An innovative, bright mind with a knack for business and a “you never know unless you ask” mantra, Justin Nanfelt constructed his career with a few flecks of paint and a bold, go-getter attitude. Metaphorically speaking, one might say those “flecks” include being named to Forbes 30 Under 30, as well as parallel accolades from a leading entertainment marketing firm in Los Angeles where Justin serves as Director of Marketing. Amidst the corporate grind, Justin still managed to lay the groundwork for two successful side hustles.
Art & Culture
“It’s a big risk to send all these people to sleep in tents in the forest,” CEO, Nick Ovanessoff said. Their risk is their secret sauce. Corporate group travel erupted long before Y2K and has been begging for an update. A Lucky Find Hospitality Management stepped onto the scene to press reset on the industry standard.
The concept of coworking is not entirely new to Western culture and the word ‘entrepreneur’ is on the brink of overuse. There is another world, though where these concepts have only just appeared on the horizon. In the country of Lebanon – which is roughly the size of Connecticut – there are two young women transforming a culture set in its ways by introducing entrepreneurship as a calculated and necessary risk.
They help us find our way, explore new places and now they can help us see the places we thought we knew in a different light. Artist, Levi Mills blends geography and fantasy to feed our wanderlust culture and unknowingly find a new appreciation for cartography.
Outdoor Voices is the new kid on the block. This bright-eyed, fresh-faced activewear brand is taking on industry giants like Lululemon and Nike by redefining the idea of activity as something that can be fun, inclusive, and social. OV brings a playful and refreshing personality to the activewear scene, as it was created with the “recreationalist” in mind, including dog-walkers, hikers, and dodgeball enthusiasts. Founder and CEO Tyler Haney likes to think of OV as the friend who invites you on a hike and brings the snacks. Oh, and the leggings are super cute too.
A burgundy house with blue shutters was the inspiration behind this artistic duo’s entrepreneurial endeavors. Jay, from South Dakota and Ryan, Ventura County currently reside in the quaint, inland town of Ojai, California. Ryan was searching for a talented counterpart to help expand Caliendo Photography and Jay was looking to get her boots back on the ground in the photography business.
Buying a bag can change someone’s entire life.
The proof is on the back of Parker Clay co-founder Ian Bentley’s business card. The card’s flipside shows a school report card with top marks. The grades belong to an Ethiopian boy, Eyob whose mother, Meselu, works with Parker Clay. Meselu used to leave her two sons in front of a church at night while she did what she needed to do to provide. Now her job as a weaver brings stability to her and sons’ lives.
Issue 2 took us shopping at Legacy in Montecito, California. We decided to ask our Creative Editor to spend another Saturday with us shopping. “Let’s make an afternoon and evening of it this time,” Lacey winked!
Upon meeting Roy Clark, one senses an open inquisitiveness in his nature that is more than general curiosity. After talking to Roy for a while, it’s clear that his curiosity might be better described as a deep seeking.
It is precisely this seeking that compelled him to leave his full-time job at ONTRAPORT and start his own digital marketing business, Driply Automation. He says he learned a lot during his time with the company, but had come to a point when he felt ready to start his own consulting business. It was the renewed sense of energy and creativity that entrepreneurialism offered, which also inspired him to pick up the paintbrush again after nearly a decade. He has since created an impressive collection of oil paintings and prints and had numerous sales.
Like many creatives today, Roy splits his time between his art and his bread and butter work with Driply Automation. Digital marketing certainly gets Roy excited, because he knows his services help others grow, but it’s clear that his heart is in his artwork…and the canvas doesn’t lie.
“many arTisTs speak of The powerful force ThaT comes Through Them when immersed in a creative underTaking; The Trick, roy explains, is To give oneself over To it.”
Waxing philosophic with Roy
So what is it that compels someone with a comfortable job in a thriving company to strike out on his own and take a big risk like Roy did? As Roy tells it, he’d reached a point in his life when he started to ask some bigger questions about where his life was headed and whether or not he was happy with the work he was doing. His conclusion, ultimately, was that he was not satisfied and needed to shift away from the 9-to-5 grind. Once he left his job, Roy says he found the time to reflect more deeply on where his life was headed, while simultaneously rediscovering his art.
Roy shares that he was also strongly influenced by a book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, which talks about the artist’s internal resistance to creating his art, and all of the convincing excuses that hinder success. “The author tells the reader to give resistance the finger and to get work,” Roy explains with a smile. The tough-love talk from the author was a wake-up call for Roy and allowed him to see more clearly his self-imposed creative roadblocks.
