Pro Kitesurfer | Artist Entrepreneur
Today everyone is a multi-hyphenate — designer/stylists, model/actors, gypsetter/musicians — and the ridiculously talented Gretta Kruesi (a record-holding athlete, lifestyle model, street artist and on-air cooking personality) still manages to out-achieve the overachievers.
On the menu of Gretta’s many talents, ocean kitesurfing is the beating heart that energizes all her pursuits. She’s a poster child for contemporary women’s kitesurfing: a team rider for the only surf specific kiteboard brand, BWS; is the U.S. kiteboarding distance record holder; and was named one of the world’s 10 most influential girl kite boarders by In Motion Kitesurfing magazine in 2012. Her athletic agility, killer bod and bubbly presence has big name brands Lacoste, Teva, Nissan, Coca-Cola and Microsoft lining up to book her for modeling gigs and commercials.
While living and kitesurfing on Maui, Gretta took up painting and yup, you guessed it — she was awesome at it. Her whimsical, ocean-inspired art boasts a diverse devotee list and in 2011 Gretta was named one of LA’s leading female street artists by the biggest street art gallery, Lab Art in Los Angeles. Gretta’s latest stroke of creative brilliance is serving up tasty California meals from her own food truck, Dawn Patrol to early bird beach goers, and a full service, surf-themed healthy food truck, Beach Cruiser, which she was a top contender in Food Network’s 5th season of The Great Food Truck Race.
What lead you to a career in kite surfing?
My parents live on an island off Charleston, SC. I grew up surfing but unless it’s hurricane season the waves are pretty small. It’s windy most of the year, and the beach in front of their house is where the first local kiters started. I was actually the first local girl to get into the sport. The kites were so much less safe and harder to use back then! I was obsessed.
After I graduated college I had to choose a “real job” instead of pursuing kiting full time. But I was getting picked up by sponsors, and training in all my free time. When I started competing, I used all my vacation and sick days at work to do it… I knew it was time to pursuit the sport full-time.
You’re a pro-athlete, artist and entrepreneur. Curious what a girl like you who is so multifaceted, considers a career mentor?
When you don’t follow a traditional career path, it’s hard to have traditional mentors. I look up to entrepreneurs with a multitude of successes as well as individuals who have been successful in each specific area. My mom, also Mary Alice Monroe—a NY Times best-selling author—has been my inspiration and mentor my entire life as well as Bob McKnight, Quicksilver co-founder, are three people that I truly trust and look to for advice.
You’ve traveled to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world! Tell us which one is your favorite and why.
Ahhh that’s like asking what’s my favorite color—they’re all so amazing for different reasons, different moods and at different times of the year! Namotu Island Fiji is my favorite place if I do have to pick just one. There are world-class surf breaks, white sandy beaches, amazing food and people - it’s absolutely divine.
Tell us an important piece of advice you may never forget.
My mom once said to me, “Look to your left honey, look to your right. All those other kids want the same thing as you. You’re going to have to work harder than every single one of ‘em to be the one to get it.”
What is your go to look for day? For night?
I’m a boho beach girl. My day look is cut off shorts, booties, crop top or button down and some sort of long sweater/kimono. For night I love dresses because they’re so easy. And of course, red lipstick if I need to glam-up an outfit!
What are you listening to now?"
Angus and Julia Stone
Who is your ultimate fashion muse?
Diana Vreeland and of course Kate Moss
What does it mean to you to belong to Amuse Society?
I love the concept of society girls. To me, it’s a society of rad, creative, multifaceted visionary women. I’m honored to be amongst such inspiring, talented and supportive girls.