Blog

16 January 2020

Shannon

Catching up with Luci “Blah-Fairy” Martyn

NZ Aerosports’ Omnipotent Dictatoress

 

From tweeny dropzone kid to Executive Director of the world’s coolest (ahem, not biased) Parachute Manufacturer, Luci “Blahfairy” Martyn is full of laid back charm and creative genius just like her dad – with her own brand of sparkle. The 24-year-old Omnipotent Dictatoress of NZ Aerosports is a bundle of positivity and pizazz, and is currently swimming hard in the deep end of running a company. Go girl!  We catch up with her about what it’s like to be Jyro’s daughter, how it feels to follow in his footsteps, and what path she is carving out for herself.

 

You’re a skydive brat born and bred – do you skydive?  How many jumps, time in the sport?

Yes I do 😀 This lil skydiving brat has done 180 jumps! When I was 19 or 20 years old I did my first 50 skydives and then I started jumping again when I took over NZA.

Luci doing her AFF at Sydive Auckland smiling in freefall

Luci’s AFF at Skydive Auckland

Luci sitflying above Skydiving Kiwis

Luci sitflying above SKydiving Kiwis

 

What canopy do you jump and why?

Safire3! Because it’s the best canopy in the world (not biased at all…)

Luci flying her rainbow coloured Icarus Safire 3

Luci flying her rainbow Safire 3 – she’s been designing it since she was, like, 5. But back then the plan was for all fluro pink and sparkly… Photo Credit: Dennis Sattler, Skydive Perris

 

Did you ever see yourself running NZ Aerosports? If not, what did you want to do instead?

I was always somewhat involved with Icarus since I was a little kid, the crew there are like my family. After I left high school I worked here full time making line sets. A few years later I went to get a diploma in being a Goldsmith and within a week all of that changed. Dad died and I had an amazing opportunity to be involved with Icarus from a higher level. It came as a shock at the time, but I am not surprised to be here 🙂

 

What’s your biggest passion?

I love PEOPLE, Music and Art

 

Do you have a motto or favourite quote?

I have so many quotes I love, but this one always stands out “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

 

What’s your pet hate?

Anything to do with bananas is foul. 

 

What’s your biggest challenge as a business owner?

Realising everything is way more complicated than it looks from the surface! And as the first serious leadership role I have been in, everyone looks at me to have a say – I was a little shy at first! So speaking up has been my biggest challenge.

Luci and Attila reading "Running a Business for Dummies"

A post we made a few months after Jyro passed – Luci stepping up to be the new NZA Omnipotent Dictator

 

What do you love about your new role?

The learning curves have been huge and challenging but have made me grow and learn, and I am thankful for that. 

 

What do you hate about your new role?

Errr, I try not to hate anything, not to say that it doesn’t come with its own challenges. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by it all.

 

Describe yourself in 5 words or less?

Positive, Expressive, I like to have fuckloads of FUN, a bit goofy/silly, that’s more than 5 words but that’s me!

 

You went to Burning Man lately – what’s a crazy experience you had there?

Haha hmm maybe not for the internet 😛 The thing that always baffles me about the culture is how well the values are communicated and then embraced by participants. The amount of effort that goes into gifting is insane and it blows my mind repeatedly. 

Luci at Burning Man

Luci at Burning Man

 

What does NZ Aerosports stand for for you?

NZA for me is my FAMILY and FUN 

Jyro partying with Luci and her friends in true NZ Aerosports style

Jyro partying alongside Luci, Rilee and lots of other friends. All the love, family and fun.

 

What’s the biggest goal the company has?

Our slogan is ‘Fuck Yeah’… so naturally our biggest goal is to leave skydivers saying FUCK YEAH after every jump 😉

 

Where do you see NZ Aerosports in 5 years time? 10?

Automate the boring stuff, do the fun stuff, playing with R&D and having demos available to all the skydiving peeps!

 

What are you most excited about for the future with NZ Aerosports?

The release of Anna, keen to get a new bigger factory too! We are a bit squashed at the moment!

 

What’s your personal goals for the next few years? Or longer term?

