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B E V E R LY H I L L S | B R E N T W O O D | M A L I B U | W E S T H O L LY W O O D | S A N T A M O N I C A

COMMUNITY POWERED

MALIBU’S LUXURY FITNESS RETREAT

THE RANCH AT LIVE OAK

OWNER, CRAIG’S RESTAURANT

JULY 2016 | FOCUSMAG.US

CRAIG SUSSER

THE MODERN DAY GIRLFRIEND

ARIANNA THOMOPOULOS HOST, HOLLYWOOD TODAY LIVE

KRISTEN BROCKMAN

ENTREPRENEUR ISSUE

BEAUTY VISIONARY/PHILANTHROPIST

DINA MANZO

FOUNDERS OF ‘JEWELRY WITH INTENTION’

SHERY SHABANI | EDEN SASSOON


Focus TV

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Craig Susser

The Ranch at Live Oak

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Shery Shabani and Eden Sassoon

Kristen Brockman

Arianna Thomopolous

Art Angels

Date Talk

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Brigitte & Stone

Lauryn Evarts

Voyage et Cie

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Eden Pilates

Malibu Guitar Festival

Know The Glow

Share The Love

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Dina Manzo focusmag.us/tv/dinamanzo

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CONTRIBUTORS

Tambi Saffran (Stollman) Tambi grew up in NY. She left a producer job at MTV to start a family. Returning to her passion of producing and music, Tambi is currently producing a documentary called She Rocks! about female guitarists. In her spare time she enjoys being a mom, hiking, boxing and live music. instagram.com/just_tambi

Wendy Brokaw Kretchmer Wendy is an editorial producer at CNN but considers her most important job to be raising her 2 girls. Her rare spare time is spent on a multitude of passions including fundraising, cancer awareness, fitness, and her guilty pleasure – Pinterest. instagram.com/wendbrokaw

Arianna Thomopoulos Arianna Thomopoulos is the founder of The Modern Day Girlfriend. Always the girl that friends and family went to looking for advice on life and love, Arianna now shares personal stories, lessons learned and wisdom that has gathered along the way to her followers and anyone else who is trying to navigate through the new frontier of “living and loving in the digital age” themoderndaygirlfriend.com

Sande Charles Sande was crowned Ms. California United States 2014. She grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and also covers Football Night in LA for the Examiner. When not in front of the camera, you can find her producing for the MLB Network. On the weekends she is in Studio for Fox Sports. sandecharles.com

Michelle Harvey Michelle Harvey is quickly becoming the go-to gal in the world of men’s grooming. She is a licensed barber, specializing in men’s hair, shaving and grooming. Her training, coupled with her constant exposure to the newest trends in men’s grooming, makes her one of the top experts in her field. She is sought after for her experienced and fun advice on all things masculine. Michelle’s blog updated regularly is a site for the well-informed, well-groomed man! GroomedbyMichelleHarvey.com

Suzan Brittan A Southern California resident, but forever native New Yorker, started in Los Angeles as a singer/songwriter/ actress. However, to pay for luxuries like rent, a car and food, she climbed many corporate ladders and climbed right back down. She finally found her niche and outlet as a creative and non-fiction writer. imdb.com/name/nm1483913

Dana Adams Dana Adams has spent her life working on both sides of the lens. With a few international campaigns running, Adams continues to push the front end of the lens. However, dubbed as a “Photographic Life Coach” her true passion resides in transforming Models into Role Models on the back end. loveinlalaland.com

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Lauryn Evarts Lauryn Evarts is an influencer & the creative director behind The Skinny Confidential. Since the launch of the brand, it’s evolved into a book, fitness & nutrition eBook, YouTube channel and App. She lives in San Diego and Los Angeles, California with her fiancé, Michael (who guest posts frequently!) and their two chihuahuas, Pixy and T. Boone Pickens. theskinnyconfidential.com

Shirin Yadegar Shirin Yadegar is the Founder of LA Mom Magazine. The mission of the magazine is to empower moms to feel self-confident about the decisions they make for their families. lamommagazine.com aims to help thousands of moms find the products and services they need to make motherhood easy and fun. lamommagazine.com


Community powered. Editor Andrew Waldman andy@focusmag.us Focus TV Editor/Hosts Tambi Saffran Alex Wehrley Wendy Brokaw Kretchmer Michelle Gertz Sande Charles Hillary Gadsby Staff Writer Felicia Waldman Suzan Brittan Photographers Dalen Muster Ben Shani Dana Adams Videographers Dalen Muster Ben Shani Racquel Levin Publisher + Creative Director Mark Castellino mark@focusmag.us Copyright 2015 by Focus Media Agency. Focus (ISSN 2328-1359) is published 6 times per year. Please do not to reproduce any of the content without permission. Subscription and distribution inquiries: promo@focusmag.us

EDITOR LETTER

Our summer issue is dedicated to some admirable entrepreneurs in and around LA. We especially admire the passion it takes to get a business off the ground, and the inventiveness of the ideas we have seen. From blogs and online magazines like The Skinny Confidential and LA Mom Magazine, to Shery Shabani and Eden Sassoon’s new collection of ‘jewelry with intention’, to our cover story of restauranteur/entrepreneur Craig Susser, who graciously allowed us a rare peek into the passion and inevitable road to success with his uber hot and namesake restaurant, ‘Craig’s’. We talked to a wide range of entrepreneurs about how they got started and what motivates them. Check out our video section on the website for extra footage, focusmag.us Also worth noting, is the new Focus TV series we are filming in collaboration with Alex Wehrley of the #Empowerista movement. It’s a fascinating set of interviews with inspiring, confident women. Thanks to our terrific contributors there are many more interesting articles to keep you entertained and informed! Happy reading. The Focus Team

ISSUE 21 Cover photo: Ben Shani

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Shery Shabani and Eden Sassoon Jewelry with Intention BY SUZAN BRITTAN

I This bangle “This Too Shall Pass” was curated by Eden Sassoon and Shery Shabani, representing Eden’s story. A percentage of the proceeds from this bangle will be donated to Sassoon’s foundation, Beauty Gives Back.

t is a beautiful thing when the stars align and people enter our lives for beautiful reasons, and we label these events as beautiful fates. After a chance meeting, now considered one of these beautiful fates, Shery Shabani, talented and stylish jewelry designer, and Eden Sassoon, entrepreneur and passionate philanthropist, [and yes, the daughter of legendary hair and beauty mogul Vidal Sassoon], combined their talents and passions to form a unique jewelry line.

Their collection is a personal message-driven jewelry company which exemplifies Shabani and Sassoon’s shared passion for empowering others. Their jewelry makes giving back beautiful, relatable, and better yet, fashionable.Through their collaborative efforts with philanthropists, newsmakers, 6 FOCUS | JU L Y 2 01 6


trendsetters, and A-List celebrities, they create one of a kind bracelets, which both inspire people and relate to its wearer. The two women formed an instant connection, bonding over their similar personal lives, common interests and passions, and decided it was destiny to combine their talents and celebrity to make a unique difference. As Shery says about Eden, “I had a girl crush within moments…her soul and energy was mesmerizing and completely caught me off guard. I thought…I want to partner with her and do a jewelry line that is about giving back. It’s also an opportunity for different causes to be shown.”

significance. It’s about love, giving and support. The bracelet acts as a cathartic and physical affirmation every time you look at it on your wrist while giving the wearer a chance to explain the meaning behind its message. It’s one of the most creative and meaningful gifts you can purchase for someone you truly care about. Wear it knowing you are a generous, compassionate person. If one person can resonate with it and show it to others who might need to “hear” its message, the bangle has done its job. As for Sassoon and Shabani’s brand, the message of all messages is Sassoon’s father’s famous oldie-but-goody catchphrase, “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”

Eden Sassoon remembers, “When I was younger, I wanted that love from Daddy. He didn’t give it to me, that love.” She continues, “But, he said something that stuck with me, ‘Darling, go do something for someone else.’ That was the best love he could have given.” His advice set her on a voyage to find that her true love is indeed giving back to others. With that reality, together, Sassoon and Shabani joined forces with a powerful mission to create “jewelry with intention.” Their beautiful bangle bracelets are customized with a specific engaging message from a celebrity or household name for the world to buy,wear and donate. The 7mm bangles are available in many sizes as well as price ranges, in both semi-precious and precious metals. To further personalize the piece you may have it tailored with diamonds. Each bracelet purchased pays it for-ward in donation dollars to the message-driven charity it is linked to. Eden Sassoon honors her beloved Beauty Gives Back charity with a bangle showcasing her favorite mantra: “This Too Shall Pass”. Shery and Eden ask big names, influencers and organizations to share their inspirational stories to join the initiative to create their own impactful mantra bracelets and help to give back to their favored cause. A fixed amount of the proceeds with be delegated to each chosen charity. Giving back is fantastic on any level, but this platform is about echoing the personal stories that drive these wonderful causes, putting it into one or a few words and capturing its intention on a gorgeous bracelet people will love wearing for its meaning, it’s support of a cause, as well as its beauty. You can decide to purchase one based on its message or perhaps the cause it supports and defines.

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Shabani suffered through her own battles during her marriage for which she escaped explaining; “Together we are stronger and have a responsibility for other women who feel singled out or alone.” Shabani and Sassoon bring together beauty and focusmag.us 7


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Get Your Glow On

Former New Jersey Housewife DINA MANZO at home and with purpose…in Malibu. BY SUZAN BRITTAN AND WENDY BROKAW KRETCHMER

Dina Manzo, I have a question for you… What’s your secret? This stunning forty-four year old looks twenty-four with the most flawless complexion I’ve ever seen up close. I already know what this spiritual Bohemian Beauty’s answer will be, Glow By Dina, her new skin care line. I’m in! ’Glow’ me! Entrepreneurialism isn’t a new title for Ms. Manzo since she’s been on the pioneer path since before she could even spell entrepreneurialism at thirteen. She started in the beauty business in her mid teens and opened her own salon at age eighteen. Manzo never sits still long enough to think about what’s next; she just does it. If you’re clueless to whom this ‘on the move’ businesswoman is; you’ve been living in a different reality show. I’m sure you’re already a fan from her seasons on, “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” and her passion design HGTV series, “Dina’s Party”. From renovating and designing homes, planning massive event happenings in New Jersey and surrounding areas, to bringing the mojo glow back to your cheeks, Manzo still finds time to be philanthropic. In 2007, Manzo started Project Lady Bug, a 501c3 nonprofit charity which raises money for children suffering with cancer and or life-threatening conditions. Pediatric illness does not discriminate; no matter what financial status you have, this charity is available to support those in need. She started this foundation in part stemming from her father’s objectives from which she also learned a fantastic business ethic and intellect. The youngest of eleven children, Dina was repeatedly reminded of her father’s epic true story of getting married to her mother with only eleven dollars to his name, to growing a mecca plastic molding company from niente (that’s Italian for “nada”). According to Manzo, her mother was “Martha Stewart on steroids…She made everything herself. I get my

creative side from her.” Manzo grew up in a mansion, but was always taught the value of working hard and giving back to her community. She instills this work ethic in her twenty-year old daughter, Lexi, that it’s everyone’s job to, “…always believe in yourself, keep your family close to your heart and give back as much as you can.” Let’s get back to the question she’s often asked, “Dina, what do you use on your skin; you absolutely glow?” Manzo collaborated with four diverse dermatologists from SkinResource.MD™ to develop the perfect skin care regimen. These skin wizards blend natural and heavenly ingredients to fortify the magical skin mixtures using antioxidants, green tea extracts, coffee, Vitamin C, berries and they are all fragrance, sulfate and chemical-free. Her popular products are found online for purchase (glowbydina.com) and these essential products, when used daily, will give you that gorgeous-allover Dina Manzo Glow. With products ranging from eleven to nineteen dollars, you can’t afford not to buy these perfectly enriched products. The reasonably priced beauty routine is manufactured in an all green facility producing their own electricity, purified water with no animal testing. A percentage focusmag.us 9


of every single bottle of Glow by Dina goes to her beloved Project Lady Bug. This GLOWing Jersey girl has settled in nicely to the California lifestyle since moving to Malibu recently and says she is living the life she was meant to live. “I feel like I’m a California girl that was stuck in New Jersey. I know this is kind of cliche, but when you say ‘living your truth’, that’s empowering. And whether or not anyone else wants to see that truth or not, it’s who you are. I got a little bit of flack for moving across the country and starting a new life here. But it’s who I am. I have to be true to who I am and live my ultimate life, and then that’s when things start to flow. And that’s when I’m living what I’m supposed to be doing and my purpose is being fulfilled.”

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Dina Manzo glowbydina.com

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BLOG SPOTLIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY BY DALEN MUSTER

THE SKINNY CONFIDENTIAL theskinnyconfidential.com

The Skinny Confidential is a brand and blog created by Lauryn Evarts. The Skinny Confidential is all about creating your OWN healthy lifestyle through balance. Think kale in one hand, champagne in the other. Lauryn Evarts created The Skinny Confidential while studying at San Diego State University. Throughout her studies, she was inspired to create a platform for women to connect through their tips & tricks. Since then, the blog has grown into a full-on lifestyle brand, book, fitness guide, YouTube channel and social network, with a product line coming soon. The blog is Lauryn’s home base, where she shares recipes, workouts, fashion, home décor, travel itineraries, personal stories, and more. You can also find her actively involved on social media, Snapchat being her current favorite. Lauryn’s fiancé, Michael, has recently become more involved with the launch of HIM, a page solely created to provide tips & inspiration from the male perspective that lives on TSC. On HIM you’ll find everything from relationship advice, to business advice, to what books should be on your ‘must read’ list.

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The most recent addition to The Skinny Confidential is The Skinny Confidential: Him & Her Podcast which features both Lauryn & Michael. On the podcast the duo spends time answering their followers’ questions about business, blogging, branding, relationships, traveling, and more. To follow along on social media search: @theskinnyconfidential

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The Evolution of The Modern Day Girlfriend Living & loving in the digital age, one swipe at a time. PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLLY LYNCH

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lways the girl that friends and family looked to for advice on life and love, I found myself sharing personal stories, lessons learned, and wisdom that I gathered along the way. After years of sharing these life moments, I wanted to create a safe place for my friends and family and anyone else trying to navigate through this new frontier of “living and loving in the digital age.” This became the seeds of The Modern Day Girlfriend.

