UO Interviews: Vanessa Crook of REALM


Vanessa Crook's coolness extends beyond her vibrant pink orange hair. As the founder of REALM, a local line consisting of hand embroidered pieces, Crook has brought a sort of lady empowerment factor to the pillows we're cuddling, the bags we're carrying and the sweatshirts we're styling. 

Now nearly three years old, REALM has established itself both in Austin and nation-wide as a one-of-a-kind, one-woman show. We're honored to host Vanessa at our Galentine's Get Together, where she'll be selling a handful of goodies alongside eythink and Sister Coffee. Get to know her below and come shop in person this Sunday at 2pm! 

Photos by Hanson Little 

Designer crush:

Too many to count! I pine over the shoe designs of ZouXou. I have been fortunate to become friends with the shoe designer Katherine through designer markets and she's an amazing person. I have always looked up to my longtime friend Tammer Hijazi's innovative mind and and creative aesthetic (he is one part of Bower).  They make truly beautiful objects and I feel lucky to get to turn to him for advice and support.

Lady role-model:

Cecile Richards with a few exclamation points. She steers a giant ship and takes on the mountain of grief and guff with such incredible composure. She's tireless, fearless, and brilliant. 

Must-follow on Instagram:

Gabriel Held-  tons of deep cut 90s and 2000s trashionista/logo heavy fashions and icons, rich in colorful inspiration, and he does amazing dressed up singing into the camera. 

Go-to beauty product:

I'm a serial under-hydrator so I really have to go hard on the moisturizers. My favorite is Maracuja oil from Tarte- its vegan/cruelty free and I use it on my skin, hair, mix some into my foundation before I put it on, etc etc. I love it. 

Top city for inspiration:

Tough call! I spent most of my formative years in Florida and in Brazil so tropical prints and bright colors are natural staples for me. I get to travel to LA a few times a year for work and I always feel pretty excited and inspired after those trips as well. 

Pink vs red:

Pink, always. Its radically feminine and it goes with everything.  I had my hair dyed hot pink through most of high school so its also got a lot of nostalgic romanticism for me. 

Personal REALM favorite: 

I'm working on a bunch of new stuff thats too early to talk about but one thing that has only been available in person but will soon be available online are my travel bags. I carry the zippered tote every day, it has proven to be the perfect size for my day to day needs.

Who’s your galantine?

Lindsay Eyth, my gal pal sweet woman designer partner in crime. She is an incredible artist who kills it with her strong female themes and cute but dangerous designs.