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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

SINGER/SONGWRITER, HOST CHASING GLORY PODCAST

MARCH 2018 | FOCUSMAG.US

LILIAN GARCIA

SCOTT HARRIS

THE CONSTRUCTIONAL CHEF

JANET GUNN | MELISSA MEYERS GLOW AND GRATEFUL

BYRON THOMAS

FOUR SEASONS EXECUTIVE CHEF

INFLUENCER ISSUE

PROFESSOR OF INFLUENCE

AMANDA RUSSELL

SPIRITUAL INFLUENCER, CO-HOST GOOD MORNING LALA LAND

DR ERIN FALL HASKELL


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

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

Melissa Meyers As a tastemaker and lifestyle blogger, Melissa’s passion is to share her best-kept beauty, style and wellness secrets with other women to enhance and simplify their lives. Through her experience as Founder of AskMelissa, PageDaily and now her personal blog Melissa Meyers Glow Girl, Melissa has spent over 15 years sharing valuable tips and product picks to help women with everything from selecting the best skincare lines to chic activewear, street style and healthy eats. melissameyers.net

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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

Janet Gunn a Texas gal, born and raised, currently soaking up the sun in Southern California and day dreaming of life in Italy. I love jazz, scarves, Diane Keaton movies, fitness, flowers and creating in my kitchen. gratefulgardenia.com

Shayla Hess Shayla has been training and performing for over 19 years in the entertainment business and just last year was a professional dancer and host for the NBA. In January of 2016 Shayla was cast in a girl group where she flew to the Philippines for 1 month to shoot the making of “No Grey Skies” girl group and a full reality season at the Big Foot Production studios. She has been seen in features, TV series and movies such as “Hellcats” & “Supernatural” on the CW network as well as “Diary of A Wimpy Kid 2”, “Girl In Progress” and much more. She was crowned Miss Teen Canada Global 2010, and Miss Tropic Beauty Vancouver 2011. instagram.com/shaylajustinee

Dina Manzo Dina Manzo is an artist first and foremost...an artist, a curator of all things beauty. You may have seen a glimpse of her passionate spiritual force on Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise or HGTV’s Dina’s Party. Wherever you have seen her, it’s only a small window into her world of inspired living. Consider her your guide on your personal path to beauty, wellness, health and joy. “The simplest ritual of beauty can elevate and transform...” instagram.com/dinamanzo

Michelle Gillette Certified Martha Beck Life Coach Owner of Thrive + Fly Coaching Over 10 years experience in personal growth, health & wellness. thriveandfly.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’S LETTER

Editor Andrew Waldman andy@focusmag.us Assistant Editor + Designer Ava Mauriello

Dear Readers,

Focus TV Editor/Hosts Tambi Saffran Alex Wehrley Janet Gunn Tanya Memme Michelle Gillette Wendy Brokaw Kretchmer Sande Charles Hillary Gadsby

We have gathered some of the most INFLUENTIAL people in and around LA to bring you their stories, their recommendations, their advice and their favorite finds. These chosen few have that ‘it’ factor to speak to our social world, and are exemplary mentors for many to follow. And follow they do...on social media, to the establishments they own, frequent and recommend, and on their advice for living our best lives. These are people who set the tone, stand out among the trends, and garner audiences that look and listen.

Staff Writers Felicia Waldman Suzan Brittan Photographers Gerald Lerner Dalen Muster Ben Shani Dana Adams Videographers Dalen Muster Racquel Levin Ben Shani Focus TV Production Evan Waldman Victoria Simone Gee Sally Colón Winston Moore Publisher + Creative Director Mark Castellino Copyright 2017 by Focus Media Agency. Focus (ISSN 2328-1359) is published 4 times per year. Please do not to reproduce any of the content without permission. Subscription and distribution inquiries: promo@focusmag.us

What is an INFLUENCER and why are we so excited to share some of the best with you?

We are featuring Lilian Garcia, the former WWE host. Her popular podcast, Chasing Glory, inspires us with stories of well known athletes and entertainers and how they rose to the top, as well as her life as a singer, songwriter and producer. LA Foodies take note, we have a yummy chat with Chef Byron Thomas of Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills hotel, and Restauranteur to the stars, Craig Susser, joins us from his wildly popular Craig’s. We bring you the Fit Strong and Sexy health influencer extraordinaire, Amanda Russell. Dynamic duo, Janet Gunn and Melissa Meyers, know what’s hot and what you need right now Los Angeles! These and many more incredible, inspiring, INFLUENTIAL men and women bring us the best of living in gorgeous LA LA Land. So get out your pen and paper for the copious notes you’ll be taking as you heed their advice and recommendations – and follow them on their popular and influential social media accounts. Happy Reading, and thank you for joining us on this undoubtedly beautiful, sunny, and brisk winter LA day!

The Focus Team

ISSUE 27

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Doctor of Divinity, DR. ERIN hits Focus TV Network, Launching GOOD MORNING LALA LAND The first, live-streaming daily talk show in the world!

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#SpiritualInfluencer

W

hat do yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and spirituality all have in common? They are all attempts to find happiness and fulfillment, be the best you, and live your best life…

Today, spirituality is all the rage in LaLa Land. It seems like every other corner has a juice bar, yoga studio, or a meditation spot. It’s hip to talk about the Universe as if it is your B.F.F. (best friend forever) and to refer to the Law of Attraction or the documentary The Secret. It has become trendy to say, “Spiritual, but not religious.” But what does it mean to truly find peace within, awaken to your truth, and become a #Spiritualinfluencer? Dr. Erin Fall Haskell believes it comes down to not just knowing the truth, but living the truth. She says in order to truly become an influencer one must Wake Up, Reprogram, Align, and Affirm.

Step I: Wake Up! It all begins with a powerful decision: to wake up! The first process of Awakening is the shift within, changing how you view reality. This transformation starts by understanding how your perceptions set Universal Law and the creative process into motion. Noticing how all of life is one serendipitous moment, you will understand the impact of the beliefs within your soul. In this process you discover the grand symphony of the body, mind, and spirit, and how this connection affects your ability to manifest. Furthermore, you discover how living your Truth will set you free!

Step II: Reprogram Spiritual work is counterintuitive; it is the opposite of learning, because it means letting go of fixed ideas. As you peel back the layers of all you are not, you reveal the Truth of who you are. Set forth to clear your Consciousness of everything that keeps you from your highest purpose. It is not about figuring it out; it is about allowing something to emerge from within you. Through this process you unburden your soul from all the programming that is holding you back from your success. Expanding and commanding your subconscious and informing Universal Law is the key to this part of awakening.

Step III: Align Allow yourself to flow with life by living your Truth and aligning with the Laws of the Universe in the four areas of your life.

Love and Relationships: Unveil the Truth that the ultimate relationship is found within you, and realize that all other relationships are a reflection and projection of your ability or inability to love. Strengthen your aptitude to respond in a positive manner regardless of what occurs in your life; therefore, manifesting what your heart truly desires. Despite the challenges you face, you can transform your relationships from divided to Divine.

Health and Wellness: You have an innate power to heal. You have a life force capable of miracles. Let go of your preconceived notions of wellbeing, release negative energy, and uncover the secret to vitality, longevity, and wellness. Discover that the same energy that creates illness, frees you with unlimited potential to manifest wellness. Prepare to discover how health is a conscious choice; a choice that will align with natural laws and Mother Nature.

Purpose and Calling: Unveil the Truth that the ultimate relationship is found within you, and realize that all other relationships are a reflection and projection of your ability or inability to love. Strengthen your aptitude to respond in a positive manner regardless of what occurs in your life; therefore, manifesting what your heart truly desires. Despite the challenges you face, you can transform your relationships from divided to Divine.

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Step IV: Affirm This is a journey into the miracle of listening. Create your personal Vision, Life’s Purpose Statement, and Daily Spiritual Practice. Whether you are advanced or just a beginner, the miracle of listening is found in the practices of meditation, mindfulness, language, visioning, intuition, affirmative prayer and affirmations, and 40-day practices. Mastering these powerful skills unleashes the voice within so you can think, speak, and create a world surpassing anything you have ever imagined. In embodying this work, life transcends. Let’s embark on this incredible journey together!

Good Morning LaLa Land is the first, live-streaming daily talk show in the world! Allowing viewers to consume, digest, and share their entertainment experience across multiple, distributed social media platforms simultaneously, Good Morning LaLa Land is leading-edge, digital media at its very best. Good Morning LaLa Land discusses current events, hot topics, and has scintillating guest interviews through the positive, uplifting, and inspiring lens of the 3 hosts perspectives. The first show of its kind on the planet, Good Morning LaLa Land is aimed squarely at the demand of a large, untapped market & audience, one who is in desperate want & vocal need of conscious infotainment - information that is not only highly entertaining but also deeply useful. Good Morning LaLa Land empowers people to make major shift happen in their financial, physical, relational and emotional lives...so they can live their best lives starting today...this morning! So, let go of your B.S. (belief systems), grab your coffee, and have some fun with us each morning M-F 9 am PST!

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Erin’s Personal Story “There are moments in life when something happens, life alters, and your entire perception transforms instantaneously.” For Erin, that moment was when she was holding her stillborn son in her arms, just after giving birth to him. “Tears were streaming down my face as I looked at his beautiful body and realized his body was still there, but he wasn’t. I realized he wasn’t his body; he is a spiritual being. One can conceptually understand that we are not these bodies, but I got it on an entirely different level, my entire world crumbled, delivering me to spiritual revelation.” This sent her on an intense spiritual quest traveling around the world, discovering truths, and learning how to live and embody the truths that had been revealed. Currently, Erin resides in Los Angeles where she has been featured on the cover of magazines, on radio, and ‘as seen on’ NBC, CBS, FOX, and ABC. She is a bestselling author and spiritual coach. Her mission is Awakening a billion people globally to their divinity and life’s purpose, and assisting them in manifesting their dreams. She teaches people how to reprogram their subconscious, align with their personal Truth and Universal Laws, and create their daily spiritual practice. She mentors people one-on-one on a body, mind, and spiritual level. She believes that when someone Awakens, they naturally have a gift and message to bring to the world. After many years of working with a wide range of clients; from top celebrities to single mothers, she wanted to bring her programs to the world. She believes that the route to happiness and fulfillment is not just knowing the Truth, but living the Truth!


LIVE DAILY M-F 9AM PT

ErinFallHaskell.com | DrErin.TV | Focus TV Network | Facebook @DrErin.TV Instagram @DrErin.TV | Twitter @DrErinShow | YouTube @DrErin GoodMorningLaLaLand.com LIVE DAILY 9-10AM PST ON: Facebook.com/GoodMorningLaLaLand | Instagram.com/GoodMorningLaLaLand | YouTube GoodMorningLaLaLand Twitter @GoodMorningLaLa

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Chasing

Glory


From the WWE to Los Angeles, Lilian Garcia is Changing Lives and Chasing Glory. WRITTEN BY JEZLAN MOYET

L

ilian Garcia is as real, raw, and relevant as it they come; she is true to herself and her fans. Undoubtedly, she truly shines both on and off screen. Now, from Los Angeles, she is sharing her light on the nation’s most prominent podcast network, PodcastOne, with her new weekly show ‘Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia.’