Today’s singles have more ways to find love than ANY generation before them. Seemingly, it is safe to say that the iPhone has become the new little black book by creating more options to finding love than ever before, but leaving us so digitally connected that we are disconnected to the actual people around us. We are living life one swipe removed from human contact; electronic communication has changed the world of dating, the way way we conduct business, living everyday life, family dynamics and friendships as we once knew them, and has created a new reality. Millennials and the generations to follow will not know what it is like to be in a photo without the fear of being “tagged”, or experience a sunset through their eyes instead of a touch screen. The so called digital age has not only changed the way we physically communicate with each other but has “swiped right” on how we find love, remain friends and, in some cases, equate our self worth. Even though we all “might” (I know I am) be “guilty” of all of the above, I noticed a common thread which was, we want to find a way to put our phones down and connect face to face, eye to eye. “I know, easier said than done!” At the end of the day, life and love shouldn’t be defined by a post on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Remember not everyone is who they POST to be, and that’s why at The Modern Day Girlfriend you will find real, personal, honest, sometimes embarrassing, fun, funny and raw stories of “living and loving in the digital age.”

When you visit The Modern Day Girlfriend you will be inspired and empowered by the stories you read, and find helpful tips for building and sustaining friendships, relationships and raising your family in an age where it is easier just to “phone it in.” LITERALLY! (Created by Arianna Thomopoulos & based off The Modern Day Girlfriend website) ©2015 The Modern Day Girlfriend

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The Art of Virtual-ationships A Dating Roundtable discussion HOSTED BY ARIANNA THOMOPOULOS

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id he really just check his text messages while we’re toasting to our love over our plates of cracked crab and garlic noodles? Sound familiar? Remember when, “Hey, eyes up here!” meant, stop looking at my boobs? Well, times have certainly changed. Go-to dating advice website gal, Arianna Thomopoulos (@ moderndaygf) of, The Modern Day Girlfriend asks a panel of thirty plus something-ish women, “Do you think the rise of social media and the digital age has changed the way we talk to one another?” Since technology reared its fast-paced, ones and zeros head, the method of how we communicate with our businesses, families, friends and kids has transformed dramatically. Thus, if it has changed our business and personal lives, then it has undoubtedly messed with our love lives. I found out while listening to each of their candid and well-crafted answers that some like connecting via technology, and some, not so much.


Here’s the issue with ‘instant gratification’ texting according to these accomplished, wine sipping, educated women in the opinion circle; Danielle Bisutti (@daniellebisutti) explains, “Being in the moment with others has been robbed of true human connection - I sometimes wonder if the Millennial and post Millennial generation of having the courage to just be with someone face to face, human to human has been lost… using your voice. There’s no bravery – it’s vulnerable.” Maria Provenzano (@fromscratchwithmaria) picks it up, “There are some negative aspects, but I’ve found it (texting) to be very beneficial to maintain relationships… and friends across the country…to let them know I’m thinking of them.” Dawn McCoy (@iamdawnmccoy) continues, “I think we miss moments of people standing right next to us, like in the grocery store, because we are on the cell phone, looking down and not looking up or at another person who could be the one we are meant to meet.” This might explain why all of your, ‘Mr. Rights’ behind you in line quickly become your ‘Mr. Lefts’ walking out the sliding store doors. Ms. Thomopoulos brings up a great point about our selfabsorbed, self-ie nation addiction and has her own expression to wrap it up, “Not everybody is who they post to be.” Do we put too much emphasis on what we look like and who we are trying to portray to our “followers” – “Liker’s” – “Friends”? You’ve seen those shots of your, ‘keeping up with the Joneses friends-ies and their fabulous, private jet, champagne infused lifestyle. It’s not that you’re jealy; it’s more that…you want to secretly push them into the La Brea Tar Pits. Amy Paffrath (@amypaffrath) warns us; “There are a lot of negative effects - when you’re looking at someone else’s life and how fabulous their life looks and comparing how popular you are…and thinking, ‘My life is really boring’.” I think Rachel McCord (@iamrachelmccord) wraps up the posting popularity competition perfectly with; “It’s like high school, but for the rest of your life.” There was an entire uproar recently about ‘engagement ring’ shaming and how tiny some newly fiance’d woman’s ring looked in her post on Instagram. Shallow, much?

www.themoderndaygirlfriend.com. She was begging for only thirty minutes of her boyfriend’s undivided attention to look at her and talk...to her face. Hey guy…she’s like totally hot, what’s your deal? Don’t you just want to punch some of those infuriating Emoji’s in the kissy-face? These little iconic symbols are not real emotions people. Either text what you want to express, or pick up the darn phone! There are always misconstrued, misread and misinterpreted texts, which are only made worse if read with the wrong intonation in your head. We’ve all read texts with the wrong tone attached. Who does the responsibility belong to when this happens? We can’t blame the text-er or the reader of the text. It’s all so vague and gloomy in the cyber cloud rulebook. Wait; is there a text-etiquette rulebook? If there is, I can’t imagine the rules of texting, as a tween and teenager are the same as when you’re texting as adults. Thomopoulos asks her panel, “When going on a date today, do you want him to call you or text you?” A loud unanimous, “Call!” was their answer on high. Leslie Durso (@lesliedurso) adds, “When you see their name pop up on your cell, it’s like, you have to prepare yourself, I don’t know if I’m ready.” It’s become a social anxiety hearing someone’s actual voice on the phone. “There was a study done… 65% of high school girls want to be asked to prom via text.” Bisutti expounds; “With the Millennials, it’s like an appendage, second nature. The anxiety they are feeling about hearing the voice, does concern me.” It’s gotten to the point where we feel as if our friends, colleagues and loved ones have the nerve to call us first instead of warn us they are doing so via text. Tambi Saffran-Stollman (@just_tambi) chimes in; “I think it’s really polite when a guy texts and asks if it’s okay to talk. I appreciate that, because I’m so busy with children and work.” Text-lationships are insane, because you never really have a chance to be intimate with that person. Sexting isn’t cutting it. Besides it being awkward, where’s the sexiness in misspelled, miss-autocorrected words? No, I don’t want to ‘Duck’ you! What happened to good old-fashioned phone sex, using your voice in a hushed tone? It’s all so impersonal now. Living, loving and dating in the virtual world of virtually everything at your fingertips can either paralyze us as humans or help us expand our realms of relationship possibilities. Although we can use common sense while navigating through the texting arena like no ‘drunk texting’, it’s still a murky swim in the dating and mating pool. Each one of these entrepreneurial, beautiful, intelligent women pieced together well thought out ideas, answers and advice, like throwing us a virtual life preserver. So, will you sink…or will you swim in the cybernetic water?

Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and social media, “…are like trolling…oh, that was a Freudian slip…a scrolling Christmas card...these are the most perfect moments ever.” Describes Dawn McCoy. Ms. Thomopoulos asks the ladies to admit if technology and the use of cell phones and gadgets has changed their relationship, marriage or the way they date. Mrs. Paffrath loves how she can stay in touch with her actor/musician husband since he’s always on tour (with Jersey Boys) and in different time zones; “When he’s gone, we send each other selfies and cute pictures, that’s our relationship, always from the neck down. The key to sexting; never put your head in the pic.” A couple’s therapist gave the Paffrath’s sage advice: Ask permission from your partner if you can use the phone. Check out the entire dating roundtable video at: Thomopoulos admits that being neglected and always losing the text waiting game with her boyfriend made her start her website,

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Restauranteur Craig Susser “Captain Chaos Of Craig’s” BY SUZAN BRITTAN INTERVIEW BY TAMBI SAFFRAN PHOTOGRAPH BY BEN SHANI


COVER STO RY

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“Excuse me – Can I get by?” “Is this bar stool taken?” “Mind if I squeeze in and order a drink?” These are the most asked questions you’ll hear if you’re jonesin’ for a libation at the five people deep bar while waiting for a coveted table in one of the hottest spot in all of Los Angeles, a.k.a Craig’s (An American Restaurant). Don’t be surprised if you see George Clooney behind the bar mixing Craig’s coined, “Skinny Amiga” or overhear a conversation in this West Hollywood specific joint about the latest script in development – over at “You know where,” directed by “You know whom.” Yes, you can just feel the schmooze ooze dripping from the air. The atmosphere is charged with highly positive vibes coming from not just the fabulously famous and exotic minglers but also the staff weaving in and out of people, tables and chairs, balancing trays of food and drinks as if dancing a well-choreographed ballet.

regulars and A-list mega stars: Elton John, Cindy Crawford, Don Rickles, David Spade, Emmy Rossum, Ryan Phillippe, Molly Sims – not too shabby. However, it’s his close-knit loyal friendships he surrounds himself with who give him support, keep him motivated and are “rooting” for him. He describes his encouragement system as more of a ritual mantra rather than a said fact. Susser defends his misunderstood city: “A lot of people say that L.A. is not a community of people, well I am living proof that it is.” Of course the food is outstanding! Susser rightfully boasts that, “Guests make reservations as they are leaving. Now, that’s the biggest compliment a restauranteur can get.” This pre-reservation tactic isn’t just because there’s never an empty table on any given night. No, it’s because his refined cultivated taste buds match the creative culinary talents of his Executive Chef, Kursten Kizer who together, enchant repeat customers. It’s no accident Craig’s is on everyone’s “To-Do Foodie List”. He’s a pro. And, heck no, this ain’t his first rodeo. Susser was a bartender, then a waiter, then maître d’ turned GM, (basically, the guy) for West Hollywood’s fifty plus year staple, Dan Tana’s (An Italian Restaurant) for twenty-three years. Who does anything in Hollywood for twenty-three years?

I’m no restaurant critic, but I can edify the edibles. I had the pleasure of dining there a few months ago and still crave that mouth watering “Meldman’s Honey Truffle Chicken” and, don’t tell my Jewish mother, but… the “Pigs in a Blanket” are meshugina! My date begrudgingly let me take a bite of the “Butternut Squash Ravioli” and it took every ounce of Miss During his video interview exclusive for Focus Magazine, Mr. Manners recall not to dive across the table and steal every little Craig Susser, owner and host of Craig’s, admits proudly, “They yummy, buttery pillow of goodness with my spoon. If only call me, ‘Captain Chaos’”. He thrives on the controlled buzz. He my thighs had room for the the finger licking mouth watering continues, “I live in this chaos and almost feed off of it. I love Chocolate Pizza with its yummy crumb topping, a must the chaotic nature of this restaurant… The key is maintaining it Instagram or Snap Chat to everyone you know! Hear ye, hear ye: daily and it takes a lot of discipline to do what we do… and do it gluten intolerant and tofu eating, Vegenaise slathering people… at a very high level.” This is how he strives to make every dining there’s gluten-free bread options and his no meat-eaters menu experience better than the last and every day better than the next has at least four choices including “Vegan Chicken Parmigiana” at his famous namesake, Craig’s. and “Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese”, so delish even non-vegans lick their plates. Side note: I’m almost afraid to ask how “Jerry Let’s talk fame for a second. Susser is not one to go toward the Weintraub’s Spaghetti Clam Show” got its menu name. limelight, but he doesn’t mind it shining a pathway through his One of Susser’s biggest fans, the late and legendary film restaurant doors either. Just over a year ago he was toasted and producer Jerry Weintraub [“The Karate Kid”, “Ocean’s Eleven”, roasted on his 50th birthday at Craig’s by an assortment of VIP

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(and Twelve), “Diner”, “Years of Living Dangerously” to name a brilliant few], was lucky enough to have a dish named after him on the Craig’s menu, “Jerry Weintraub’s Spaghetti Clam Show”. What likely won him his starring dish role was his investment in Craig’s restaurant. But, when I say, “his investment in Craig’s restaurant,” I mean, Weintraub was faithfully investing in his dear friend Craig, a person whom he believed could open and run a West Hollywood hit, from watching his work ethic during his many years as a regular at Dan Tana’s. Susser also mysteriously found his way into “Ocean’s Twelve”, playing the role of, ‘Men’s Club Waiter’. Okay, not much of a stretch but still - he was sharing the screen with massive star power, the likes of those he now delights at his very own Craig’s. There’s actually a strong list of acting work under Susser’s belt, but I’m sure the Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe and a People’s Choice Award for good measure would go to Mr. Susser for, “Best Restaurant Owner” in the restaurant business. Craig’s: An American Restaurant, in 2016 is celebrating their 5th year Anniversary while taking a grateful look back on how his dream of owning a successful restaurant came true. After spending years cultivating and nurturing relationships with dear patrons, vast connections and trustworthy friends, the doors opened in 2011 with some funding from an enthusiastic diversified group. One amongst the first-in’s is his pal Gary Winnick and gives him high praise for knowing his market and most importantly his clientele. He should know; Winnick is a long time fan of Susser from the days at Dan Tana’s. Craig’s gained instant repeat customers and a few menu items that resemble retro Italian cuisine as a nod to his former home. Other than those few recognizable menu entries, Susser prides himself on a delectable and diverse innovative list of starters, entrees and desserts to choose from once you take your seat. Just in case you are wondering how much more fantasticalicious Susser can get, Craig’s donates money to thirty plus charity organizations, and asks everyone to join his mission to do the same with just a click on craigs.la/charities.php. Now we add Philanthropist to his list of impressive titles. This versatile, Front-of-the-House man – now successful owner, earned his rank of Restaurateur Entrepreneur by devoting more than half his life serving, feeding, accommodating, hosting and making customers feel like they’re home. He believes his space is an extension of his guests’ dining rooms. Susser declares, “Every night I walk in here, it never gets old.” Once you walk through his doors no matter if you are a critic, celebrity, a business big wig, or a people-watching foodie – expect to be treated equally as one of Craig’s family.

