Soulboarder and PR professional Silvi Schlereth talks living your dream and discarding it to follow what life has planned for you
Interview by Anna Langer
I have always loved sports, all kinds of sports and got my first skateboard when I was still a grommet in kindergarden. I just wanted to have one so badly because my older brother and all my cousins all had one. The model I finally got was a cheap discounter version and the wheels hardly turned. I loved it anyways!
At school I attended a special sports class and it was our very up to date sports teacher, Mister Krauss, who introduced us to snowboarding during a school skiing week sometime in the 1990s. From the day I first saw some guys cruising down the slopes I was hooked. I knew that this was what I want to do for the rest of my life: cruising around and playing on a board.
Surfing was the last of the magic three boardsports that I got into, but I have to admit that it is what I love the most in the end – specially in warm waters with mellow waves.
I’m from Germany, northern Bavaria and grew up in just a pretty normal family situation: sandwich kid born between an older brother and a younger sister. Looking back I think I can truly say that my childhood world was pretty idyllic. Actually my world as a grown up still is. I feel pretty blessed.
Working for Les Ettes was simply love, friendship and the time of my life. Carmela Fleury, the owner of the brand, and Stine Schoett-Quist founded the brand in 2007. It was meant to become the very first cosmetic brand in boardsports. Soon Claudia Almendros came on board to become the creative head of the brand and at some point I joined, first as a national teamrider, then as an intern and finally ended up being in charge of events and PR. I really learned a lot during my time at Les Ettes – about business, about work life, but also about myself and what I want in my professional life. And it was incredibly fun. Thank you crew for having me. I miss you.
After school I didn’t want to work at all, haha. All I wanted to do was snowboarding. Ideally 24 hours per day. But I had to do some work to be able to live my dream, so I took on any kind of shitty job during the summer months: promoting the new coffee shop next door in a coffee bean costume, selling bratwurst at a food stall or catering fancy events and cleaning offices. When I had enough off that kind of stuff I decided to go to university and with my degree in cultural studies and communication science my jobs got more sophisticated. And with my involvement in boardsports the direction came naturally.
The biggest lesson life has taught me so far is that just because you believe in your dreams and work hard it does not mean they will come true. No reason to be disappointed though. Life sometimes has other plans for you and most of the time they turn out even better in the end…
Of course there are things that I could have done differently or not at all… But I always had my reasons in that special moment. So I think I can say I don’t have any regrets, no.
The environment should be an issue for all of us. Nature is our planet’s biggest treasure and the source of life. I try to keep my carbon footprint small with tiny steps in daily life. I use the bike or walk whenever I can. I prefer public transport if possible and I try to be economical with water consumption.
A good approach for life in general is to only take what you need and give something back in return. Not always easy, I know. Eating less meat would be a good advise for our society too. But I have to admit that after some years of being a vegetarian I really have a hard time to give up on a good steak. I prefer to buy meat from a local farmer though. Buying local products in general is the best way to go anyways.
My greatest inspirations in life are sunshine and pouring rain. My friends with all their different personalities and lifestyles. And of course my husband who is a mountain guide and lives a life very close to nature. He reads mountains like no one I have met before and sometimes I get the feeling that the mountains talk to him too. They always show him first where the best powder is to be found… Dick! Haha…