Lilian is a multi-talent singer/songwriter, television personality and producer who first caught the hearts of millions worldwide as one of the most popular personalities in World Wide Wrestling. For 15 years, this Spanish beauty hosted their #1 rated television show, Monday Night Raw. The show was seen in over 186 countries, in 35 different languages, and she made fans every where she went. “I love them [the fans]! It has totally been a love relationship between the two of us. I care about the job. I care about the super stars. I care about them, showing them my thank you when I would go to the arenas, signing autographs, just to be with them. They were the reason I had a job.” Now the fans are the reason Lilian is Chasing Glory. PodcastOne says Lilian ‘peels back the layers and dives deep into how they got to where they are today, and the real-life challenges in making their dreams come true.’ Lilian is giving her fans a VIP all access pass to human interest stories with the most influential athletes and celebrities. FOCUS TV host, Jezlan Moyet, recently sat down with Lilian for a one-one chat on Good Morning LaLa Land, to share her story and get to the heart of Chasing Glory. “I just had a trilogy with Nikki Bella. Nikki just did Dancing With the Stars. They were trying to get her to be vulnerable on DTWS, and she was a little bit like ‘ehhh’ and very defensive. And on my podcast, she shared why. And it was something that happened to her when she was 15… Just hearing that story, you can see how something from all these years has affected her and now she is breaking that wall, and what that means to her. And that is the thing that is so powerful,” Lilian beams. focusmag.us 11


Not only does the audience appreciate the honesty, the celebrities are beyond grateful for the opportunity to authentically connect. Nikki Bella recently opened up to FocusTV about her experience on Chasing Glory, “It was amazing. You know, I think it is because I’ve known Lilian for over 10 years, she was able to break me down very easy, which is difficult for me. After just competing on DTWS, that is one of my biggest issues, just letting my guard down. And she totally let that down. And I talked a lot about stuff that I haven’t. I realize that sometimes it is good to let that stuff out because you are just more relatable. People are like ok now I can relate to you, you have a lot of normal qualities. I was happy to share some of my stories, even though it was difficult. It was really good.” Lilian steers away from gossip and the got-ya moments, she is genuinely interested in the heart of the story. “As much as I ask people to be open, in a beautiful way that can empower other people, I do it myself. And I talk about my own struggles…[Life] It’s not perfect. And that is what I always tell people, and that is what I share on my podcast. And that is what my guests share on my podcast, Chasing Glory, on the fact that we go through struggles, we all have them. I’m dealing with my dad’s death. Right now, I dealing with trying to relocate my mother…But I always tell people, it is through those struggles that you grow so much. And it is ok to show vulnerability. It is ok to be down….I would never expect anyone to share those things, if I wasn’t willing to do it. And I know, from my vulnerabilities somebody can learn from what I have been through and it could help them.”

Grateful and inspired fans worldwide are coming forward with their stories of personal trials and tribulations, addiction and recovery. “Every episode is better than the next. She gets so in-depth with each guest and really allows them to tell every aspect of their story. This is incredible!!! Each week I continue to tune in I learn something about myself and learn something about the guest and Lilian. This podcast is so inspiring and always a tear jerk moment,” @SuplexandStilettos. Lilian adds, “And that is what I love that people are hearing in my podcast. They are listening to it going, ‘Wow I never knew that celebrity was going through so much and they got through it. And now I know that when something bad happens in my life, or I struggle, that I can get through it too.’ And that is what I think we need as a world. We need to do that…I feel like I have found a platform to do what I love to do. I don’t want to exploit people, that is not what it is about. But sharing these real stories of things that happen to us along this life journey… None of us have a guidebook on how to do it.” There may be no guidebook for life in the new millennium, but with each weekly episode of Chasing Glory, Lilian is mapping it out for her fans with relatable insight and inspiration. Socially relevant, and authentically inspiring, she is once again touching the hearts of millions on a podcast with purpose that encourages us all to chase glory.

“As much as I ask people to be open, in a beautiful way that can empower other people, I do it myself. And I talk about my own struggles…[Life] It’s not perfect. And that is what I always tell people, and that is what I share on my podcast. And that is what my guests share on my podcast, Chasing Glory, on the fact that we go through struggles, we all have them.”

https://www.podcastone.com/chasing-glory-with-lilian-garcia http://instagram.com/liliangarcia

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CHEF BYRON THOMAS:

Crafting Seasonal Food into an Edible Art Form All Year Long at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills INTERVIEW BY TAMBI SAFFRAN, FOCUS MAGAZINE FOOD EDITOR

Focus Magazine Food Editor, Tambi Saffran chats with Chef Byron… He heard I was back in Texas and recruited me to work in the restaurant there. From there I grew and was promoted to Sous Chef before coming here to LA. What are the pros and cons of working at a restaurant in Beverly Hills? The great thing about all of our clients is that they really want to create memorable events so we are constantly coming up with custom stations and food – the flip side is that the same clients are extremely demanding – you have to learn to go with the flow with constant last minute changes.

C

hef Byron Thomas comes to Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills by way of Four Seasons Austin, Texas. At that location, Chef Byron enhanced his personal approach to hospitality, which places each guest on an equal level with his cuisine. According to Chef Byron, “My favorite part of being a chef is working with an amazing team of people to help make happy memories for our guests,” and he proceeded to take on as much responsibility as he could to hone his craft and culinary vision. When he was ready for a new challenge, Chef Byron relocated to Four Seasons Los Angeles where he became enamored by the abundant farmer’s markets and natural beauty of the Golden State. At every dining concept on property, Chef Byron’s cuisine begins and ends with the vibrant colors of pure fruits and vegetables, transforming each plate into a swirling mosaic of reds, yellows, greens, and more. “Color and food have to tie together,” notes Chef Byron. “I want to see a rainbow of colors on each plate, reflecting their bright and bold flavors.” 14 FOCUS | M A R CH 2 0 1 8

Do you oversee all the dining at the Four Seasons LA? Yes, which includes Culina Modern Italian, Vinoteca, Windows Lounge, Cabana Restaurant at our pool, as well as In-Room Dining and an extremely busy Banquet department. What is the most ordered item on the menu? For lunch and dinner, our Branzino dish in Culina is by far the number one seller. We change the way we do the dish based on the seasons, but it always sells really well. For breakfast, I have to mention our Avocado Toast--we have different versions in Cabana, In-Room Dining and Culina, but it is a best seller in all outlets. We do it with homemade pickled onions and Fresno Chili, poached eggs, as well as chia, flax and sunflower seeds. It’s a super healthy way to start your day. What is your favorite item on the menu? We have a saffron risotto with bone marrow that I love. Also, my new Chef de Cuisine has a very clever dish called “Hanging Out in Tuscany” where he hangs Tuscan charcuterie from a clothesline with tiny clothespins! I’ve also GOT to mention our epic Sunday Brunch—we have really elevated the offerings and the presentation is overwhelming. What are your signature dishes? I really love the bright summer flavors and colors of Southern California. We do an amazing salad of heirloom


tomatoes, grilled peaches, whole tarragon, mint and basil leaves and top it off with local burrata. At home, I often make this dish for myself, sometimes with avocado and a nice New York strip steak.

What is your favorite kitchen gadget and why? Everyone in my kitchen knows I panic and get really stressed when I can’t find my Grey Kunz 18/10 serving spoon—it is the perfect size for EVERYTHING!

How often do you change the menu and what inspires you to come up with new dishes? With four outlets including Culina, Vinoteca, Windows Lounge and the Cabana Restaurant at our pool, as well as In-Room Dining and our bustling Banquets Department, there is always a menu being reworked. I’m inspired by the folks I work with… their creativity and also by the things I find at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. I find that exploring color to create new combinations of food is a really inspiring way of developing new dishes and flavors— I like isolating one or two colors and creating dishes that have a very specific visual impact.

What is your most memorable moment as a chef? I worked with a restaurant GM in the Four Seasons Austin, who watched me develop my career from line cook to Chef de Partie and eventually rising to Sous Chef. The Restaurant Chef had moved on and I was running the show—a little out of my league. I was frequently frustrated and struggled to get people to follow me —often choosing a loud voice to motivate. He pulled me aside and told me he would always follow me, no matter how I chose to behave—but it was up to me to become the kind of leader that people WANT to follow—that is what makes the best leaders. I thought about what he said, and I can truly say that that conversation fundamentally changed the path I was on. As they say, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

What do you think is the key to a successful restaurant? I think you have to balance what you want to create with what guests want to eat. Once you have the right balance, then you have to deliver the same quality day after day. What is your favorite ingredient? I LOVE watermelon radishes—mild, crunchy, and gorgeously pink! They are great roasted as an accompaniment to an entrée or shaved as a garnish or salad ingredient.

Can you share a humorous story about being a chef? One of my favorite fun kitchen stories happened during a busy breakfast. The power in the hotel went out unexpectedly—it was pitch black for a few moments until the backup generator kicked in. What was so fun to watch was how efficiently our team adapted—we scrambled to bring out butane burners, got some hot oil out of the fryer

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so we could keep frying breakfast potatoes, and the servers automatically switched to quadruple hand written tickets so the whole team could stay informed. The only thing the guests in the dining room noticed was a few seconds of darkness—the food kept coming as expected! I was so proud of everyone! What do you do for fun when are you are not working? I love scuba diving and free diving in Malibu at Point Dume beach. There is nothing more calming and enchanting than being in the ocean and seeing the beauty below the waves. Sometimes at Point Dume you can be surrounded by herds of sea lions—they really take your breath away.

Where do you see yourself in 5 and 10 years from now? I’d like to continue at FSLA for at least five years, then maybe transfer to a distant island in the Maldives or the Seychelles. Do you have any advice for young people who want to become chefs? Find a great mentor that enjoys sharing his or her knowledge and PAY ATTENTION. Keep cooking on the line for as long as you can before you make the jump to Chef—the more knowledge you bring with you, the better you will be at a pretty stressful, demanding job.

What do you like to eat when you’re not at the restaurant? I really like going out for Thai food in small family owned businesses. I love really bright, bold flavors with tons of herbs and a lot of spice. Night + Market is one of my favorites here in LA, as well as Spicy Barbecue on Santa Monica. If you had one last request meal, what would it be? Hands down, my mom’s sourdough pancakes. Every Saturday my mom made these amazing, very thin pancakes with crispy edges. She even indulged me and my brothers and sisters with real maple syrup. I’ve never had a better breakfast to this day. If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and what would you eat? Honestly, I would love to eat with my mom again. She passed before ever getting to see me as a chef or eat any of my food. When I was younger, we would vacation at the beach in Capitola, California—my mom loved the ocean— we would eat fresh seafood—baby octopus that we caught off the pier, sea urchin, and her favorite, Dungeness crab. One night we were about to sit down to a huge plate of crab and a storm knocked out the power—so we cracked crab in the dark. It was one of my favorite childhood memories, and I would love to share another seafood meal with her, perhaps with the lights on! If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 ingredients would you bring and why? Fresh tortillas, eggs, bacon, a good molcajete salsa and really sharp sheep’s milk cheese—the best breakfast tacos for days!

https://www.fourseasons.com/losangeles @chefbyrondavidthomas

Photos courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

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Home is Where the Heart is

S

cott Harris, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Building Construction Group, took apart his family’s appliances when he was a child just to see how they worked and he would rebuild them for fun. He’s been building and creating since he was five years old...it was an innate calling, he says. “I like to take a piece of something that was nothing and make it into something.” All those years of tinkering has finally paid off, and now he has helped turn Building Construction Group into one of the most well-respected construction companies in Los Angeles. In a nutshell, they build uber-amazing homes.