Craig’s: An American Restaurant 8826 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (310) 276-8900 www.craigs.la

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Lisa Loeb PHOTOGRAPHY BY JUAN PATINO PHOTOGRAPHY

You are a music icon in our local community. Where did you grow up and what motivated you to get involved with music? LL: Although I was born in Bethesda, MD, and spent my first springs among the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC, I grew up mostly in California in the early 1970’s until first grade. When I was a baby, we lived in San Francisco, and then we moved to San Diego for my preschool years. By 1st grade I was back in my family’s home state of Texas, and I consider Dallas my home town. I have always loved music. Our family had music around all of the time, and making music was always important in my life with family and friends. My dad plays piano for fun; my older brother is a classical pianist; and my sister also plays and is a songwriter. My younger brother is an engineer. Around our house, we listened to the 1970’s clock radio -- all the hits, classical, musical theater, etc., on vinyl. Our turntable was spinning everything, from Queen to The Beatles, Elton John to the Bee Gees. My siblings and I used to pretend to play in bands, and we’d make up dances too. We participated in school performances and took dance classes. I was always obsessed with, and very aware of the music around me. I took piano lessons from a very early age, studying reading and performance as well as theory. I moved along to guitar when I was a young teen. I’d go away to summer camp, to a place outside of Austin, bringing along my acoustic guitar and learning that music can be silly and fun. It was a great way to connect friends, and I found it really amazing to perform in front of the camp audience. It was inevitable that I’d pursue a career in music. Your fans love your music, and your signature eyeglasses! LL: I always wanted people to talk about my music and songs, but a lot of times people also really loved to focus (forgive the pun) on my glasses. People stop me all the time to tell me they have glasses “like mine” or that they feel confident wearing their glasses because I was a role model for them as a woman in the public eye who wears her glasses well and proudly. As someone who loves to find the perfect pair of eyewear, I figured out that I wanted to create my own line so that people can really wear glasses “like mine.” How involved are you in the design process? LL: I’m very involved in the process, as I feel that the glasses must have my stamp of approval. My name is on the frames,

and so I want them to represent different looks that fall within my look. The goal is to offer frames that will look good for all of the different face shapes and skin tones. The colors, materials, shapes, and all of the details are very important to me. [LisaLoebEyewear.com] Tell us about your foundation “Camp Lisa”? LL: This is a foundation to send kids to summer camp, but not an actual summer camp yet. When I made my Camp Lisa record a few years ago, I decided that I wanted to share the summer camp experience with families through music. Then I realized that I should actually send kids to summer camp to experience camp in person, so I decided to donate all the proceeds of my album to send kids to camp. Visit www.camplisa.com to learn more. Who inspires you? LL: Good question. I’m inspired by Natalie Goldberg, who’s a great writing teacher. Writing is the best way to come up with ideas for songs and stories. The ideas flow and new business ideas, abstract thoughts, memories, everything comes out. It’s the beginning, and Natalie Goldberg is very encouraging and offers very simple ideas for anyone to write right now. What types of music do you love listening to today? LL: I love listening to old songs that I introduce to my kids, like “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” by War and “Brand New Key” by Melanie, as well as learning about the bands happening today like Purity Ring and The Record Company, which I learn about from my husband, who works with bands at Conan O’Brien. What is the latest music news in your world these days? LL: I always have something new happening. Mostly, I’m always making music and writing songs. My latest album is Nursery Rhyme Parade! (available exclusively with Amazon Music/ Amazon Prime), which is a collection of songs and rhymes inspired by my two children and my own childhood favorites.

lisaloeb.com focusmag.us 25


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Alex Wehrley a.k.a. #Empowerista A preview of Focus Magazine and Focus TV’s newest collaboration with #Empowerista – showcasing ambitious, confident and inspiring women, their journeys and life’s work. PHOTOGRAPHY BY DALEN MUSTER

G

rowing up with divorced parents had a few surprising perks. In my family, it meant double the vacations and presents, with my mom and sister – “girls-only” time with my mom for part of the week. Thanks to all that girl time, I discovered early on the power of women empowering other women. My mom is a confident business coach and public speaker, while my sister was an ambitious straight A student, Big 10 soccer player and now she’s a successful businesswoman. You might think this would have come with a lot of expectations and pressure. But that wasn’t the case. Empowered women acknowledge each other’s individuality, and success and happiness look differently to each woman. I felt the freedom to pursue my individual passions – which took more creative forms. I chose hobbies like dance, acting, and eventually pageantry. In 2009, I won the title of Miss Wisconsin USA, leading to my TV career. I worked four years in local TV and then moved to Los Angeles where I’ve co-hosted for E!, ABC and the Miss USA telecast. At the core of my passion is storytelling. I love helping others tell their truest story, the one without barriers. This, combined with my desire to empower women the way I’ve been empowered, led to #Empowerista.

#Empowerista is a media movement and mentorship program to empower women’s independence and individuality, reaching more than 100,000 people online weekly. At its core is storytelling. Through our blog, social media and new Focus Magazine collaboration, we celebrate and learn from empowered women. Each week Focus Magazine and #Empowerista will feature women around Los Angeles from a wide range of industries to learn about their unique journey and success secrets. What they all have in common is: ambition, purpose, confidence and empowerment. It’s not that they don’t still struggle with fear and self-doubt. They’ve simply learned how to deal with it and move forward anyway.

Text focus to 313131 to watch this focusmag.us/empowerista

We will feature the following women and more on Focus TV [http://focusmag.us/tv/] Lauren Gores Ireland As an award-winning broadcaster and the popular blogger behind You & Lu, you wouldn’t think 28 year old Lauren Gores Ireland would know anything about a quarter life crisis. But actually it was a quarter life crisis that led to her purposeful career, inspiring others to celebrate life. After waking up before the sun rose to anchor the morning news for several years, Lauren discovered a new arena (involving more sleep) to use her skills...blogging. Navigating a relatively new world was challenging and met by some with skepticism. It was her purpose and passion for inspiring others to celebrate life that kept her curious about this new career path. For the first year, she simply blogged as a hobby. Lauren encourages anyone with a desire to pursue a dream to simply start with small steps. Then she dove in full-time, hiring two employees with unique strengths, complementing hers. Together they’ve grown You & Lu into a popular online destination for style, wellness and travel. Although she works almost every day and admits setting her phone down for 20 minutes is a big and rare thing, she still practices what she preaches by celebrating life herself. When her blog was featured in a big magazine, her go-to celebration was a cupcake and glass of champagne. focusmag.us 27


holding out for an easier way…for seven years. Finally she decided to take matters into her own hands. She felt like she had no other choice, as she wouldn’t feel complete leaving Los Angeles without having given it her all. So she made a feature film and went from an unemployed actress to an overworked actress/director/writer/ producer. And that film, Life in Color, was accepted into South by Southwest and won awards at the Napa Valley Film Festival and the Lower East Side Film Festival. Some may call it beginner’s luck, but after talking to her, I realized it was truly beginner’s hard work. Katharine wasn’t afraid to ask for favors, advice and for people to take her project seriously. Her “figure it out” mentality, passion and willingness to put in the time, made her first film a big indie success.

Eden Sassoon Growing into a confident, empowered woman has been a journey for Eden Sassoon. As the daughter of legendary beauty icon, Vidal Sassoon, it would be easy to assume life was always easy for Eden. She struggled to find her voice and felt pressure living up to the company’s tagline (If You Don’t Look Good, We Don’t Look Good). Growing up her father was a wonderful mentor, instilling a work ethic that many Beverly Hills kids didn’t learn. But it wasn’t until her father’s death and choosing sobriety that she stepped into her purpose. She saw the opportunity to carry on her family legacy as a gift to ultimately give back. Through her salon Eden by Eden Sassoon, she empowers others by being a good leader and example. It was her personal love for pilates and the empowerment it provided that inspired her to open Eden Sassoon Pilates. And feeling the desire to give back to those less fortunate, she launched Beauty Gives Back in support of the Thirst Project, working to end Danielle Cuccio Danielle Cuccio found her passion where beauty and yoga the global water crisis. intersect. Growing up in a family with a beauty background, a love for beauty was in Danielle’s blood. After studying at UCLA, she was drawn to beauty school where she became an Esthetician. Still she felt her new role was inconclusive. This dancer turned yogi, discovered beauty was more of an inward journey. No facial could give a person the glow they get from yoga, and she decided it was her calling to share this with the world. Since then, her beauty and yoga connection has expanded beyond the mat. Her blog The Beauty Blender shares tips on beauty, health, happiness and yoga. And after getting asked by clients about her DIY yoga lotions, oils and sanitizers, she started Cuccio Somatology to create and sell these products for others. Danielle believes you should turn inward to discover a lifestyle that best fits you. Ultimately she believes this is where you’ll find your individual beauty and happiness.

Watch video interviews of these inspiring women, at focusmag.us/empowerista Katharine Emmer After having a hard time getting hired as an actress for seven years, Katharine Emmer hired herself. She was told nearly a decade ago as a NYU theater student that she should create her own content, as this was becoming the future of film. But she was

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alexwehrley.com/empowerista


DOWNTOWN OPENING

SoulCycle Downtown Los Angeles will feature a 55-bike studio, home to the signature SoulCycle workout. The 4,000 square foot studio will also boutique selling SoulCycle’s original performance and athleisure clothing collections. Additional rider amenities include full men’s and women’s locker rooms with five and six showers respectively, and multiple bathrooms. SoulCycle Downtown Los Angeles is located at 888 S Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015. SoulCycle classes in California cost $30. With over 55 locations nationwide, SoulCycle has established itself as the leading and attracts everyone from editors, celebrities, and captains of industry to fitness enthusiasts and athletes. Familiar faces in SoulCycle studios include Madonna, Lady Gaga, David and Victoria Beckham and Bradley Cooper. SoulCycle is expected to expand to upwards of 60 locations in 2016 with additional studios in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Texas, and Philadelphia. SoulCycle a popular lifestyle brand with its own clothing line and accessories collection. SoulCycle clothing and accessories are available in all SOUL boutiques and on soul-cycle.com. SoulCycle is the destination where you take a journey, change your body and find your soul. focusmag.us 29


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Mompreneurs Of Momangeles On A Mission: Helping Moms Navigate Motherhood In LA

Think of Angie’s List combined with LA Parent Magazine mixed with the LA Times ‘Calendar’ section with some ‘Best of LA’ from LA Magazine thrown in – but this site caters to the Moms of Los Angeles. MomAngeles.com is the go-to parent’s resource website, or the Mom’s bible for play date planning and then some. According to Founder, Editor and Publisher, Laura Gerson along with partner, Galite Shafer, MomAngeles stemmed from the need of moms wondering how to entertain their kids and themselves simultaneously at a variety of venues around Los Angeles, and these two moms have their fingers on the fast pulse of all things worth your time and some great discounts, deals, and tips for moms and their busy families. Mom-hood made easier is always welcomed, especially when you still have children who aren’t in school yet or need to find a place to exhaust them into a nap. The MomAngeles site has everything from podcasts listing the “Weekly Top 5 #BESTOFLA in under 5 Minutes”, to #MOMBLAB Radio podcasts live every Monday at 9pm (PST) with hosts, Kristin Cruz (also of KOST 103.5) and Laura Nickerson (host of “The Buzz” for CTV and blogger at BuzzLA) - where moms discuss current topics about kids, husbands, friends and pretty much everything you can think of as a mom. There’s an entire list of fantastic busy parent apps for your phone to guide you in the right parental unit direction and tons of tricks of the Momtrade, like where to shop for bargains, best kid friendly eateries and tons of catalogued links and ideas to “the best of LA in the palm of your hand”.

Beauty Collection, The Pump Station & Nurtury, Fleurish, Westfield Century City Mall, Toy Zoo/Puzzle Zoo, Funky Divas and Dudes Performing Arts Camp, FabFitFun, Canyon Beachwear, Pure Barre, Skinny Girl and Uber for the much needed Mom’s night out - to list just a few. One of the most helpful is the “Family-Medicine” Perk list. As a Perks Card Member you could join GetHeal.com for $50 off and have a high-qualified concierge doctor at your home or office for kids and parents at your convenience for only $99 per hour! Another Mommy Perk for Date Night with Daddy is UrbanSitter, a website and app to find great sitters recommended by other moms. MomAngeles even has their own UrbanSitter page with a list of sitters their team uses (momangeles.com/ listing/urban-sitter). I wish there was a site like this when I had my kid nineteen years ago; it would have made my life so much easier and less expensive. Shafer and Gerson have a successful and experienced support staff who have taken the idea of, “Wouldn’t it be great to have an entire list of stuff to do with your kids in one place” to www. momangeles.com, which was the inspiration for MomFair (momfair.com), a conference and resource site to help moms rediscover their careers. Shafer and Gerson are passionate about supporting women who want to launch their own businesses, create a more flexible work arrangement or get back to work after a career break, and are growing MomFair across the country. MomAngeles has virtual home office worker-bee moms who have set up and maintained the creative and technical spine of Did you know there are perks to being a MomAngeles and its sister businesses using the ASANA team Mom in Los Angeles? Another element management program while keeping their motto, “We do what that sets this site apart from other mom we can,” in mind. Indeed, Moms do what they can and so much sites is the MomAngeles “PERKS CARD” more while bringing home the bacon, creating a sanctuary for the program for only $35 bucks. Led by versatile family, grocery shopping, breast feeding, problem solving, feeding Mom of three, Galite Shafer, VP Business the pets, doctors appointments, attending PTA meetings, doing Development (also co-founder of MomFair). This is a great gift to homework, being a friend, wife, sister, daughter and finally taking reward moms of all ages everywhere and let them know how much a breather…to do a little something for herself…and hopefully they are appreciated, and utilize highlighted businesses that love taking advantage of the MomAngeles Perks Card. moms. This program is also a positive and progressive way to help supplement the community and support local establishments. The momangeles.com card with Perks-O-Plenty gets you loads of sweet discounts at a @momangeles plethora of local and national businesses, called “Perks Partners”:

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The Ranch

Finding ME at a Wellness Retreat, right in my own backyard. STORY AND IMAGES BY WENDY BROKAW KRETCHMER

“Hell, No!” I said to myself when I woke up in the middle of the night a few months ago. This waking up in the middle of the night was a new nasty habit. The stress of the last 2 years had taken over and trampled me with no remorse. In that time I’d experienced: the death of my best friend, the failing health of my father, one daughter suffered a horrific burn accident, another daughter broke her neck [thank you traumatic car accident], my house flooded, and my identity was stolen. So my “Hell No” declaration was that fighting spirit re-emerging as I decided to take my life back and to start taking care of ME, the person that got lost while dealing with these problems and caring for others. Taking care of myself by working out and eating well has been a lifelong priority, but with no time for anything except keeping my head above water, I found myself in a deep, dark hole. And I wanted out, only I didn’t have the ladder! I needed a reboot. Enter the hero of my story: The Ranch 4.0. On that defiant, fateful night when I awoke, I googled health and wellness retreats. Up popped The Ranch at Live Oak in Malibu CA. My bleary eyes twinkled at the thought of getting away to a luxurious bootcamp retreat. The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu, just above the beaches of Malibu, and it’s sister property, The Ranch 4.0, located further inland within the walls of The Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake, CA, is the brainchild of Sue and Alex

Glasscock. It’s an intensive endurance, wellness and nutrition program that kicks your a$$ but recalibrates your life with a very structured, one size fits all, bootcamp style health and wellness program. Both facilities programs offer: a 5:30am [ouch!!!] wakeup call, 4-5 hours of daily hiking, workout classes and yoga, 1 hour daily massages [my favorite indulgence, included!!!], and a 1400 calorie uber clean, vegetarian, Sue and Alex Glasscock, owners, The Ranch at Live Oak. no dairy, no soy, no refined sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine meal plan. No fun, right? Not so fast, this food was surprisingly delicious and satisfying! The basic differences: Ranch at Live Oak: A 7-day all-inclusive program from SundaySaturday, $6800, completely unplugging (no cell or wi-fi service). Ranch 4.0: A 4-day all-inclusive program from Thursday-Monday, $4100, unplugging is done voluntarily. So as I lay awake that evening, insomnia in full swing, I felt inspired and knew I had to get to The Ranch and fast! I signed up for the The Ranch 4.0 (R4.0)! This jump-start was the right fit for right now!!! And, spoiler alert, two weeks later, I went! I survived! I loved it! It was everything I had hoped it would be, only better but way more challenging! I am now officially rebooted. After 4 days, I’m completely revitalized and several pounds slimmer. I’m motivated and inspired to keep this ball rolling. This was the kick in my a$$ I needed to get back on track. On my journey at The Ranch 4.0, I was on autopilot for four days, hiking and working out hardcore, feeling the burn and eating super clean and lean along with the most lovely group of men and women with whom I bonded as we conquered this amazing feat together.

