Category Archives: Creative Profiles

Creative Profiles

7 questions with beverage director terri wedell

December 12, 2014


Terri Wedell has a job most people fantasize about, serving as a marketing coordinator for a fine foods cafe/catering business while sipping and sampling wine all day as the brand’s beverage director. I’m so used to seeing men dominate the restaurant and wine scene that it’s so refreshing to see a woman running things. And as I soon learned after meeting her a few months ago, Terri’s also fun, smart and charming to boot.

Today she chats about drinking champagne in bed and social media addiction…among other things.

Name: Terri Wedell
Age: 28
Neighborhood: Golden Hill/South Park
Job: Beverage Director & Marketing Coordinator at Waters Fine Catering

What did you eat for breakfast today?
Organic eggs and green tea. I am definitely not a morning person, so I need a very strict breakfast routine in order to make it out of the door in time. Although if today were Saturday morning, I would be sipping a glass of champagne… in bed!

What’s the best thing about your job?
Without a doubt the people that I work with at Waters, and all the people I have met in this industry over the years. There is such a camaraderie between the people that work in restaurants. I think it’s really hard to completely understand all that we do and the mindset behind it, unless you have experienced it for yourself.

The worst?
That the wine cellar at Waters isn’t my own personal sipping cup?!? It’s pretty drool-worthy to say the least.

How do you tackle a creative block?
Instagram & Pinterest! I love scrolling around throughout the day, even if it’s just looking at things that are completely unrelated to what I am working on. I feel like I always come away inspired. #SocialMediaAddict

What are you currently reading?
Gone Girl. Yeah, yeah, I know I am a couple years behind on this one, but I am completely addicted! I even read it while I am stopped at red lights.

What’s your favorite spot in San Diego and why?
Without a doubt Torrey Pines. I grew up right across the lagoon and it reminds me so much of my childhood. Busting out a morning workout while breathing in that view is so refreshing.

What was the most awesome thing about today?
The aromas wafting from our kitchen doing some heavy holiday prep! It’s a combination of everything festive you can imagine… Brioche Bread Pudding, Fresh Cranberry Compote, Roast Turkey & Gravy, Salted Caramel Valrhona Brownies, I could go on and on. It’s a pretty dangerous place to work and stay in shape!

Thanks, Terri! You can also find her on Instagram and Pinterest, and Waters on Twitter.

Creative Profiles

7 questions with designer ashley ann bennett + a giveaway! [closed]

December 5, 2014

artist/designer Ashley Ann Bennett // My SoCal'd Life

To go along with Wednesday’s small business-themed gift guide, today I’m sharing a 7 Questions With artist and designer Ashley Ann Bennett, whose shop includes hand-painted and hand-cut leather accessories as well as hand-painted clothing, like tanks, scarves and leggings. (Must add this to my yoga wardrobe.) I met Ashley at a holiday shopping event at The Headquarters recently and was so impressed by the detail and creativity in each of her designs.

Today she talks about setting her own schedule and watching seals in La Jolla…among other things. Plus, we’re giving away $50 to Ashley’s Etsy shop! More on that below…

Name: Ashley Ann Bennett
Age: 27
Neighborhood: My studio is in Point Loma & I live in La Jolla
Job: Artist/Designer

What did you eat for breakfast today?
Greek yogurt with fresh berries & gluten free granola, yum!

What’s the best thing about your job?
The best thing is getting to paint and create everyday, it’s how my mind has always worked and being able to make a living from ideas that just pop into my head is just amazing! I also love being able to set my own schedule and travel when I want to.

The worst?
It takes a lot of energy and time to run the business side of things: shipping, customer service, inventory, ordering. It’s a lot to do on top of designing and painting every item.

How do you tackle a creative block?
When I feel my creative juices are blocked it’s always related to stress. Being outside breathing the fresh air some how puts things in perspective for me, I take my dog, Hercules, to Sunset Cliffs or to the park near my house and we just run around.