“A home heals you… a home should be your haven… it’s a place to go to when you’re happy and when you’re sad... It’s YOUR environment. Not just a place to hang your hat, but a place to heal your heart.” Another of Scott’s great accomplishments, in collaboration with the well sought after Architect, William Hefner AIA, is the construction of the home for Ed Begley Jr. and his wife Rachelle Carson. The LEED Platinum, self-sustaining home is one of the greenest houses ever built in North America according to a report by CBS. Every feature is not only green, but also unique down to the fly ash foundation and the 10,000 gallon, underground rainwater tank. The construction of this home brought back childhood construction challenges to Scott, who was faced with the creation of building a new, 3,900 square foot residence for Ed Begley, who wanted a self-sustaining home, while Rachelle wanted something that resembled an authentic, 1920s Mediterranean revival piece.

Scott has worked alongside some of the world’s most influential architects and designers and is deemed as one of L.A.’s go-to experts, and he is known for turning building into an art form. During his FOCUS TV interview, he told me that he hasn’t built his favorite project yet, because he is always anticipating what is next. He did tell me that one of his most fun projects was constructing a home for actor Kevin James and his wife, Steffiana De La Cruz. He said that dreaming up ideas everyday with the James family was like being on “design acid.” That being said, it must have been a very good trip, because Scott describes the features of the James’ home as some of the most elegant things he had ever built.

When you ask Scott what his definition of a home is, he will tell you, “A home heals you… a home should be your haven… it’s a place to go to when you’re happy and when you’re sad, it’s a place you can go to become happy. It’s a place where your friends and family can come together. It’s YOUR environment. Not just a place to hang your hat, but a place to heal your heart.” These are clearly the words of a man who is deep, intelligent and insightful with a big heart of his own. He will discuss the gravitational pull of the earth and magnetic fields to explain how a home, positioned correctly can make you feel better. Trust me, you will never look at your home the same after a discussion with Scott. If I were ever lucky enough to build a dream home, I would trust that Scott Harris would do the job of making it a home where the heart could thrive.

Photography: Laura Hull & Scott Harris Architect: William Hefner, AIA Headshot of Scott Harris: Christopher Amaroso

http://www.buildingcgroup.com

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The Constructional Chef

Not only is Scott Harris a world-class builder, but he is also an exceptional chef and has published many of his own recipes. He dry ages meat, makes his own salamis, and cures salmon just for fun. Harris believes cooking and building are related as two of the three fundamentals of life, the third being procreating. He tells Focus TV “You don’t need an expensive kitchen to prepare food.” His most valued “tools of the trade” are his Japanese knife, a great burner, a cast iron skillet and Korean sea salt. Assuming most of us are unaware of how to dry age meat at home, I asked Scott to share his instructions with the Focus Readers. BY TAMBI SAFFRAN

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Step 1 Make friends with your local butcher and have them set aside a prime boneless, or bone-in, beef rib roast. If you buy the entire cut, it should be between 18-25 pounds and it will be in a shrink-wrap package. Yes. You will be making a lot of friends when it’s done since this will serve 8-10 guests!

Step 2 Remove the rib roast from the packaging, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Do not trim, salt or season it all! The more fat cap it has, the better it will cure! It acts like a rind on an amazing cheese, or the cork in your wine bottle. Find a

quiet place in your refrigerator If your refrigerator already has a rack, great..set it on the clean rack. If it doesn’t, set it on a rack over a backing sheet. The goal is, to get as much airflow around it as possible to let the drying process begin.

Step 3 Refrigerate for at least 28 days, but I usually like it closer to five weeks. What is happening during this time, is the natural enzymes are breaking down the meat, and the water content is reducing, which concentrates the flavors that become more and more savory, (like a beef stew), the longer it ages. [Yum! my mouth is watering just thinking of this!]

Step 4 Party time! Suddenly friends will come out of the woodwork! Take out the meat, and with a large sharp knife, ideally a fillet knife, shave off and discard the hard, dried, outer layer of the meat. Shave away any dried areas of fat too, but leave behind as much of the good fat as possible. I like to slice mine into 1 ½” thick steaks. It’s the perfect thickness to achieve my favorite seared and blackened outside, while it’s still super juicy, moist and tender on the inside. Whatever you don’t use, I like to vacuum seal and save it for later, but trust me, it is SO good… it never lasts long at our home!

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Amplify Acupuncture

Brings a New Approach to the Ancient Healing Practice The New Wellness Destination is Providing Acupuncture to Santa Monica’s Main Street

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ince opening November 2017, Amplify Acupuncture has established itself as an intimate escape in the heart of Los Angeles’ West Side. Licensed Acupuncturist and Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine Yunuen “June” Beristain brings her deep expertise in this holistic health practice to the busy lives of 24 FOCUS | M A R CH 2 0 1 8

today’s Angeleno, providing no-reservationsrequired restoration and revitalization in just 30 minutes. Perfect for both acupuncture junkies and newbies, clients can pop in on their lunch break and opt for an approachable and accessible acupuncture rejuvenation.


With a team of licensed acupuncturists with degrees in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Amplify Acupuncture has developed treatment plans to yield the most powerful results for their clients. After a one-time consultation, the acupuncturists create a special treatment plan for each customer, carefully selected to provide everything from digestion aid and stress reduction to relief from joint pain and energy boosts, and beyond. Established patients have the option to follow their customized treatment or select off the a la carte menu during each appointment. With treatments such as Like an Adaptogenic Blast, which helps manage stress, and The Road to Dreamland, which promotes better sleep, Amplify Acupuncture gives clients the rare chance to choose their own treatments if desired. Additional menu highlights include:

June effortlessly combines ancient and modern as clients float above the city chaos in zero gravity reclining chairs, bathed in cool natural light. For those who want a restorative post-workout balancing, a mindful moment for health and happiness, or treatment for injuries and ailments, Amplify Acupuncture brings ancient healing to our modern daily lives.

Born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, June Beristain was exposed to holistic medicine from a young age. For as long as June can remember, she has served as a confidant for friends and family, with her loved ones frequently requesting her advice. However, it was not until she discovered Traditional Chinese Medicine that she realized she could channel her intuition into a career where she could support others in their healing journeys and inspire them to be their best. All of this led to the conceptualization of Amplify Acupuncture. In 2005, June Re-Charge and Recover moved to Southern California to attend Santa Monica If you wish to improve your recovery time, be it from College, after which she transferred to California State exercise, illness, or injury, this is your choice. This combination of acupuncture points directly activates and University, Northridge to pursue a bachelor’s degree in supercharges your own body’s healing system so you can Business Management. Subsequently, June found herself at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising as recover faster and better. she initially had dreams of creating an athletic wear Benefits: improve recovery time line with her father, professional boxing trainer Ignacio Beristain. While studying at FIDM, June stumbled Ready for Change Take charge and this combination of points will support upon the practice of acupuncture and quickly realized she could hone into her abilities to help people. After you all the way. We can all become addicted to food, substances, emotions, behaviors and even thoughts. This is recognizing this to be her true passion, she switched gears and graduated with honors and earned a Master’s your choice of treatment if you are ready for change. of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine from Benefits: addiction release Yo San University. Upon graduating, June received her California Acupuncture License and decided to open Meditation Booster No matter what mindfulness practice you have chosen… Amplify Acupuncture in Santa Monica, CA, bringing her approachable, modern take on the ancient practice to the or not, this combination of acupuncture points is a powerful attunement that will take you to your own next wellness-driven city. level of mindfulness. Benefits: spiritual attunement

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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 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

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Things to see and do in your neighborhood.

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AN INSIDER VIEW OF THE MOVIE AWARDS SCENE

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ALLI WEBB

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Hammer Time – What’s going on at the museum? 12

FEBRUARY 2014 focusmag.us

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

Books

Frederick Forsyth in conversation. 13

Free

Outdoor movies. Talks. Yoga. All Free 25

Eat

August has a lot of sweet celebrations. 26

FOCUS LOVE your neighborhood

BRENTWOOD

ISSUE 4: August 2013

See

Fashion photographer Helmut Newton 12

A GOOD GUY

EX ‘SOPRANOS’ LOUIS LOMBARDI HITS A HIGH NOTE

Do

Ideas for daring experiences 16

Zen

Yoga on the beach 18

Things to see and do in your neighborhood.

BRENTWOOD

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BRENT WOOD *Our Pick of THE Best Places in Brentwood

1

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Ice cream, yogurt and shaved ice. 26

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Realty Mogul

The Art of Giving

LUXE HOTEL FOUNDER

REAL ESTATE CROWDFUNDING

FUNDING WORTHY CAUSES

INTERVIEW

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Burgers for carnivores and vegans alike 26

Shop Antiques and Home furnishings 12

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The creations of celebrated architect A. Quincy Jones 14

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It’s Bike month – dust off your cycling gear. 22

FOCUS Insights into your neighborhood.

ISSUE 2: May/June 2013


THE PROFESSOR OF INFLUENCE “Be Seen, Be Heard. Be Remembered”, is Amanda Russell’s formula for success

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What Is It That Makes One-Person Influential And Another Practically Invisible? Today Amanda is a leading marketer, Professor, author (with multiple national columns, and upcoming book, The Influencer Code), keynote speaker, and the founder of Fit Strong and Sexy and Right now, she’s leading a fundamental shift in the world of marketing and advertising with the birth of the Institute of Influencer Marketing. Sitting desk side after witnessing this charismatic, sassy young woman bring a lecture hall to standing ovation on the very topic she specializes in: Influencer Marketing, I know one thing is crystal clear, whatever this woman does, I’m signing up for. Amanda fills me in on her dramatic personal journey (overcoming physical debilitation that ended her professional running career), and how it led to an entire revolution and propelled her to become ‘the’ authority in the space of Influencer Marketing…. THIS is an article you won’t want to miss, and one any marketer; entrepreneur and influencer needs to bookmark and have in their back pocket….

