For the launch of our latest product — See The Sign Tapestry, we asked a select few to assist with the release by sharing their stories through the lens of their zodiac sign. We hope you find the human in fellow strangers, see your reflection in those who walk the Earth beside us, and move with compassion during these times. Immense gratitude to those who opened their heart and participated with us. Next up, meet Tobias Deardorff.
WE ASKED: TELL US, WHO ARE YOU?
Tobias: Hello, I'm Tobias. I'm from Hamilton, OH but currently living in Phoenix with an upcoming move to California. I feel most at peace when I'm in nature, preferably the mountains, with dirty feet and tired legs.
WE ASKED: TOBIAS, WHAT’S YOUR LIFE MISSION/PASSION/INSPIRATION?
Tobias: My current mission & passion is to help restore dignity and belonging to some of the most vulnerable folks in our communities. We do that by making sure they don't want for basic necessities like shelter, food, water, and, among others, an identification.
I do this work with two non-profits in Phoenix, Homeless ID Project and AZ Hugs. Homeless ID Projects helps make sure folks have access to their identification so they can apply for benefits, housing, jobs, and send their children to school. AZ Hugs is a grassroots organization that provides our homeless neighbors with water, food, and a loving community of volunteers that care about them, especially in the dangerous, extreme heat we get in the summer.
My inspiration continues to come from seeing the stark contrast in resources available to different communities, neighborhoods, and people that live no more than a few blocks apart. The epicenter of homelessness in Phoenix is mere blocks away from our state capital.
There's a prejudice around homelessness in our culture and I want to call in all of our community to help alleviate this. My hope is that it helps others see everyone, regardless of social status, with the love, empathy, and respect that we all deserve.
WE ASKED: WHAT’S BEEN A CHALLENGE IN YOUR LIFE? HOW DID YOU DEAL WITH IT OR HOW ARE YOU DEALING WITH IT?
Tobias: A challenge in my life has been finding a way to fully express myself and my emotions. Growing up in rural Ohio, there weren't always channels for me to express the more "feminine" traits that I carry and they would tend to be hidden or downplayed as a result.
I've struggled in the past to continue sharing myself or my feelings if I don't feel understood, so I'm constantly working on not shutting down my feelings, while also knowing when to say it's okay that others aren't able to fully see me. This practice has come from reading books, surrounding myself with a loving partner, community, & chosen family, and therapy. All of those people and things have given me the space and support I need to find comfort in my skin while continuing to grow.
WE ASKED: WHAT CAN WE DO TO SUPPORT? HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOUR LIFE MISSION/PASSION?
Tobias: I love what Nightswim stands for and how you bring people from all walks of life together through sustainable fashion and community events. The fact that you don't subscribe to the "principles" of fast-fashion is already HUGE in protecting the spaces where I find myself at home. I might need to get one of your Venice Tees so I can support YOU in your efforts! As I embrace more of myself and find safe spaces, I would love more events to attend, like the night we made chocolate from cacao. I immediately felt welcomed into your community and I was introduced to other sustainable folks like Mama Cacao.
WE ASKED: HOW DO YOU RELATE TO YOUR ZODIAC SIGN?
Tobias: I relate to my zodiac sign in a few ways, but I think the biggest way I relate is being a romantic. I find joy in making my partner feel special, desired, and loved. I love planning romantic dates, often virtual as I'm currently in a long-distance relationship, that keep things light, fun, and unique!
LIBRA ARTWORK INTERPRETATION
"Libra, ruled by Venus, is an air sign that so elegantly demands that beauty exist in the world. The lotus, despite it’s obvious outer beauty, is able to grow even in the dirtiest of waters. This is a testament to Libra’s balance." - Leigh Cariaga, Nightswim Astrological Design Artist