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Your stay at The Ranch really begins one month before you arrive. You are sent a 30 day pre-arrival packet which makes strong week-by-week recommendations of changes you should make to your exercise, food, sleep, awareness and meditation habits. For instance, you are asked to detox from caffeine, alcohol, diet drinks, processed food, unnatural sweeteners, sugar, tobacco, to name a few, ahead of time, to make the transition into the program easier.

MY DIARY THURSDAY – ARRIVAL/ DAY 1

I’m feeling excited mixed with nervousness about my adventure at The Ranch 4.0. I think my biggest fear is about the food: Will I be starving? Will I be able to get up at 5:30 every morning and fulfill 8 hours of exercise? I arrive and walk into the California Health & Longevity Institute where we are cheerfully greeted by Rick, the program manager, and the rest of the staff. After filling out a few forms, I’m escorted by staffers Matt & Peter, to the greenhouse to have our first group meeting. We are told that this is where all meals and gatherings will take place. The greenhouse,

located on The Four Seasons property, was taken over by The Ranch and transformed by Sue Glasscock to mimic The Ranch’s rustically zen aesthetic. It is beautiful and serene. Rick gives us a brief overview and then we go

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around the group of 16, [3 of whom are men], and introduce ourselves and to tell the group one thing about us. This group is comprised of a lawyer, an accountant, a retired ER doctor, entrepreneurs, bankers, actresses, some dot.commers, financial advisors, to name a few. Next, we are split into 2 groups. Half of us will take a 1 ½ hour hike at Los Robles Trail which is a few minutes drive from the hotel, while the other half gets VO2 tested on the treadmill. “VO2 testing” is the single best measure of cardiovascular fitness and maximal aerobic power. My group gets V02 tested first. Not going to lie, the V02 testing was a little claustrophobic. You are fitted with something that replicates an oxygen mask but a little more intimidating looking. Your breath is being being measured while you’re huffing and puffing on the treadmill. The speed and incline start off slow and as each minute passes, your incline and speed go up. I made it to 7 minutes and 30 seconds – I was told that was good for my age, but we would the get the results on Saturday night. While others are being tested, each of us has a one-on-one chat with Rick, a little get-toknow-you session. Then our group heads out for our first hike. Before the hike begins,

we are asked to put our arms around each other in a huddle hug. Rick then provides us with the quote of the day, “Don’t limit your challenge. Challenge your limits.” And we were off. It was a great moderate ”break-you-in” hike--one that was mildly hard, but designed to give you the confidence to come back for more the next day. We were offered hiking poles and told it was optional, but when I heard that you burn more calories using them because you are using your arms, I was in. After our hike we rewarded with chilled lavender scented towels to refresh us ~ nice touch. When we get back to the hotel, we head straight into a yoga

class. Upon entering, we were handed tiny “energy bites” that were parceled out: 2 to each person. It was a mash of healthy “stuff ” but it gave the illusion you were eating a brownie bite – I was game. Like a dutiful dog, I took mine happily! It tasted great! I could get used to being handed my food, being told where and when to exercise, and twist my arm, when to get my daily massage! After yoga class, we headed to our rooms to unpack, shower and unwind. On the desk is our schedule for the week. Essentially, the structure of


everyday is the same and looks like this: 5:30 am: Wake Up 6 am:

Morning Stretch

7:10 am: Breakfast 7:30 am: Departure 8 am:

Hike

12:30pm: Lunch 2 pm:

Break (or scheduled

massage)

3 pm:

Workout Class (or

scheduled massage)

4 pm:

Workout Class (or

scheduled massage)

5 pm:

Yoga (or scheduled

massage)

6 pm:

Break (or scheduled

massage)

7 pm:

Dinner

to head to morning stretch at 6, then on to breakfast in the Greenhouse. Breakfast looked delish and was served buffet style with the calorie count next to all the food choices. We were told to stick to about 300-350 calories if one of your goals was to achieve weightloss. Those that want more than 1400 calories are free to grab extra food for later. Daily breakfast choices included: a smoothie (ingredients change the appropriate preparation. Ahh, but then somewhere past the halfway point, we were given a snack. Yay! Well, not so fast. “Snack” consisted of 6 almonds. Not 5, not 7, that’s right, 6 almonds! Oh and a sprinkle of black or himalayan salt to replace the electrolytes our bodies were

After unpacking and relaxing, I headed to dinner. The group ate at a long rectangular table. Our meal for the night was a bowl of dressed butter lettuce, followed by roasted eggplant with lentils & tahini. We went around the table

and reintroduced ourselves. This time we had to share something we were grateful for. I think our whole group was in agreement that we were grateful to be at R4.0. FRIDAY – FIRST FULL DAY

The doorbell rang right on time at 5:30 a.m. I was surprised that I was actually okay with getting out of my super luxurious bed (The Four Seasons has the best bedding!)

everyday), hard boiled eggs, The Ranch’s famous granola, almond milk, oatmeal, mixed berries, apples, pears & bananas. After breakfast, we filled our hydration backpacks and off we went on our first serious hike! This hike was 3 ½ hours long on the scenic Solstice Canyon Trail in Malibu. I realized real quick that not bringing along my bandana was a big mistake, I’m drenched in sweat. Um, this is some serious, real-deal hiking. I’m not so sure hiking Runyon Canyon was quite

sweating out. I gave Rick such a hard time about this 6 almond restriction, that he relented and broke the rule and gave me 1 extra almond. He was obviously feeling generous! Lucky me! Haha! I felt so accomplished when the hike was over, it was truly a challenging feat. Today’s lunch was picnic style on the beach in Malibu. There was no chatter while we ate. In fact it was so quiet that someone in the group commented, “This is the

sound of starvation.” Lunch was a tasty black bean salad presented in a cute little mason jar. The only thing that topped it was our doctored coconut water that tasted like lemonade. The concoction was half coconut water, half distilled water with fresh lime and orange. This was the highlight of my day. I drank 3 glasses! When we returned to the hotel after lunch, I collapsed on the bed wondering how in the world was I going to make it to the core class as 3pm. I took a little nap and relaxed before changing clothes and heading back down for 3 back-toback classes: circuit, core, and yoga. My prize at the end of this physically intense day: a heavenly massage! Who can’t love a place that says, you’ve worked hard, we demand you go get a massage!

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Dinner was a brussel sprouts salad to start, then zucchini pizza. I loved every bite. And because it was Earth Day, we got a special dessert truffle. Gotta love Earth Day! After dinner, we were given an informative lecture on nutrition.

After dinner, I grabbed a bag of epsom salt they handed out with the recommendation that you soak in a hot bath to relieve muscle aches-another awesome touch! I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated a hot bath this much! After the bath, it was straight to bed. Tomorrow is supposed to be an even tougher hike than today... Yikes!

Today’s 4 hour hike was at Point Mugu State Park on the Fossil Canyon. And today’s pre-hike huddle quote of the day was, “Our bodies are capable of amazing things, it’s our minds we have to convince.” Yep! That’s for sure. And it was no accident that this was the quote for this hike. As I ascended this long, narrow, never-ending steep incline off the side of a cliff, I discover I have a new found fear of heights! Who knew? If it was possible to hug a cliff while hiking, I did just that. It was grueling, but, the hike was absolutely stunning, filled with beautiful wildflowers and exquisite views for those that didn’t suffer from acrophobia. Two thirds of the way done, we got a snack break. Today’s delicacy was a whole apple and some himalayan salt. Today’s lunch was a green pea and millet burger, which, despite description, was delicious.

SATURDAY – 2ND FULL DAY

During today’s morning stretch I got pulled out of class. It is my turn to do the “BOD POD body composition assessment”. The results reveal how much body you have. It’s a super cool concept minus the terror of having to find out what the actual results will be. t takes under 2 minutes, to strip down to my bikini to sit in this egg shaped machine. This machine uses air displacement technology and is considered the gold standard in body composition assessment. Our group will get our results tonight at dinner along with our results from the “V02 Metabolic Test”.

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After lunch we were treated to a cooking demonstration by our incredibly talented chef, Meredith Haaz. We also were each given our own copy of the “The Ranch at Live Oak Cookbook.”

dinner. I don’t want this experience to end!

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Dinner was a teriyaki portobello mushroom with green curry sauce and black rice. Gasp! I hate mushrooms! I hate curry! Or do I? I ate and loved the whole darn thing. I just might be capable of this vegan lifestyle. After dinner, we received our VO2 & BOD POD results. They were expertly explained along with how best to maximize our optimal training based on our results. This was one of the best aspects of being a Ranch guest. SUNDAY – LAST FULL DAY

I’m feeling it in my shins today thanks to all of the accumulated trail miles and wonder how am I going to make it through today’s hike. We were warned last night that this hike would be our hardest and longest at 4-4 ½ hours and would have lots of

ups and downs that would It was a little bit of groundhog’s eventually lead us to the site day for me: nap, class, massage, where the tv show MASH was


TAKE-AWAYS:

filmed. Stretch class, breakfast, and then off we went to the Phantom trail. Our huddle hug quote of the day is: “We are changed when we are challenged.” And yes we were, but despite it being our longest hike, it was my favorite hike of the week. Much like interval training, this provided very challenging uphills and then the fun and fabulous downhill reprieves. As for today’s snack, we feasted on 4 carrot sticks and, you guessed it, salt. I’m learning that my body doesn’t need that much food to feel satisfied.

Speaking of food, after the hike, we headed back for lunch, which is my fav of the week, a quinoa and garbanzo salad. I head back to the room for my usual afternoon siesta and decided upon waking to skip the afternoon trio of classes. I was way too

I thought that the hardest part of this program would be the food, both the taste and the quantity. I was in fear that I’d be starving with only 1400 calories a day. But 2 things: First, the food was absolutely delicious! Second, I was hungry, but appropriately so. I was hungry when it was time for each meal. I can do this and now I have the visual of what 1400 calories a day looks like.

sore and groggy. Oh wait, no, scratch that. I realize that

snacks are given out at 4pm in between classes and I’m slightly ashamed at myself for how quickly I can motivate for a very small container of mixed nuts! Yoga sounds like a nice stretch right about now anyways, haha. Our final dinner is cauliflower steak and green bean salad. At this point I’m just hoping I can find these super yummy vegan recipes in my new Ranch cookbook when I get back home! It’s that or I kidnap our amazing chef, Meredith Haaz. Towards the end of dinner, we have another nutritional conversation about transitioning from R4.0 food into real life. The group is now relaxed, and knowing it’s our last night together, most people lingered a little longer

than any other night. We have grown closer and we know the end is near. MONDAY – LAST MORNING

During morning stretch, we all get called out one by one for the final weigh in. It’s a bit like waiting to get your report card. I’m feeling anxious because I think I did well but didn’t want to feel too overly confident and then feel disappointed. I think that 2-3 pounds sounds realistic so I’ll be happy with that news. Hold the presses, what’s that I hear? Did you say 6 pounds? Yes! And 8 inches mostly in my upper body! Let’s celebrate people!!! After breakfast, we have a short (1 hour) good-bye hike! On this final hike, someone in the group asks, “What’s your biggest take-away from all this?” I have more than one...

The hiking was the hardest part. I thought I was conditioned because I regularly hike Fryman and Runyon Canyons. I had no idea how challenging it would be. I had to dig deep. This was hardcore transform-yourbody mountain hiking. The staff is incredible, not to mention, very attractive, but more importantly, kind, knowledgable and encouraging. There was such a positive vibe and spirit from start to finish. I feel so good, so accomplished, so energized, so challenged, so strong, and so happy! As we were leaving, we were offered a discount if we’d wanted to sign up to come again, umm, “HELL, YES!”

theranchmalibu.com

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Brigitte & Stone Offers Guilt Free Shopping Los Angeles Mom Magazine’s Shirin Yadegar talks to Brigitte & Stone co-founder, GOLRIZ TAVAKOLI-MOEINI, about their eco-conscious Brentwood boutique. BY SHIRIN YADEGAR

Shirin Yadegar: What made you open a retail store when everyone is shopping online? Golriz Tavakoli-Moeini: Online shopping is a fun easy experience and it definitely has its advantages for our busy schedules, but certainly only if you know the designer well enough and your size in that brand. Otherwise it’s a lot of shipping back and forth, and returning is a pain when something does not fit. That being said, nothing beats seeing the clothing in person, touching it and trying it on before you purchase it, especially with an on-hand personal stylist to help you along the way to get the right wardrobe for your buck. Also, the main reason for opening the boutique was that we both felt a huge gap in the market for eco-conscious clothing boutiques and “made in USA” all in one stylish shop without having to go scavenge through racks to find it. Our website will also soon be E-Commerce ready for those who absolutely prefer to shop online from their home computers. Shirin Yadegar: What do you offer that is unique? Golriz Tavakoli-Moeini: We offer many fun and sophisticated brands from all over the world like Australia, France, Canada, Italy, Sweden, England and of course most of the shop is made in good ol’ USA supporting brands like Stone Cold Fox, Flynn Skye, Sam & Lavi, Heidi Merrick, Gladys Tamez Millinery, Janessa Leone all made in Los Angeles, and Tryb212, Torn by Ronny Kobo, made in NYC. We have Mara Hoffman, for example, but we only carry her made in India selection as the quality is terrific. Everything is made for orders, and that’s the challenge as 90% of the market is mass produced in China, which is what you walk away from since you can’t get those clothes in every shop. With the jewelry, our Co-founder Joya Yadegar is meticulous about her collection and has curated it with the same love and care. The vintage fine jewelry collection we have in the shop, Joya bought each piece separately, and they add a certain mystique to our boutique as they all have romantic stories. A few even have been owned by some renowned celebrated people who are no longer living, but their jewelry will live on a glamorous stylish woman who wears it and perhaps gives it to her daughter or sister. It’s all about recycling beautiful things, enjoying them forever rather than fast fashion that people tire of seasonally.