D

ubbed “the Carrie Bradshaw of fitness”— turning exercise into a thriving lifestyle community and bridging the gap between fitness, entertainment, and personal empowerment—Amanda Russell has more strength in one well-toned arm than most people have from head-to-toe. And it’s not just the kind of strength that comes from a good workout; it’s also what comes from a life of persevering, powering through adversity, and passionately going after what you want. Olympic-bound and at the top of her game, Amanda’s competitive running career came to a screeching halt when an injury left her unable to walk, let alone run. Rather than be sidelined, she redirected that energy and perseverance to achieve a career greater than she could have imagined, touching millions of people around the globe. After all, she’s a role model influencer herself, and was named one of Google’s “Next Top Fitness Platforms.” But it was neither luck nor an accident that brought Russell to where she is today. Instead, she is the epitome of a woman warrior; she is a go-getter who proves that in order to get what you want out of life—whether in health, in love, or in career—you have to go after it with gusto, and never take “no” for an answer. 28 FOCUS | M A R C H 20 1 8

“You can have the best product, service or idea in the world, but if you don’t have an audience, if you can’t break through and even get the chance to garner someone’s attention, it doesn’t matter.” This is the driving force that propelled Amanda Russell’s entire career. In fact, it was her thesis for her business school project….which, has now become an entire thriving brand, and Youtube Case study….(check it out: FitStrongandSexy. com). “We live in an over cluttered and highly fragmented world, no one has attention spans…social media for organic reach is all but dead, digital advertising has diminishing returns (if any) – whether you’re an entrepreneur, a marketer or a thought leader in your own category (or aspiring to be), it’s never been more overwhelming….or EXCITING! Gone are the days which you can put up a website or buy digital ads and garner awareness let alone conversion…. which is why the term ‘influencer marketing’ has become all the rage. It seems as though every conversation about growth, marketing or social media, you will hear the term “influencer”.


But, what is it that makes one person influential and another practically invisible? “Here’s the thing, Influencer Marketing is one of the hottest topics in marketing and business, yet it is grossly misunderstood and mostly off target. BUT, when done right, it’s pure genius. The Institute of Influence is EVERYTHING I wish I had when I first started my business. I couldn’t find anything that helped me strategize my efforts, time and money in the right direction to grow a business in this rapidly changing digital world while also allowing for customization and personal attention to my brand, audience and goals. Here I was with a marketing MBA, having worked at a top market research firm in NYC, and being completely frustrated with what was out there as I built my own brand. Youtube and Digital media for building a company was relatively new, there was no book, no authority in the space, no blueprint for success, so it was a lot of trial and error, a lot of working with self proclaimed experts, and agencies that were just as new to this as I was.”

and how to grow and achieve true influence in a desired category…simultaneously her reputation grew, and she knew, the Universe had thrown her a gift in ending her original running career. “Distance running is so individual – it taught me the power of perseverance and hard work, but the successes, they’re all about you. After the injury, I had a clean slate, the universe gave me this for a reason.” Amanda shines when she talks about her revelation. “This is about something bigger. I found a greater purpose in the growth of others, and it is exactly that, working with people and brands to spread messages that matter, which became my passion and my purpose”. Agencies and marketers tend to steer you towards a templated approach, but marketing is not a hard science; you can’t simply replicate what has worked for another brand, or at another time. On the other side, there were the ‘overnight social media stars’ who happened to rack up followers on a platform and then becoming self-proclaimed experts, charging people a lot of money for their ‘expertise’.

Amanda was a pioneer in the space and learned from firsthand what it took as she built a successful online brand, from audience creation to monetized business model.

Every case is different, but having been on both sides, the influencer AND the agency, Amanda knew first hand what works, she figured it out for herself, and she applied it to countless brands big and small.

She started working with other companies to help them navigate this new digital world to achieve their own goals as a result of the common frustration felt and often simply unknown understanding of what it takes where to begin,

There is a specific strategy and mindset you can use and we can confidently attest that there isn’t another course and marketing program or platform this comprehensive, or this credible!

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Any brand, person or organization who wants to break through the clutter, spread their message, build a tribe and become a brand so strong, the competition becomes irrelevant needs to be dialed into this. The Institute of Influencer Marketing is shaping the direction of a world of influencers, marketers, and a growing $2 billion industry. With a track record of doing whatever it takes to get to the top of wherever she wants to go, from pounding the miles in the harsh northern Canadian winters, to becoming a Youtube case study, she confidently says “We’re unstoppable.” And who could argue?

The Institute of Influencer Marketing (IIM) is the authority in influencer marketing and education for the future. A full-service education, marketing and technology platform with exclusive courses on influencer marketing and digital brand strategy. The Institute of Influence encompasses an educational platform featuring: • Marketing courses taught by accredited industry experts. • Cutting edge articles, data, presentations, and case studies on all things Influencer Marketing and growing one’s brand and influence in the world • The ‘go-to’ resource for all things Influencer Marketing, and the future of brand strategy and marketing. • An innovative media platform where influencers create their own courses, hone their message, and build and grow business around their expertise (e.g. Masterclass.com). • A creative marketing and consulting agency specializing in creating and executing influencer campaigns from concept to goal. • A talent agency connecting brands to influencers utilizing a proprietary matching algorithm to generate the best outcome for both sides.

FitStrongandSexy.com

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“Our mantra is keep glowing and be grateful! We’re hoping to inspire women to live a fulfilled and happy life. It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. Remember, it’s a great time to be a woman, it’s a great time to market your dream.”

Meet Influencers, Janet Gunn and Melissa Meyers

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ABOUT THEM AND THEIR MISSION “I don’t think we could have ever imagined what it would look like to be an influencer in today’s world. We’ve had other careers, and now reinvented ourselves by following our true passion of sharing information that inspires and helps other women be the best version of themselves. We are fortunate to have been able to turn this passion into our work, into our mission of enhancing the mind, body and spirit. For us this was the most important part of what we do. We focus on feeling good from the inside out through our blog posts and social media covering all things beauty, wellness and style. We understand what a gift it is to feel joy, be grateful and stay connected to help empower women over 40.

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HOW IT BEGAN In 2016 a mutual friend held a charity lunch for Project Angel Food at the Soho House and purposely seated Janet and Melissa next to one another. At that time, the two were emerging lifestyle bloggers whose voices reached aspirational 40 plus women, an important demographic that had been widely ignored in the blogosphere. Their brand messages aligned perfectly with each other and they immediately realized that they had similar goals for their blogs. From that moment on, their relationship has taken off as a result of their collaborative efforts. Within a year they landed several projects together ranging from brand ambassadors for Swiss skincare line, Instytutum, to hosting paid events and Facebook live segments. They’ve also consulted with brands, and they have interviewed celebrities. The Grateful Gardenia and The Glow Girl have their own distinctive brands in addition to the one they share together, Glow & Grateful.


WHAT THEY DO AND HOW THEY DO IT Janet and Melissa research and test an array of lifestyle products and services and then report on these products and services through various social networks that include Instagram, website blog posts, videos, Facebook, Pinterest and a weekly email newsletter. They are meticulous when photographing product for their blogs, and they develop effective themes to market brands, utilizing an inspiring message. This same voice is used for editorial and paid projects. Janet and Melissa attend weekly press and networking events and are out on the town several nights a week to make sure they find the best content to share with their curious audiences. Life as an influencer is 24/7…it takes hard work and dedication, every day. A lot of time is spent on editing, photos, social media (all platforms), fielding email requests and several direct messages on Instagram.

HOW DOES ONE BECOME AN INFLUENCER? Whether you are a yoga teacher or chef, you can become an influencer by starting to get social (media) and finding your voice. Think about your passion and tell your story. The audience will find you if you are authentic and consistent with posting. Be very clear about your message, start to follow like-minded people who inspire you. Make sure to like and comment on their posts so there is mutual engagement. Brands are now paying attention to engagement rather than likes or number of followers. Think about how you can help others by sharing your authentic experiences. “Our mantra is keep glowing and be grateful! We’re hoping to inspire women to live a fulfilled and happy life. It’s never too late to reinvent yourself. Remember, it’s a great time to be a woman, it’s a great time to market your dream.”

HOW DOES AN INFLUENCER MONETIZE Paid partnerships and co-branded sponsorships is the best way for an influencer to monetize their blog. Janet and Melissa only take on projects that they feel passionate about it, and that are consistent with their editorial voice. They usually contact brands directly that are a good fit to see if they can work together. Many influencers belong to an invite only network called Reward Style which is a program that pays bloggers a commission on merchandise sold on their platforms via affiliate links (paid by the store not the consumer). Other ways to monetize is through paid Instagram posts/stories, events, paid Facebook live segments and co-branded or branded product lines.

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Melissa’s Story

Janet’s Story

Melissa Meyers is the founder of the women’s lifestyle blog The Glow Girl. Sharing her beauty, style and wellness secrets, Melissa empowers women be the best version of themselves, age gracefully, and maintain a youthful glow. She and the Glow Girl team test an array of products and services using a highly selective curation process, helping women to make the most informed consumer decisions. As the Founder of lifestyle websites, AskMelissa, PageDaily and now her personal blog, The Glow Girl, Melissa has spent over 15 years sharing valuable tips, tricks, and product picks from the best skincare lines to chic activewear, street style, and healthy foods. Melissa was born and raised in New York and moved to LA with her husband and two children in 2103 for lifestyle reasons.

Is the founder of lifestyle blog The Grateful Gardenia, where she focuses on fashion, beauty, and travel as well as fitness. Born in Ft. Worth Texas, Janet, is a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, flight attendant, television actress and director. Janet took a hiatus from the world of television to embrace being a full-time mom. As her son became older and more independent she turned her attention towards herself and what would become her next achievement. Janet began a daily practice of gratitude, and meditation which she is certain lead her to launch the lifestyle blog The Grateful Gardenia in May 2015. The success of her blog created a dominos effect resulting in inspiring weekly segments “Motivational Monday” which can be found on her own You Tube channel and then onto developing an on-air segment “ Fearless Female” for Focus TV. Ultimately Janet began to collaborate with fellow lifestyle blogger Melissa Meyers where they now proudly represent Instytutum; a skincare line from Switzerland as brand ambassadors. Janet is also affiliated with Encircle NYC, Franne Golde, Sweatty Betty. Janet lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son and their 4-legged Buster. “No matter what age you are it is never too late to live a joyful and inspirational life. It all started with Gratitude.”

Melissa is currently a brand ambassador for Swiss skincare brand Instytutum, Delgatto (largest buyers of fine jewelry in US), and co-hosts several LA trunk shows. She recently launched two co-branded products including her Glow necklaces with LOOMA fine jewelry and a new organic face oil called Olie X Melissa Meyers Rose Glow drops. The partnership with Olie Biologique will donate $5 per bottle to Project Angelfood.

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FOLLOW MELISSA THE GLOW GIRL www.theglowgirllife.com Instagram: melissameyers Facebook: Melissa Meyers Glow Girl Twitter: Melissa_Meyers FOLLOW JANET JANET GUNN, THE GRATEFUL GARDENIA www.thegratefulgardeia.com Instagram: janetgunngratefulgardenia Facebook: The Grateful Gardenia Twitter: The GratefulGardenia YouTube: Janet Gunn Grateful Gardenia Focus TV: Fearless Female Segment 34 FOCUS | M A R CH 2 0 1 8


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The Handstand Story BY TIFFANY O. HAKIMIANPOUR

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fter spraining my ankle after a hard run, I was forced to sit until it healed properly. But of course, I didn’t. I chose to just move different.