What are you currently reading?
Mine Until by Jessica Yaffa. Jessica is the founder of a San Diego non-profit (No Silence No Violence). Her book outlines her life and story that drove her to help women & children escape the hold of domestic violence. It is heart-wrenching but so moving!

What’s your favorite spot in San Diego and why?
I love walking around downtown La Jolla, watching the seals sun bathe, popping in and out of the shops. Plus there are amazing restaurants!

What was the most awesome thing about today?
Today I got to play around with a new design, a snowflake cuff for the upcoming holiday. I get so much energy and excitement when an idea comes to life and goes from being a doodle to becoming wearable art!

And because it’s the holiday season and I love my readers so, I’ve partnered with Ashley to give away one $50 gift card to her Etsy shop! Yes, you can pick anything you want from the shop, and here’s how:

1. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. There are multiple ways to enter, so the more times you enter, the better your chances of winning.
2. The contest will run until 11:59 p.m. PST on Thursday, December 11, after which a winner will be chosen at random.
3. Open to U.S. residents only.

Good luck and happy Friday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photo by Pablø Gándara Pizá

***Congratulations to the giveaway winner, LaMesha Staples***

Creative Profiles

7 questions with kim praocam of LoveBirdsLA

November 21, 2014

LoveBirds LA founder Kim

Growing up with a mom who still has two closets full of colorful, textured, patterned saris, it’s no surprise that I look for those same qualities in my clothes and accessories. The more color, the better, I say. So when I spotted the rich hues and prints of the handmade accessories from Kim Praocam’s LoveBirdsLA, it was like meeting my kindred textile spirit. Most of her fabrics are sourced from abroad and take me back to our time backpacking in South America and Asia. In fact, one of her now-sold-out clutches is the exact print of pillowcases I bought at the Chiang Mai market in Thailand! Like I said, kindred textile spirits.

Today Praocam talks baby wipes and training to be a Pilates instructor…among other things.

Name: Kim Praocam
Age: 34
Neighborhood: Los Angeles
Job: Mom/owner of LoveBirdsLA

What did you eat for breakfast today?
Coffee and a banana—my usual go-to in the morning!

What’s the best thing about your job?
I love being a mom and I am completely grateful that I can stay at home with him and work on LoveBirdsLA at the same time. LoveBirdsLA allows me to have a creative outlet. I get to surround myself in color and prints all day (along with diapers and baby wipes).

The worst?
The hardest part of being an entrepreneur is that you are working/thinking about your business continuously. There’s not much downtime so work/life balance can be challenging.

How do you tackle a creative block?
I always try and revisit my library of fabrics to see if anything jumps out and grabs my attention, something always does.

What are you currently reading?
Do children’s books count?

What’s your favorite spot in L.A. and why?
The Pilates studio. I’m currently training to be a Pilates instructor, and this is the only time I can fully concentrate on myself.

What was the most awesome thing about today?
I decided to turn my phone off today for a couple hours, and it was THE BEST!

You can also find LoveBirdsLA on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Creative Profiles

7 questions with taryn sutherland of twinkle & toast

November 14, 2014

taryn sutherland of twinkle & toast

I love so much about Del Mar’s Cafe Cantata, but one of the details that caught my eye first was all the beautiful hand-lettering sprinkled on the walls. We can thank Taryn Sutherland of Twinkle & Toast for that. The San Diego creative has been featured in InStyle, as well as on Green Wedding Shoes, Style Me Pretty and many other major wedding websites for the artistic and playful touch she adds to banners, menu cards and all those fun details at events. Taryn also hosts calligraphy workshops so you, too, can get your hand-lettering on. (Check her Instagram for updates on future classes!)

Today she dishes on the juggling act that is being your own boss and a fine, cold IPA…among other things.