Even our trendy fine jewelry that Joya collaborated to make for the shop is high quality and the prices are reasonable so you feel good knowing that you can always wear them. Shirin Yadegar: Why did you choose to open in the Brentwood Gardens? Golriz Tavakoli-Moeini: Brentwood is a great part of Los Angeles and Brentwood Gardens offers the best location right on San Vicente. There’s long time boutiques like Madison, and Ron Herman and BCBG in Brentwood Gardens and they have their loyal clientele following, but we fit in nicely since we offer a different shopping experience. We’ve been welcomed by the neighborhood and people that really get what we are doing here drive from Beverly Hills or Malibu to come see us. Shirin Yadegar: Do you make home visits and offer personal shopping services? Please explain how this process works. Golriz Tavakoli-Moeini: We absolutely make house calls. That’s why we are closed on Mondays because we make personal styling appointments in shop or at a client’s home. For example, we have one dear client who is stylish but is a new mom and cannot make it in the shop and I’ve taken over new collections for her several Mondays and we’ve had so much fun picking out her new wardrobe. This amazing styling appointment is free of charge for our clients who want to buy over a certain amount of goods.

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brigitteandstone.com

Instagram: @brigitteandstone

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PHOTOGRAPH BY BEN SHANI

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Mom of Four Creates LA Mom Magazine SHIRIN YADEGAR reveals the secrets to creating a magazine and still picking up the kids from carpool.

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arried at 23 with a Masters in Journalism and a full time job as the managing editor of the Beverly Hills Weekly was exciting and challenging. My husband and I worked, traveled and played like children until I became a mom at 26.

As I was putting together my online magazine, I found out I was pregnant with baby girl number 3. Once the magazine launched baby girl number 4 was born. At 35, I was a mother As a type A personality, I naturally worked tirelessly at of four incredible becoming the best mother on the planet. This meant quitting girls and an online my job and spending every waking moment with my little girl. magazine that satiated my need to work while allowing me to G-d forbid I missed her first smile or didn’t change her diaper to stay home with my family. examine her poo. Creating a platform for moms to read the most up to date We attended every mommy and me to ensure we would articles about motherhood by the city’s best experts while also get into the proper preschool. I bought every DVD and book clicking on links about summer camps and sales around the city meant to accelerate her brain growth. Classical music resonated is what moms need. LA Mom Magazine was born on a dream that through our apartment because research concluded that it was came to fruition in 2010. Thanks to the support of local moms, it good for an infant’s brain growth. My precious baby only drank has sustained its reputation and grown organically over the years. breast milk for a year. We hired a nanny to watch her at night Mothers are role models for their children and as a mother of when she was asleep and I needed a date night out. four girls, it’s my job to show them that it is possible to work and After a year of nursing, stroller walks and brain numbing baby still pick the girls up from school and take them to their after activities it was time to return to the work force, until I found school activities. More than 85% of children name their mothers out I was pregnant with baby number 2 which meant staying as their heroes, and I wanted to be a hero who could listen and home for another two years because it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t guide my children. spend every waking hour and nurse baby 2 like baby 1. I couldn’t have gone back to a traditional job because I would have Raising two girls in Los Angeles can be lonely if you don’t been neglecting the best years of my life with my growing family. have friends with kids. Since I was the first of my friends to Living in the 21st century, women have the advantage of have children, I spent a lot of time online searching for articles navigating their family life with power, love and ease if they take about postpartum, how to deal with tantrums and where to go advantage of their resources. with kids in the city. Searching was exhausting because there Shirin Yadegar lives with her husband and four daughters in was no one website that had everything I was looking for so I Brentwood. decided to take my expertise as a writer and mommy and create www.lamommagazine.com to help moms navigate their lives efficiently with support and a sense of belonging. lamommagazine.com focusmag.us 41


Kristen Bradford “The Crown Diva of Pageant Achieva’s”

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“And the winner is…” This ‘edge of your seat’ phrase is what every pageant goer and contestant long for right before their name is hopefully announced. But, no one wants to hear these four words more than entrepreneur, ex-pageant queen, and coach herself – Kristen Bradford, owner of CROWN DIVA Boutique & Pageant Academy. Although Bradford might be new to the evening gown and apparel side of the business, she is a seasoned professional when it comes to pageantry and what it takes to be the winner. She describes her mother as an entrepreneur and watched her maintain and grow as a business owner since she was a little girl hailing from Portland, Oregon. Because of Mum, Bradford knew success was only achieved through hard work, dedication and a total love for your career path. Bradford’s journey in California started at Pepperdine University where she earned a BA in International Management in the year 2000 and an MA in Public Policy in 2003. Talk about a multi-tasker; while she was busy with getting her degrees in Malibu, she competed twice in the Miss Oregon USA pageant, and placed 2nd runner-up in 1998 and 2001. But it was behind the velvet curtain where she found her true calling. With over twenty years of pageant experience, she became the Founder and Executive Director of Miss Malibu USA, Miss Beverly Hills USA and Miss Santa Monica USA, preliminary pageants to Miss California USA and Miss California Teen USA. Bradford boasts, “I work with amazing young women. It’s exciting to see these young girls turn into confident women.” She can literally put the prize money where her mouth is since she has a history of grooming winners like the current 2015 Miss USA, Olivia Jordan along with many others crowned under her governance. Young women from around the country have come to California to train with Kristen. Her impressive resume of past winners include: Olivia Jordan – Miss USA 2015, Miss Beverly Hills USA 2013 Nadia Mejia – Miss California USA 2016, Miss Malibu USA 2015, Miss Beverly Hills Teen USA 2013 Athenna Crosby – Miss California Teen USA 2016, Miss Santa Monica Teen USA 2016 Brie Gabrielle - Miss Florida USA 2016, Miss Malibu USA 2012, Miss Malibu Teen USA 2007 Brittany McGowan – Miss Nevada USA 2015, Miss Malibu USA 2013 Natasha Martinez - Miss California USA 2015, Miss Malibu USA 2014 Cassandra Kunze – Miss California USA 2014, Miss Beverly Hills USA 2014 Chloe Hatfield – Miss California Teen USA 2013, Miss Malibu Teen USA 2013 Nana Meriwether – Miss USA 2012, Miss Malibu USA 2008 Tami Farrell – Miss California USA 2009, Miss Malibu USA 2009 Empowerment, positive change and resilience are the backbone of Crown Diva’s mission. Bradford explains, “Going for your goals and not being afraid to fail I think…the biggest thing that’s ever held me back was the fear of failure and not wanting to disappoint anyone

or let people down. I realized the benefits just from trying are so much more than what would happen if I did fail.” Parents ask her frequently, “Why should I put my daughter in pageant? Is it good for them?” Of course all the aesthetics, glitz and glamour could seem to put the emphasis on looks entirely. But her answer is resounding, “It’s not just about the stage and the crown. These girls take these skills and apply them to other areas of their lives. It’s for job interviews, college interviews, public speaking and self confidence.” Bradford advises young entrepreneurial spirited women to, “Think about what really drives you and what you’re passionate about…and make a career out of it.” Ms. Bradford is very excited about all of the upcoming pageants and is opening her doors to enthusiastic new applicants between the ages of 14 and 26 years old. The next pageant will be a double crowning for Miss Malibu and Miss Beverly Hills in mid-August. For those wanting to compete, you do not have to be a resident of either city in order to compete (simply register online at www.crowndiva.com/ apply). Bradford is also excited about promoting her new passion project Pageant Passport, an exclusive community and social group for women from around the world. She offers, “You don’t have to compete to become a member, as long as you’ve competed in a pageant in the past you can participate.” Once they sign up online, (www.pageantpassport.com), members receive access to special events, discounts on products and services, and the ability to network with like minded pageant aficionados. The launch event for Pageant Passport will be in Las Vegas in June in conjunction with the Miss USA pageant which is airing on FOX June 5th. Pageant Passport will provide the sisterhood of pageantry year-round. Okay, full disclosure…I admit I have been in a few pageants in New York in my mid teens and did place in a few areas and categories. One of the pageants was Miss New York and it was one of the best adventures of my life. The atmosphere was competitive I recall, but also a fantastic learning experience of how to be feminine and proud of my body and face. I never learned these things in my wolf den of three bothersome older brothers and a mommy who couldn’t bother with a stitch of make-up and wore modest beige clothes. Writing this article brought up many memories of how my perspective changed during those pageants and how I would continue to present myself to others and crucially still, to who I wanted to become. Crown Diva not only provides a safe haven for exploration of oneself, but it’s also a place to learn important life lessons. It’s obvious Ms. Bradford’s passion for pageantry and mentorship is why she’s on this Earth not for its gain, but for its grace. So, this is for you: And the winner is… Ms. Kristen Bradford. crowndiva.com pageantpassport.com @crowndivaboutique

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Kristen Brockman Host-Ess With The Hollywood Most-Ess INTERVIEW BY TAMBI SAFFRAN WRITTEN BY SUZAN BRITTAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY DALEN MUSTER

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t’s impossible to miss the bright light powered by solar-like energy when you first see Kristen Brockman’s authentic smile on her 1pm daily TV vehicle, “Hollywood Today Live.” But, stop it already with her two adorable deep dimples you just wanna take out for a few beers! Being taken seriously as a beautiful woman in the entertainment business is hard enough, but her persistence seriously paid off. This type of tenacity requires a double-brained intellect (art and business), and it gave her a well-earned title of Entrepreneur in the insanely competitive producing and on-camera arenas. Focus Magazine worked their ‘Fast Focus’ interview method of rapid fire questioning while recording Brockman video docu-style, capturing her daily work life on the set. Buckle up Energizer Bunnies… it’s gonna be a riveting ride.

How flippin’ cool would it be if your place of employment was a converted nightclub inside one of the swankiest hotels in Los Angeles? Well, Brockman can attest that not only is the studio she shoots in attached to The W Hotel, she once was a cocktail waitress there too, serving drinks to the VIP lounge lizard-y, carrot dangling peeps. Talk about a specific, perfectly drawn ‘full circle’. Her rushed ‘ghosted’ bar tour continues, fortified with a branded cup filled with Cheerios, or as she commonly calls it, “her breakfast of champions” (wrong product)… but, again adorable. Oh, and a quick wave “hello” while standing in hair and make-up to the 2001 Jay Leno find, Ross Mathews, now her co-host and co-partner in crime no doubt. Not every dreamer of fame is lucky enough to have the planets and stars align to be discovered by late night Hollywood heavy hitter, Jay Leno. But, eleven years ago ‘the straight off the bus’ gods were in her favor; the day after Kentucky native Kristen Brockman signed with her first commercial agent in Los Angeles she booked a job as a rotating “briefcase” on Deal or No Deal. After years of auditions and shooting many pilots, she went “small” to your computer screen. I’m sure Brockman is doing a ‘praise the universe dance’ for her talent-fueled chance. As she beams, “It was really cool to start from a show that started as a daily series of short online segments and seeing it brought to television. I’m just grateful to have a job!” Her luck was a recipe of preparation saying hello to her little friend – opportunity.

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How did Brockman win this mid-afternoon time-slot with a panel of loquacious hot shots? You might need a graph to follow along, but it goes like this: she started out shooting multiple 5-minute daily segments with her cast and crew and showcased them online (Well done!). FOX producers were watching and thought their segments could transition into an entire show (Woo-Hoo!). They followed up with an on-air six week test run (Get out!), but they went off the air, and back online, for a little over a year before getting the green light for season 1 (Seriously!). Finally, the show was indeed renewed or “pickedup” in biz lingo for another contract (Hallelujah!). So goes the roller coaster ride of anything you care about in Hollywood. Not so adorable anymore now is she? Nope…she’s a badass! Major Props! Since 2014, the beaming Kristen Brockman alongside engaging regulars: Ross Mathews, Tanner Thomason, Amanda Salas, Garcelle Beauvais, and numerous guest correspondents and hosts have been consistently current, trendy and successfully creating a strong show balance of personalities on FOX’s fresh Hollywood Today Live series. You will recognize a stream of celebrities, athletes, musicians, and hear poignant topics showcasing up to date news. In her not so available free time, she helps raise money to find a cure for her sister Kelsi and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Kelsi sadly is afflicted with this awful lung and digestive disease. Oh yeah, about those #fastfocus rapid fire questions; Best Beauty Tip? – Always wash your make-up off. Dream job? – I have it! Favorite type of car? – A Tesla, because my boyfriend works for Tesla; I gotta say that. Favorite TV show? – Real Housewives Favorite Movie? – “The Wizard of Oz” Favorite Podcast? – “Straight Talk with Ross Mathews” Last movie you loved? – “The Revenant”. Watch this brilliant, energetic and talented woman in her exclusive Focus Magazine docu-video online. As they say in Hollywood, “Always leave ‘em wanting more, kid.” And… she does.

@kristenbrockman http://hollywoodtodaylive.com


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A Conversation With Natalie Tenerelli – Survivor contestant and Clippers Dancer

Describe a typical day in the life of Natalie Tenerelli Between rehearsals, games, and filming, every day is different for me. My days are never consistent. I love that! I enjoy being on my toes and open to whatever life hands me! How did you make it onto the LA Clippers Spirit and how long have you been a part of the group? Persistence! I didn’t make the team until my third year trying out. I danced for a few other sports teams prior that I feel prepared me for the NBA. I have been on Clippers Spirit for 3 seasons! What is it like being part of the LA Clippers Spirit? It’s an honor to be a part of Clippers Spirit. I honestly feel so blessed to have had the opportunity that so many girls wish for. It’s a very rewarding job but in turn it is a lot of hard work. Rehearsals are always very intense and the pressures of performing on game day are high. There is a lot to be expected out of us women not only when it comes to dancing, but also keeping up on our fitness and always well representing the Clippers as ambassadors.

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What do you love most about being on an NBA Team’s Dance Squad? I absolutely love the sisterhood that we all share with each other. I grew up with one brother and have always been a “girls girl.” We do nearly everything together! We are the epitome of “squad goals!” It’s so nice to have each other to experience the up’s and down’s of life. How often do you practice? We usually practice twice a week for three hours each day. Occasionally we have additional 6-hour rehearsal days when we have either new choreographers or too much to accomplish for the normal rehearsal days. This also doesn’t include rehearsing on our own to keep up with what is to be expected at group rehearsals. How has the experience of being on E! with the show “LA Clipper Dance Squad”? I have loved the E! Network for many years! It’s so crazy that I now turn my TV on and see my face or hear my own voice. It’s really awesome that we dancers have the opportunity to share what we do on and off of the court. I hope that this show will serve as a platform for me to explore other areas in the entertainment industry. What do you do after a game night? Typically I like to go home and relax with a glass of wine. Game days are nonstop so by the end I’m ready for sweatpants and a comfy couch. You were the youngest female contestant on “Survivor”, how did that opportunity come about? I was dancing for professional volleyball (AVP) and one of my teammates was on ‘The Amazing Race’ and I was intrigued by her experience. A casting director reached out to me on Facebook asking me if I would be interested in the adventure. I immediately said, “sign me up!” What was the most memorable experience you took away from being on “Survivor”? The whole experience was memorable! Even to this day something reminds me of ‘Survivor’ daily. I became so grateful for the simple things in life after abandoning easily accessible food and water, materialistic items and more importantly the people that I am the closest to for 39 grueling days in the jungle.