“Oh no,” I thought, “my life is over  –  this will affect my life forever!” My uncle and doctor even said that ankle sprains could continue to hurt forever if not healed correctly. I started to think of all the things I loved to do that I possibly could never do again. I was not being dramatic. This is a living hell for a fitness lover; a career ended for an athlete. Always feeling a bit different was familiar to me, but not when I was swimming, boxing, or running– when I was moving. I could be like everyone else in a fitness class or zone out with my music and fly. I could move faster than anyone. I was the best me I could be when I was moving. “Maybe that’s not going to be true anymore,” I thought to myself. I tried to rest that Sunday after my uncle told me to keep my ankle elevated. He said to keep it still to prevent future sprains and tears. Of course, I heard it as active rest. I tried to swim, tried to use the Stairmaster without moving my ankle. Tried to take walks very carefully and slowly with a boot around my leg to keep my ankle in place. Hop on a leg just for a mile or so a day. True story. After a month of my active rest, I was told to go ahead and try yoga. “SO. SO. SOOOOOO BORING.” I thought. My great supporter, cousin, and coincidentally, the daughter of my uncle and doctor, dragged me to a small yoga class. She’s what you call a ‘yogi’. I was definitely not. And I wasn’t as slim like I used to be  –  and my ankle was sprained. I thought that meant I couldn’t be the best anymore, let alone the best at yoga  –  a new fitness activity and the only one I was allowed to do for now. I couldn’t use my strength to win or my stronger swimmer legs to push me ahead. I couldn’t listen to my music to make me fly. 36 FOCUS | M A R CH 2 0 1 8

But, hardcore fitness lovers never give up  –  so I went along. Surrender I did. I got into my first handstand that day. And not by myself; the incredible yoga instructor at the small studio helped me. Her name was JQ and she was a rockstar. She made me feel like one, too. She pointed me out in this smaller class and although I was moving different and trying to protect my ankle, she told me I was stronger than I thought and more flexible than I believed. I didn’t know I could win at yoga by just standing there! By just being. And there I flew –not as a runner or a swimmer, but as my broken myself  –  right into a handstand with her by my side. I wanted everyone to feel the way I did that day. Despite what they had felt like  – different, broken, frustrated  –  they could heal and feel better. They just needed the right trainer or instructor by their side. And so off I flew  – I quit my job and created the first version of Handstand only a few weeks later.


I landed at a startup studio in Santa Monica, CA  –  Science Inc. I had the sweetest and smartest advisors, investors, and guides who fought for me when I was building my company. They believed in me before I did myself and slowly but surely, the magic was happening again. And I didn’t even have an internal staff. No team. But I wasn’t alone  –  I had my trainers  – and they were my team. My trainer team. They were all rockstars. I kept fighting and they all kept fighting for me, too. And a young 23-year-old first time solo founder and CEO with dreams bigger than any head could grasp,  I had a lot of fights to fight , a lot of odds to defy. And a lot of wins to win! True fitness lovers never give up – and neither was I. “That’s a record for the fastest conception of idea to market , possibly ever!” an older mentor and new friend of mine, Andy, told me. “Yep!” I said and smiled.

“Ah, this is familiar and sad,” I thought to myself. But he told me I was stronger than I thought and believed I was too young for him to cripple me with some medication. He said I was young and that my body could heal on its own. I just had to take it more slowly. “Take these vitamins and herbs. And, please just try to relax. Do you like meditation? Yoga?” “SO. SO. SOOOOOO BORING!” I said. He’ll tell you I fought a bit, but then I remembered. I surrendered. I got the picture this time. I was going to be the best do-er of nothing that I could ever be! Ever!

“Like Kobe,” I told myself.

And then I went to my second doctor. I quickly But sadly, nope. No happily ever after, no championship booked yoga  –  on demand ring ,  not yet. and from my app this time. No more boxing or running The working, or fighting, continued for some time. No matter or jumping or pushing the accomplishments, it didn’t feel right. The Today Show myself. I was already on fire. spot. All the incredible press. The partnership of my dreams And you can’t burn the fire with Reebok  – the most incredible fitness giant in the world. at both ends my music and poetry taught me. Something was off. “Yoga and meditation. It was me. I had failed to grasp and implement the lesson Vitamins and herbs. from before and it was catching up to me once again. Literally. Stillness! This time it wasn’t a baby ankle sprain. This time, I could barely stay awake. I was exhausted beyond comprehension and my body was giving up on me.

YEAH  –  the works!”

“This is the last time ever”, I thought.

And the rest is now.

“You own a fitness company and you can’t even stay awake? First your ankles and now this?”

I can tell you that I’ve never been healthier, happier, stronger, more me, and more different , on and off the mat. You can do anything with any one of these trainers by your side . They’ve seen it all.

I was going all out but I was accomplishing nothing. I felt even worse than before –  not broken, not different. I felt like a phony. I had enough of it. I hated myself and was going to end this forever –  and immediately.

I laughed at myself.

“I bet my life on it,” I said. That’s what health is for anyway.

I took myself to 2 doctors. First, an MD who practiced functional medicine. He had just opened his practice. “No more moving,” he prescribed.

www.handstandapp.com focusmag.us 37


Craig Susser – Food Influencer Captain Chaos of Craig’s BY SUZAN BRITTAN INTERVIEW BY TAMBI SAFFRAN PHOTOGRAPH BY BEN SHANI

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

“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 producer restaurant doors either. Just over a year ago he was toasted and 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 2018 is celebrating their 7th 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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Julie Steines – Humanitarian Influencer BY SUZAN BRITTAN INTERVIEW BY AMY PAFFRATH, JUSTIN WALTER PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK STEINES

Julie Steines with Amy Paffrath and Justin Walter

D

isney couldn’t write a better fairytale beginning, ending or plot to the story of Julie Steines. Or, should I call her, Princess Julie? After meeting famous host of Hallmark Channel’s, HOME & FAMILY (former host of ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT) Mark Steines on his show as a guest, the two fell madly in love. Now blissfully married and new parents of a beautiful daughter, Parker Rose, they are living their happily ever after. Before she was a Mrs. to Mark, Julie (Freyermuth) was invited as a guest on Home & Family to feature a segment about her famous mixed breed registered therapy dog, Norbert. I mean, who could resist this cuteness and wholesome overload of these two? (Certainly, not Mark.) It didn’t take more than 24 hours for Mark and Julie to connect on more than a professional level. Within a year after they first met, Julie moved to Los Angeles, got engaged and married. Dare I ask it – Was her three-pound, seven-inch pup Norbert the reason for this meant to be betrothing? Yes, yes he was. Talk about a Romantic Movie plot. Julie said, “I knew Norbert was a special little guy since I first rescued him (from PetFinder.com) as a puppy.” She also knew

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he’d be a big part of her life in many ways. She was right, not only was Norbert the catalyst for meeting Prince Mark, but he also has the temperament of a puppy making him perfect to volunteer as a registered therapy dog. Norbert the dog helps humans be happy, plain and simple. He’s so popular, he has his own website (www.norberthood.com) and he has more than 1.6 million highly-engaged followers including Instagram (www.instagram.com/norbertthedog) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/NorbertDog). Norbert has three books written about him penned by his mommy, and his grandma, Dr. Virginia Freyermuth, draws the intricate illustrations. Julie’s dream since she was a little girl was to write a children’s book with her mother, a talented artist. Norbert’s signature side-tongue always sticking out at you makes him unique so he’s instantly recognizable. TIME Magazine said, “His cuteness is transcendent.” I can beat that. Norbert’s cuteness is the definition of cute and if you look up the word “cute” in the dictionary you’ll see a cute picture of Norbert (and probably Julie Steines too)! Norbert has a super power. Once he enters a room he can instantly change everyone’s mood. He’s a magnet for young and old, dog lover or not. It’s as if his silvery white fur has some sort of magical sway to turn even the grumpiest into the giddiest. Seriously… look at that punim! He’s perfectly coiffed, proven by his cover photo on “Groomer to Groomer” Magazine. His tongue is always ready for sweet kisses and he even gets along with cats. Norbert has been the subject of well over one hundred articles, and featured on tons of radio shows, TV shows, News segments, online blurbs and has won quite a few awards for his ‘dog-manitarian’ (totally made up word, but very suitable) efforts. Julie and Norbert were invited to walk the catwalk (ironic) for fashion week during Anthony Rubio’s


focusmag.us 43


show to promote pet adoption, and auctioned off his “outfit” to raise money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ dog therapy program. This furry philanthropist is one of a kind. We know this because, not only was Norbert the only puppy in his nonlitter – Julie did a DNA test and found out he’s part Long Haired Chihuahua, Lhasa Apso and Cairn Terrier. However, if you must have one, you can buy his clone plushy on Norberthood.com and once purchased, the Norberthood For Good gives one for free to the Marine Toys For Tots Foundations’ Holiday toy drive (which is why he won The Family Choice Award for 2016). Let’s get to the romantic part of Julie’s fairytale life with Mark. This former Bostonian girl led a simple, yet full life having the famous Norbert as her front man. By the way, Norbert is the first and only dog Julie ever owned. He is the star she is his Mommy, trainer and travel companion, which took her to Los Angeles and her intro to Mark Steines. He said, “The minute I shook her hand in rehearsal (for the show, Home & Family) I knew she was the one and then she had her little sidekick Norbert there ‘high-5’ me and I was like, I’m all in!” Julie said, “I called that feeling ‘an absolute yes.’” Her first date with him was on the Red Carpet for a star-studded event. Now that’s a quick intro to the Hollywood fast lane. Thus, began a whirlwind, but destined relationship leading up to their Season 5 Celebration show for which Mark and Julie had planned a surprise. Nope, it was not a Mystery Murder BBQ, Running Charades or Group Karaoke. While both on stage with captive audience of family, close friends, Hallmark executives, cast members and crew, Julie announced their wedding date is, “Today.” A year, plus one day they got hitched throwing a surprise wedding, which was shown on the Hallmark hit series, Home & Family where they first met. Dreamy. FOCUS TV sat down with Julie to ask about her journey from Boston to Los Angeles, and what it took to fulfill her dream. She sunk every penny into her children’s books about Norbert and her publishing company, co-owned with her mother, Polly Parker Press. The first book, “Norbert: What Can Little Me Do?” took two years for Julie and her mother Virginia to write, illustrate and publish. In 2013 their book became an instant, international award winning hit and so was the moral of Norbert’s story that, “you don’t need to be big to make a big difference in the world.” It was only natural to have book number two be about, “Norbert: What Can Little YOU Do?” and encourage his audience of tiny readers to make others smile while spreading kindness. Then, a quickly published follow-up of that same year was, “Norbert and Lil BUB: What Can Little WE Do?” about Norbert’s mission as a therapy dog to make the world a better place and bring smiles to everyone’s faces while teaming up with a cat, “Lil BUB” with magical, celestial powers from a different planet. Currently, Julie is adjusting perfectly to married life and being the wife of a celebrity, although Norbert just might have more fans and followers than Mark. Being a wife is only one of her

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titles. Julie travels with Norbert to make people smile during their therapy work. They are a registered therapy animal team with Pet Partners® and she will always be an author who gives back, whether it’s talking to schools, children’s libraries, other organizations and giving time, money and books - it’s part of her and her mother’s core values and company mission. Mark said he, “…hit the jackpot” when he met Julie. He’s right. She’s talented, smart, beautiful, giving, selfless and has a lovely warm personality. Best of all, she has her own sidekick Norbert who almost acts as her intuition meter. She believes in the laws of attraction and to pay attention to the signs right in front of you. Julie said, “I always knew that Norbert would lead me to my husband and knew once that happened, everything would fall into place.” Hmm, I feel another book coming… possibly, “Norbert: How Little Me Helped Mommy Find Her Husband!” Currently, Julia is adjusting perfectly to married life and being a new mom and the wife of a celebrity.

