“This is my life. I want no other.” — James Rebanks
I’m a photographer, writer and long-term dabbler presently located in Arrowtown, New Zealand. My interest in the business and marketing side of the fashion and luxury industries (which was this site’s primary focus until 2014) can be traced back to my family history of retailers, who ran a multi-generational department store (J.B. Branch & Co.) in the rural midwest of the United States, founded in 1877 and closed in 1986. My parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles staffed the family store, and I worked there myself for about five years, so retailing was “in my blood”, so to speak.
In December of 2010, I participated in an interview with the Fashionably Marketing website where I describe my history, and why I write this blog, in a little more detail: Interview With Fashion Luxury Blogger Nathan Branch
*UPDATE: You can find another interview from 2013 where I candidly discuss the fashion industry, retail and photography with Katherine from the site, Feather Factor: Interview with Nathan Branch
I threw myself into electronic music for a couple of years, self-producing two electro-rock CD’s — “sugar” and “electro” — under the name aalacho in 2002 and 2004, to varying critical reception. College radio warmly welcomed and played the h*ll out of both, landing me on Top 10 lists around the country (thanks to the very dedicated promotional team at Space 380).
My debut CD charted as high as #12 in the respected music industry magazine, CMJ, and was nominated for Best Techno/Ambient album in the Just Plain Folks Music Awards. A remix of the track “Satellite” appeared on the international Global Underground release, Deep Dish: Toronto in 2003.
My dive into photography is my main creative outlet at this time and grew out of the need to provide original photographs for my own interviews and articles — I now take far more pictures, write way less articles and bake a ridiculous amount of sourdough bread.
I studied literature and psychology at universities in Michigan and Arkansas, floated from job to job in the retail, medical tech and food service industries, and now presently work with my partner on his numerous entrepreneur opportunities while also taking a mid-life stab at cheesemaking, pickling, fermenting, distilling and maybe even sheep farming on our rural property in the ruggedly handsome Lakes District of New Zealand.
As Bill Nighy said in a 2013 interview, “You’re supposed to move to the country, aren’t you? You get to a certain age, you’re supposed to move to the country. No parties. A big fire. A dog.”
Sounds just about right to me.