Who inspires you? I have had many role models in my life that have inspired me in one way or another. I truly believe role models are imperative to success. The people I admire the most are those who live their lives authentically. What is your ultimate dream job I would love to be an on-camera host. I enjoy stepping into others lives and helping to catch an essence of who they are. Being a reporter for E! News would be a dream! I also would love to dedicate a period of my life to traveling and learning more about the world we live in. If I could turn that into a job by documenting my adventures THAT would also be quite the dream!

How is your social life impacted by all the media exposure you have garnered? Nothing has really changed at all. I would say I have become more outgoing throughout the years due to the vulnerably of reality TV. You have to be open and honest, that’s the only way it works. I have realized that letting people into your life can actually be therapeutic. It’s amazing when you receive messages from people saying that you inspired them to do something great in their life! That’s an incredible feeling! natalietenerelli.com

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Know the Glow!

Photographs of a young boy lead to the discovery of a rare and fatal disease, and MEGAN WEBBER on a life mission to save her son and raise awareness around the world “My background is being a mom…I have no formal training in fundraising or working with charitable organizations. After receiving the diagnosis of Coats’ Disease for my son, Benjamin, I was amazed that the one clue to his disease was right in front of me for years and yet I had no idea it was a clue. The Glow in Ben’s photos can be found even two years prior to his final diagnosis and I’d been erasing it in photo shop and ignoring it in photos never knowing that it could be a sign of anything significant. At the age of five we learned that Benjamin has Coats’ Disease. His disease, while advanced, was treatable but much of his vision was lost in his left eye. We were completely unaware that he had any vision challenges in that eye. The disease progressed so slowly that his other eye had compensated and yet he was virtually blind in his left eye. Upon learning of his diagnosis and then learning that the Glow could also indicate 15 other diseases some of which can be fatal if not diagnosed in time we wanted to raise awareness. What if I’d been erasing the one clue that could have saved not only his vision but his life. Motivated by friends who were equally shocked to learn of the potential dangers associated with Leukocoria, the Glow, we started to work with Ben’s doctors and the team at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to build an awareness campaign around the issue. Even though Benjamin was mostly out of the woods we knew there were other children who would not be found 50 FOCUS | JU L Y 2 0 1 6


without awareness and when we learned that 80% of the time it’s parents who first bring their children to be seen after finding the Glow in photographs we felt it was imperative to focus the campaign on educating parents and other family members who would be photographing children and might see the signs. We also knew that parents with the more dangerous diseases who would be most motivated to share the warning were also deeply entrenched in fighting for their children’s vision and their lives so we knew it would be hard for them to lift themselves above their circumstances to shout the warning to the world. Know The Glow was then created in an effort to educate parents and families around the world about the dangers associated with the Glow, but also to let them know that 80% of the time the vision challenges identified through the Glow are correctable or curable if caught in time. We wanted to work to eliminate preventable childhood blindness globally and to do that we needed a team, a voice, and partners. While 1 in 80 children may present with the Glow before the age of five there are still so many missed diagnoses. We want to let parents know to follow their intuition and to not accept answers if they do not ring true. Our advice to parents who see the Glow in photographs is always “See it Once, Be Alert…See it Twice (and in the same eye) Be Active!”. The Glow is rarely visible with the naked eye and so it is often only through flash photography that the Glow can be seen. As there are no pain sensors within the eye any occlusions or tumors there can rarely be seen without the aid of a camera. Initially we believed that success would be found in finding just one child with either Coats’ Disease or Retinoblastoma…to save just one child would make all of the work worthwhile. Little did we know that we would soon be finding children with all types of different Glow related diseases and sharing their stories to help find more children at risk. We have been able to help families with Coats’ Disease and Retinoblastoma walk through their diagnosis and find their way to care and we are hugely gratified in knowing that with the help of the Know The Glow campaign their vision has been saved and they will have the chance to see this beautiful world with clearer vision thanks to the work we are doing. We are motived daily by the families we speak with, by their strength and determination, and by their hope and belief in the cause. We know there are so many more children still waiting to be diagnosed and we know that we can’t find them alone. We are not afraid to dream big and our team at Know The Glow is comprised of extraordinary members with extraordinary goals. This is a campaign by families, through families, for families and it has been an amazing journey with so much more ahead!”

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Love Thyself Nutritional Therapist BREANNE RICE shares her journey to health

When I was in my early teens and twenties, I was working within the fashion industry and doing a bit of modeling and hair/makeup. At this time in my life, I was in fact solely relying on my appearance to find my value and self-worth. For me, I had to measure up to my ideal image of ‘’perfection,’’ or I didn’t feel beautiful. Little did I know I was about to begin the scariest yet most empowering journey of my life. When I was around the age of 19, I began to experience severe digestive distress. I’m not talking about your average stomach ache, but pain and swelling so bad that you go to the emergency room to check it out. They could not find anything of concern. I continued working in a high-stress environment, thinking it would just go away. I was preparing for a modeling trip down to Los Angeles, and noticed that I had developed a quarter-sized white spot under my left eye. I thought perhaps it was a temporary skin condition or reaction, and I ignored it. Over the course of my trip I felt progressively worse. I knew something wasn’t right. When I returned home, my body started to reject everything I was eating. My skin turned 50 shades of yellow, my hair started falling out and my weight plummeted to 107 pounds. I Iooked like a walking skeleton. I started going to specialists, and did just about every test you can think of. My skin began to lose more pigmentation on my face, and I finally saw a dermatologist. “I’m really sorry Breanne, but you have vitiligo and unfortunately there’s not much you can do about it.” I was devastated. Great, my skin is going to just start losing all its pigment? Perfect. My resting heart rate was at an average of 31 beats per minute. I was kept in the hospital overnight twice, and had to wear a heart rate monitor for 2 months. I was referred to another specialist, and I remember being afraid that my heart would just stop beating. At this time I started getting into natural health, and was recommended to a top naturopath who specialized in digestive issues. She recommended I get an IgG antibody test done, and also a test for parasites being that I had all of the symptoms and was being robbed of nutrients. At this point I was willing to try anything, so I gave it a go. I was astonished by the results. I was allergic to a whole book’s worth of food allergies and I tested positive for a parasite. I was both equally excited, yet scared at

the same time. I was willing to do whatever it took to feel well, but so much damage to my body and self esteem had been done. At this time I was around 21, lost nearly half the pigment on my face, and now I would be on the most restrictive diet in the entire world. Thus the next adventure began. I went off of all of my allergens, and began working on guthealing. I took supplementation of herbs and ate a specific way to rid myself of my parasite and take down the chronic inflammation in my digestive tract. It took several years to be able to properly digest foods again to where I wasn’t swelling up like I was 6 months pregnant and I was absorbing my food properly. Meanwhile I looked in the mirror crying, and was devastated by the loss of pigmentation on my face. I wouldn’t go outside without makeup on, and was embarrassed by the way I looked. When I would go to photo shoots I had to apply several different tones of makeup to make myself appear to have normal skin. I felt like the one thing I found value in was completely taken away from me and I stopped pursuing modeling. I didn’t think that anyone would think I was beautiful with everything I had been through. Over time, this new regimen helped me to receive some of my pigmentation back and stopped my vitiligo from spreading. At this time I had my lightbulb moment, and things began to turn around. I began to love myself, regardless of what I went through, and going through these circumstances I realized I had a bigger call on my life. We can either let circumstances define us, defeat us or empower us. I chose to let go of all my previous mindsets and knew that somehow my situation could help others. I went back to school and became a certified nutritional therapy practitioner and knew I wanted to help others and I saw how much my body changed when I started feeding it the right nutrients to support a healthy digestive tract. I went public with my vitiligo, and started sharing my story. I was shocked by the response of so many individuals suffering from the same condition and talking about how it affected their self-esteem. Being vulnerable and putting it all out there made me gain confidence in a way I had never experienced before. What is the definition of being beautiful anyway? Is it being perfect? You cannot base your self-worth on your outward appearance or you will be unhappy and disappointed. We are all beautiful in our own individual and unique way. When you learn to love and accept yourself as you are, it’s magical.

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Two Mothers Giving Back, One Gift at a Time

Erica Fisher and Melanie Neumann, both mothers of three children met when their daughters were attending preschool in Santa Monica. They not only became fast friends, but also soon found they shared a passion for giving back. “We just starting talking about what our lives looked like before we had children and we both agreed that someday we wanted to form a charity of our own revolving around helping children less fortunate,” said Fisher. Within six months, they had visited numerous transitional domestic violence shelters in Los Angeles, created their Presents Program and had their 501c3 paperwork approved for their newly formed charity—PRESENT NOW. “It was a whirlwind of creative ideas, targeting the specific transitional shelters and figuring out how to best support these children who leave their homes with nothing and wanting to make the biggest impact we could,” Neumann said. And that is how PRESENT NOW came to life in 2012. Born out of the desire to serve the domestic violence population, the children are the silent survivors. So much attention is paid to the mothers, but the children also need to feel comforted and celebrated during this time of crisis. “Upon visiting different domestic violence shelters in the L.A. area, we found that during the holidays they were inundated with gifts so we decided to honor these children three times per year when they otherwise were not being as supported,” said Fisher. The average stay of a family in a transitional domestic violence shelter is between 18-24 months. PRESENT NOW gives children living in these shelters gifts three times per year; Valentine’s Day, Back to School time and on their birthdays. The women of PRESENT NOW wanted to give new, beautifully wrapped gifts to children who may otherwise not receive gifts.

The goal is that these gifts can be taken with them when they leave the shelter and begin a new, safe life. “Believe it or not, but domestic violence hotlines receive the most calls the day after Valentine’s Day,” said Neumann. This holiday, which represents giving and showing love is clearly not the experience for victims of domestic abuse. For this reason, the Valentines gift given by PRESENT NOW has an extra special meaning both for the founders and also for the children receiving the gifts on that day. In its first year, PRESENT NOW gave 118 gifts to children living in two domestic violence shelters. Since its gift giving began in 2013, the ladies of PRESENT NOW have given out over 1,000 gifts to a total of 13 shelters. “We hold a women’s getaway fundraiser in January which has allowed us to continue growing and gifting,” said Fisher. This event has raised over $230,000 in the past two years and has allowed them to continue expanding their program. “We have just taken on two new shelters: Jewish Family Services Hope Cottage and 1736, the largest domestic violence shelter in the Los Angeles area,” Neumann added. “Our goal this year is to give over 500 gifts. And we have already given almost 300 and it is only March!” The women also feel that by creating PRESENT NOW and working for the first two years out of their homes and garages that their children are learning a big life lesson too. “Through PRESENT NOW our kids know what it means to need and to give,” said Fisher. According to both Fisher and Neumann it is extremely important to show their children the importance of giving back and being grateful for what they have. “If we can make a change today, we can make a change for a child’s tomorrow,” Neumann adds. “That is the goal of PRESENT NOW.” presentnow.org focusmag.us 59


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She’s Got The Look

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y obsession with fashion goes as far back as I can remember. My earliest memories revolve around dressing up for parties and events, and I often helped my friends decide what to wear. Several years ago, before blogging technology really took off, I started a personal-styling business - Fluent Fashions. I would meet one-on-one with my clients, audit their closets and design a wardrobe analysis. I would build an inventory of looks – with an eye for both function and style – customized to their lifestyle. Fun, but inefficient. The design work was rewarding, but very time consuming, especially while raising five busy teenagers! So I took what I’d learned and shaped my business into what is now my personal fashion blog – Style by Fluent. Now, instead of helping one client at a time, I can reach people across the globe instantaneously (fashion never sleeps). The internet is a powerful tool, and thank goodness for social media – together they provide the leverage necessary to grow my readership at a rate I never thought possible. About six months after I started my blog, I affiliated with Reward Style, which provides the technology link between me, my followers, and my retail partners. In other words, they arrange for the compensation-flow when a follower purchases an item from my blog. Reward Style has fundamentally changed the retail sales channel, especially related to women’s fashion. And they provide this streamlined process without increasing the cost to my followers (there’s zero markup paid to me on purchases made through my blog). Clients who purchase through my blog pay the same for the items as they would if they walked into the physical store. In the online segment of the industry, consistency is key when building a following and establishing a brand. For the first yearand-a-half, I blogged religiously two days a week. Now I’m up to posting three days a week, and will soon ramp up to four. I recently added a new feature to my blog called “Shop my Look”. Essentially, this allows my readers to simply see the products I’m wearing in each post without having to read all the text of the post. It’s a much more visual and efficient way for my readers to purchase what I’m wearing. As a wife and mother, I know how time-constrained women are these days. If I can help put more time back into their day, while helping them look their best, then I consider THAT a success. Heather Anderson soheather.com @soheatherblog

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WHO TO WATCH | HEAD TO TOE Getting Stylish w ith Five Hot Local Designers BY TAMBI SAFFRAN

JAMAR HART – Hats

HAT - Jamar Hart, BLOUSE + JEWELRY - dawn baker, SKIRT - Velana. Styled by: dawn baker Photo by: Molly Marler

