Due to the nature of my work, I’m surrounded by dudes all day. Angry, proud men, steeped in bravado and prison (style) tattoos. For example, Monday, my shop crew and the local gang tore open a decade-old beef. I spent the rest of the night sorting out a truce. This is my life. So any chance I get to learn from a smart, funny woman? I TAKE.
  1. Lisa
    60357cb2 8ebb 4785 89e6 1960ae87927d
    “How do you get such crazy access?,” I ask. We’re at Groundworks in Santa Monica. The next season of CNN’s “This is Life with Lisa Ling” premieres this month, and she’s just shown me the teaser where she rolls around with a notorious biker gang. “These people know I’m not gonna screw them,” she says. “I think I’ve proven that I do quality work.” It’s an important lesson in branding. Your reputation is like credit. The better it’s established, the more people trust you. And that’s priceless.
  2. Yasi
    8898a75e 9133 4735 9e05 fe0b5f00beae
    “Remember when MTV used to treat kids like they were intelligent? Kennedy, Tabitha Soren, Kurt Loder. Smart VJs speaking to us about important issues.” We're at the new Gratitude downtown. I’ve known @yasi forever, and she still technically works (writes) with me. We’re hoping Hollywood is slowly realizing that there is a viable market for smart, sophisticated content. There is, right? Even things like List convince me that society can't survive on stupidity. Maybe the tides are turning?
  3. Leah
    3f44995d 8e1d 444b bd07 9a8f62fe4907
    It's Leah's birthday and this is her second party this week (Well, first on the west coast). A decade ago, she founded Married to the Mob, the first legit women's Streetwear brand, known for statement T-shirts like "Your boyfriend keeps texting me" and "Men are the new women." We've been through a lot together, traveled the world, and picked each other up when the industry's beaten us down. Her tenacity in an all-boys-club speaks volumes of her character, and inspires me always.
  4. Julia
    D6f47f84 55ec 49a6 9995 562b477b236b
    Speaking of perseverance, there’s no one like Julia Vaughn. Her custom vintage jewelry brand - AVGVSTA - has developed a core base worldwide, from here to her motherland of Taiwan - and, all from her kitchen table workshop. Julia’s entering a new chapter in her life, riddled with personal challenges and doubt. Changes she fantasized about for as long as I’ve known her have come crashing ashore this summer. Yet, she remains positive and steadfast to overcome. Here’s to fresh starts.
  5. Celeste
    2ebee5ef 53df 4ca3 9b74 b229776fa648
    I was invited to speak at the Apple store on the Promenade this week. Celeste stuck around afterwards to ask if I’d participate in a book she’s writing on entrepreneurial culture. Bright, fervent, and passionate with purpose, she was indicative of most young people in the audience. Myopic in mission. Naïve to unfavorable outcomes. All they see is opportunity. All they need is a chance. It was a sweet reminder that my future is as fertile as theirs.
  6. 🏄🏼
    Bb911f66 8c65 453e a70a 9939372c15af
    This morning, I surfed OP in Santa Monica. On a quiet lull, I struck up a conversation with the older woman bodyboarding beside me. Her parents drove her here from the East Coast as a child. The Beach Boys played on the radio and the skies rang blue as their station wagon climbed over the mountains. She hadn’t even seen the ocean yet before she committed herself to Los Angeles. She hasn't left California since. With her silver hair matted, she kicked up her feet and rode the next crest in.