Where can you find some of the boldest, most stylish, and stunningly colorful jewelry around? While that could potentially be an endless list, if you’re looking for a brand who has a unique sense of fun ingrained in the very fabric of their identity and DNA, there is only one.
Eriness, easily starts and completes that list, forming their own lane, while helmed by none other than its very own Erin Sachse. Erin and her eponymous brand launched in 2015, after spending years hand making jewelry pieces. Ingenuity would come to Erin early in life, as she took old camera parts and weaved/twisted them into chic jewelry, to later sell outside of her dorm room. In fact, her handmade items were so exquisite, that major stores started to buy them off of her body — including Fred Segal and Anthropologie — at the age of 18!
With such a powerful start, it almost sounds like a dream, but that would only be the beginning of a journey toward iconic status for a designer and brand on their way to capture eyes, minds, and hearts on an international scale.
Now, years later, Eriness is carried by luxury retailers around the world — including Goop and London Jewelers — and adorned by a loyal clientele, including Michelle Obama, Taylor Swift, Lupita Nyong’o and Miley Cyrus. Eriness is recognized in the industry for their cheerful mix of diamonds and gemstones, and stands out in the fine jewelry space due to how colorful yet luxurious the pieces are.
Color, Clarity, and Confidence
Color brings life and is a magnet for the eyes. This is something that Eriness understands, while combining vibrant color pops with shapes, symbols, and styles that all of us can connect with in some way. Whether that connection be sentimental or superstitious, there’s no denying “stunning” seems like an understatement for their pieces.
Even in the absence of playful colors, Eriness pieces speak volumes through their cuts and shapes while taking on more classic styles, like the recently released Art Deco Collection. Classic, yet modern – and simple, yet sophisticated.
Eriness is more than just another luxurious jewelry brand, accomplishing what one would expect – and more – by invoking a sense of confidence and beauty to the wearer, sure to be cherished for a lifetime. Even more impressive is the fact that Eriness is sure to have something for everyone with its plentiful offerings, and versatile, unisex styles from its recent collaboration with YONY.
We had the opportunity to conduct a Q&A with Erin, where we explore her creative vision, challenges, accomplishments, recent collaborations, and even plans for the future.
Learn more about Erin & Eriness below.
Q&A With Eriness Founder and Creative Director, Erin Sachse
Q:Let’s dive in with some details of your story. What did you do before Eriness, and how did you get started in the jewelry business?
E.S.: “Believe it or not, there was nothing but high school and classic teenage girl things before Eriness. I started hand-making pieces of jewelry out of passion and for fun in my dorm room at Boston University and this is really where Eriness began. After I graduated college in 2015, I reintroduced Eriness as a fine jewelry line and that’s how we find ourselves here today.”
Q:How did you try to set yourself and Eriness apart from other brands?
E.S.: “I am a firm believer in fun and that fun can be incorporated into any part of life. With that being said, it was really important to me that my company embodied a playful nature but also provided quality jewelry with a luxurious twist. I aim to have a fresh, fun and colorful approach to familiar styles and classic pieces.”
Q:What is the design and creation process like for you?
E.S.: “My process always starts with something that is meaningful to me and from there a collection is born. There is not a strict formula to how I get to drawing my pieces and creating a collection. For example, the Ladybug Collection was born after the most surreal dream about my mom whereas the Art Deco Collection was created because of my affinity for the history of the era. There is no straight line in my process of creativity and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Q:What were some of your biggest challenges to get where you are today?
E.S.: “The biggest challenge in my journey as a designer and a business owner is being both of those at the same time. It is an absolute blessing to be able to do what I love every day but it really is scary sometimes. Just like everyone else, I have my moments of fear and self doubt but I have a great team that is by my side through it all.”
Q:What would you say have been some of your most notable accomplishments to date?
E.S.: “The first thing that comes to mind would have to be the Resist Collection. As a young female in this wild world it was really important to me to use my voice and stand up for what I think is right. It was one of my most vulnerable collections and it was really amazing to see how well received it was.”
Q:Personally, what is one of your favorite Eriness pieces?
E.S.: “I’m sure it won’t surprise you when I say my favorite piece from my collection is the Diamond Crawling Ladybug Bracelet. The ladybug is an everyday reminder that wherever I go, my mom is always with me. The collection was made in honor of my mother – my biggest inspiration, best friend and muse. The best part of the collection is that it not only meant everything to me but I quickly learned how much the symbol of a ladybug meant to so many other people. It is so unbelievable the amazing stories that have been shared with me and the personal connections based on this one collection.”
