all of that may sound a little unappealing, but when you find joy in what you are doing, it doesn’t feel like true sacrifice. Once I begun focusing on the things that truly made me happy, it all started coming together. I say that in hopes that it might resonate with someone out there reading this.



Has it been a smooth road?

Since starting Party or Perish in late January of this year, I would say the biggest obstacle so far has been Covid-19. POP is female-driven retro sportswear brand, which depends on the business of fellow sports fans. With Coronavirus delaying seasons, cancelling in-person sporting events, and drastically increasing the unemployment rate, my sales naturally slowed down as I faced the unknown. Being a brand-new company, I took this time as an opportunity to get other areas of the business in order, such as building up inventory, defining brand identity and launching a website!

Another challenge has been self-doubt. I have a tendency to get in my own way at times and I over analyze everything (hey Astrologists, can I blame that on being a Capricorn?). A perfectionist by nature with crippling anxiety, I had to quickly figure out that failing is actually a form of growth, and growth paves the path to success. Therefore, instead of being scared of failure, embrace it. Easier said than done, am I right? It’s a constant mantra honestly and not for the faint of heart.


We’d love to hear more about your business.

As a female sports fan who likes a unique look, I am always on the hunt for stylish sportswear. Much to my dismay, stylish sportswear seems to be an oxymoron for women. But after finding inspiration from a cool piece I saw at the bar on a Football Sunday, I decided to take a stab at handmaking some of my own as presents for my mom and sisters. With the help of my boyfriend’s crafty mother, I made three ‘star bedazzled’ sweatshirts with each of their favorite teams (and a fourth for myself, of course!). The pieces were such a hit amongst my friend group that I started finding myself fulfilling requests for custom pieces from my inner circle. This enthusiastic response sparked the idea that is now Party or Perish.

Party or Perish is a female-driven retro sportswear brand, as previously stated. I take vintage pieces and customize them with extra flair, in true Natalie fashion. The coolest part of sourcing vintage is that no two pieces are the same, resulting in a completely original item designed specifically for each customer! Something that sets POP apart from the others is the overall aesthetic. It is truly my style personified into a brand. It has a funky, colorfully bold vibe most would not associate with sports. This authenticity has made POP tremendously fun to cultivate and design! It is truly my passion project and labor of love.



Is our city a good place to do what you do?

There is a reason why they call San Diego “America’s Finest City” – it is simply spectacular! I moved here a little over five years ago and it has been one of the best decisions I have made. It is rich in culture, opportunity and endless inspiration. San Diego is full of people who are imaginative and risk taking; anyone can build up a supportive network within this community. I also want to note that while I am partial to this beautiful city, I think it is important for people to know they can accomplish anything, regardless of where they live. It has a lot more to do with your ambition, work ethic and drive than it has to do with your location. Yes, location can afford you certain access and luxury, and may be a goal for certain aspirations, but I am not crazy about the notion that location itself limits someone’s dream. I think you can initially get started anywhere and see where it takes you from there!


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