Name, age, where are you from, all that ish?
My full legal name is Tristen Amal Ikaikamaikai'ikaneokalani Persons. 20 years old. Most people don't know that about me but its 100% real (I swear). My dads family is from hawaii and that’s where it comes from. I was born and raised in Utah but would always spend my summers in hawaii and that had a big influence on my life.
When did you drop out of college?
I never went(SORRY MRS. WITNEY). I always got good grades and did really well in school and always planned on going to college (at one point I wanted to go to Stanford). But towards the end of my senior year I just got really annoyed with my teachers and when it came time to register for college deep down inside of my it just DID NOT feel right. I had this crazy realization that if instead of putting my time and effort into things my teachers were telling me to do and put that into things I was passionate about I could go somewhere with that. I decided to run with what I had going for me and looking back I don't regret it. It's different for everyone and the path they're taking, school can be a good thing.
I am also lucky in the sense that I had really supportive parents who were rooting for me whatever I did(I understand that isn't always the case.) I think it helped that I constantly kept myself busy trying to figure out how to get my foot in the next door and had bigger goals for myself.
Advice for someone trying to create the life they want?
Fake it til you make it. Find a reason why your plan will work, not why it won't. Write down your big goals somewhere you can see them (I write them on my mirror) Then break down the big goals into the smaller things you'll need to do to get there. Be very specific. Be driven by passion, if it's not something thats YOU and it's not authentic and real you'll get tired.
What are some of your future goals long term and short term?
Long term: Marry Taylor Hill
Short term: Date Taylor Hill
What camera do you use?
I just upgraded to a Canon 1dx mark ii and I wish i would've done this sooner. I was on the Canon 6D before this and I am always on an iPhone. Never discredit your iPhone. You don't need the nicest gear to create good videos/photos.
Fav Lenses (to use for travel)?
How do you edit your pics?
How do you color grade your videos?
Using those same presets above, Indy and I poured our hearts and souls into making a whole workshop covering EVERYTHING VIDEO. You can find that HERE.
How do you travel young and on a budget? Tips for traveling cheap?
So many tips here where do I begin. My favorite number to travel with is 4 or 8, Splits up taxis and airbnbs to cheap and all the shared cost go way down. Staying at airbnbs and buying groceries help. When you find the cheap flight BOOK IT. Even if you can barely afford it in the moment, you'll force yourself to earn and save and hustle to make the trip happen. I use numerous website to find the cheapest flights and theres so much advice here. Me and Indy are going to make a travel workshop along with travel guides of everywhere we have visited in the near future. Very excited for that.
Can I come on your next trip?
Currently planning & working on the next one that you can so yes stay tuned!
Favorite place you've ever been?
This is the hardest question to answer and I've never been somewhere I didn't like. I refuse to choose just one but I always recommend Bali to people asking where they should go. It hits all the points of a solid trip. Its beautiful, its way fun, nice people, adventurous but still safe, really good food, has a good combo of touristy stuff but you can still see Indonesian culture if you want. My favorite part of bali is riding the mopeds (It just makes me feel so alive.) And the best part of this destination is you can do it for DIRT CHEAP. Im talking private villas with a pool for 10 bucks a night.
Do you make an itinerary when you travel new places or just go with the flow?
I would say right in the middle. I like to have an idea of what we want to do but nothing crazy detailed. Usually we plan out a few activities, places we want to go, and things we want to eat each day. I feel like my favorite memories were things that happened randomly, finding a hidden beach or some kids playing and spending hours feeling alive in that activity. if you're on a minute by minute schedule you can't do that. But also if you don't have some sort of schedule you'll sit around all day. Somewhere in the middle is perfect, keep expectations low you can never be let down.
How do you survive so many long flights?
In flight wifi is the most worth it purchase. Most flights I spend editing (pictures/videos), going through my phone's camera roll, or airdropping memes and an occasional picture of Taylor Hill to other passengers on the aircraft. Also if I can't fall asleep I put a blanket over my head and make it really dark and I knock out so fast. Sleeping pills also help.
How small did your pee pee shrink up in that Iceland pic tho?
How did you figure out what you wanted to do as a career?
I'm still figuring out what I want to do. I have NO idea what I'll be doing in 10 or even 5 years. That excitement that comes with being an entrepreneur is why i enjoy it. Theres so much pressure on high school kids to find the one thing they want to do for the rest of their life. The world doesn't exactly work like that anymore and its exciting and FUN.
If you could have graduated high school early to start your business would you?
Probably not. High school was fun and i think those memories and experiences are valuable. You never get to be irresponsible like that ever again and who knows how things would've turned out had I finished early. I had no clue I would be doing what I'm doing or be selling rings, I was working doing with film and photo when I first graduated and who knows how graduating early would've changed things but I think theres no rush to growing up.
Was there another more traditional career that you wanted to pursue?
My whole life I've been intrigued by people who started their own companies. But I never had a set career in mind. When I was in junior high high school it went between graphic designer, videographer, editor, something in branding or marketing, entrepreneurship. It was kind of scary for a while not knowing what I want to do but looking back I can say I'm working on things that deep down I've always been interested in.
What made you decide to sell your rings?
I've worn these rings since I was 12 years old. Since I was little I noticed how effortlessly and naturally rings elevated a person's appearance and style. It was almost like an expression of someones personality and I thought that was cool.
When I was like 12 years old a family friend, Cody Barker (you have to understand he was my HERO) had a spoon ring. I wanted one so my dad(who is very handy) helped me set up some random tools in the garage to make one. I made these for myself and a very select few for my closest friends throughout junior high and high school.
People would ask where I got them and if i sold them but I wasn't really interested. It sounded like a big leap and scary and it was something that was just for ME. I liked that it was special and unique to who I was. Only I had these rings because I MADE THEM.
A good 7 YEARS after wearing my rings I had a week where 3 strangers (in person) asked where I got them and that same week there was a comment on my instagram "SOMEONE HELP A GIRL OUT and tell me where Tristen’s gets his rings from because they’re BOMB. pls" I decided I'd just do it and sell some for the people who wanted them and that'd be it.
They sold that night. and here we are more than a year later the rest is history. But I think the reason people respond to it so well is because it's something that's always been me. It's authentic, it's a passion, it's who I am, it's a story, it's a deeper meaning, it's something I've taken to who knows how many countries, it's a lifestyle, it's just me.
Some questions you have may be answered in an interview I did with spoon university, you can find that HERE.