Women of the water are some of the most inspiring, influential, and impactful people in the world. That’s exactly why Stacie Vanags set out to give women a platform where they could have a global conversation about inspiring each other, pushing the boundaries of modern adventure, and even our own environmental impact.
The Salted Spirit Podcast was launched this summer, featuring conversations with surfers, ocean photographers, stunt doubles, kite surfers, and influencers of all kinds from places like Portugal, France, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States. The idea was born after Stacie moved from Chicago and learned how to surf. Based in Los Angeles, Vanags started paying more attention to the repetitive issues affecting our oceans.
“I started to understand plastic pollution,” Vanags said. “I would pick up trash and shove it in my wetsuit and thought ‘man this water is really dirty.’ I started to make all these connections.”
With a passion for fashion, Vanags originally had a clothing brand called Salted Spirit aimed at creating environmental awareness by using local dyes. But the focus on fashion had to shift. “I realized the impact on the ocean and morally as a surfer,” she said. “I couldn’t keep doing fashion, because I was contributing to an issue which is in the top three for pollution.”
Vanags moved the focus of Salted Spirit from her own work to other women doing extraordinary things for the planet, the environment, and their community. She didn’t want a blog. She wasn’t a writer. So she created a podcast – something she was excited about. Instead of a perfectly manicured photo on Instagram, Salted Spirit offers an intimate way to have real conversations with women about everything from gut health, journalism, meeting friends on dirt roads, health, saving the environment, and much more.
“We aren’t really being transparent about what real life is always like. But with the podcast you get to connect to the voice and the story of their upbringing and how they got into whatever they are doing. I wanted to bring to life these women’s stories and their actual voices. You can hear them and connect with them.” Vanags said.
Having been raised in the Midwest, she can attest to the disregard many have towards threats to California’s precious ocean and habitats. “It’s everywhere,” Vanags said. “Everything runs to the ocean. Do you eat seafood? Do you eat fish? It’s always trying to find different ways to communicate it.”
That’s why the environmental impact is important to her. She has the opportunity to share with people all over the world, just how badly our coasts and habitats are being affected by things that are so “minor” as plastic cups, plates and straws. Through her passion for the ocean and the things that affect it, the podcast was born out of gratitude for her surf sessions and the beauty that surrounds her.
“I am someone that is always feeling like I should be doing more,” Vanags said. “You know what, the ocean doesn’t have a voice and there are a lot of animals in the ocean that need representation. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done. I can’t just keep take, take, taking without giving back in any way,”