If you’re a fan of surfing, you’ve probably heard of Tia Blanco. If not, you’re missing out. Tia is a mermaid in the truest form, with a love for the ocean and the environment that’s both infectious and inspiring. Along with riding waves and looking amazing in RAEN sunglasses, she’s also a budding entrepreneur with her own skincare line – and she’s got one hell of a photographic eye.

We recently sat down with Tia to chat about her passions, adventures, and yes, her favorite RAEN frames. Enjoy!

Behind the Ambassador - Tia Blanco, growing up Behind the Ambassador - Tia Blanco
Behind the Ambassador - Tia Blanco Behind the Ambassador - Tia Blanco, Dear Self project

Where did you grow up? 

I was born in Puerto Rico, which is why I represent them in surfing. But I didn’t grow up in Puerto Rico because my dad is active in the military so pretty much until I was 18 years old I would move every 3 years. I lived mostly up and down the coast of California, and then in Oregon and Hawaii. It was really hard moving so often, but I realized that home is where my family is at a pretty young age.

How did you get started in surfing?

I started surfing when I was 3 years old! Ever since I can remember I’ve been a water child. I love to be in the ocean and push myself in the sport of surfing. I started competing when I was 12 years old. Now I compete all over the world chasing my dreams.

Who are your role models in surfing? 

My all time favorite style and surfer to watch is Stephanie Gilmore. I also really love Carissa Moore because I feel like her power is really beautiful. She has the power of a guy but surfs very feminine at the same time. I feel like each surfer has their own thing that is unique and inspiring to me.


What tips can you give to new surfers?

My best advice would be to get in as much water time as possible! The only way you are going to figure the ocean out is spending time in it. Find someone that wants to learn with you and have fun with it!

What do you love about living in Southern California?

I love that there are always waves to surf! I also love the overall vibe and energy of California. Most everyone is pretty like minded in the sense of living a healthy and active lifestyle.

Any other projects you're working on?

I currently run a small skincare business with my sister called Dear Self Skincare. It’s been really exciting to be a new entrepreneur and learn the ins and outs of running a business. It hasn’t been a year yet and we have sold out of our batches four times now! 

Dear Self is all about self love and empowerment. All products are named for an affirmation. Link to IG:

It’s so cool that we get to create our brand and products from scratch and then see everything come to life! We put our whole heart into this skincare line and hope that people feel the love that was put into Dear Self. 


Do you have any other tricks or trades? 

I love to cook! I made an account for plant-based recipes, @tiasvegankitchen. A place where I can play with different recipes and ideas. I’m passionate about cooking vegan because it is a lot more than just a diet to me, its my lifestyle. The main reasons why I choose to eliminate animal products from my diet is for the environment, my health, and for the animals. I do my best to shed light on animal ethics, the negative effects of animal agriculture, and the health benefits of going vegan on my social platform.


Why did you decide to partner up with RAEN originally?

Our partnership began at one of my first fashion shoots in 2013. The stylist for the shoot put me in RAEN eyewear and I instantly fell in love with all of the selections. When I got home I obsessed over the RAEN website and reached out to them to see if we could collaborate in any way. We have been partnered together ever since. 

What's your favorite RAEN frame?

Oh boy, that the hardest question for me! I honestly love them all... I’ve never not liked a frame. Right now, I am really loving the Norie-A frame.