LA Biz Ladies’ Meetup

16 Apr

Yesterday I drove to LA with my friend (and future business partner!) Anna to attend the LA Biz Ladies’ Meetup. I heard about this event on Design Sponge, a very popular design blog authored by Grace Bonney. Grace runs these Biz Ladies events, and I have to give her muchisimos kudos for doing this, because it’s such a fantastic and free resource!

There was a great turnout:

I knew that there would be speakers on different topics like finances, running a retail & art business, and marketing your work, but had no idea it was going to be so personally inspiring!

So again, a big thank you to Grace and the other ladies who participated. DWR on Beverly hosted the event and in my opinion you could not have asked for a nicer setting in which to hang out, relax, eat, drink, meet other creative ladies and listen to some fantastic advice!

Lindsay Horstman, a financial advisor with Smith Barney, talked about savings and investing, a topic that many of us like to tell ourselves we’ll think about “later”, but is actually really important to start thinking about NOW. Especially when you consider, as Lindsay informed us, that almost all of us will at one time or another be the sole person in charge of our household finances. Reality check!

She recommended a book called “On My Own Two Feet” by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar, available at Amazon:

I’m definitely going to be checking that out. I admit, finances are not my favorite subject but I know they’re important and I’m determined to be responsible that way!

Next, I listened to the insanely talented Tanya Aguiniga talk about her business as a furniture designer, accessories designer, artist and a multitude of side projects like teaching herself graphic design, taking part in fellowships and volunteering. After hearing her speak, you wonder if there is nothing this girl is not good at!

And she’s really nice, and had the best accessories I saw all evening (this amazing red felt necklace and the cutest bag with deep blue-green silhouettes of trees and bright red straps that echoed the color in her necklace!).

But she makes no secret of the fact that part of her success is down to hard work–long days, 7 days a week, and doing the right thing–being nice and giving back to the community. I don’t know how she has time for it all (she makes time for it, I guess!) but it’s obviously working for her because she is successful. So it was very inspiring to hear her tell her story. Her work is pretty incredible, too!

She makes furniture, textiles and accessories, which you can see on her website.

If I had to choose just two as my favorites, they would be these:

The clever “Shadow Trio” above, and below, “Zinacantan”:

She makes everything herself, too! I would love to use some of her pieces in an interiors project one day…

Next, I heard Billie and Tootie from ReForm School talk about owning their own retail business. This was especially interesting since this is what I’d like to do one day. To hear them speak about the realities of how they got started (small), how they manage the day-to-day business and what it’s like working as partners and with artists and designers they admire was so informative!

They cleared up some unanswered questions I had and are definitely the two responsible for making me think that what I want to do is not only possible but is also going to be a whole lot of fun!

Unfortunately, I did not have time to visit Silverlake on this trip, where their store is located, because I would love to see it in person. But I was admiring their website the other day– it’s one of the best-designed websites that I’ve seen!

And they say it’s been great for their business too. You really need to take a visit there to see all the fun and unique things they have to offer. Their “Student of The Month” feature, where they feature exclusive goods by a new artist each month, is great and I love that sustainability is important to them too…

Thanks guys for sharing what you do! It was so helpful!

Finally, I sat down to hear what Grace from Design Sponge had to say about PR and marketing. She broke it down into a simple, doable system for those looking to get their work out there. She really made it seem easy…and with her background, she knows what she’s talking about! You can download the notes from her talk right here.

If this event comes to your area and you are interested in having a creative business (or have one already), I highly recommend that you go! It was such a helpful, positive event!

Despite having been on the go all day, from San Diego to various spots around LA before attending this meeting, Anna and I were fired up with ideas all the way home. I can’t wait to share with you what develops…

Next time, I will share some of our finds from the places we visited during the day, because there is some fun stuff out there! I have a feeling I’ll be making the drive up more often!

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8 Responses to “LA Biz Ladies’ Meetup”

  1. Design for Mankind April 16, 2008 at 5:44 pm #

    OMG you were THERE?! dangit!!!!

    I totally didn’t see you???

  2. lizlangley April 16, 2008 at 5:45 pm #

    I didn’t see you either, but I don’t really know what you look like, exactly…brown hair? We must have been in different groups!

  3. pugnotes April 17, 2008 at 5:05 am #

    Hi Liz!
    That sounds like a great meeting! Thank youfor sharing it and all the great links!
    Melissa

  4. Nevis April 17, 2008 at 6:20 am #

    Looks like a great event to have gone to!

  5. marichelle April 17, 2008 at 7:18 pm #

    Sounds like so much fun!! Can’t wait to attend one of these! I might have to check out that finance book, I totally suck when it comes to money matters 😦

  6. Miss Fruitfly April 19, 2008 at 3:08 pm #

    This is a great post about the biz ladies. I have been tracking down all the bloggers who have posted about the L.A. Biz Ladies and posting links to it (including yours) on my blog. I hope that’s cool with you.

  7. Christina April 22, 2008 at 8:34 am #

    Now you have ME all fired up! Thanks for sharing.

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  1. L.A. Finds « A Colorful Life - April 18, 2008

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