I would love to do an installation piece of art at Burning Man, and this year my goal is to backpack South America 😀

 

What boogies will you be attending this year?

I’m attending JYRO boogie and Max Manow’s canopy course in February, FlajFlaj in March, and hopefully Cloud Break boogie in Fiji in May 😀

 

What lesson in life did your Dad teach you that you most value?

Dad had a genius and looked at things in completely different ways to the norm, which was always intriguing. His conversation was very thought provoking and he respectfully challenged some of my opinions, but was always in full support of whatever decision I made and backed me 100%. Dad was always open with me when I changed his mind on an opinion, I respect that so much because it made me feel it was a safe space to challenge opinions and ideas.

A lesson that I am still learning from him and am valuing right now is that I don’t have to fit into others definition of success and I can make my own definition for success. He taught me to always stay true to my own path, no matter people’s judgements.

Dad didn’t just teach me this but he inspired many people to write their definitions for success and follow their own path. He found what made people tick and (in his own words) he would ‘light a fire under it’.

That is what made him so special.

Luci and Jyro doing blue steel out at the dropzone

Luci & Jyro on a daddy daughter day out to Skydive Whenuapai during the Petra Project in 2010

 

What was it like to have Jyro as your dad? What were some of the adventures you guys got up to?

It was fun and chaotic.

We went on many many adventures, travel was a big part of my childhood and is still a big part of my life. But my favourite memories are actually more the little things, especially the silly challenges we made up;

  • I wanted to make a tower out of edamame beans so he ordered $100 of edamame beans we ate them all and tried to find the most effective way to stack the shells. This became a regular occurrence when we went to Japanese restaurants, and I am proud to say, it’s now a skill of mine.
  • I sprayed him with the hose as a joke once, it snowed balled into a water fight, and of course dad got enthusiastic about the water fight and he came out with the fire extinguisher. Next minute our beautiful tropical Icarus (old factory) garden turned into a winter wonderland in the middle of summer.
  • Dad got really into flying model helicopters, he gave away his car and made our garage into a model helicopter course. No room for cars in there! He branded the course with Icarus helipad stickers, hula hoops to fly through, a full repair station and last but not least, our he bubble wrapped our garage to try save him money on spare parts. He ended up buying 140 model helicopters, all with Icarus branding on them. Ridiculous but brilliant.
  • I taught him to sit fly in the tunnel! That was super fun 😀 Also hilarious because I accidentally brought his shoes a few sizes too big for him and they would occasionally fly off. We challenged each other to get an Icarus sticker stuck to the top of a tunnel, but we didn’t even get close! No one would let us even take one in. HMU if you have a tunnel that needs an Icarus sticker 😉
  • Holly and I thought we would prank him and hide all of his clothes from his luggage and replace them with everything pink we had. We thought his reaction would be hilarious. He rocked up to the swimming pool in my pink pajamas, he didn’t even blink an eye and just owned it. I was mortified. Jokes on me!
  • When I was a kid, he used to challenge me to get the swing at the park to swing around 360 degrees… I got close but no cigar. Safety 3rd.
  • I wanted an ice block (Fruju or something) and he told me I was doing it wrong and I should aim higher and have a Magnum. I never had one so he brought every single Magnum flavour and put them in our freezer for me to try. hahaha.

For those of you who knew Dad – you know I’m keeping these stories brief 😉

Luci and Jyro drinking glasses of wine together

Jyro and Luci debriefing and cocktailing

What part of him do you most want to keep alive at NZ Aerosports, and how will you do that?

The Icarus culture is strong and I consider a lot of the people at NZ Aerosports my family! The thing that has changed is there is a few more people in the driver’s seat now. Naturally Dad and I have very similar values but we do have different styles.  I’m just going to do me and my style with Aerosports – but our very similar values will carry on 🙂

 

Luci Martyn walking in from a skydive with an Icarus canopy and a beer

Like father, like daughter!

Luci Martyn looking at Icarus Canopies windblade

Looking to the future

 

Feature photo credit: Dennis Sattler, Skydive Perris