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Meet Raee Lorton of Crag to Crux in Valencia/ Atwater Village

Today we’d like to introduce you to Raee Lorton.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Crag to Crux (C2C) was started on a whim. I have been an artist since I could hold a crayon and I grew up learning and experimenting with every type of artistic media. Originally when I went to college, I wanted to get an art degree in fashion design, After beginning my classes, I had a change of heart and decided that I wanted to be involved in a field that I could feel like I was making a difference of some sort, I made a change and I chose environmental science because I had a passion for sustainability. I now work as an environmental scientist and although I love my job, there was no creative outlet for me which I have struggled with for a long time.

After seeing Jovanna Reyes, owner of Thunder and Smoke Co., begin her own business I was inspired. I never had to actually try to sell my artwork, but Jo talked me into giving it a shot. I charged my old iPad and grabbed the crappiest stylus (it was literally broken) and started teaching myself how to draw digitally, combining my love for rock climbing and art. After doodling and teaching myself for weeks, I finally had something I turned into a sticker design. From there, I started my Instagram and put together an Etsy. I was able to continue Crag to Crux from there, releasing new stickers, and eventually t-shirts and other merchandise.

Now I have my own website, I screen print all of my own designs as well as screen printing for other small rock climbing businesses, and I have had the opportunity to work with and network with so many amazing rock climbing brands. I have been so lucky to build my brand into something I would have never thought to be possible.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s definitely been a bumpy road. Although I have been very lucky, there are days that I want to give up or I doubt myself and my artwork. I am so lucky to have the support system from other amazing businesses that pushes me through these hard times because this would be a hard path to walk by yourself.

Please tell us about Crag to Crux.
Crag to Crux is a rock climbing brand with a blend of my artwork and humor. I screen print my designs and hand draw all my stickers. C2C is known for its unique climbing designs and working with other small womxn owned businesses for custom artwork and printing services.

I think C2C specializes in working with and providing support for other brands. I try to offer support whether it be including other brands at trade shows, affordable screen printing, or offering custom artwork and logos. This is something I am most proud of because it allows for C2C to network and help other brands get started.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was a weirdo with a lot of emotions. I drew a lot in school and had an emo/goth vibe. I also had a lot of issues with being a “hot head.” I’m not proud of it and I was always feeling like something was wrong with how I handled things.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 Disorder when I was 24 which explains a lot of the emotional issues I had growing up. Getting medicated for my “disorder” and not wearing pounds of eyeliner definitely made a difference. Since then, I’ve been able to turn my life around and leave those issues in the past.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @crag_to_crux

Image Credit:
Jovanna Reyes

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