We had a lovely time catching up with content creator, Susan Piña Mensink.

She led us through a trail of childhood memories — all of which guided her here.

As a content creator, Susan considers the brands she works for; what values do they embody? Do they resemble her own?

Take a peek into the life of a small-town farmer who uses words and influence to spark change in the world.

How has learning about the environment impacted your actions?

Learning about the environment has helped me make important decisions on what I wear, eat, and spend my energy on and it has made me very picky with the brands that I decide to create content for.

As a child, I was taught that this earth is our home, not permanently but for now and while we are here it is important for us to improve the way we live every day not just for our bodies but for the environment and for the people living in it. Those small changes that we make can help the earth tremendously.

Susan looking out over a body of water with hills in the far background

Can you tell us a bit about your passions beyond “work”?

A couple things that I’m very passionate about is growing my own vegetables in my garden, trail running a couple miles about three times a week, spending time in nature, hanging out with our chickens, and reading.

Growing my own veggies and being in the garden brings so much peace to my soul. I’ve enjoyed running for over 10 years now, it’s exhausting but it makes me feel good. Reading is also something that I’ve enjoyed at a young age. There’s just something about a good book that helps you escape reality for a little bit.

Do you find that these passions blend, merge, or complement your work?

Yes, I find that it complements my work, a lot of what I do is content creating and I capture most of it in nature.

What are your materials and how do you think about them?

For content creating my materials are whatever the brand sends me, a camera, & my iPad for editing. And for gardening, it’s a lot of wood ( my husband and I built raised garden beds for all of our vegetables) seeds, gardening tools, soil, and water.

Nocs and map on a rock
Susan Pina holding nocs
susan standing with nocs

Do you find that these passions blend, merge, or complement your work?

My passion for gardening/farming came from my mother and father. My mother always had plants in our home and I would often see her tending to the garden and from that someday, I wanted my own garden too.

My father, before coming to the states, grew up poor in a little pueblo in Mexico and started working on his family’s ranch, selling eggs, and growing corn. I spent most of my childhood visiting his old pueblo. Spending time with the people, chickens, horses, and ranches.

Now, I live on my family’s small ranch here in southern California, and I know that my passions for those things come from the both of them and that is why I enjoy living out here so much.

At the end of the day, why do you do your craft? Are there goals ahead, a constant love for the process, or a yearning to learn more?

Content creating has just been fun. It sparks my creativity and joy. I took a break last year but I plan to keep growing and hoping to work with more brands in the future.

Our goals for the ranch here in southern California are to have more livestock and grow more things and potentially build a little veggie stand to sell to our locals. I’m yearning to learn more and I’ve been thinking about going back to school and taking a couple classes in agriculture.

Artistic photo collage of Susan in nature with Nocs binoculars around her neck, and another photo of her looking through the binoculars

A key ingredient to building a sustainable future?

The key ingredient is to be imperfectly sustainable. I continue to make mistakes and that’s okay as long as I’m learning and trying.

What has continued to help & guide me is I’m an advocate for a clean essentials brand from Los Angeles and every month we have a call with different guest speakers discussing things like carbon emissions, mindful meditation, sustainable periods, etc and from these calls we learn so much about the steps we can take for a sustainable future.

So, try being a part of a group that can guide and help you learn how to make the first steps.

A book that shaped your life?

Eat Pretty by Jolene Hart.

Favorite artist currently?

Lord Huron.

Most sublime moment in nature?

This might be TMI but the moments I feel more connected to myself and the earth is when I’m just naked in nature.

What have been your biggest challenges?

Last year, I just wasn’t as motivated to go out and accomplish things. This year I have been pushing myself. So I recently did a 26.2 marathon hike and that was the most challenging, exhausting thing I’ve ever done. I didn’t even train for it, I was invited a month prior to the marathon and I just said what the heck I’ll do it. I’m glad I went through with it and completed it.

What do you do when you get out and away from the office/lab?

I enjoy walking my dog Oliver, playing with him, and cuddling.

Susan holding binoculars about to view birds in the distance