Julie’s husband, Mark Steines, was a previous cover feature in Focus magazine.

jan2017.focustv.us

norberthood.com @authorjulie


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Lauryn Evarts – Lifestyle Influencer & Creator of The Skinny Confidential 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. 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 focusmag.us 47


Louis Lombardi Southern California Real Estate Expert Serving Beverly Hills to Long Beach and Beyond. T: 424 256-8430

http://louislombardi.kw.com

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A Sampling Of Local Influencers Featured On Millennial Mom Tv

Hosted by

Jenna Barnett https://www.millennialmomtv.com @millennialmomtv


The Millennial Mom Ashely Fultz

Jennifer Yen

Ashley grew up in Kentucky with dreams of moving to Los Angeles and working in the television industry. Once she arrived, Ashley landed an internship at E! News and quickly climbed the ranks to become their Fashion & Lifestyle Producer. As exciting as her job was, Ashley desired what many millennials desire: the freedom of being her own boss and creating her own schedule. This was at a time when bloggers and social media influencers were just starting to build careers out of their passion for fashion. Ashley decided to take the plunge. She quit her E! News job and set out to build a blog that not only made fashion more accessible, but to also connect with like-minded women across the globe. TheStyleEditrix. com quickly amassed a huge following and before she knew it, Ashley was getting calls to share her fashion advice from TV shows like EXTRA, KTLA Morning News, and even her old stomping grounds, E! News.

It was a case of “personal need” that led former-actress Jennifer Yen to create pur~lisse beauty. While enjoying success in her role as a villain on the hit TV show Power Rangers, Yen would spend 15 hours a day in hair and heavy makeup and then perform combat scenes for hours at a time. As a result, Yen’s skin dramatically suffered. “I tried everything – natural products, organic products, I went to dermatologist after dermatologist – and nothing worked. That’s when I turned to my wise and beautiful grandmother and I rediscovered her Asian beauty secrets. It worked!” Yen felt compelled to create a skincare line to bring those beauty secrets to the masses, and pur~lisse was born. The collection is derived from Asian beauty wisdom, reinvented into modern, multi-tasking, and high performing skincare essentials that are safe for all skin types, even hyper sensitive skin.

Thanks to her hard work, tenacity, and a lot of organization, Ashley continues to propel her career forward while also being a supermom to her two-year-old son, Smith. When asked how she finds the time for her build her career and be a mom, Ashley replied, “There’s no balance, it’s a juggling act… Being a mom really makes you so much more focused because those hours that I do have to work are so limited.” It’s safe to say Ashley has done an incredible job juggling it all. Her girl-nextdoor vibe coupled with her chic, attainable style has carved out the perfect niche for her to tap into; and major brands have noticed. Ashley has done campaigns with heavy hitters like Old Navy, Ebay, L’Occitane, European Wax Center, Shiseido, Bristol Farms, and more.

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Yen balances running her company and being a single mom, but she is also passionate about supporting women and education. Yen is in the Visionary Circle of Visionary Women, on the host committee of Rise of the Female entrepreneur, a mentor to the Spark Student Program and the Cherie Blair Foundation. Yen also gives back to the beauty industry by contributing to Look Good Feel Better, a foundation that supports women battling the effects of cancer. Yen has also been featured as a beauty expert by Home and Family, Real Simple, KTLA, Refinery29.com, Health, Self, Allure, Marie Claire, VOGUE, Teen Vogue and more. Celebrity fans of the brand include the Cast of Scandal, Jamie Chung, Jamie Lynn Spears, Toni Collette, Audrina Patridge, Whitney Port, plus others.

TheStyleEditrix.com

purlisse.com

@thestyleeditrix

@purlisse


Noelle Rose Andressen A wife, mother, breast cancer survivor, and sexual abuse survivor, Noelle has drawn from her personal tragedies to inspire others to overcome adversity. Noelle grew up in a poor town and had a difficult upbringing. As a young child, her grandfather sexually abused her. After her parent’s divorce, Noelle and her mother moved to the West Coast and changed their lives. As an adult, Noelle battled and overcame breast cancer. She was always drawn to help others and to do something in the art world, using her difficult experiences as inspiration. “I always had it in the back of my mind that I was meant to do something to help people. I took everything in my life that was horrible and I made it into something good. I used the different things that I thought I was good at – dancing, writing, and filmmaking – to inspire people to realize that they too can turn something tragic into something triumphant and beautiful. I use all my gifts to give to other people.” Noelle’s dance performances are often based on her own tragic experiences of sexual abuse and breast cancer. “I’ve had women approach me after my dance shows and tell me that I just performed without words but somehow said exactly what they wish they could have said all their lives.” She has also written a series of books called DanceWarrior that are based on her life, and she speaks publicly on women’s wellness. What’s more, Noelle is a three-time Emmy-nominated filmmaker and has won an EMA Media Award. She runs the Awakenings & Beginnings International Dance Festival and the Choose DANCE outreach for at-risk kids. She does all of this, and more, while being legally blind. Noelle is a fierce warrior and powerful influencer who won’t let anything stop her from sharing her message and help others find the warrior inside themselves.

rubansrougesdance. com/ @noelleandressendancer

Rhonda Richards-Smith Rhonda Richards-Smith is a mother of 2 and a nationally recognized mental health and relationship expert with over 15 years of experience. When she first started out in her career as a therapist, Rhonda found herself working with many women on different issues relating to their self-worth and problems in their relationships. Over time, she found that relationships are central to the way we feel about ourselves and the way we connect with others. “Relationships are an inherent exchange of energy and if the energy is bad or negative, we can do as much work on ourselves, but we really need to look at the choices we are making in terms of who is in our lives and why we attract certain types of people.” That’s when Rhonda realized that her calling was to help people with their relationships. Since then, her career has skyrocketed. Rhonda’s advice has been featured in US Weekly Magazine, The Huffington Post, BravoTV, Ebony Magazine, Teen Vogue and Glamour Magazine among others. In 2016, she was inducted into the inaugural “Women of Worth” class for her leadership in the mental health and relationship space by Los Angeles’ Worthy Women. This year, Match.com CEO Mandy Ginsberg named her one of the top dating and relationship experts in the country and invited her to be one of fifteen experts to attend their Match Dating Expert Summit. There, Rhonda evaluated their analytics and strategies for matching people to help improve their system. “The analytics can only take you so far. Sometimes you need to consider the human element.” What’s next for Rhonda? She’s in the process of taking her expertise and advice and making it available to the masses through a series of online courses. Keep an eye out for them in early 2018.

worthywomen.co/ rhonda-richardssmith/ rhondasmithlcsw. com/ @worthywomenllc

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Los Angeles Gets Juiced! BY TAMBI SAFFRAN Focus Magazine Food Editor

T

he first Los Angeles location of Denmark’s answer to the global juice fad, Joe & The Juice, has officially opened on Melrose Avenue. Now, Los Angelenos can get their Cup o’ Joe, a bite to eat, and their fresh Juice drinks and elixirs all in one location…fun vibes and free wi-fi included! This is not your average jamba joint. Juice enthusiasts will flip over their unique drink and shot menu, whether they need to replenish after their workout, fight a cold, or easily drink their greens, these drinks are delicious and unique. Their extensive and appetizing drink menu, with names like “Hell of a nerve”, [strawberry, elderflower, banana], “Joe’s green mile” [broccoli, spinach, avocado, apple, lemon], and even “Sex me up” [passion fruit, apple, ginger], you will be hardpressed to figure out your order. The first of these Danish coffee and juice bars started in Copenhagen in 2002, the brainchild of Kaspar Basse, a former karate champion. He was inspired by Starbucks and wanted to create a healthy, funky alternative to all the fast food chains dominating the Danish market at that time. With his own money, he started a “shop-in-shop” in a famous interior design store in Copenhagen. That shop is still there today! Since then, Joe & The Juice has expanded rapidly, currently with 220 locations worldwide. Twenty three are in the United States, and three additional Los Angeles locations are set to open later in the year in Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Venice, so keep an eye out for the Cali-cool crowd walking around those hoods with signature Joe & The Juice to go bags! I had the opportunity to sit down with Kasper Garnell (not to be confused with Kaspar Basse, the founder… Apparently Kasper is a very popular name in Denmark!) Garnell is the Head of Branding and Communication for Joe & The Juice worldwide. He’s been involved with the company since 2007 and has worked in Copenhagen, Stockholm, and currently he resides in New York City where he focuses on the brand globally with special emphasis on the United States. In Kasper’s words: “Joe & The Juice is about much more than coffee and juice. It is a company with a purpose to build a contemporary educational platform that inspires young spirits to in-crease their focus and realize their focusmag.us 55


their potential. Continued focus on internal training, combined with a challenging and diverse workplace, promotes personal growth and professional development in all levels of the organization. We truly are all about the people.” How does one get a job at Joe & The Juice? I asked Kasper about the “audition process.” Apparently Joe & The Juice has a scouting team that walks around a location town in search of potential job candidates. The candidates are invited to “Meet Joe” nights, where they are told more about the brand, career opportunities and company goals. In their larger established mar-kets, they also do “castings” which is not like a model-casting, but more an invitation for potential job candidates to come and experience the energy and culture that makes Joe & The Juice unique. When I entered the Joe & The Juice on Melrose for my first time, I could feel the energy that Kasper described. The team behind the counter was grooving and moving, pressing juice to the beat of whatever cool tunes were pumping throughout the place at the time. The vibe is almost like being at a fun bar. Occasionally someone tosses up a cup mimicking a cool Tom Cruise move from the movie “Cocktail.” The pressed juice concoctions have fun names like Pick Me Up, Iron Man and Hang Over Heaven! You get the idea…This is definitely a place where people want to grab a drink and stay a while. If you are not in the mood for juice, then there is a great selection of coffee and light fare options too. I sampled a cafe latte and it did not disappoint. Then I sampled one of the Joe & The Juice sandwiches that my friends overseas rave about. The filling was satisfying… tuna and avocado with tomato, but what really got me excited was the special bread they use. It’s almost like a bread cracker, not doughy and not crispy…something in the middle that is totally satisfying and addictive. I later found out that this is special bread made from a Danish recipe and not something available in the United States. It took the company a while to find an American supplier who could make the bread to meet their standards, but Joe & The Juice finally found one in Florida who currently provides it to all of their U.S. locations. They are looking for a west coast supplier. What are Joe & The Juice’s plans for the future? As if taking over the world is not enough, their main focus is to build the brand in the US, while continuing to build an attractive culture for people to strive and learn. This is one company to keep your eye on my friends! It won’t be long before it comes to neighborhood near you. Now that’s something to “get juiced” about! www.joejuice.com

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Fashion Meets Function Cynthia Abi Naked Perfects The Hair Tie

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TUCK by Koli Makes Your Hair Tie Disappear (in a good way)

My name is Cynthia Abi Naked and I am a recent SCI-Arc Architecture graduate. I created the very first cuff bracelet that conceals your hair tie: TUCK by Koli Collective. I was born in Lebanon and immigrated here with my family back in 2000 and things changed for us quite drastically. With my parents pursuing a career in design and entrepreneurship, my younger brother quickly taking the path of being his own boss at a very young age, and my older sister pursuing her dream of becoming a lawyer – needless to say I was very inspired and determined to create something of my own. I mean… talk about the “American Dream.” I’ve always looked at things in a different way and knew that I could do anything I set my mind to because I came from a family that looked at every obstacle as an opportunity. Fast forward all these years, and my desire grew from not only wanting to be an architect, but also using that design background to create something and start a business.

