Staff Snaps – Vol. 1: Madi Graham

On Staff Snaps we feature some of the all stars who make the good stuff happen behind the scenes at Surfing the Nations. Today on Staff Snaps we get a glimpse of the lovely Madi Graham, current manager of Surfers Coffee and soon to be Internship staff. Sitting down to chat with Madi was a treat; she’s an all around joyful individual with an infectious laugh who loves some quality time with good friends or her camera.


Born and raised?
Chicago, Illinois. I was born in the city, raised in the suburbs of Wheaton but I’m a city girl at heart.

What’s your pick me up song of the week?
Daisy Mae by Leon Bridges.

What’s your favorite part of the workday?
I love the early morning rush. When I’m working behind the bar doing barista stuff, making coffee, I love the hustle.

What’s the last thing you created for fun?
Actually I went to Waikiki this weekend by myself and sat on street corners, people watching, taking photos. They weren’t my favorites but I felt like I needed to go and do this. Back home I used to go into the city and explore all day. That’s what I love, I love taking portraits and the city is my favorite because of the diversity.

A special story about how you ended up at STN?
I ended up hating my job. I was making good money and had opportunities to make more money. But I felt a strong pull in the opposite direction to just leave what was comfortable. Photography fell into my lap so I ended up quitting my job and getting into photography instead. It was one of the riskiest things I’ve ever done. I felt ready to go out into the world and Hawaii was this perfect opportunity to prepare. I was drawn to the creative community here and that’s a huge reason why I’m out here. Looking back, I always had a Surfers Coffee mug in my cubicle at my old job because I knew a girl who worked out here and she sent it to my dad. I stole it from him. Now I get to work here!

What fuels you?
Being with my people, chilling, cooking, hearing about people’s experiences. But then I have times like this past weekend where I’m alone and it’s so good because those are sweet times I’m reminded why I’m here with deep thoughts flooding the brain.


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