Imagine driving up towards Yosemite with your best friend, stopping by a bar in the middle of nowhere and finding the listing for a ghost town that has been for sale for 17 years in a dusty real estate booklet. You can call this luck, we call it Jennifer McMillan's destiny. With a shy $100 in the bank, somehow, Jennifer rounded up some backers and bought what would become Bandit Town - the greatest little Western Town in North Folk, CA that's now home to music festivals, motorcycle shoes, weddings, camp outs, rodeos, yoga on the dance floor... You name it. Read the interview below and you'll find it pretty obvious why we have a big ol' girl crush on Jen and why we decided to carry her line on the site. Shop Bandit Brand, here!
What does the Summer of 2015 look like for you over at Bandit Town?
We are mostly just working on repairs at Bandit Town this Summer. It leaks when it rains in all of the buildings so we weren't able to start making the insides cool until we got the outsides in order. Had to cut down a ton of dead Pine Trees but have been milling the wood so that it all goes right back into the town. Our next two confirmed events are July 4th and Labor Day. We are just having camping only on July 4th, we donated our band and our PA to the Loggers Jamboree and we would all rather be there that weekend. Brittany my assistant is running for Jamboree Queen :) and Labor Day info will be announced in July. Our Bandit Town USA Facebook or our Instagram @bandit_brand are the best ways to see what's coming up. We also have some weddings, Party for Stetson Hats and other cool stuff.
Can you describe the Bandit Town experience in 2 sentences for someone who hasn’t been?
Laid back good time with good friends and good music. Fry Bread Indian Tacos.
What and who are you inspired by right now?
I'm inspired by the community in North Fork and the area in general. The town is full of helpful amazing people and has a good share of characters. The town went to shit after the Mill closed in 1994 and everyone lost their jobs and left so businesses closed down and it has a reputation as a "bad" town so we fit right in. But like us we aren't really bad, just a little misunderstood... And I like it that way. Keeps the rif raf out (and by rif raf I mean fancy people).
At this point in your life, what does freedom mean to you?
It means everything. I did my time. Put on my costume for jobs... I wore a McDonald's Visor and Maternity outfit, I wore stupid shit from the mall to my receptionist job and wore makeup even though I hate wearing make up (except on date nights ha). I woke up early and drove my son to day care in the snow and sat in the same chair in the same office for years and I'm glad I did because I don't take one minute of my time for granted anymore.
But real talk, if you had a normal job, what would it be?
Holy crap. This question is harder than I thought. Racking my brain and just realized I'm 42 and never have figured out what I want to be when I grow up. Is Trailer Park Manager a normal job?
What’s your favorite thing about living in California?
The weather and the fact that I live in a small town in the woods, but can be at the beach in 3 hours or LA/SF in about 4 if I need to handle business.
What’s on your playlist right now?
Savoy Brown, Traffic, Stephen Stills....
Can you describe the Bandit Brand girl for us?
Good Hearted Bad Girls.
How would you pair Vanessa Mooney with Bandit Brand?
I love the Dreamer and Midsummer Night Rings, Mojave Cuffs and the Mess Around Concho Wrap Chokers. They would look awesome with these our tees!
What’s your life motto?
Unfuck the world.