Name: Taryn Sutherland
Age: 28
Neighborhood: East County
Job: Owner & Designer of Twinkle & Toast

What did you eat for breakfast today?
Bagel scramble at Influx—always have to stop in there on my frequent run to Blick Art in Little Italy.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Besides that I get to do what I am most passionate about for a living (finally!), I like that I have the ability to call the shots—I can say yes or no to a project if I feel if I am the right fit or not. I have no limits as to where my company can go, unless I put them on myself. I’m also head over heels in love with this amazing network of San Diego creatives and wedding industry folk. I would not be able to do it without the strong friends I’ve made along the way!

The worst?
Not knowing when to stop working. As a business owner, you wear many hats. You juggle not just the fun creative stuff, but the accounting, emails, website updates, and all the other day-to-day details. I care so much about my company, I want to represent it with the respect it deserves—and it’s hard to know when to stop and relax a little!

How do you tackle a creative block?
Get a change of scenery and move to another project. I never want to force creativity. I also turn to my close knit group of creative individuals. We always have each other’s back for inspiration.

What are you currently reading?
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. Obsessed with the show (who isn’t?) so I figured I needed to read the memoir.

What’s your favorite spot in San Diego and why?
One of my favorite things about San Diego is its serious reputation for craft beer and all the fantastic breweries. I’m pretty happy anywhere that brews a bitter, hoppy IPA.

What was the most awesome thing about today?
All my days self-employed are always different but consist of many of the same things, like today: a run to my favorite art store, picking up some paper goods from my printer, collaborating with fellow wedding creative, planned out my next calligraphy workshop, and a client meeting. I love not being tied to a desk every day and having each day different and keeping me busy.

Thanks, Taryn! Happy Friday, y’all.

Creative Profiles

7 questions with melissa flores of corazones de papel

November 7, 2014

Melissa Flores of Corazones de Papel

Melissa Flores is the Tijuana-based artist behind Corazones de Papel, a line of handmade paper products that began as a personal passion project. When Melissa began dating her now husband back in 2004, she invented a sweet tradition of making him a card for every month they were dating. That inspired her to create her own brand, and Corzaones was born.

Today she’s dishing on her favorite organic coffee from Mexico and her favorite San Diego shop…among other things.

Name: Melissa Flores
Age: 30
Neighborhood: Tijuana, Mexico
Job: Founder & Creative Designer at Tarjeteria Corazones de Papel

What did you eat for breakfast today?
Like everyday first I drank a green juice, full of energy and vitamins to get started. And because today is Sunday I ate one of my favorite autumn breakfasts, gluten-free pumpkin pancakes from Trader Joe’ and a delicious latte (my favorite organic coffee from Chiapas, México).

What’s the best thing about your job?
That each day I can create something new, unique and different, and I can find new ways of “artistic expression,” finding that perfect match of materials, colors and shapes to make a special card, which at any time will be for someone a special card also, not only outside, but by the words it contains within it. I do not follow trends, not follow lines, just let my imagination run wild and get down to work.

The worst?
I could not say that something is the worst because I really love what I do, but sometimes, I cannot stop. In fact there are some nights when I cannot sleep. I have my sketchbook right next to my bed because I wake up with two or three ideas at midnight. And of course, I wish that my day was 30 hours minimum!

How do you tackle a creative block?
I let it go sometimes a few minutes, half day or a full day. I get out of the studio, clean my mind and I begin to see small details, and within seconds get bright ideas. Sometimes I re-watch my favorite movie to distract myself or just enjoy a cup of coffee, making my mind “forget” that it was creating something, let it rest and then boom! tons of ideas. It’s also very important that my workspace is neat and clean with a little but beautiful disorder. On my desk I have my favorite things—one is a golden Eiffel Tower (because I love golden things), which always reminds me that the world is so big.

What’s your favorite spot in San Diego and why?
Any place that makes me feel elsewhere. It’s amazing how just a few minutes from home, I suddenly feel like I’m on the other side of the planet. I love walking around Coronado Island, visiting the Hotel del Coronado. And of course spending a minimum 30 minutes in one of my favorite local stationery shops, The Seaside Papery. And if it’s Sunday, it’s lovely to visit Balboa Park. (Can you believe that Balboa is bigger than Central Park?) But without a doubt my favorite place is home—from sitting in the living room to watching my favorite movie to spending hours in my studio to sometimes just organizing materials or sketching.