Q:Can you tell us about the recent Art Deco Collection and what went into it? What inspired the collection, and what did you want the wearer to feel from it?
E.S.: “Like all my designs, I wanted to create something simple but impactful, elevated but wearable. This collection blurs the line between the past and present and takes inspiration from the simple elegance, sleek designs and geometric shapes of the early 20th century. This collection is not only an ode to the brand’s evolution but to my own!”
Q:What is the significance of the new collaboration with YONY? Please share some details about what makes this collaboration special, and what consumers can look forward to.
E.S. “Johnny (the founder of YONY) has been a longtime friend of mine for 17 years! We have been talking about collaborating for a while, and were so excited to finally bring our dream to life. While so many of my current pieces skew feminine, I wanted to create something with Johnny that was more unisex and versatile for Eriness. We created two unisex chains – one in sterling silver at a more contemporary price point, along with a 14K gold chain. We want our consumers to rock these chains no matter who they are and look forward to seeing how they’re styled – they are perfect stacked or worn solo.”
Q:2022 is coming to an end. What have been some of your biggest lessons and accomplishments this year?
E.S. “My biggest lesson is navigating an ever changing retail landscape. How to successfully reach our potential clients and give them pieces they actually want to wear. It is always my goal to stay true to what I want to design regardless of the current trends.”
The expansion of my company as a whole is one of my biggest accomplishments! This year the Eriness team has grown, we have started working with some amazing boutiques and really honing in on who the Eriness client is.
Q:Here’s a moment for a brief preview: Is there anything in the works that you can share with readers to look forward to in 2023?
E.S. “I don’t want to give too much away but we do have two new collections in the works for 2023. Here’s a little hint- there are LOTS of diamonds.”
Q:What are some goals you’d like to achieve with Eriness in the next 5 years?
E.S. “In the next five years I want to continue to grow the Eriness world and reach new clientele by expanding our offerings. It means everything to be able to continue to create meaningful jewelry that connects people from all over the world. I am so excited for the future of Eriness.”
Some things go together like peanut butter and jelly, while some others come together in way that no one could’ve ever imagined — like peanut butter and jelly burgers. Either way, two cannabis leaders coming together for the ultimate Thanksgiving collaboration is both unexpected, and perfection as we start thinking about the big feast due later this month.
That’s right, California cannabis favorites Cann and Kiva have partnered and launched the ultimate THC-infused Thanksgiving starter pack: 2 packs of Kiva’s THC-infused gravy and a 6-pack of Cann’s seasonal favorite Cranberry Sage.
Coming fresh off of midterms and all else that has us stressing, it’s the perfect addition for Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving, sure to keep everyone chill — before getting to the dinner table, and after! Cann’s low-dose THC social tonic innovates the future of non-alcoholic social drinking. Designed to give you a similar buzz without any hangover the next morning, each Cann is formulated with 2 mg of THC and 4mg of CBD, and includes only four other ingredients – sparkling water, citrus juice, all-natural herbal flavor, and a touch of agave.
Since Cann provides a micro-dose of cannabis, it is designed for you to easily consume more than one without hitting that ‘too high’ feeling you may get with smoking pure flower or consuming an edible. No more uncomfortable experiences, electrolyte depletions, poor sleep, or headaches — just a controlled buzz.
On the other hand, Kiva Confections officially brought back their limited edition cannabis infused ‘Kiva Turkey Gravy’ for the second year, ahead of the holiday season! Just in time to take your festivities to a higher level, this cheeky take on a normally mundane holiday staple is back after its explosively viral debut in 2019.
Consider this the ultimate checkmate for all the stigmas against cannabis.
The Cann x Kiva Thanksgiving Starter Pack is available for $34, and Includes:
Cann’s Cranberry Sage: Sweet and a touch savory, this winter seasonal flavor was crafted to give you the warm and fuzzies all winter long. With no hangover, all-natural ingredients, and only 35 calories per can, Cranberry Sage will comfort you through the cold(er) winter months. Infused with 2mg THC & 4mg CBD.
Kiva Gravy: Kiva’s single-serve gravy pairs turkey stock, salt, onion and garlic with 10mg of THC for an elevated take on a Thanksgiving classic. Awkward family dinner conversation? Sit back, relax, and let the holiday cheer wash over you.