Many artists speak of the powerful force that comes through them when immersed in a creative undertaking; the trick, Roy explains, is to give oneself over to it. He shares that, “there is a powerful and mysterious force that we can all tap into as humans, and one way to do that is through art.”
An unlikely debut
The story of Roy’s first public show is a good one. Over a year ago he began looking into public venues around Santa Barbara to show his work. He knew of a popular bar in the Funk Zone that regularly hung work on their walls, so he called up a friend who worked there, only to learn that they had a very long waitlist.
Months later, after he’d all but forgotten about the bar, he got a call one night at 12:30 a.m. from that same friend. She told him that if he could get down there with his work within the next hour he could hang his show that night. Evidently, the artist who had been showing got worked up over a comment someone made about his art, and in throes of emotion, took all of his art off the walls and left with it that evening.
Roy, full of surprise and excitement, loaded his truck with his paintings, and had the show hung that same night. It was a bit of luck, coupled with his immense talent that got Roy Clark his first public show in Santa Barbara.
Now that his art business is growing, Roy is beginning to move into producing and selling prints. A lot of his sales are online, primarily through social media sites, such as Instagram and Facebook. “Instagram is where I sell most of my art. It has become the platform for art collectors to discover new artists,” he explains.
He’s also spending more time in Los Angeles, because he says the art scene is exploding there. “It’s growing faster than almost anywhere in the world right now. Artists are moving there and art buyers are going there to purchase.”
We may eventually lose Roy to the City of Angels, but his Santa Barbara connections will travel with him in spirit, and perhaps make their way onto a canvas or two.
For More Information Visit: driplyautomation.com
The beautiful irony about Rita Tate of Flame Design Studio is that if you had to describe her effervescent personality and smiling face to someone, you might end up comparing her to a big, colorful flower.
Flame Design Studio is an event floral design company that sources its product locally. Rita, a Templeton, California native who recently moved back to the area after a long stint on the East Coast, has been in the floral business for over a decade. She started as a flower buyer for Whole Foods, where she learned the retail side of the business, but which also made her privy to the unsustainable nature of the industry, including its massive carbon footprint. In many cases flowers are flown overnight from across the world to meet consumer demands. Since most of the growing industry is concentrated in a few key areas, an immense amount of fuel is used to get a bouquet of flowers to your table centerpiece.
Rita also discovered the amount of waste big events generate; almost everything, including fresh floral arrangements, is thrown away after large events like parties and weddings. Rita thought there had to be a better way to make events more sustainable without sacrificing beauty and creativity.
The strong desire to affect change in the flower industry became the catalyst of Rita’s plan to start her own floral design business. The fact that she is an entrepreneur and artist at heart made the choice even easier.
“IT’s important for designers To Think outside The box and To consider what’s available locally”
The land of flower children
After a lot of research, Rita decided to set up shop in a place that has a year-round growing season and is the epicenter of ecologically-minded business: Southern California. Coming from the floral design business on the East Coast, and having spent time working on a flower farm in Connecticut, she knows how stressful it can be to grow flowers in a place where the season is short and farmers are at the mercy of frosts, mold, and other natural calamities.
However, life as a Southern California flower farmer isn’t easy either, Rita explains. Current trade policies have made it even cheaper to import flowers from places around the world. She also notes that with the recent legalization of marijuana, many of the local greenhouses may be tempted to join that industry because of the increased opportunity for profit.
Despite all of these challenges, Rita’s goal at Flame Design Studio is to source locally as much as possible, which achieves the dual objective of providing income to local flower farmers, and helping decrease the global carbon footprint of the floral industry. Additionally, there is the importance of quality control: “The local product is so much better,” Rita explains, “because it’s fresher and there’s more variety.” For example, when flower breeders select rose species for increased petal count, it’s often at the expense of fragrance. Flowers can be bred to look nice, but in the process often lose sensual complexity. “People want cheap flowers,” says Rita, “but often it’s because they don’t understand the true value of locally grown flowers.”
Rita says that it’s important for designers to think outside the box and to consider what’s available locally. “We should be supporting each other,” she adds. “It’s more than just a flower; it’s a farmer who lives in the area, and it’s another local business.”
A Space for Creatives
While still living on the East Coast, Rita began looking into office space in the Santa Barbara area and after a call to Dan Ferrick, she got the upstairs office she’s in now at Impact Hub, sight unseen. She also uses a designer workspace in Carpinteria, where much of her inventory is housed. The new Funk Zone location that will open soon is appealing to Rita too, as she looking forward to doing a modular floral wall installation there. She hopes that projects like these will help attract more artists and creatives to the Funk Zone.
For More Information Visit: flamedesignstudio.com