We spent an afternoon with nature-enthusiast, renaissance womxn and designer, Maia Brown in New York
Where are you based?
I am currently living in NYC, enjoying the city and making the most of the “nature” around me.
How would you describe yourself, in a sentence?
I am a passionate creative with a deep-rooted philanthropic side - using my love for art and connection to help educate and empower my community about wellness. I consider myself a Millennial renaissance womxn, as I enjoy doing all things creative and say yes to every opportunity with enthusiasm.
A plant, tree, or flower you love to give as a gift (or have in your home)?
I enjoy growing herbs and greens in my dorm room. I love live plants and tend to use them in cooking, remedies, or to gift to others so they can continue giving them life. My favorite is basil because it has so many uses and is easy for any plant lover. I also enjoy any flower that attracts butterflies, as it has always been a sentiment in my family that butterflies are your loved ones coming to visit.
A moment in your life that inspired you to your path of graphic design and sex writing?
I have always been an avid designer; I began back in middle school when I built my own website. Growing up I always enjoyed tinkering on the computer with different tech programs. But my path to sex writing began when I started college. I was suddenly thrust into living alone and taking care of myself. I became more conscious of my health and got an internship for an online platform about sexual wellness on a whim! I really enjoy learning about the interconnectivity of what we eat, how we live, and how it affects our pleasure and overall well-being.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I am always reading books to heighten my awareness of the past, present information, and how we can use it to shape our future. I enjoy learning about design, accessibility, and art. One of my favorite ways to clear my mind when pursuing a creative opportunity is going for a walk, sitting in nature, or visiting art galleries. Any space that is full of life and authenticity helps me get in tune with myself and the environment.
What does sustainability / conscious living mean to you?
Conscious living within my own perspective means performing each act thoughtfully and doing things to enact positive change beyond my own reality. I grew up in a very healthy and eco-conscious household. Taking that extra step to consume less and make more use of our resources helped ingrain some wonderful sustainable habits into my life. We had multiple rain barrels that we used to tend to our garden where we grew some food and would toss our leftovers in a composter. We stuck to a mainly plant-based lifestyle and used plastic-free and sustainable goods long before it had become more accessible. Now I live with these same practices and do the most that I can in the middle of a big city!
What is one of your go-to nature escape(s)?
I grew up by the Chesapeake Bay, so water and the aquatic ecosystem was very much part of our education. I would always walk down to my neighborhood pier and spend time by the water to just breathe and read. Now that I am in New York, I enjoy walking down to the Seaport District, which overlooks the Brooklyn Bridge. The open space, water, and sunlight is reminiscent of home and helps me refresh. The nature here is highly organized in a sense, so I occasionally go to parks for a bit of greenery.
What is one daily action we can take to help restore mother earth?
I like to challenge myself by asking “Do I truly need this?” whether it is a bag at a store to hold my goods, or a straw in a drink, etc. Taking yourself beyond your present moment and thinking about someone or something beyond yourself is a good first step. I went vegan a year ago, after being vegetarian for many years, and when eating animal products, I realized that I do not need cheese to survive! A lot of the little indulgences of our daily lives can enhance us today, but in the long run they harm someone else. Just being mindful and using what you have rather than always trying to consume more is a good daily practice.
What advice would you give to someone starting in their sustainability journey?
Assess what you have. Whether it is privilege, financial stability, or material items try to do the most with what you own in the present. Then take the time to invest in things that you can use as long as possible.
What is your go-to brief style?
My love for going au naturel extends to my underwear drawer! I have always had a love/hate relationship with undergarments but tend to opt for breathable thongs. The KENT cotton pairs are so dreamy and comfortable. I enjoy styles that protect what is needed without a lot of frills. The simplicity and minimalistic qualities of my KENT are healthier for my sanity, the environment, and that of my main home- my body.
In all photos, Maia wears the KENT high-waist brief in cloud.
All photos by Margrit Wenzel