Doll Dynasty With Roxy's Kelia Moniz and Bruna Schmitz

  • Life
posted by James Willmott

Hawaiian Kelia Moniz and Brazilian Bruna Schmitz are best mates. Plain and simple. They travel, surf and live together…until now. Over the past 3 years their lives have revolved around travelling the world to surf for Roxy and spending home time at their infamous Doll House in Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles.

What’s happening with the girls now? Check in to see how life’s evolving for these cheeky surfer bae’s through their Doll Dynasty.

What was the Doll House and who lived there?

KELIA – Well, the Dollhouse originated 5 years ago when Bruna and I moved to Manhattan beach CA. I some how connived her to move from Brazil with me to CA for what initially was just supposed to be 6 months… Our first apartment was so small we made this joke one day that it was the size a basically a dollhouse and it was too small for us to live in.. From there our friends would start to refer our house to as “The Dollhouse”. After the first 6months we moved into a bigger apartment but still the name stuck… There was the “Old-old Dollhouse” which was the first original one, then there was “The Old Doll” Which was the second and then finally just “The Doll” Which was our last and final dollhouse… Dane, (Zaun) Bruna’s now Fiance’ moved into the third Dollhouse with us.

At the time they were just dating but then they got engaged and Bruna and Dane basically became the parents of the house. We always had visitors, we made the best coffees, and had incredible dinners. Best 5 years of the dollhouse dynasty! 

BRUNA – The Doll, as later referred to, was our journey.

5 years ago Sis asked me if I wanted to move to California with her, at first I said absolutely no, we already traveled so much it made no sense for me to move to a different country, but she bugged me so much until it worked. We were in France for the Roxy Pro Biarritz, and with our suitcases we started an amazing journey together.

She was so excited, I arrived a couple of days after her, and she already had the house all ready, she did a huge run and bought plates, cups, pots and pans a new tv. I remember feeling like shiiiet this is real!!! Rosy moved with us at the time, me and Sis shared a room and Rosy had the room next door. It was our first home, this little yellow house at the end of Manhattan Ave and 15th st. so little we named it The Doll House, the original.

We had that place for 6 months and I was ready to get out of California, but sis convinced me we should stay another year, she wanted to stay and I couldn’t live her alone. Rosy was in between our place and San Clemente, but she spent some quality time at both dolls, we got into Yoga and coffee at the second doll. And then I met Dane, and all of the sudden I saw myself never leaving. We left our “Old Doll” and moved to a bigger home in Hermosa Beach, The Doll, the last doll, me Sis, Dane and Quincy.

Quincy didn’t last long as she suffers from FOMO (Fear of missing Out) and couldn’t decide if she wanted to be in California or NY. Around the same time Mitch moved in, and then there was four of us, we had a fun year, we were so carefree and just had so much fun. The year goes by and its back to us three. We got older and we decided it was time for grandma (Bruna) and grandpa (Dane) to buy their first home, so we said our goodbyes to the Doll just this past month. We had many celebrations and many Doll’s last hurrah.

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What did the Doll House represent to you?

KELIA – The Dollhouse wasn’t just Bruna, Dane, and my house… It was a home for all our friends who were traveling and needed a place to stay in LA during transit. It was a special place for our friends to make home when they were far away from their homes as well.. It was like a gathering place. Everyone always knew they were welcomed, always had a bed to sleep in, and coffee to drink before flights.

BRUNA – It was home away from home, but more then that, it was home to all of our friends, we are 10 minutes from LAX, so The Doll was the crash spot, we would wake up sometimes and there was someone sleeping the couch or we would get hit up at 11pm cuz someone needed a place to crash. Everyone knew our door code, and our garage was a huge storage all our friends left their boards, wetsuits snow gear, moving out was NOT easy! haha

How long did you live there and what were your local hang spots?

KELIA – Well we lived in the South Bay (Manhattan beach and Hermosa Beach) for 5 years. WE CRUSHED  all the local spots.. Lots of beach days by the pier, we were walking distance to the beach so there were lots of days we would just take long boards down, volley balls, and snacks to just hang beach side all day. 

There is this new poke bowl place that Opened up on the pier called Hooked Poke that is honestly amazing! Coming from Hawaii its been struggle to find good Poke and I’ve finally found my spot! Then theres The Source Cafe that we love to have juice’s and coffees at. And then a good local bar called Shell back, its a dive bar that the boys hate but us girls love because they have a juke box that we go there and spend way too much money on. 
Our house was the coffee shop, we would always go to The Source (A delicious cafe on Pier ave), and by night as long as we had a good crew, we would just bar hop!
 
BRUNA – We lived in Calif for 5 years, at the last Doll for 2 fun years, we finally felt home there, and we made friends, and got to know the area. We were walking distance to Pier Ave, so we had many hang spots down there, definitely the dolls favourites were, The Source (Good coffee and healthy snacks) Dia de Campo (Best happy hour and margies) Ocean Bar (for raging purposes) Rok Sushi, and we had some good memories and watermans.

