On (what seemed like) the hottest day of summer we embraced the good energy + star patterns that led us to set our communal table in the cool and beautiful garden of eco-conscious and locally loved boutique founded by Summer Meek known as The Soul Project appropriately part of the Hip District of Laguna Beach.
As the sun slowly set we enjoyed welcome “booch-tails” + mingling leading up to a delicious meal curated by the talented, self-taught, master of makeshift Chef Kyle Powers… all while enjoying the lost art of conversation.
We appreciate all the curious & adventurous people who brought their good energy and best vibes to our communal table–to make this an evening to remember:
We were fortunate to meet Summer Meek at The Soul Project which is her gorgeous retail + event space in Laguna Beach. It’s warm and inviting and comfortable. We attended her The New Girls Network gathering and were surrounded by supportive female entrepreneurs who had gathered to share their stories. Now, we’d like to share Summer’s story:
Q. Since you are a native, what are your favorite childhood memories of Laguna Beach?
A. Some of my favorite memories are of course long days spent at the beach, exploring the tide pools, hiking the hills. And my parents were both early Sawdust Festival artists and I have a lot of memories of time spent there. I think that’s where I caught my entrepreneurial spirit. Even then I had enterprising endeavors going on.
Q. We love how you ventured out to create + celebrate spaces that feel like home. Was this something you had always wanted to do?
A. I have always believed in the energy of space. It’s challenging to explain and sounds woo woo to talk about but it is my super power. I love creating experiences I am passionate about it and add love to everything I do.
Q. You’re cottage-esque space is so warm and inviting, do you know the history behind it? Any interesting stories?
A. My understanding is in the early days of Laguna Beach artists would come and build their cottage, live in the back, create during the week and then open the doors on the weekend for tourists. Before I moved in, The Knitting Store habituated the space. But during one Art Walk a woman came and shared that she once lived in the back and had her art gallery in the front it–was probably 25 years prior to me opening. She brought me pictures it was so fun.
Q. You began your business through creating graphic Tees for artists (and still do), but you are also constantly growing, evolving and exploring. What is it that drives / pulls you? Any advice for others?
A. When I opened I really wanted to create a community space and have people come have an experience, it’s interesting because that was five years ago and now experience is trending. I just saw it as an organic way to cultivate a community of like minded individuals. I am a curious person and I love to learn and I am always seeking new information and love learning about people and love to incorporate that into what we’re doing at the store whether that’s through product or new experimental offerings. Sometimes I meet these really an amazing people that I really want to work with because were aligned. Like when I met you.
Q. Your latest adventure, The New Girls Network has brought some exciting and energizing opportunities to your community. Where do you want (hope) it to lead?
A. We just celebrated a year since we started meeting, we meet the third Thursday of the month at The Soul Project, it’s a free networking even but it’s really more than that, it’s a place for woman entrepreneurs to gather in a supportive environment. There’s not posturing, you don’t have to be a certain kind of person and wear a certain outfit. You can show up as your authentic self. I don’t know where it will go and I don’t currently have plans to make it anything other than what it is. I have watched woman connect, make business happen, grow into an idea and bring it to life.
Q. It is fitting that The Soul Project is located in the revitalized “Hip District ” of Laguna Beach. Are there any behind the scene changes you are inspired by?
A. We have come together as a neighborhood and are really trying to breathe life into this part of town. We have some really amazing g retailers and new stores opening. I fell we are becoming the new Abbot Kinney.
Q. Thank you for opening your doors to lark! We can’t wait to dine in your “landscapers” garden, under the stars–have you always been a foodie?
A. I have been a foodie most of my life. I remember one day asking to be driven to the store so I could buy all the ingredients to make a chocolate cake from scratch. My mom asked how I knew how to make it and I didn’t know, but I was inspired to try.
Q. What is your most memorable dining experience?
A. There are so many it’s hard to pick just one. But the most recent one that comes to mind is a farm to table dinner put on by my friend and farmer at Blue Bird Canyon Farms in Laguna Beach. He works with a woman named Chef Jen Alvarez. It was the most beautiful setting, and the most delicious sustainable food. I could still describe every morsel I ate that night. There was also a very memorable drive up to a castle in Italy with a view to die for and a dinner that was some of the most delicious food.
Q. If you could dine with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
A. Julia Child because she loved food, was cooky and zany, loved cocktails and didn’t seem to uptight. I had the pleasure of dining next to her not too long before she passed, that was most definitely one of my favorite star sightings.
Q, It’s an interesting and exciting time for female entrepreneurs – who are your current hero’s?