What are you currently reading?
I am a very visual person and don’t spend enough time reading, but the last I read was the biography of Marie Antoinette.

What was the most awesome thing about today?
The challenge to translate my ideas into my own cards.

Thanks, Melissa! You can also find her on Instagram.

Creative Profiles

7 questions with stylist/designer dani colombatto

October 24, 2014


I mostly use Instagram for inspiration—and posting pictures of Teddy—and Dani Colombatto’s feed is a favorite of mine, thanks to her use of color, pattern and food. The Oceanside-based stylist and jewelry designer, whose line with Arielle Vey launches next April, has a knack for making beautiful vignettes, so I wanted her to share her own vignette about working in the creative world.

Today she dishes on eggs benedict and chopping garlic to clear a mental block…among other things.

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Creative Profiles

7 questions with chantal pasag

October 17, 2014

Photographer Chantal Pasag, San Diego

My Rituals has left the building. It’s gone. Done. G’bye! To be honest, it was fun and very interesting to get into the minds of different creatives, but I recently I started thinking about asking different people the same questions to see what kind of answers I’d get. And so I now present to you the weekly series, 7 Questions With. Think of it like a My Rituals 2.0. With 7QW, I’m focusing more on West Coast creatives and asking each seven specific questions—some mundane, some serious—inspired by great series like NYMag’s 21 Questions and the fantastic blog So, How Was Your Day?

We’re kicking it off with the very cool, very talented San Diego-based photographer Chantal Pasag. Today, she dishes on trash rap and a secret San Diego spot…among other things.

Name: Chantal Pasag
Age: not 30 yet
Neighborhood: North Park, San Diego
Professional title: Photographer


What did you eat for breakfast today?
Cafe Au Lait (soy) + le croissant.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Being able to connect with people—strangers, friends, acquaintances. I love the challenge of trying to get people to feel completely comfortable around me so that their photos turn out the best—candid, real and fun.

The worst?
Editing. Sometimes. Only when there’s thousands of images to sift through. When the best are picked out then it gets fun again.

How do you tackle a creative block?
An ice-frothy Manhattan or maybe a gin martini. Sometimes “trash rap,” my guilty pleasure. Or I avoid tackling a creative block at all costs by cleaning the house.

What are you currently reading?
A stack of Time magazines (free subscription that keeps showing up at our house. Not sure why, but I’ll take it) and Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

What’s your favorite spot in the city and why?
There’s a spot downtown that I cherish, because it doesn’t look or feel like you’re in San Diego. It’s architecture is minimal and modern—it feels very Japanese. It’s also very peaceful on a Sunday evening. It’s my “secret spot” where I go to reflect, and be alone.


What was the most awesome thing about today?
Friday Morning Coffee Times. Every Friday morning I meet with my friend (and tribes woman) Holly Haines, founder and cook for FMITK. Check her out. We do a word jumble over coffee. Sometimes other friends crash our morning coffee times, too. We love it! I don’t do well conforming to any sort of routine, but this is one of the very few things that I make an exception for.

Thanks, Chantal! You can also check out her work on her portfolio site

Creative Profiles

my rituals: florist natalie gill of native poppy

October 10, 2014


“Floral, event and art design. Teach yoga by day. Dinosaur by night. ” As soon as I real Natalie Gill’s Instagram profile, I knew she’d be a good fit for this series. What I didn’t know is that she teaches yoga at my studio, and—wait for it—I’ve been to some of her classes and had no idea yogi Natalie was the same Natalie of Native Poppy, a floral and event design company with a wild and natural aesthetic.

What a cool, serendipitous surprise, no? And I had no idea this talented, petite gal was chock full of so many thoughtful and unique rituals, like morning yoga practice in a garage, former training in the San Francisco Ballet and beautiful floral arrangement made with dead flowers found outside an auto mechanic’s shop. Yes, really!

Let’s get to know her!

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