Pride Month is coming up, which serves as a reminder to embrace love and promote unity for all! At Chooka, we advocate for individuality, personal expression, and empowerment through functional fashion. We find inspiration in the unique style of our wearers and passion in striving toward a more inclusive future. We are proud to support the LGBTQ community and are excited to share our limited edition Pride Rainboot with all of you wonderful, fearlessly unique individuals! By purchasing on ShopChooka.com, $5 of each pair will put back into the community in the form of donations to Seattle Pride Fest.
We're proud (get it?) to introduce an awesome #chYOUka power couple, Brooke Barrios and Victoria Rouen, who love traveling, teaching dance classes, and sharing quality time together. *spoiler alert* They even share clothes! This creative couple believes in spreading love freely and unconditionally and they support the LGBTQ community by attending local events and staying connected on social media. Follow Brooke and Victoria on Instagram to keep up with their adventures, engage in a safe, inclusive space, and check out their adorable photos!
1. How did you two meet?
The two of us met at a dance competition! We both grew up dancing and loving the art form. It's pretty cool meeting someone in the atmosphere that you love and respect so much.
2. What are some of your favorite activities to do together?
We spend a lot of time together regardless of it being free time or not. We are both dance teachers at a local studio in the New Orleans area. Other than creatively working alongside each other on a daily basis, we enjoy doing a lot together!
Brooke: I think traveling is definitely at the top of our list! We also enjoy photography, working out, cooking new recipes, and making each other laugh by doing weird and goofy things! (Insert cheesy smile)
Victoria: I love discovering new places together. We travel a lot when working so it's fun to have a little quality time with one another outside of a serious setting. We try to eat at new restaurants, see new sights, and do new things that we don't normally do at home!
3. We love your style and how you coordinated for this shoot! Do you ever share clothing? Do you have favorite pieces to share?
Brooke: Thanks! We are lucky enough to share the majority of our clothing with each other! Even though my style is more tomboyish, we can sometimes share jeans depending on how we style our outfits. If I'm being honest, we lounge around in sweats and comfy clothes on a day to day basis until going to work. But! I find that Victoria ends up stealing more of my clothes than I steal hers! You'll definitely find her chilling in my favorite sweats and old t-shirts more than anything.
Victoria: Brooke and I love to low-key coordinate outfits all the time! But I definitely steal her clothes. She has the best vintage sweatshirts and tees! I love wearing them because they're so big and cozy. We do share some tanks and crop-tops depending on the style.
Both of us like to stay pretty active through social media as well as making sure we are physically present for as many LGBTQ events in the city or surrounding areas. We would eventually like to volunteer with LGBTQ youth in the area! We have a lot of younger people confide in us about not having support or not having anyone to talk to. We like to make ourselves as available as possible as a "safe space" or "safe people" to go to. I want to make sure everyone feels like they can come to us with any questions or concerns. Always. Period.
5. What is your favorite part about Pride season? What are you looking forward to?
Brooke: My favorite part of Pride season would be the pure joy and love you feel from the entire community. No matter how you identify, Pride is a time of acceptance, safeness, camaraderie, and happiness. Everyone is allowed to be themselves without having to be concerned with judgment or hatefulness. Often, we receive rude comments, get stared at, or are ostracized for being who we are just walking around the city. It can be tough celebrating who you are all of the time when the world isn't always accepting of you or your lifestyle. Pride season is something so many people look forward to because it creates a safe place and time for people to be themselves.
Victoria: I love that I can show affection for Brooke freely. It may not seem like a big deal to many, but it is. Walking through the city, holding hands, and just being ourselves can be more uncomfortable than you think. I am not one to care what others think, but it's hard not to let it affect your relationship at times. Feeling like you are constantly under a microscope isn't fun. Pride is a time when we can love freely, openly, and unconditionally. Celebrating with others in the LGBTQ community is just a plus!
6. What do you like best about the Pride Boot?
Brooke: First of all, I LOVE THIS BOOT. Besides being in dire need of some new boots to add to my collection, they're super cute and comfortable! The Pride boot is so versatile! I can pair them with over half of the clothes in my closet. Feeling like a winner? Indeed, I am.
Victoria: I just started to wear little booties recently and I'm so glad I did! They are so comfy and can be worn with almost anything! They even make for a cute rain boot!
7. A lot of companies have started commercially participating in/supporting Pride in the last few years. What advice do you have for businesses looking to support the LGBTQ community?
We both feel strongly about this subject so our advice would be this--People of the LGBTQ community are people just like you. We are people who love supporting incredible brands and businesses. Some of us have the same interests and hobbies. Some of us shop at the same grocery store or eat at the same burger joint. We may even be your neighbor. Who we choose to share our love with has no bearing on how we support a business or brand. Always be inclusive. Be accepting. Be open and transparent. Create open outlets for all customers!