I

t happens… all the time. You need your hair tie, you always have it on your wrist (even though these days, there is nothing less stylish), but the minute you take it off it vanishes. Where? No one knows. I’m pretty sure hair ties are like that one sock in the washing machine, they just disappear. I’m hoping they all hang out together in some cool lost land with a great DJ. But I digress… the point is, we almost all wear or need a hair tie—women and men! And for me, fashion is an important aspect of my life but also, being able to fix a problem that so many people experience was the biggest component of my creation and now it’s the basis of my company.

TUCK by Koli is a sleek and minimalistic cuff designed with a unique functionality that one may not know existed when first looking at the bracelet. TUCK was designed to conceal the hair tie but keep it exactly where you want it: on your wrist. Ladies, and perfectly man-bunned gentlemen: you’re welcome.

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Being one to always accessories—rings, bracelets, watches, you name it, I loved the simplicity of jewelry and how much it added to my ensemble. And I also needed to have my hair tie with me, because duh. I kept thinking of what I could do to change this one thing that almost everyone I know understands and has probably experienced. You know, you buy this gorgeous bracelet or watch and then next to it is this 99-cent black band that really brought down the chicness of what you were trying to achieve. (Hermes cuff and hair tie, anyone? I don’t think so.). So, I wanted to find a way to keep the hair tie on my wrist and all my friends’ wrists to keep it accessible but not a “look at my hair tie” show and tell... and a-ha: TUCK.


I’m a very visual thinker so the moment the idea dawned on me, I sketched it out and 3D modeled it on a computer program which I had learned throughout my years of Architecture. But with work and school, it took me about a year to finally prototype it, perfect the design and measurements, and 3D print it. The moment my first TUCK bracelet came out of that 3D printer, I put it on my wrist and “tucked” my first hair tie into it and “a-ha” it worked!! It completely concealed it. Quickly after realizing I created something that no one else had created before, I took it into my hands to crowdfund this idea with Kickstarter. With the support of my family and friends who helped with the video, concept, and production... in less than a month, I launched my Kickstarter. A month later, my target goal was doubled and the campaign for TUCK raised close to $15,000. One bracelet and one simple idea! And all of a sudden, I had a company to run... all during my Architecture finals and not to mention my 5th year THESIS (which if you don’t know, is a year-long death sentence that we present before we graduate). Talk about sleepless nights. It all happened so fast that it didn’t hit me until months later that I was now an entrepreneur. “ME? Running my own company?” I remember thinking. But in this journey of starting a business and entering the world Being an entrepreneur as I’ve realized is more than just of entrepreneurship, I’ve learned a tremendous amount and having an idea: it’s about an endless commitment and have met some of the most amazing people. motivation to charge forward and make a success out of something that you are passionate about. At the end of the At this point my main focus is making sure TUCK day, I’m just a 24-year-old architecture graduate living in really makes it and becomes one of those things you just Los Angeles opening as many doors as I can in order to have automatically get if you have a hair tie. For everyone that has every opportunity to carve my own path in life. it now, I know that it has become something they don’t leave the house without—and I believe that has so much potential for growth. My goal for the brand in general is to create products for the everyday life that make simple but important things easier. Running a new small business is definitely not easy and there are so many things I would have never imagined I needed to know. I’m definitely swimming in the deep end but loving the possibilities that it brings and am so excited for the future of Koli Collective. Check out www.Kolicollective.com to see our products and checkout the Kickstarter video in our About Us that got TUCK by Koli Collective started!

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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


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“We personally stamp each candle with a seal of the utmost excellence. We are Los Angeles born and proudly handmade in the USA.�-Alyse & Mai


Leone Candele

We Read The Rules Before We Broke Them

L

eone Candele, founded in Los Angeles in 2017 by Alyse Fratto and Mailene Webber, set out to push the boundaries of what a simple candle can be by infusing not only the finest oils in the world, but an aesthetic that oozes sensuality.

A strong, golden glow and long burn time are just the beginning of Leone Candele’s allure. Only the highest quality, organic beeswax as well as exotic essential oils are used. The signature yellow wax is all-natural and is free of colorants. Leone’s one hundred percent cotton, lead-free wicks guarantee an even burn. All of the exquisite packaging is environmentally friendly and is made using recycled papers. Alyse and Mailene’s obsession with and passion for candles, along with their background in design, allowed for Leone Candele to go from merely a hobby to a full-blown business. With “Girl Power” on their minds, the audacious entrepreneurs took a risk and invested their savings into building their dream. The dynamic duo worked together to create a luxury artisan candle that consisted of honest ingredients - a candle that you could feel good about burning. They tested countless name brand candles that are paraffin and soy based (often disguised as “blends”) and asked themselves, “Do people realize that they’re burning petroleum?” Sure, there are pretty candles out there that smell absolutely divine, but are they harmful to your health? With the population becoming increasingly health-conscious, Alyse and Mailene knew they could do better. The two broke the rules, went against what every other candle company was doing, and created the ultimate, clean-burning luxury candle. Unlike paraffin candles - which are petroleum based and release carcinogens into the air, and soy candles, which are made from genetically modified soy crops - Leone’s hand poured, pure, organic beeswax candles burn clean and bright. As they burn, negative ions are emitted that clean the air, and in turn, invigorate the body. www.leonecandele.com Instagram: @leonecandele Photo Credits Photographer: Vika Petlakh Stylist: Jamie Sterle Hair & Makeup: Beauty Haus LA Spray Tan: The Tanning Boutique

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Dr. Prudence Hall HORMONALLY SPEAKING

WRITTEN BY SUZAN BRITTAN INTERVIEWED BY DINA MANZO

W

hen you’re in your twenties the “M” word is Millennial. When you’re in your thirties the “M” word is Marriage. However, when you’re in your early forties to fifties the “M” word is... Menopause. Thankfully there is a magical place you can go to test, treat and temper your menopausal temperature: The Hall Center in Santa Monica, California. This haven for humans was started by, Dr. Prudence Hall, a medical and holistic doctor whom simply wants to make your life better. Dr. Hall is the founder (hence the name of the center) and medical director leading the way in hormone replacement therapy, straying away from big pharma treatments.

Focus TV’s Celebrity Host, Dina Manzo had a face-to-face chat about Dr. Hall’s new book, “Radiant: Again and Forever”, packed with intelligent information on how to get your mojo back and possibly feel even better with Restorative Medicine. Dr. Hall empathizes; “As a gynecologist—and more importantly, a woman—I fully understand the emotional and physical wilderness you may be experiencing: Perimenopause. Menopause. Weight gain - Fatigue - Mental fog - Lack of or no sex drive and more. A tyrant one minute to the next, bursting into tears - feeling like your world has fallen apart. You may feel lost and alone. But rest assured … you are neither lost nor alone.” Dr. Hall uses Bioidentical Hormone Replacement, which is a technical way of saying, her treatments replace the stuff your body no longer produces to make you feel good. So, if you need more estrogen, progesterone, testosterone or what have you, her methods of treatment will balance out your body again. When your body is back in check it can ward off diseases and illness better than when it’s lacking in crucial elements to stabilize your system. Not everyone gets the same remedy amount either, thus her customized doses are all based on the individual sitting in front of her, or her staff of professional Naturopathic practitioners. 66 FOCUS | M A R CH 2 0 1 8

How will you know if you’ve hit the “M” word in your forties or fifties? If you stopped getting your monthly guest, Aunt Flo, or you’re biting everyone’s head off at work, at home or at the waiter who gave you egg yolks instead of of egg whites, if your head is foggy, you can’t sleep, you’re spontaneously stripping down to your bra and panties because you’re producing solar energy from within, you’re gaining weight without having your cake and eating it too, and worse you’re not getting your sexy groove on cuz ya ain’t feelin’ the rhythm…then order a personal rechargeable fan on Amazon honey – cuz - You’re in menopause. YEAH!!


Here’s what’s not good about not getting your period and your hormones acting wacky; your chances for all sorts of diseases just took the top place on your life’s totem pole. Diabetes, Cardiac disease, Cancer, Osteoporosis, and high blood pressure are just a few ailments that sneak up on you when you least expect it. Remember when you could see up close and read all those pesky kitchen appliance directions, beauty product bottles or a book? One day you could read words the size of an ant and seemingly overnight, the text is blurry. That’s how quickly your body can change its hormonal balance. Just when you were feeling comfortable in your own skin and don’t give a hoot what other people say or think about you... WHAMO, your body flips the Menopause switch on.

Don’t walk, run to THE HALL CENTER and get the positive once over experience so you can feel healthier and have peace of mind. Set up a consultation for weight loss, menopause symptoms, or if you just need to find out how your body is changing internally. You’ll be in great hands and company. Dr. Hall states a simple mission for all women to follow: “We women are all in this together. After you become healthy and whole again, I encourage you to become a guide and beacon for others.”