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Did you have any special local characters worth mentioning that you would always see around the traps?

BRUNA – Yes there is a famous homeless in the South Bay we call him the “Walking Bear”, he also looks like Santa Claus, and everyone knows him and he makes a killer living by just existing, he also spends thanksgiving at our uncle Jeffies house.

Who was your most frequent visitor to the Doll House?

KELIA – Wow, This is a great question! I’d have to stay we have a few consistent visitors.. One is definitely Quincy Davis, She at one point lived with us for a little but then decided she liked Montauk (her home) Wayyyy too much so she moved out. And then our friend Leila Thomas, she actually lives in Malibu but she’s a model and would work around the area a lot so she would come have slumber parties almost every week. WE LOVED VISITORS!

BRUNA – Wow that’s a hard question because we had SOOO MANY people come by the doll.

I think so more often once we moved to the last doll. Me and sis decided we wanted to move to a bigger house so we could have all our friends sleep over, Sis bought a couch that could sleep five grown man, space was never an issue, we mostly had multiple people staying, but the solo missioners were definitely Leila Thomaz who lives in Malibu and Danny Evans, San Clemente lives, but just crash at the doll just cuz, haha, Quincy spent more time there too after she moved out, cuz she is a “CHILD”, and Scatty Boy aka Craig Pitchers was a frequent Doll visitor, we had many Australians visitors.

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What are 3 highlight events at the Doll House?

KELIA – Wow, another banger question… Honestly I cant give you just 3. We had bbq’s on a weekly basis, and we had people over form all corners of this earth on a very consistently. So there was ALWAYS  a celebration. Wether it was “Oh its your first night, lets go out, or have sushi, or make a huge dinner.” To “Oh its your last night lets do that all again.” This would happen literally every week, almost back to back.There was always something happening and friends over!  I will take the blame for some of this as i would literally invite everyone over to our home so poor Bruna and Dane had to deal with my insanity!

BRUNA – WOWWW I’m gonna have to take a second and think about this. I will start by saying we had MANY “Wine Time” at the doll, it was our mantra, “Coffee in the mornings and Wine at night”.

We have amazing memories, but I will give you three:

Close to two years ago when we got back from new years in Mammoth Mountain and Dane had just proposed, we had all our friends up in the snow, and they all came back to the Doll. It was a full house and it was a really happy time.

This past January on Dane’s 25th birthday we gathered the troops and went to a Speakeasy in downtown LA, but we had a warmup at the doll and I took a few polaroids that I look at and it makes me really happy. 

And the third one is a tribute to all those late night talks, drinking wine, talking about life, appreciating the little things. It was a Doll tradition, we would go upstairs to our dining table overlooking the ocean, at night just the lights and stars, and we would drink with our friends and have late night talks. Some guided us, some inspired us, some just needed a friend and a glass of wine or beer, but those memories are the ones we will carry with us for the rest of our lives.

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What’s the most significant life change you experienced at the Doll House?

KELIA – Well, this might get emotional for me as Im still dealing with mad separation anxiety. But The dollhouse was a family. Bruna, Dane and I created a family outside of our blood families. The dollhouse was a safe place. It was home to anyone who stepped foot in the door. It was a gathering place of so many amazing friends. For me, being able to live with two of the most loving people that have probably ever walked this planet and not have them give up on me over the years of living together was probably the most significant thing.  You always hear these horror sorties of best friends living together for an extended amount of time and end up hating each other in no time. But as for us, our love just grew and grew. Honestly couldn’t be more thankful and proud to call them my best friends, and beyond thankful they never kicked me out 😉 haha

BRUNA – Well everything, I wouldn’t be the person I’m today if Sis hadn’t convinced me to move to California, it changed my life, she changed my life and my destiny. Sorry getting real emotional, but it’s the truth. I never planned anything in life, I was never a big planner, I rather embrace what’s in front of me. I now look back and I have no idea where I would have been if this change didn’t happen. I became the person I wanted to be, I learned, I experienced true friendship, love, unconditional love, and I missed home and my family a lot along the way, but having Sis and Dane and so many amazing friends old and new ones that I met along the way made this journey possible.

What’s next for life after the Doll House?

KELIA – Lots is happening for the dolls! Bruna and Dane just bought their first house, then their getting married… um Crushing it!!!!!  As for me, Im going to be globe trotting for a little trying to figure out where I wanna end up. Don’t know where yet but thats the exciting part! Wish me luck guys :)

BRUNA – Well I just got back from my Bachelorette, which was amazeeee, I was sooooo high on happiness that I got home and Dane kept asking me if I was ok, my happiness level was a little low so I had to recover.

We just finished unpacking all our boxes into the new house, we have so much work to do still and I have a wedding in a month and a half. I’m going NUTS!!

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Photo – Tim Swallow