Welcome to our new interview series, Meet Team Slow! We can’t keep all these beautiful people to ourselves any longer, so we’re giving you a glimpse into what makes each one unique in the world and in our eyes.

First up, Talya. Talya brings an eye for detail and a wicked sense of style to work every day. (You know those people who can pull off suspenders? Yeah.) If you’ve bought a tee any time in the last 6 months, chances are Talya’s been the one to sprinkle it with a healthy pinch of good vibes before sending it your way. 

Known to appear as if by magic when the chai is restocked in the kitchen, Talya can always be counted on to share whatever bounty they’ve recently gleaned, whether that’s mushrooms or a brand-new lawn chair with a FREE sign on it. (You know those people who somehow find incredible deals wherever they go? Yeah.)

Talya is our friend, our neighbor, and our favorite gearhead, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We sat down with them on a recent sunny day at the Slow Loris studio to commit our love to words. (You know those people who bring the sun with them wherever they go? You guessed it.)

P-NEON-W Tee & Canoe Tree Dude Tee


Thank you so much for being down to share your story, Talya! Let’s get right to it. How does one end up on Guemes island? 

I was born in Seattle and spent my formative years in Federal Way. My Dad first came to Guemes when I was about 14. I loved summers here, working for Win Anderson at the general store, and I spent some time attending Anacortes High School. I moved around the greater Seattle area. I have lived in Denver and Dallas and driven the inbetween enough to know my heart is on Guemes. 

What do you love the most about living on Guemes?

One of the things I love most about Guemes is the supportiveness of the community. I also love my barn apartment. Living on a road with no name. The horse neighbors that enjoy morning grass outside of my kitchen window. Having my 1912 billiard table in my living room (with plenty of space to spare). Just steps away from my front door I can find oyster mushrooms, morels when the time is right, and various other LBMs. Oh and the berries. Salmon, thimble, wild blackberries, all the blackberries. Strawberries if you know who’s growing them. (Thank you Anya.)

Living on Guemes has taught me that you are who you are, and that is perfectly okay. When I landed here a decade ago I continued to run from myself. My family, chosen and blood, has always supported me. In the best times and worst. I suppose you could say there is so much love here, especially at work, that it was like a vacuum sucking me out of the dark when I was really struggling with that last mile.

Sundancers Tee

Rumor has it, you’ve got a few vehicles. Tell us about them!

The fleet. I’ve an ‘89 Festiva for runabouts (when it’s rainy) and a ‘94 carryall clubcar with a dump bed for sunny day runabouts and light truck work (on island).

I have a ‘13 Silverado (that was the first and last time I’ll buy from a dealership).  She does all the truck things, including hauling trailers. I have an ‘84 open trailer for hauling things like the ‘81 electric commutacar, or the ‘65 Ural with sidecar, or the cabin on a ‘75 terry trailer. I recently joined the van clan with an ‘85 Toyota, and am looking forward to spending all summer in it.

Then there is the red 2010 Cadillac. She was my Mom’s. My Mom died in Feb 2020. Just before covid. Sitting in that car feels like getting a hug from her. And she wants to go fast, Mom trained it. So the further north of 70mph the better the gas mileage. Oh and Bose did a top notch job with the sound system. 

Has your upbringing inspired or informed your love for vehicles?

Yes. One of the biggest things my upbringing has taught me is the importance of the right tools for the task at hand.

Do you have any details on the motorcycle you are sitting on in the video? 

The motorcycle I am sitting on in the interview is probably my favorite vehicle. It was gutted and electrified back in ‘96 by some microsoft guy. It changed a few hands and the batteries were removed. I rescued her from a junkyard. She needs new fancy batteries and until I can afford them, I just tow her out of the garage in the summer and wheeeeeee!!ll her down the hill into the garage at night. 

We know that you’re not supposed to pick favorites, buuuuut what’s your (current) favorite vehicle?

Currently my favorite running vehicle is the van. I built out the sleeping area, added a sink, running water, and toilet as well as a kitchen “area”. All she wants is a solar panel on top. She might have to wait a year for that. Ben and I love the van and she is our current daily. 

Tell us about your pup!

Ben. Ben is the best dog. I'll fight you. He is on guard in the truck, or when I am working with headphones, or making a lot of noise. Ben is used to construction sounds like compressors and saws. Ben loves his stuffed animals. He cleans their ears. His favorite toy is a Lamb. We have 2 jumbos, 1 regular, 1 black , 2 minis, one with antlers. Ben loves to swim, run, to bring back a stick or a ball. Ben loves berry walks, and when mushroom hunting he sits or lays down when they are close so as not to trample anything. 

I was asked by a stranger the other day if my dog was friendly. I had to say not really. He doesn’t want pets from everybody. Ben is spoiled with treats like Beef Liver, Pork Heart, and whole Duck Heads (beak and all) so don’t be offended when he doesn’t want your “dog treats”.

Ben and I are probably codependent and we are just fine with that. We belong in the who rescued who club.

Favorite thing about working for SLOW?

The Family. I have known Arlo and Anya for over a decade, at one time surfing on their couch, then we were close (I mean sharing a driveway and a firepit close) neighbors for a few years. I have had the pleasure of knowing Maijah for equally as long. I spent 2 and a half years working with Maijah’s partner before I worked at Slow Loris, and we became the best of friends, often fishing after work, or hunting the elusive agate. That’s how I met Maijah. The beauty of knowing people for so long in my experience is that they don’t try to change me. They encourage me. 

On the fridge at work, there’s an envelope. Whenever someone says something “inspirational”, it gets written down and put in the envelope. I have a few favorites, but you’ll have to make it to the shop if you want to know what they are.

Slow Roamers Tee

Favorite SLOW design?

Pipes is an old favorite of mine. I love all of our Fungus line, Mountain Goat, Hiking Tortoise, Snowshoe Hare, Mulitool, Kayakers, Canoe Tree Dude, Fireside Camp, I mean really just go to the website. I have to stop myself. They are all individually intriguing and always so so soft. 

Let’s talk about your relationship with the outdoors. Do you love it? Why?

I grew up in the PNW playing in the woods. We built forts, bridges, and many trails. Covered in sap, avoiding nettles, living off berries. 

I am much more comfortable outdoors. I need the tall ceiling but also the comfort of the trees everywhere. I feel that mushrooms are a gift from the earth and that they have many different benefits from consumption. Don’t get me started on the Lion’s Mane and its equivalency in effectiveness on growing brain cells to actual exercise.

Favorite place to take that Toyota space wagon?

My space wagon is going to find Blue Mountain huckleberries this year, and that will be my favorite place to take her.

Any fun plans for this summer?

This summer I hope to do some camping, fishing, mushrooming, berrying, and crabbing.

I also have plans to join the Northwest Women's Pool Association and get back to competitive billiards. 

In addition I am looking forward to placing a bench in the Dog Woods, as well as a couple on the ferry to park trail. 

Heck yeah! Thanks again for sitting down (and standing up, and running around) with us today, Talya. Any words of wisdom or inspiration you’d like to leave us with? 

Yes. This quote from Shakespeare is important enough to me that I have it written forever on my body.

“Doubt thou the stars are fire;

Doubt that the sun doth move; 

Doubt truth to be a liar;

But never doubt I love.”


Tagged: Creative