An interview with Judy Walker written by Judy Tsuei

TOPS Malibu is excited for this online space to connect with you. We’re led by our fun founder, Judy Walker, who’s been a female entrepreneur for over 30 years and loves collaborating with a team of innovative individuals in both Eugene, Oregon and the north shore of Kauai, Hawaii. Our products have been enjoyed at birthdays, weddings, and events like The Academy Awards, The Grammy Awards, and even a Presidential Inauguration.

We sat down at her tropical greenhouse creative studio recently to chat about TOPS. Check out our space with our latest 3 minute video and read more of our conversation here:

 Can you tell me a little more about your team in Eugene and Kauai? 

“We have 15 people in our offices in Eugene and around 20 amazing artisans who create our products in their homes in Oregon.  In Kauai, family is called “ohana” and I’m blessed to work with my daughter, my partner, Dan and wonderful assistants who’ve become like family.

We do the designing, sales, and general managing of the business in Hawaii. I’ve always worked remotely, because it removes distractions and allows me to design & generate ideas for the business, while entrusting my Oregon team members to do what they do best!”

What brought you to Kauai?

“We started our business in Malibu, which is why we’re called TOPS Malibu, and then moved our production to Eugene, Oregon. I’ve always loved the beauty, air, water,  tropical birds of Kauai and chose to move here 15 years ago.”  It was a wonderful move.

Wherever you are, it’s important to you that TOPS Malibu makes its products in the U.S.A?

"Yes. Years ago so many companies began moving to China to manufacture. It just didn’t seem right for TOPS Malibu. It was a gut decision and my feelings haven't changed.

TOPS Malibu started as a craft gallery and when curating for our store, I could feel the heart that went into making the pieces. I could tell if something was made by rote with no care  or if there was heart put into  it.  I only chose the latter. That’s always been really important to me. Our product is made with so much care and love by artisans in Oregon."

The whole premise for TOPS Malibu is surprise and play. Why are these traits important to you?

“I like to create products that have a bit of taboo,  that go against social mores... life feels more alive & authentic that way. People often think they have to act a certain way. I like to offer fun ways to connect people in deeper ways and crack that belief of how we ought to be. So much more fun!

In the end, what it’s really about is living your life purpose, and I’d love to inspire others to do the same. Live your life’s dream, and have fun along the way!”

**

There’ll be more to come from Judy in the near future, where she shares her creativity in amazing ways. We’re honored to be invited to your special events and are happy to have this blog to connect with you!

If you’re on Instagram, follow us & use the hashtag #topsmalibu to share your events. Or, follow us on facebook. Share your stories & anything else you’d like us to know about at backstage@topsmalibu.com.


Judy Walker
Judy Walker

Author