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Jamar Hart, 26, was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Encouraged by his parents, Jamar got into fashion at a young age and even won best dressed in 8th grade, and then again in 12th grade! He moved to Los Angeles in 2014 and was hired by the UK brand, The Kooples, as their first male in-store stylist. Jamar also worked as a stylist at Emporio Armani and left last summer to pursue a career as an independent stylist and personal shopper. Jamar has always had a knack for soaking up the culture and fashion wherever he is and interprets it into his own style. While working at The Kooples, Jamar was always dressed in cool LA style, sporting a leather jacket along with one of his signature fedoras. He quickly became known as “the guy with the hat.” He was asked so often about his hats, that he realized he was a walking billboard for them and knew he had found his calling as a hat designer. Currently, he is working on a line of hats for Rhonda’s Kiss, an organization that raises money for cancer patients who can’t afford their treatments. The Rhonda’s Kiss line is handcrafted, limited edition and 20% of proceeds will go to the organization. The hats are all made locally in LA. Jamar is also collaborating with the ultra hip street wear line, BLS based in Denmark and known for their work with Lukas Graham. He has also styled for Ne-Yo, NFL superstar Braylon Edwards and Elle Varner on The Queen Latifah Show. This Mad Hatter is no doubt one to watch! jamarhart.com | @jamar_hart


life. Her talents were first recognized by the prestigious Hempel Awards in China in 2003, when she was still a teenager. Her passion for perfection brought her international acclaim from the Saga Fur awards in Denmark to the most sought after circles of Los Angeles, Diana moved to the United States in 2003 and founded Keinejad Jeans for men in 2009. Her combination of European elegance and Los Angeles edginess have already created a cult-like following among tastemakers and the jetset, without sacrificing her passion for luxury. Each piece is handcrafted with the finest quality Japanese, Italian, and domestic materials. Keinejad’s denim line is made locally in Los Angeles and now includes a women’s line. keinejad.com | @keinejadjeans

dawn baker – Fine jewelry & clothing

Malibu-based designer, retailer and stylist, Dawn Baker founded her fine jewelry collection in 2016. Prior to launching her fine jewelry, Dawn introduced a highly successful collection of costume jewelry. She began her collection with a commitment to creating jewelry focused on quality and style. Designed with the modern woman in mind, Dawn creates a range of unique and contemporary pieces that are perfect for any occasion. A fashion industry veteran, Dawn has worked for fashion’s most respected brands including Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Isaac Mizrahi and Nicole Miller. Dawn transitioned into styling post merchandising and production, working with several celebrity clients, most notably earning an emmy nomination for dressing TV personality Ellen Degeneres. In 2007 she opened her beachside women’s retail store, happy LA, where she oversees all aspects of the boutique’s operations. Shortly after, she began designing and manufacturing her namesake line of essential wardrobe pieces, including a highly successful collection of cashmere sweaters, silk tops and dresses. This fall, you can find the dawn baker collection available at retailers across the country. Dawn resides in Malibu with her two children. happy-la.com | @happyla_dawnbaker 542 1/2 Palisades Drive, Pacific Palisades, California 90272

back to the Ukraine and began designing clothes with a friend. After two years, Anna returned to Vegas, but this time working in sales at the posh Burberry shop and then at Brunello Cucinelli. During this time, she was inspired and motivated by a close friend to pursue her true passion, designing clothes. She hired a team of seamstresses in the Ukraine, and today Anna continues to guide these women through every design, paying meticulous detail to fabric and stitching via video phone calls! The high quality garments, with the VELANA label (a combo of Anna’s first and last names) are then shipped to Anna in the US. With her signature leather jackets and skirts, and very sexy rear zippers, the line is sure to take off faster than you can unzip one of her dresses! velanaluxury.com | @velana_luxury

ANNA VELNYANKO – Clothing

Anna Velnyanko was born and raised in the Ukraine. As a child, Anna’s mother often received fabric as gifts and her mother’s best friend, a seamstress, would make clothes for young Anna. Not as tall or as thin as most Ukrainian girls typically were, Anna was insecure about her body and also preferred dressing in her own style. After graduating from the University of Warsaw in Poland, Anna moved to the United States and landed a job in Las Vegas as a cashier. Frustrated with the expenses of living in the U.S., she moved

DIANA KEINEJAD – Jeans Growing up in Norway, designer Diana Keinejad discovered her calling early in

KRISTIN CAVALLARI BY CHINESE LAUNDRY – Shoes

Actress and reality TV star, Kristin Cavallari of Laguna Beach and The Hills fame, has brought her well known on trend style into the world of shoe design. Author of the new book “Balancing In Heels”, this hip mom of three young children continues to inspire must have looks.KRISTIN CAVALLARI BY CHINESE LAUNDRY is understated elegance defined by high end designs, exquisite details and great value. Kristin Cavallari has created a collection that combines the glamour and style of today’s celebrity while nodding at the current economic climate. Styles range from classic ballet flats with modern studs to peek-a-boo mesh platformed heels that work the red carpet as well as designer jeans. Her brand has on trend styles at attainable prices that keep up with fast paced fashion, perfect for any occasion and every woman. chineselaundry.com | @chineselaundry focusmag.us 63


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Shave And A Haircut…And Watch The Game And Have A Cocktail!

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n the late 1880s to 1940s, men used to visit their local barbershop weekly, sometimes even daily. They would stop in for a haircut, a proper shave, and to generally hang out with the other men in the neighborhood. The barbershop was a place a man could go to really to just be a ‘man.’ Have a drink, smoke a cigar, talk about sports, politics and the general atmosphere of the times.

Then things began to change. In the early 1900s Gillette widely introduced the safety razor! Claiming it to be more economical and convenient than frequent trips to the barbershop. Getting a hot towel, straight razor shave became more of special occasion rather than a weekly habit. The second big blow to barbershops came during and after the Great Depression. Companies like Sears began selling at home haircutting kits and people generally had to cut back on their discretionary spending; so moms became their household’s new ‘barber.’ Then, of course, the 1960s era of the hippie arrived. Men quit shaving altogether, opting instead for a long beard and long hair as well. This made a trip to the neighborhood barbershop completely obsolete. Finally, in the 80s, men returned to a more clean cut appearance. Shaving daily again and cutting their hair shorter and more frequently. They did not, however, return to barbershops; instead the global trend was for both men and women to go to unisex salons. A new era in barbershops is upon us. Men have started, again, to seek out a place where they can go to be catered to as men. This place is Barber Lounge! This barbershop is the modern, improved version of America’s neighborhood barbershop. Barber Lounge offers men all

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the traditional services of the old school barbershops, however, they’ve added modern services and amenities with a twist of sophistication. One of the first things you notice when entering Barber Lounge is the bar! Whether you are waiting for your barber, or you just want to stop in and watch a game on one of the shop’s many big screen TVs, you can pull up a stool at the bar, or lounge in one of several oversized couches. I don’t know about you, but spending an afternoon out having a few cold beers, watching a game, and getting a fresh new cut and or shave sounds like a perfect ‘guys’ afternoon! The inviting atmosphere of Barber Lounge is the perfect place to do just that. The three current Barber Lounge locations are in shopping centers, where most men I know would much rather be drinking and watching a game than shopping. The perfect solution: she shops, you go to the barbershop!

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Barber Lounge hires only the very best master barbers to cater to their progressive and diverse masculine clientele. They also have expert cosmetologists for their surprisingly large female clientele. It’s not surprising that women love the shop as much as men do! The level of experience and the attention to detail is unsurpassed. A visit to Barber Lounge will ensure you have not only top of the line quality and service, but you will be catered to using only the very best boutique products as well. Barber Lounge has created a full line of specially formulated hair products. They offer a lightweight shave oil made with Tea Tree and Meadowfoam oils. This makes for not only a perfect straight razor shave in the shop, but a perfect shave at home as well. Their pomade is high shine with a firm hold while their Matte Clay gives you a softer hold. Their signature hair regrowth system starts with biotin enriched shampoo and conditioner. Most impressively, their products are backed by clinical studies. Barber Lounge shampoo increases hair growth by 214%, while their conditioner will help reduce hair loss by 60.6% after 90 days of use! So make your next trip to your local barbershop at Barber Lounge! Come in, have a drink, sit down and watch a game, have a good chat and get a great shave and cut. You’re not going to want to leave, but when you do…you’ll be a well groomed man! Michelle Harvey Men’s Grooming expert

Instagram: GroomedbyMichelleHarvey Twitter: @GroomedbyMH Groomedbymichelleharvey.com

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Art-Repreneurial Angels INTERVIEWED BY TAMBI SAFFRAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROCCO CESELIN

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esides Jacquelin Napal and Katherine Emery being the owners of the rapidly successful gallery, Art Angels, they are also – “Artrepreneurs”. No, there is no such word… until now. However, it was James Georgopoulos, one of their prized modern artists, who unintentionally dubbed their newly transplanted art space with his customary greeting. Napal gushed, “James always used to come in and say, ‘Oh, it’s the Art Angels’, so we ended up using that name… it fit us perfectly.” Rightfully so, since they are extremely artist friendly, and they express a welcoming interest in the works that are submitted to the gallery. Art Angels pride themselves on having an impressive collection of visual genres from huge, voluptuous sculptured lips, paintings on canvas, x-ray photography to street art created by all types of artists made of all kinds of … well, stuff. You will never look at a fire extinguisher the same way again after seeing one masterfully painted in a Chanel theme by, Niclas Castello. If diamonds are your best friend - put yourself in a diamond coma gazing at the Russell Young portrait of Marilyn painted with real Diamond Dust. You might just blush when you see what French artist Cécile Plaisance does with playful photograph development (Lenticular Print, excuse my French) creating the illusion of Executive Barbie seemingly turn into Tattooed Lingerie Barbie. Not only does their gallery have, “The Banksy of LA” a.k.a. Plastic Jesus, but they actually have a few Banksy works in their vast and mixed collection. If it’s photographs that blow your sail, Terry O’Neill is one of the gallery’s prized featured photographers. Since the 1960’s, he’s captured mouth watering photos of some of the biggest celebrities and VIP’s to ever walk our planet including a black and white of – gone too soon – odd couple, Elizabeth Taylor feeding David Bowie a drag off her cigarette (1975). It leaves us wondering what Ms. Liz was planning after the oral smoking fixation finished. One of the perks working with these Angels is, if you are an artist and loved by the winged powerhouses, expect that your work will be beautifully displayed not only in their gallery, but also placed in multi-million dollar real estate properties up for grabs. Napal and Emery are Entrepreneurs, because they are smart business women who diversify their brand and products by “Art Sourcing”: showcasing their art pieces in million dollar listings, working with developers to stage large estates, placement in upscale offices, working with interior and exterior designers, hotels, popular restaurants and flaunted on any wall or floor that makes sense for their clients and artists. More often than not, the estate buyer wants the art pieces included. That’s how numerous works of art get purchased all at once. Yatzee! These consummate curators spread their wings to all parts of the globe making sure their buyers have sufficient eye candy to choose

from. So, if I wanted to pop by the newly planted street level store and purchase art by acclaimed Michael Moebius, would my FooyVuitton wallet glue itself shut? No… actually, their price points are affordable for a newbie collector such as myself or they’ll work with a seasoned veteran collector who is used to “investing” in famous or emerging talent. I Googled, “How to buy artwork” and found most business sites agree you should buy what you love with an amount you can afford at a reputable gallery or dealer. What are you doing with your tax refunds? Might I suggest you stroll through Art Angels Gallery and purchase a piece that’s a “must have” using their wealth of knowledge? No honey, they don’t do layaway. Napal mentions, “We also have an online presence with almost all artwork and always updated.” Whether you’re an artist, collector, dabbler, or interested in being a first time art owner - you’re going to want to collaborate with this beautifully brainy artrepreneurial twosome. Art Angels Gallery had a grand opening in its new location at 9020 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048 - January 28th, 2016 and was featured in the April issue of Focus Magazine. All of the above mentioned works of art are displayed on their website.

Text focus to 313131 to watch this focusmag.us/tv/artangels

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Three Mommy Doctors

3MD | THREE MOMMY DOCTORS™ was started by three board-certified Emergency Physicians and long-time friends. These doctor moms teamed up to create the ultimate first-aid kits, that prepare parents for life’s little disasters. The company’s first two products, babySTAT™ and kidSTAT™, are filled with hospital-grade products used in their daily practice. Combined with select all-natural products, easy-to-follow instructions, and red flags to know when to go to the ER, both kits serve to empower parents with the tools and knowledge they need to stay calm and not panic. 3MD | THREE MOMMY DOCTORS™ is comprised of three emergency room doctors who graduated residency together from Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center. All natives of California, these three women are practicing ER physicians

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throughout the state. Dr. Veronica Vasquez is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. Dr. Mizuho Spangler is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, and medical editor for Emergency Medicine Reviews and Perspectives. And Dr. Seran Kim currently works as an Emergency Medicine Attending Physician in the Bay Area. More importantly, they are mothers to seven children collectively, with one more on the way. “As emergency physicians, we see a number of children come to the ER with mismanaged wounds or inadequate fever control,” says Dr. Seran Kim. “Many of these visits could have potentially been avoided with access to proper information.” Her colleagues are in complete agreement and set out to solve this issue, eventually creating two emergency kits, one for babies and another for children, with the goals of demystifying infant care and decreasing anxiety associated with treating childhood injuries. “We find when speaking with parents they are often confused about what injuries can be treated at home, versus those that need more urgent medical attention,” says Dr. Veronica Vasquez. “So we spent a great deal of time dividing the kits into symptombased categories, and wrote detailed instructions, as well as ‘red flags’ for parents to help them distinguish when they should head to their nearest ER.” “Injuries and illnesses are sadly a part of life. But at 2:00 am when your baby has a fever and you can’t reach your pediatrician, you need to know if what you are dealing with is dangerous. As parents ourselves, we can relate to these fears. We recognized that knowing what is an actual emergency is half the battle” says Dr. Mizuho Spangler. This inspired the concept of 3MD | THREE MOMMY DOCTORS™. Recognizing what was lacking in traditional first aid kits, these three women put their professional insight together with their experiences as mothers, and came up with what they’d consider their dream kits. They believe all parents should be able to provide their children with the best possible care. By bridging the gap in basic medical knowledge, they hope to enable parents to treat their kids just as they do their own.

threemommydoctors.com

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Doug Deluca Rocks, Rolls and Gives Back in Malibu BY SUZAN BRITTAN INTERVIEW BY TAMBI SAFFRAN

Text focus to 313131 to watch this focusmag.us/tv/mgf2016

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t first glance you’d think this handsome, deeptoned, former Jersey boy turned Malibu resident was a movie star, easygoing, outgoing, confident and charismatic. Instead, Doug DeLuca spends his home time in Malibu with his gorgeous other half Alejandra and his adorable daughter Tara, thinking of ways to better his beloved ‘Bu (short for Malibu). Along side his ginormous entrepreneurial producing career, behind the scenes, making us laugh with, The Man Show, Crank Yankers and the current Jimmy Kimmel Live! talk show, he just finished his second annual Malibu Guitar Festival, which he co-founded with John Watkin. This star packed Malibu weekend at Casa Escobar Malibu Beach, and the day-long outdoor concert extravaganza at the amazing Malibu Village, fulfilled it’s promise to show off some of the biggest and talented music show stoppers. DeLuca’s got his hands fantastically full with the nightly talents of long time producing partner and friend Jimmy Kimmel, with the bigger than big guests he hosts and the Co-Executive Producing title hanging on his door of what he calls, “The greatest job in the world… it’s been an amazing, wild ride. I’m very blessed!” Indeed you are sir. So, why do anything else, like… ever? “I’m a hack, but a passionate guitarist,” admits DeLuca. That’s right, he’s got a massive, mad love for music and specifically talented guitarists. This respect sparked an idea just wine-ing around with music producer/musician, great friend and, multi-Emmy winning, John Watkin. It wasn’t long until both of these resident Malibuian’s combined their talents and shared the title of Co-Founder and Chairman of the Malibu Guitar Festival. Their passion project has a multi-purpose mission: support the Malibu community, create a musical outing for families, give to charities and get all of the local businesses participating up and down the ritzy relaxed beach town. DeLuca confesses, “I have producer blood…I love to produce.” When this ten-year Malibu inhabitant had the chance to do something he loves combined with helping out his community, he and fellow now festival producer, Watkin went to the best of music’s best. 72 FOCUS | JU L Y 20 1 6