A. Oprah Winfrey still impresses me on a regular basis and it’s inspiring how she has stayed true to her message and hasn’t seemed to sell out. Gorjana Reidel is a local CEO that I have watched evolve her business and it’s really impressive.
On a not so typical Monday afternoon we gathered a few of our favorite things (& people) from The Soul Project and adventured straight across PCH, down to the beach to enjoy delicious East Borough Bahn Mi sandwiches, refreshing Seabold Ginger Beer+ inspiring conversations–all within a couple of hours of high tide!
We are so thrilled to have discovered a fast + fun way to get our creative juices flowing, uplift each other and thank our collaborators.
We always appreciate Luna Reece Ceramics who shared with us her latest rainbow designs, LOVE! You will always find her hand-made ceramics adorning our communal table.
This time we also get to show off a gorgeous Moroccan rug sourced from our gal, Mary O’Dell, at happy_tapis.
Super thankful to Melissa Brown of Mat3.Photography for capturing this carefree beach vibe! Images captured at Bluebird Street in Laguna Beach.
Create. Collaborate. Elevate. Come on a lark with us!
Next lark communal dinner party will be Thursday 7/25/19 with the talented Chef Kyle Powers at The Soul Project in Laguna Beach!
In this image (but mostly in my mind) I am doing my best to channel the admirable Wes Anderson.
Hello! I am Lisa Martinez founder of lark and creator of well styled dinner parties, marketplaces and guerrilla larks here in Southern California.
There is an intersection of reasons I started lark, but at its core is a desire to recreate an experience that “fed my soul”.
It can only be described as good fortune to have been exposed to a truly collaborative and creative environment-in the world of Still Photography-where I felt whole, connected, and began to see beauty in everything.
Through much thought, writing and rewriting of business plans and endless conversations (anyone who might listen) I figured out a way to recreate this experience and share with others.
With lark, I (we) invite everyone to step into a “photograph”—where you can be yourself, enjoy a glass of wine, be inspired by your surroundings and, best of all, partake in the rediscovered art of conversation.
Modern. Organic. Inspirational. Social Dining. Come on a lark with us!
Thursday, July 25, 2019 6:30pm-9:30pm $125. per person, all-inclusive four course meal & wine pairing by the talented Chef Kyle Powers Purchase Tickets*: Let’s Go On A Lark! *Non-refundable/absolutely transferable
Vibrant is the best word to describe our evening of filled with conversation, delicious food & wine set amongst the hip + minimalistic vibes of @tressapothercary of Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach. The feeling inside this gorgeous space gave everyone just enough room to be themselves.
Here we made new friends, gazed at the bay, took in the cool salty air and sat fireside to enjoy a most delicious menu crafted by the talented Chef Kyle Powers.
We cannot think of a better way to welcome the first day of summer and we are super grateful to all the beautiful people who came together–and all the lovely conversations that were had– to make this a lark to remember.
+ + + + +
Menu + Wine Pairing crafted by Chef Kyle Powers
Opening: w/cheese board + sparkling cocktail
Seated: 1/burrata w/mandarin oranges, sweet green olives, fruity olive oil, cherries, lemon rosemary toast….paired with rosé
2/shrimp + crab cake w/avocado mousse + black garlic vinaigrette….paired with viognier
3/smoked New York steak, cherry balsamic, potato, fennel, mushrooms * veggie option: vegan meatloaf, cherry balsamic, potato, fennel, mushrooms….paired with merlot
Because it’s always about the people you meet along the way! Meet the inspirational Tera Stephens, Founder of TReSs Apothecary in Lido Marina Village, who has graciously open the doors to her vibrant-yet minimalist-shop to lark! Pull up a chair, we invite you to come along through our fun questions & answer session!
Q. Where do you call home?
A. I’ve lived in Huntington Beach for my whole life!!
Q. When did you decide to open your own business? What factors came into play?
A. I opened TReSs after working as a stylist for 17 years. For the last few years I had this growing feeling that my clients deserved and would appreciate a greater attention to detail that was missing in most salons and that led me to opening my own!
Q. Was the minimalist vibe what you had in mind OR did this come about organically?
A. I have a very busy brain so keeping my space minimal is key to keeping my anxiety low! I started a Pinterest board that I shared with my architect and we worked together in creating the vibe of the space.
Q. We noticed the fireplaces in the shop…do you know the history of the space? Was it once someone’s home?
A. Lido Marina Village was built in the 40’s and were originally custom homes. In the late 60’s or early 70’s they began to convert to retail, office and restaurant. We were the first lease signed under the new development of LMV and were lucky to keep our fireplace. I believe we have the only working, original fireplaces in the Village!
