Q+A with Summer Meek

Charlie & Summer Meet at The Soul Project in Laguna Beach

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.

Q+A with Julietta Sipprelle + Nicole Sayer

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.

Lark #46 with Julietta Sipprelle + Nicole Sayer of Poetry of Hair in San Clemente! PC to @kaileeinthekitchen

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

Q. Is the name Poetry of Hair derived from anything special? 

J: Nic and I wanted to bring Poetry into our salon with inspiring words for ourselves and our clients. We created a poetry wall while personally designing our salon, these poems inspired our name. 

N: Yes…I love literature and Poetry and we wanted to use Poems, quotes, etc…to inspire our clients. We have a black board that we change often with great quotes.

Q. What is your greatest extravagance?

J: Captain Jacks yearly on my birthday, “Best Crab Legs Ever!”

N: Dining out,

Q. What do you most love about San Clemente?

J: My clients who I consider my friends and family. 

N: The laid back atmosphere, the beauty all around me that I soak in everyday, the people, the climate and the style.

Q. Do you cook?  

J: I attempt, oh my poor daughter growing up. I prefer to bake. Love a good bread pudding.

N: Yes all the time. I’m pretty good at it too!

Q. What is your favorite food? 

J: Crab Legs and butter! 

N: Tacos!

Q. What is your most memorable dining experience?

J: Flying first class and dinning on the stunning coast of Cinque Terre Italy. Truly amazing!

N:  I’ve had many amazing ones, but probably Si Señor in Punta De Mita Punta De Mita, I love the food, drinks and the view is insane!

Q. Which talent would you most like to have?

J: To sing like my grandmother, and play guitar! 

N: To be able to fly.

Q. What question do you love to ask people? 

J: What do you do? Do you love it? It’s inspiring to hear so many people love what they do when they really think about it. 

N: How have they conquered the road to success? 

Q. What is your most marked characteristic?

J:  Making people beautiful. Through style, words, or just a smile. 

N: Independent and confident 

Q. Who or what currently inspires you? 

J: My daughter, Cierra, she is truly amazing! 

N:  I am inspired currently by all these people; Tony Robbins, David Goggins, Ed Mylett, Brendon Burchard, Rachel Hollis and I am totally inspired when I am in Sayulita Mexico!

Q. What is your motto?

J: Embrace the simple moments! They are truly beautiful! 

N: Do I live Fully? Do I love wholeheartedly? Do I matter?

Welcome to the prep! Lark #46 at Poetry of Hair in San Clemente! PC @kaileeinthekitchen
Hello San Clemente! So nice to meet you! Lark #46 w/Chef Kyle Powers! PC @kaileeinthekitchen

We are thankful Chef to all the beautiful people who gathered around the communal table to make this an evening to remember!

Modern. Organic. Inspirational. Social Dining. Come on a lark with us!

Guerrilla Lark Huntington Beach

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

Someone is ready to go on a lark! Image features Kate Spade Glasses, Anthropologie Beach Bag, a bottle of Folly of the Beast Pinot Noir + this super hip Black Matte Swiss Cross by @lunareececeramics PC @kathryncolbyphotography
Lisa Martinez, Owner & Creative Director, setting the stage on a super fun guerrilla lark in Huntington Beach. Image by @kathryncolbyphotography features antique textiles from @igotrugs
Gorgeous 3 pocket linen jumper-dress handmade and designed by the talented @lupothelabel – PC to @kathryncolbyphotography
This red takes its name from the great Moby Dick quote “For there is no folly of the beast on earth that is no infinitely outdone by the madness of men”. Super thankful @winc suggested this delicious California produced (and vegan) wine for our upcoming lark!
We believe in working shoulder to shoulder with people who are passionate about their craft. We have been inspired by @lupothelabel since day one! Create + Collaborate + Elevate. PC to @kathryncolbyphotography
One thing leads to another. Diggin’ this gorgeous hand-made bohemian leather clutch by @dwleather and captured so well by @kathryncolbyphotography ! Thanks for the intro @lupothelabel !
We are pretty much obsessed with the minimalistic + modern style of @graflantz ! Introduced to us on a super fun lark with the ultra hip @coastmodern in Seal Beach. PC by @kathryncolbyphotography

Meet Chef Daniel Perlof

Chef Daniel Perlof A native of Tustin California, learned his way around the kitchen at a young age partaking in the creation of family meals with his Grandmother and Father. Outside of the home, he studied Spanish and found this to be helpful in various kitchens and catering roles – always seeking to help talented crew members overcome this hurdle when expressing their talents with mostly English speaking managers. Chef Daniel recently took a leap of food and faith to expand this concept of elevating others by opening his own catering company Rhyme and Reason Catering. With lark #39  at the gorgeous Cleobella being his official “lark” debut, we can’t wait to see what this eager and passionate chef has to offer.

Q & A

Which living Chef do you most admire?

Argentine Chef Francis Mallmann is absolutely fascinating. He emphasizes learning and a communal approach to the kitchen, which I love and respect. Also, he uses fire for everything, and I’ve always been a bit of a pyro.

What is the quality you most like in a meal?

Balance.

What do you consider your greatest culinary achievement?

Having my father tell others that I had surpassed his culinary talents.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My sense of humor.

What is your motto?

“Fortune favors the bold.”

Can you share a life changing culinary experience?

I had the fortunate opportunity to go on a post-graduation trip to Europe, a guided site-seeing experience over the course of three weeks, that took us to Rome, Florence, Paris, Interlaken, Bruges, and London.

In Rome I experienced veal for the first time in my life, something I didn’t foresee (but as they say, “When in Rome!”). Walking around the Forum and seeing the relics of that ancient world, I wondered to myself how the Romans must have eaten way back when those sites were first being developed– alongside of what would later come to be known as the “Western” world.

In Florence, I enjoyed prosciutto with cantaloupe for the first time, and had pizza for four days in a row.

Paris demonstrated to me the theatricality of cuisine, and I ate escargot in the Spanish Quarter one sweltering hot afternoon, after a long morning of touring the vast and vibrant city. In the same city on the Fourth of July (how American?!), our group ate at a restaurant that was cave-like in setting, and the appetizers and salad consisted of a large basket of cheese, cured meat, lettuce, and vegetables, with a knife so that every guest could take whatever they please, and pass the basket on to their neighbor.

In Interlaken, nestled between two crystal-blue glacial lakes, I learned that I have somewhat of disdain for white pepper, especially on my eggs.

A day later, (and one wicked Swiss hangover later), in Bruges, sitting underneath a centuries-old castle, I ate authentic Belgian waffles, with crisp, sweet strawberries, and the seemingly airiest whipped cream on Earth. Also, I became aware of their hip-as-could-be street vendors who almost exclusively sell potato fries– something oft attributed to the French, but originated in Belgium.

Finally, in England, I had pub food for the first time after crossing the English Channel into Canterbury, and was overwhelmed by the hospitality of the Brits, with an elderly couple inviting us to sit along side them at their table in an otherwise full restaurant. On a day-trip to the Windsor Castle, I ate fish and chips, skin-on and bone-in, with probably the blandest coleslaw in all the land, and washed it down with a delicious blonde ale.

All in all, the experience taught me so much about myself, and about how different foods and cultures can be from place to place. My appreciation for the adventure of food grew exponentially. The gastronomy of a locale is what sticks out the most to someone who loves food. I felt, and still feel, so lucky and grateful to be able to create these memories. My trip to Europe was an incredible adventure that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Chef Daniel Perlof