It’s been 3 1/2 years since Kadi and I began working on a physical space for Highbrow Hippie (HBH). I literally got pregnant and had a baby (now a toddler) in less time than it’s taken for us to start construction. And we still haven’t started. Most of the time we spend hurrying up and waiting.
When we started this endeavor we thought it would take half the time and cost half the money. Being that it’s not the first time I’ve built out a physical space to house a brand, I was well prepared for the inevitable delays, but working in Los Angeles and specifically Venice has proven to be a unique experience. We were blessed to find an amazing space in an area that feels most like home for us and subsequently Highbrow Hippie. Seeing as how HBH is such a reflection of our mindsets, our ideas and thoughts and really speaks to the way we see the world, it only made sense for us to launch in what we consider to the be Highbrow Hippie epicenter of the world – Venice, CA on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. This is our building. Right next to what is now Tom’s shoes.
Long a neighborhood of hippies and surfers, the new Venice is staking it’s Highbrow flag proudly. Sometimes a little too so. Small boutique businesses have closed, making way for their shinier competitors with better merchandising. Some we miss, some we don’t, but the ever changing landscape signifies growth and when you are opening a business that’s what you bet on.
With all this change and disruption, one would think that the addition of a local, independent, minority female owned business would be welcomed. Keep it local! Shop small! Support independent business! We’ve all heard those cries when it comes to development and rising real estate pushing independent business out the door. Those cries evidently don’t reach the ears of the various governmental agencies responsible for issuing permits and approving plans. They can’t hear our grumbles when faced with another requirement, or neighbor appeal (this alone deserves it’s own post), or removing 25% of the square footage of our building to provide parking even though it will likely rarely get used.
In the meantime, we hurry up and wait. Submit drawings, make changes to things that have never been mentioned before, submit again. Wait.
Even though it’s only February it’s 77 degrees and it feels like Spring in Atlanta. The trees are blooming, the pollen is abundant and in true Atlanta fashion, it will drop to 33 degrees tomorrow…
But isn’t that what change does? It takes something that you have become accustomed to and flips it so that you don’t know what’s coming next. If you are lucky, while sometimes being difficult to manage, change opens up new pathways and opportunities that you didn’t always see.
I recently sold my business. After almost 8 years, two locations, a ton of amazing clients and some really great friendships, I decided it was time for something new. So I’m taking a few months “off” to prep for the next chapter.
In the meantime, I’ll be blogging more (and by more I mean at all because I haven’t touched this blog in a while), working on a few other things and basically indulging my creative side.
Isn’t change great?
In love and light.
Harris turned one on October 5 and I can’t believe a year has gone by since his birth!
I wasn’t quite sure what to do, but knew I wanted it to be outdoors. I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money on decorations that would just get thrown away, so figured we’d do a bohemian gathering in the park. Since I am on the board of the Community Farmers Markets, I figured we would do a mid morning brunch in the park adjacent to the Grant Park Farmers Market. This way people could do their shopping and then come join us afterwards.
Before purchasing anything, I shopped my home and my sister in law’s home to see what we already had. I then made a list of the remaining items and headed out to fill the gaps. Of course we had to lay it all out two days before to make sure we liked how it was coming together…..
On the day of the event we got to the park early to set up
For food we ordered several quiches from The Little Tart to be delivered to the farmers market. I also picked up some simple prepared pasta salads, nuts, cheese and fruit and set those up. We ordered a cake from a local vegan bakery and we were all set.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have an extreme dislike for paper plates, napkins, etc. I am the one that brings the real silverware to a picnic because somehow things just taste better when you are eating on real plates. However I was not about to lug 40 place settings to a park for a one year old’s birthday, so I found these great bio degradable forks, plates and cups which matched my decor and got the job done.
Of course we had to have some drinks (because we all know that kids birthdays are really just about the adults) so we made a tequila based punch. I wish I could tell you the recipe but when you live with a mixologist these things get created on the spot. I cut some branches from a few trees at the park and used those as decoration for the table. Simple and easy because life with a toddler is already hard enough.
I had a baby 6 weeks ago. I did it at home with no drugs and only my Midwife, my mother and my boyfriend to assist. It was great. Exactly how I had imagined it, and afterwards I got to lie in my own bed, on my own sheets and stare at my son uninterrupted and with no overly ventilated hospital gown.
I buried my best friend two weeks ago. He was 41. Even though I knew he was sick, there is absolutely nothing that prepares you for that call. It stops you dead in your tracks and all of the sudden you are left with a hundred questions that should have been asked, a thousand words that should have been said…