Q. The vibe in the shop is so positive, do you a work style/management philosophy?
A. ABSOLUTELY!!! I believe in treating our team like family and that has created a culture of mutual respect and care for each other. The benefit of our culture is that our clients feel the good vibes and that makes them love to hang out with us! It’s all good for business!
Q. We know your taste + love for beauty and style is expansive, have you always played in this arena?
A. I have loved beautiful things since I was a little girl! Some of my favorite possessions were handmade original garments from my grandmas and aunts who sewed and crocheted!
Q. What is your favorite food experience?
A. I’ll never forget my husband and I celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary at the French Laundry. It was a bit of a stretch financially at the time but something I had dreamt of for as long as I could remember. It felt a bit old and stuffy for us at first, we were babies, but our server found our rhythm and every dish was spectacular. Our dinner lasted over 5 hours!!!
Q. What is your favorite question to ask someone?
A. What was the best thing that happened to you today? My kids know I will ask them every single day!!!
Q. What does Summer Solstice mean to you?
A. Summer has always meant freedom for me and the Solstice, being the longest day of the year, is the kick off to my favorite season!
Q. Who or what currently inspires you?
A. My team at the salon inspire me; they are fun, talented, fresh, innovative, smart and adorable. They make me want to work hard for them!
What to know and see more? Join us Friday 6/21/19 to welcome the first day of summer with cocktails + mingling leading up to a delicious chef crafted four course meal & wine pairing…all while partaking in the rediscovered art of conversation, tickets and details available on our landing page: www.larkartisanmarket.com
We are thrilled to have created a fast + fun way to get our creative juices flowing, uplift each other and thank our collaborators.
Super thankful to @mat3.photography for spot-on capturing this carefree + dreamy vibe! Images captured at Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach.
We always appreciate @lunareececeramics who shared with us her latest designs, LOVE! You will always find her hand-made ceramics adorning our communal table. Dried florals by our favorite florist @frenchbuckets of Lido Marina Village.
Of course, Stylist Mayson Hauck always knows how to fem things up – thanks for the gorgeous dress + props!
Create. Collaborate. Elevate. Come on a lark with us!
On Thursday, May 30, 2019 we enjoyed a most gregarious lark at the design haven of @mcgeeandco in East Side Costa Mesa! Here gathered around the communal table to disconnect + reconnect over a chef crafted meal, delicious wine & the subtle art of conversation.
The Master of Makeshift, Chef Kyle Powers, rocked the menu once again – and the McGee gals came through with some serious style.
We are super thankful to all the beautiful people who came together to create such a memorable & adventurous evening @mcgee&co @mrforky @forkintheroadcatering @theurbanspring @lunareececeramics @emweber @dperlof @kaileeinthekitchen @mb.maher @amenahdesigns + @theflowerstand.
Our next lark finds us greeting the first day of summer, Friday 6/21/19, by taking in salty air + beautiful surroundings at the gorgeous waterfront retreat of @tressapothecary in Newport Beach.
Modern. Organic. Inspirational. Social Dining. Come on a lark with us!
Image credit to photographer, foodie, conversationalist: MB.Maher.com
It’s really about the people you meet along the way. Thrilled to share a little insight from our conversation with Julietta Sipprelle + Nicole Sayers, the fun, generous, and enthusiastic owners, of Poetry of Hair in San Clemente, who invited us to set our communal table their swanky bricked walled shop for a super fun lark with friends old & new.
Q. What is your idea of a great day?
J: Living in the moment where ever and whomever I’m with.
N: 6:00 am Hot Yoga or running, 10:00 am go on a hike with a friend, 12:00pm grab some lunch, 1:00pm hit the beach, 6:00pm dinner and drinks with friends
A fast + fun way to get our creative juices flowing, uplift each other and thank our collaborators. Oh, and sometimes, taste some wine! Thanks to @winc for introducing us to “Folly of the Beast” Pinot Noir – it is definitely one of our our favs!
Super thankful to @kathryncolbyphotography for not only capturing the vibe, but for bringing all her good energy + ideas to our playful gathering.
We loved meeting Angie Boyd creator of @lupthelabel who shared with us her latest design, LOVE! Don’t be surprised if you find us wearing these gorgeous threads on a future lark!
Create + Collaborate + Elevate
This lark took place at the swanky (+ super accommodating) Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach, California