I wonder if the mayday calls for help went something like this: “Yo Randy…Dog, how would you feel about being on my advisory board for a music festival in Malibu, and you can hangout and play?” or “Hey, Richie…Wanna play some music at the beach?” or “Kenny Wayne, ya wanna be my Malibu Guitar Festival headliner?” Randy Jackson, Richie Sambora and Kenny Wayne Shepherd said yes. If ya got those guys… how hard can it be to get everyone else to participate? Actually… it wasn’t difficult at all. Once an event has legendary drummer Steve Ferrone as the musical director, attending and playing, and Eddie Money, Cody Simpson, Richie Sambora, Orianthi, Zeparella and Kenny Wayne Shepherd and many more greats performing, the major sponsors will fol-low, like: D’Angelico Guitars – New York, Kawasaki, Ernie Ball, Guitar Center and fashion fab John Varvatos. Now in its second year, DeLuca and his “core team” can boast about how they doubled the sponsorships, attracted more celebrity musicians and most importantly benefit and support three different children’s charities: The Boys and Girls Club of Malibu, Mending Kids and the particularly cool – THERAsurf, which assists special needs kids using the healing energy of the ocean by getting them on surfboards and into the waves. This event combines 3 of the greatest things: iconic and beautiful Malibu Beach, great food, and, more than great music! And there was greatness being witnessed, from the new guitar sounds of Orianthi, the soulful Robert Randolph and The Family Band takin’ ya to church with his pedal steel guitar, to the legendary UK born rockers, Albert Lee and Laurence Juber. (This year’s list - malibuguitarfestival.com/2016-artists). The beauty of the festival in Mr. DeLuca’s words is, “Whether you’re a surfer with a beat up six-string, a music legend or gazillionaire with a multimillion dollar guitar collection… it all coexists in Malibu. It’s a tight knit community. The iconology of the guitar with the backdrop of Malibu… it made a ton of sense.” This year they added an Art Gallery and hands on education for the schools. DeLuca expounds, “It’s a family experience. My nine-year old daughter loves rock and roll music and plays… if we can expose our kids to this real music and real instrumentation and players, there’s nothing better. For me that’s the payoff… I think it’s something that will outlive us all.” Oh and hey, if you have any connections to Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton and Lindsey Buckingham… these dudes are on Doug DeLuca’s ‘dream players’ list to attend next year’s festival. Somehow… I don’t think they’d turn him down. malibuguitarfestival.com


Cody Simpson

Alejandra DeLuca

Focus TV Host, Tambi Saffran

Doug, Alejandra, Tara DeLuca

Top to bottom: Zeparella, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eddie Money Photos: Melanie Escombe

Laura Rosenthal, Mayor of Malibu

Fox News Online Chief, Ken LaCorte

Top to bottom: Orianthi and Richie Sambora, Musical Director Steve Ferrone and Doug DeLuca

Robert Randolph Photo: Dawlin Photography

Photos: Dawlin Photography Eddie Money

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74 FOCUS | JU L Y 20 1 6


The Queen Of Clean Candles And Accoutrements Melanie Apple BY SUZAN BRITTAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANA ADAMS

I

can’t think of a better or more American name than Melanie Apple to make delicious smelling French inspired scents and candles via her brainchild, Voyage et Cie born in 2005. But it was her need that created a desire to formulate these invigorating, solid vegetable based burning concoctions. Apple elaborates, “I have asthma, so I wanted to find a product that was natural that wouldn’t cause me to cough and have breathing issues… I wanted to find a really clean burning candle and I couldn’t find it, so I decided to create my own.” Wow… did she ever! Her quest to quash her hypersensitive reaction to dirty burning candles and toxic body products led her down a business path to inventor and Entrepreneur. Ah, the sweet, organic smell of success!

Apple’s lovely and modest personality match the, French inspired store, Voyage et Cie (Travel and Co.) in Studio City, California, which is like walking into a fresh field of wildflowers laced with sweet vanilla and lavender. Her tastefully blissed out décor and storefront instantly transports you to a cobblestone street in Paris. If you’re a fragrance freak, you will do just that – FREAK! You won’t know what or where to smell first. The store is filled with wearable and smell-able scents for your body, car and all the rooms in your home and especially for the bedroom and maybe a little sexy time. Speaking of… there’s even a natural fragrance you can spray on your sheets. While living and studying in Paris at the Parsons School of Design/Fashion Design, the Collège International de Cannes, University of Paris IV: Paris-Sorbonne, and ESMOD International (School of Fashion) ‘Ooo la-la, excusez-moi’ she; “…fell in love

Text focus to 313131 to watch this focusmag.us/tv/voyageetcie

with fragrance stores all around Paris… I wanted to create a fragrance that was healthy from a vegetable wax… and smell less toxic.” Thus, Apple shared her French infused agenda bringing a little bit of her France to her California hometown. Four years ago, she opened the minimalist brick and mortar, Voyage et Cie, her dream store implementing her combined talents of fashion, design and business. All of her 100% handmade products are mixed either in her store [with her own two hands] or at her United States factory. This true blue patriot is determined to have all her products be either, organic, natural or vegetable (soy) based. All the scented perfumes are mixed with real flower oils without preservatives, chemicals or alcohol. Who knew – most pricey store bought perfume could be mixed with so many chemicals like diethyl phthalate, which has been linked to low sperm count and women having trouble conceiving. Well, that defeats one of perfume’s purposes all together. Day after day, we spray these toxic brews on our skin while inhaling them. Did you know paraffin is a byproduct of petroleum and is found in most candles on the market? So while you’re bubble soaking in your claw tub infused with organic oil water, being taken away by the smell of wild orchids and orange blossoms, you’re actually inhaling the toxic fumes of toluene and benzene being emitted. Not at all relaxing to think about – is it? Besides Voyage et Cie products being sold online (voyageetcie.com), these handcrafted originals are also found in very high end hotels, like The Peninsula in Beverly Hills, CA, in upscale spas, and at fine retail stores around the country. Apple also customizes in-store, your favorite fragrance for your choice sized candle ranging four to sixteen inches. All the shower and bath scrubs smell so yummy and natural, but it takes all your will power not to eat the brown sugar scrub out of the jar. So, if you want to fill up your senses or fill up your scent-ces… take a promenade into her store and get lost amongst the array of products, perfumes and paraphernalia. I promise the intoxicating trip to her little bit of France in California will be très magnifique. 

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Voyage et Cie 13037 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604 voyageetcie.com

76 FOCUS | JU L Y 20 1 6


2016 Miss Malibu/Beverly Hills Pageant

LA Music Awards http://focusmag.us/tv/lama

http://focusmag.us/tv/miss2016

A Wedding To Remember

Cardio Barre 2nd Anniversary

http://focusmag.us/tv/wedding

http://focusmag.us/tv/cardiobarre

WE CAN COVER YOUR PARTY, EVENT OR LAUNCH OPENING. EMAIL US WITH DETAILS OF YOUR EVENT

events@focusmag.us

EVENTS focusmag.us/events/focusevents B E L A I R | B E V E R LY H I L L S | B R E N T W O O D | W E S T H O L LY W O O D | S A N TA M O N I C A

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Happenings 3RD ANNUAL SOCALMOMS GREAT BIG FAMILY PLAY DAY May 22, Autry Museum in Griffith Park A must-do for families, this event gets bigger and better every year. Live Entertainment from Lisa Loeb and other kid friendly performers set the mood for this super fun day with something for everyone. 100’s of vendors offering information and free samples and products from peanut butter and jelly tasting and other yummy food and drinks to sample and purchase, to keeping your family safe, to camp and play spaces, to environment friendly and chemical free products, to rides, arts and crafts, family friendly food trucks, amazing raffle prizes, cotton candy, and much more. Download the CityMoms App and stay informed on all things around LA for busy families and kids, and it will notify you to attend this fabulously fun event next year! greatbigfamilyplayday.com CityMoms.com SoCalMoms.com

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78 FOCUS | JU L Y 20 1 6


Happenings 1ST ANNUAL “SHARE LOVE AROUND THE WORLD” March 5th, 2016 Malibu Rocky Oaks For the benefit of Children International to raise awareness to improve povertystricken children’s lives via centrally located community centers covering 10 countries. Hosted by Erica Lippy For further information on Children International, contact Sarah Shubert at sshubert@children.org or visit www.children.org

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Happenings CASA OF LOS ANGELES 4TH ANNUAL EVENING TO FOSTER DREAMS GALA May 10, Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills, CA. Legendary comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Dana Carvey headlined the Evening to Foster Dreams, and fellow stand-up Tiffany Haddish, who had spent her youth in the Los Angeles foster care system, also entertained the audience. All proceeds from the event benefit CASA’s programs of advocacy and support for abused and neglected children in Los Angeles’ foster care system. www.casala.org

80 FOCUS | J U L Y 20 1 6


Happenings KNOW THE GLOW March 16, Jimmy Choo, Beverly Hills, CA An elegant evening at the posh boutique, Jimmy Choo, Beverly Hills raised funds for and awareness of a childhood eye disease, Leukocoria, that exhibits itself as a glowing light in photographs of small children’s eyes, and may cause blindness and other devastating diseases. Know The Glow attendees enjoyed champagne and hors d’oeurves as they mingled, ogled at and bought stunning shoes and purses. Proceeds were donated to this wonderful cause that works hard to spread the word on how to recognize the signs of this disease early enough to save young lives from blindness.

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knowtheglow.org

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Happenings MOMANGELES PRESENTS: #BESTOFLA BEAUTY May 17, Brentwood Gardens CA 90049 MomAngeles and LA Mom Magazine hosted a lovely morning celebrating moms and beauty, offering fantastic expert speakers and introductions to products and beauty establishments, and pampered attendees with complimentary hairstyling and massages as they got up close and personal with some of the #BestofLA Beauty. Sign up for the “Perks Card� with MomAngeles.com and subscribe to LAMomMagazine.com, and get great discounts and information from these mom-run sites who know what moms love! Focus Magazine video highlights of the fun morning: focusmag.us/tv/bestoflabeauty MomAngeles.com LAMomMagazine.com

82 FOCUS | J U L Y 20 1 6

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Happenings MISS SANTA MONICA March 6, Lowes Hotel, Santa Monica Focus Events captured all the excitement as the winners were crowned. India Williams begins her reign as the new Miss Santa Monica USA 2017, and Samantha Ramos, Santa Monica Teen USA 2017.

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Let’s Do Brunch! Fans of Brentwoods contemporary Baltaire Restaurant can now have a delicious brunch every weekend, 10.30am-3.00pm. They offer a lovely menu of brunch items, and they go buffet style on holidays such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Easter.

BRUNCH ENTREES King Crab Biscuits and Gravy with AK king crab, pork sausage (the one we had didn’t include this), and poached egg Shashuka Baked Eggs with spicy tomato sauce, chickpeas, and feta cheese Croque Madame with Applewood smoked ham, gruyere cheese, and truffle moray Caramelized Brioche French Toast with macerated berries and pure maple syrup Chilaquiles Verde with fried eggs, queso cotijia, shaved cauliflower Prime Filet Eggs Benedict with housemade English muffins and Baltaire’s signature steak sauce BBQ ITEMS Jalapeno Cornbread with bourbon-pecan butter Pimento Cheese Dip with crostini and buttered pickles Housemade salt & vinegar chips with blue cheese fondue dip Deviled Eggs with country ham

Baltaire Restaurant 11647 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 Phone:(424) 273-1660 baltaire.com

Benton Country Ham with housemade biscuits *The BBQ/Blues nights take place in the Bar and Lounge, featuring live Blues, an a la carte BBQ menu, plus craft beers and whiskey flights.

Photography by Kristin Teig 84 FOCUS | J U L Y 20 1 6


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Who, What,

CATT SADLER/ANDREA SCHRODER/MARK STEINES/BROOKE ANDERSON/EDEN SASSOON APRIL BEYER/KIT HOOVER/TRACY O’CONNOR/LAURIE DAVID/HEATHER BILYEU KELLY RUTHERFORD/ALLI WEB/BRANDE RODERICK/SANDRA TAYLOR... NICHE DEMOGRAPHIC, AVERAGE INCOME $113,000, AVERAGE HOME $1 MILLION. MEDIA KIT AT FOCUSMAG.US/ADVERTISE OR EMAIL:

ADVERTISE@FOCUSMAG.US

YO U R CO M M U N I T Y P OW E R E D M AGA Z I N E

focusmag.us B E L A I R | B E V E R LY H I L L S | B R E N T W O O D | W E S T H O L LY W O O D | S A N TA M O N I C A


When.

REAL ESTATE

OPENINGS/PRODUCT LAUNCHES

CHAUTAUQUA BLVD Pacific Palisades

Video coverage of the preview party for Partners Trust to reveal a new construction property for sale. Video coverage/photo gallery focusmag.us/tv/hamptonsinla

HERITAGE WINES STORE OPENING 9400 S Santa Monica Blvd

Coverage of a wine store opening in Beverly Hills. Video coverage/interviewer/photo gallery focusmag.us/tv/heritagewines

CHARITY EVENTS A NIGHT TO INSPIRE Beverly Hills

Red carpet coverage of the Catt Sadler hosted, Women of The Agency event in Beverly Hills. Co-branded/banner/Red Carpet/ Interviewer/ Video coverage/Photo gallery focusmag.us/inspire

Magazine and Video coverage to make your event unique.

events@focusmag.us

EVENTS focusmag.us/events/focusevents B E L A I R | B E V E R LY H I L L S | B R E N T W O O D | W E S T H O L LY W O O D | S A N TA M O N I C A


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Locations 109 North La Cienega Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90211 310 855-1059

2924 Beverly Glen Circle Los Angeles, CA 90077 424 832 3056


Focus LA July 2016  
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