Trendsetter to Know Nikki Gersten McAvity of Robot Bunnies

Name: Nikki Gersten McAvity

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RobotBunnies

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/robotbunnies/

Website: robotbunnies.com

Age: 55

Title: Founder & Creative Director

Married/Single: Separated

Kids: 1 son – Simon – 11 years old.

City you live in: Phoenix

A typical day in my life includes… My nutty long-haired Jack Russell Terrier – Sparky – wakes me for a walk between 5 and 6. Next, I make/drink my famous Honey Vanilla Oat Milk Latte. Usually, I work for a couple of hours, either packing up product shipments that need to go out or sewing. Then, throw any fabric that needs to be washed and ironed into the washing machine before doing Yoga Sculpt around 9-ish (yoga mixed with cardio and weight-training) via online video with my favorite teacher Jennifer Sriro (she’s local).

Then, I shower, dress, and do my daily Instagram selfie photoshoot. I’ve recently started doing IG Reels for the first time so I create videos as part of a push to show people how they can style the new Robot Bunnies apparel with items they may already own. At this time of year, I almost always have a container of LGO Gazpacho (I’m OBSESSED – have a 2 Gazpacho-a-day habit) and some protein – hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken, or the like. After that, I pretty much work all day with either news (I’m a news junkie) or music going. This means cutting out and sewing orders, ironing fabric, photographing items, loading items onto Shopify and Etsy. Maybe, I hit AJ’s or Whole Foods for some dinner snacks. 

I was born… in Manhattan and grew up there in the 70’s. That place and era have an enormous influence on my aesthetic. 

My favorite thing about Arizona… Sunsets and drive-thru everything.

I’m listening to… 10,000 Maniacs, Leonard Cohen, Roxy Music, Jay Z, the Carpenters

My family… Is like a combination of Woody Allen and Wes Anderson i.e. smart, funny, quirky, sophisticated, stylish, neurotic. 

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be… Diana Vreeland, the long-time (now deceased) editor of Vogue who was an absolute caution OR Vivienne Westwood – my favorite fashion designer who started designing punk rock fashions and selling them out of her London shop called SEX in the 70’s.

One thing I cannot live without… My son, my dog, my contact lenses and/or glasses (I’m so blind I’d be in a home with them), Jeni’s Ice cream, LGO Gazpacho, yoga/exercise.

When I was younger, I wanted to be… A novelist, an actress. In more recent years, I’ve been convinced that I missed my calling in not becoming an FBI agent.

I’m inspired by… art, color, pattern, design, creative people, nature, fashion, food, politics.

The one person who motivates me is… My son. I want my business to do well so that we can have a good life and I want him to be proud of me.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be… No homeless, hungry and/or abused kids or animals.

The perfect day would be… Pretty-Woman-style shopping spree in Paris.

My first job was… Selling (and cleaning and arranging and straightening and inventorying) household goods at a store called the Plastic Works on Broadway in NYC – everything from toilet brushes to picture frames. My boss called me, “Honey.” 

My favorite escape… The Oregon Coast. I fell in love with it when I was 18 and did a West Coast road trip with my Golden Retriever puppy at the time. We went from LA to Seattle and I fell in love with Oregon. I went back many, many times over the years to a little cottage right on the ocean in Manzanita. It’s a rugged, Wuthering Heights-type coast, not a sandy, sunning beach – very dramatic. Years later, I moved to Portland, OR for 12 years before relocating to Phoenix.

My life… rocks. I am finally doing what I’ve always wanted to do – designing and making things that people seem to love and appreciate. It’s the first time in my life I can say I love what I do. Also, I have a brilliant quirky child and adorable dog. I love them both so much.

I’m currently working on… Building my business, promoting my line, maintaining a meditation practice, perfecting my homemade cinnamon rolls, being the best person I can be.

Always… Oysters, Wes Anderson, Pizza, Jeni’s ice cream, massage, music.

Never… Golf (except for miniature)

Favorite Quote… “Pink is the navy blue of India.” – Diana Vreeland

Biggest Dream… Travel to other countries (especially ones known for their textiles like India and Guatemala) – for inspiration, materials to incorporate into my work and possibly to meet local artisans to collaborate with.

My Pet Peeve(s)… People who whistle through their front teeth. I hate that sound.

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