Have no fear, Dr. Hall is here and ready to give you back your life, help you lose weight, gain mental clarity, balance out your body’s hormones and empower you with knowledge. She has spent over 30 years pioneering the field of hormone replacement. She’s often the last hope from a long list of doctors considered and the first one to truly make you feel better. Here’s what you can expect when you visit The Hall Center for the Bioidentical Hormone Replacement program:

Consult with Dr. Hall or her Naturopathic Doctors

Pelvic ultrasound / prostate ultrasound

Thyroflex testing to help diagnose subtle thyroid conditions

Thyroid Ultrasound

Tanita professional body analysis

Supplement plan

Lifestyle and patient education

(2) Follow-up phone calls at 1 and 3 weeks with their CNP or Naturopathic doctors

THE HALL CENTER - https://www.thehallcenter.com/ DR. HALL’S BOOK - www.thehallcenter.com/product/radiant-

forever-dr-prudence-hall-m-d/

PERSONAL FAN ON AMAZON - http://a.co/eGW7h8h focusmag.us 67


SERENA POON

Curator of healing and wellness programs using integrative health, holistic nutrition & culinary alchemy

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B

ased out of Los Angeles, California, USA, Serena Poon is a successful entrepreneur established in the culinary, health and wellness community. Doubling as a classicallytrained chef and nutritionist to her clientele, she is known for curating healing and wellness programs using integrative health, holistic nutrition and culinary alchemy. Her passionate focus on the importance of whole body and mind wellness is inspired by the profound effect of cancer on her family when both her mother and father were diagnosed within two years of each other. While he was still in his 40’s, her father was diagnosed with advanced liver cancer. At the time, there was limited knowledge of natural and alternative treatments outside of chemotherapy and so little information on how to support the body through nutrition. She and her family were at a loss for finding ways to nourish his body, in a way that he could tolerate, given his illness. In little over a year, her father lost his battle with cancer and two short months later, her mother was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. She was only in her mid-forties at the time as well. With grace of the angels and Serena’s father watching over her, her mother beat cancer.

Not only did the experience change her perspective on life, but it instantly simplified her most valuable priorities. What held the most importance in her life was the health and happiness of her family and her loved ones. This became her life passion, her inspiration. The foundation for all that she does is rooted in the caring for, helping and nurturing of others, on every level. So, after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in Political Science and an introduction to Nutrition, she shifted her focus from attending law school and went onto pursue an education in the culinary arts at the esteemed Le Cordon Bleu. Graduating at the top of her class, she was offered the opportunity to work for Hugh Hefner and Playboy Enterprises at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills. She took that exposure into the world of fine dining and started her own private chef and catering business. What began as a career in classically-trained culinary arts with an emphasis on specialized dietary needs, developed into a flourishing health and wellness lifestyle brand. Over the years, Serena has established herself as a top high-profile personal chef and nutritional consultant in Los Angeles and has built a strong clientele strictly by referral. From the likes of Jerry Bruckheimer to Sean “P. Diddy” Combs to Steve Bing, her clients span the globe and her travels expose her to new

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methods and sources of nutrition to add to her customized techniques. While working alongside the challenging schedules of some of her high-profile clients, Serena witnessed, and personally experienced, that frequent traveling, over-booked schedules and the lack of proper daily nutritional self-care led to exhaustion, over-stressed adrenals, immune decline and unnecessary weight fluctuations. Knowing that balancing the body’s support system is key to an optimal healthy lifestyle, Serena made it her mission to create a conveniently packaged superfood supplement that not only gave the body energy with the proper combination of protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, but one that tasted great. With the needs of a diverse clientele in mind, Serena used her culinary alchemy to create the vegan proprietary blend of yellow peas and sprouted grain protein, superfood fruit antioxidants, powerful super greens, prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes and plant adaptogens. Her goal was to design nutrient-dense, bioavailable superfoods designed to nourish, energize and balance the body throughout long, demanding days. This became Just Add Water™. Considered an elixir for elevated energy by highly active clients with goals of body and mind wellness, this curated powdered blend has been just as effective for individuals with autoimmune issues, adrenal fatigue and digestive sensitivities. Just Add Water™ is carefully crafted with organic and natural products to be free of major food allergens, including dairy, gluten, wheat, rice, tree nuts and soy, and contains no genetically modified ingredients. It is Serena’s philosophy that it is extremely important to fuel our bodies so that we can fuel our minds and accomplish our goals, and many of us forget the first step in self-care -- nourish your body. Just Add Water does this for you. Driven by her passion for helping others live their best life possible and encouraged by the undeniable benefits of Just Add Water, Serena knew she had to share her creation with the world. So with this issue, she is so excited to announce the first of many recipes to come, Chocolate Maca Power, as an optimal way to simplify your nutritional self-care and power-up your health.

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justaddwaterinc.com serenapoon.com


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LIVE 9am Weekdays 72 FOCUS | M A R CH 2 0 1 8


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Focus On


Influence


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Happenings STRONG IS BEAUTIFUL EVENT Brought to you by Empowerista and GirlTalk Unita in El Segundo, CA instagram.com/empowerista instagram.com/girltalknetwork http://focustvnetwork.com/events

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Happenings PLANET HOPE Hope for the Holidays Annual Wrapping Party for the benefit of Planet Hope held in Sherman Oaks, CA. Hosted by Kelly Stone. Planethope.org http://focustvnetwork.com/events

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Happenings THE MAPLE COUNSELING CENTER 43RD ANNUAL GALA 43rd Annual Gala honoring Sean O’Donnell & family, Rick and Kathy Hilton, for community excellence. Music provided by Harvard Westlake Explorers. Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. http://tmcc.org http://focustvnetwork.com/events

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Happenings SHOP FOR SUCCESS The 9th Annual Shop for Success Event was held for the benefit of Dress for Success in Westwood, CA. Shopforsuccessla.org http://focustvnetwork.com/events

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Happenings UNATTI EVENT The October Backyard Music Festival was a fundraiser for the Unatti Foundation, sponsored by the Kara Love Project. This was the first annual event for Kara Love Project which aims to help people in need – focusing on children, families and young adults. Guests were able to kick off their shoes and enjoy a night of live music, dinner and drinks while raising money in support of the wonderful Unatti girls in Nepal. unattifoundation.org

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Who, What, 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 EXECUTIVE CHEF CRAIG’S LA

KURSTEN KIZER

GIRLTALK NETWORK

SARAH PENDRICK

FOCUS TRAVEL EDITOR

WENDY BROKAW KRETCHMER

AUTHOR AND PHILANTHROPIST

JULIE STEINES JANUARY 2017 | FOCUSMAG.US

AND NORBERT

INSPIRATION ISSUE

HOST | FEARLESS FEMALES

JANET GUNN

FOUNDERS | CEREMONY MEDITATION

ROXY GHORAISHY, TRAVIS MAJICK

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 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 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

COMMUNITY POWERED

EXECUTIVE CHEF CRAIG’S LA

KURSTEN KIZER

GIRLTALK NETWORK

SARAH PENDRICK

SPOTLIGHT

WHIMSICAL BARTON G.

FOCUS TRAVEL EDITOR

WENDY BROKAW KRETCHMER

SIMPLY STYLIST

SARAH BOYD MUSIC EDITOR/HOST

EXECUTIVE CHEF, BALTAIRE

TAMBI SAFFRAN

JANUARY 2016 | FOCUSMAG.US

TRAVIS STRICKLAND

AUTHOR AND PHILANTHROPIST

JULIE STEINES AND NORBERT JANUARY 2017 | FOCUSMAG.US

FOOD ISSUE

INSPIRATION ISSUE

BEAUTY PIONEER, FACE BAR FOUNDER

AMAZING RACE WINNER

TRICIA DIKES

LAURA PIERSON

HOST | FEARLESS FEMALES

FOUNDERS | CEREMONY MEDITATION

JANET GUNN

ROXY GHORAISHY, TRAVIS MAJICK

STYLE

Shop

A shop-by-shop guide to South Barrington Place 14

See

Music and Theater performances this month 16

DINING

FITNESS

INTERVIEWS

ART

MAY 2014 focusmag.us

INTERVIEW

MIKHAIL BARYSHNIKOV

ANNIVERSARY EDITION

ONE YEAR ON

DO THE HUSTLE AN INSIDER VIEW OF THE MOVIE AWARDS SCENE

ISSUE

Do

Box, climb, Cobra pose - have fun and get fit for Spring. 22

PERFORMANCE

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

5 TH ANNIVERSARY Eat

Sandwiches come of age. 26

FOCUS

STYLE

DINING

FITNESS

INTERVIEWS

PERFORMANCE

ART

APRIL 2014 focusmag.us

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

SPRING ISSUE: 1 April 2013

Insights into your neighborhood.

Explore

Serene Places

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

EDEN SASSOON

ODEEVA TV

Eat

Burgers for carnivores and vegans alike 26

Shop Antiques and Home furnishings 12

See

It’s Bike month – dust off your cycling gear. 22

Do

Ideas for daring experiences 16

Zen

Yoga on the beach 18

Ice cream, yogurt and shaved ice. 26

INTERVIEWS

ALLI WEBB

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE FOUNDER OF DRYBAR

MELISSA MEYERS

Eat

FITNESS

PERFORMANCE

ART

DECEMBER 2013 focusmag.us

HANGING OUT WITH ACTRESS NICOLE CANNON

GLOW GIRL

Fashion photographer Helmut Newton 12

BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR AND A MOTHER

FUND YOUR CONCEPT

DINING

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

THE GLEN CENTER See

FOCUS

MOMPRENEURS

MOTHER OF AN IDEA

STYLE

FOCUS BEL AIR

ISSUE 2: May/June 2013

JULY 2017 | FOCUSMAG.US

Insights into your neighborhood.

#sassoonway

TANYA MEMME

Do

The creations of celebrated architect A. Quincy Jones 14

FOCUS

STYLE

DINING

FITNESS

INTERVIEWS

PERFORMANCE

A GOOD GUY

EX ‘SOPRANOS’ LOUIS LOMBARDI HITS A HIGH NOTE

A HAPPY PLACE THE SENSORY WONDERLAND THAT IS HAVEN & Co.

ART

NOVEMBER 2013 focusmag.us

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

Things to see and do in your neighborhood.

BRENTWOOD

ISSUE 3: June/July 2013

See

Hammer Time – What’s going on at the museum? 12

Books

Frederick Forsyth in conversation. 13

Free

Outdoor movies. Talks. Yoga. All Free 25

Eat

STYLE

DINING

FITNESS

INTERVIEWS

PERFORMANCE

ART

August has a lot of sweet celebrations. 26

FOCUS

FINANCE

FEBRUARY 2014 focusmag.us

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

ISSUE

LOVE your neighborhood

BRENTWOOD

E*TRADE

ISSUE 4: August 2013

THE VALUE TRADE

Mobile Dating

Efrem Harkham

Realty Mogul

The Art of Giving

LUXE HOTEL FOUNDER

REAL ESTATE CROWDFUNDING

FUNDING WORTHY CAUSES

INTERVIEW

Best of *

BRENT WOOD *Our Pick of THE Best Places in Brentwood

1

WHERE TO SHOP

FASHION ISSUE

MINUTE YOGA

MEN & WOMEN’S CLOTHING

PHILANTHROPISTS

KELLY STONE, EDEN ALPERT

FOUNDER | PŪRLISSE BEAUTY

JENNIFER YEN

MEGHAN MARKLE/ANDREA SCHRODER/MARK STEINES/KIT HOOVER/EDEN SASSOON APRIL BEYER/DR DREW/TRACY O’CONNOR/LAURIE DAVID/HEATHER BILYEU KELLY RUTHERFORD/ALLI WEB/CATT SADLER/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

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Where, 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

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Focus March 2018  

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