Inspired by the Pacific Northwest, Mary's signature goggle pays homage to Washington.
words: Julia Spadaro
Mary Rand is a woman who lives among the wildflowers, and her signature goggle is here to tell her story. You see, in the land where she spends most of her time, people buy their food from local chemical-free farms and sit down to share dinners with their neighbors. I’m not kidding. It sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong. This place is called Glacier, and it exists right at the base of Mt. Baker in Washington. It’s also the place that inspired the design for Mary’s pro model goggle, the Smith Squad.
The Squad is a cylindrical-framed goggle that isn’t too square and fits favorably on those of us who are small- headed, like Mary herself. Having almost complete artistic direction on this goggle, Mary chose to represent what is nearest and dearest to her heart right now, the Pacific Northwest, and specifically Mt. Baker. She partnered with Bellingham-based tattoo artist Emily Nelson and directed her vision toward time-honored plant medicine. Emily sketched wild plants that are indigenous to the region, presented on the goggle in a traditional tattoo style—the reason for its uncomplicated, black and white aesthetic.
I ask Mary if she’s into plant medicine herself. Her response is inspired. “Yes, I am, and becoming more so,” she says. “I’ve studied a little bit, and I’ve gone to this pretty well- known women’s herbal conference on the East Coast. I’m going to it again this year. Plant medicine is definitely one of the things I would like to study further. It’s one of the things I think about and am working toward, for sure.”
On the strap of the goggle, you’ll find a sword fern—a type of plant native to northwest Washington—neighbored by a wild daisy and a cedar leaf that hug a depiction of Mt. Baker. There are tons of plants in the PNW. I mean, thousands. Maybe millions. They say it rains a lot up there. So why these three specifically? Well, Mary loves wildflowers, especially the daisies. “For no reason other than they make me happy,” she says. That’s as good a reason as any. Maybe even one of the best reasons to do anything, ever. As for the cedar leaf? “Cedar trees are super special,” Mary explains. “They can grow to be massive and live for hundreds of thousands of years if they don’t get chopped down. I feel like the cedar trees are the keepers of the forest.”
And Mary is the keeper of the Glacier way of life. She purchases all of her produce, chicken, and pork from the aforementioned chemical-free farm, which happens to be only five miles up the road from her house. All of the fish she eats is caught by her roommate, Zoë Vernon, who fishes wild Alaskan salmon. As far as skincare and beauty products go, she buys her goods from a woman in town who wild forages all of the ingredients herself. In addition to cooking every meal, Mary drinks chamomile tea each night and takes a skullcap tincture to soften everyday stress and anxiety. Zinc, magnesium, and collagen are all a part of her vitamin and mineral routine. Simply put, Mary keeps the supply chain close to home.
Those of us who spend our days as desk jockeys or stress cases could probably benefit to learn a little something from the woman behind this Smith Squad, and a little something from Glacier, as well. To live slower, more intentional lives. To share with our neighbors and support local business. To take care of our bodies. When asked what Baker means to her, Mary hesitates. “It’s almost hard to put into words what it means, because it holds so much grandeur in so many ways to me. Between the people that it attracts and the people who end up living in Glacier solely based on riding Baker in the winter, it’s awesome to be up there in the mountains and live this slow-paced lifestyle. It’s the people and the passion and the ski area and the surrounding area.”
Now I know you probably want to move to Glacier after reading this, but you can’t, because I am first. My stuff’s already packed. But you can at least buy Mary’s goggle, live vicariously through Glacier’s green plants and merry farmers, and come visit us in the meantime.
Check out Mary Rand’s Smith Squad at www.smithsoptics.com.