All You Need Is Los Angeles! Celebrate Local Brands and Show Love for Our City Post-Pandemic.
Presented by the newly renovated & reopened iconic Venice Beach House
On October 14th, the iconicVenice Beach Housecelebrated it’s post-pandemic reopening and renovation by hosting “All You Need is Los Angeles” an event created by Press Pass LA’s PR division to celebrate local brands and founders who are bringing back business and culture to our great city!
Model Joy Corrigan & Mehran Moghaddam
Tik Tok star Jake Gould
Guests had the chance to meet the tastemakers behind the revitalization of Los Angeles and mingle with industry professionals including executives in attendance from Netflix, Tik Tok, Capital Records, Interscope Records, Forever 21, AEG and more.
The VIP opening night of the newly renovated Venice Beach House featured brands including Kurvana, luxury cannabis products; Naked Species, clothing brand by model Joy Corrigan supporting Wild Life Tomorrow Fund to help end animal extinction; Our/Los Angeles vodka, distilled in the arts district of downtown Los Angeles; Smile Natural Products, personalized oral care and vegan lifestyle products; Art Botanica, moss art by local artist Kelley Anderson; and Ruben, iconic art and streetwear brand by artist Ruben Rojas.
Gleb Savchenko & Elena Belle
Billed as a night of “Food, Weed, Vodka, and Art” the more than 300 guests enjoyed delicious plates from Green Olive Food Truck known for their local Mediterranean cuisine with a menu that featured hummus and pita, greek salad, greek potatoes, chicken skewers, gyro, falafel and more.
Kurvana features samples of their cannabis products including vape pens and tinctures, as well as offered custom engraving on their hardware. Naked Species gifted guests with T-shirts, bathing suits, bracelets and more from their new Funghi line.
The sponsored bar featured a martini tasting cart from Our/Los Angelesplus curated cocktails, as well as highlighted their recent collaboration with local artist Ruben Rojas on a custom bottle. In addition, Better Booch kombucha was on hand to satisfy your tastebuds providing non-alcoholic beverages to attendees.
Ruben Rojas also showcased his signature art and sculptures on the property and his fashion line Ruben featuring his “love” hoodies. Kelley Andersonof Art Botanica, known for moss art, created a custom step & repeat for guests to capture their most Instagrammable moments!
Smile Natural Productswas on hand sharing their oral care and vegan products with guests for a picture perfect smile, and is co-owned by the event’s entertainer,DJ Shai, who kept the party vibing throughout the evening. E! Host, Scott Tweedie, served as the night’s host and created some amazing pre and post event content to entertain those on site or streaming at home on Instagram!
Melissa Gisoni & BP Major
E! News Scott Tweedie and Katrina Powell
History of Venice Beach House
Venice Beach House was created by newspaperman Warren Wilson in 1911. Wilson was friends with Abbot Kinney, known for creating the Venice of America with its own canals, and Venice Beach House quickly became one of the area’s most iconic buildings. Perched on white sand dunes overlooking the Pacific, this Craftsman landmark was listed by the U.S. Park Service in the National Register of Historic Places. It has always been filled with families like the Kinney family, who shared the grounds as Kinney’s sons married Wilson’s daughters.
A hub of social life, the Venice Beach House has always welcomed the biggest celebrities of the time, from Charlie Chaplin on “retreat,” to the very end of the run from Athens to LA of the Olympic Torch Relay. Through all the years, the Beach House has remained a quiet constant in a Venice that attracted beatniks, then hippies, and then tourists from all over the world. A hidden oasis, faithfully restored by the Boesch family and maintained as a bed and breakfast for travelers and, for all of Venice, the Venice Beach House remains a throwback to an era gone by, a mysterious gem in a city where discovery and tranquility are hard to come by.
Millennials are taking ownership of the wine and spirits industry by establishing who the leading brands are in the market on their own terms. Created by the enthusiastic and expert connoisseurs Amanda Greenbaum and Olivera Markovic, The Millennial Wine Beer & Spirits Competition was founded on the principle that millennials are the leading trend and tastemakers in almost every industry, especially as the leading consumer group of wine & spirits in general. This demographic is not only holding the key to the buying power, but millennials are also the ones creating the brands on shelves today. The type of shift the industry has seen from this group in the last 5 years alone only proves that a competition like this would make absolute sense.
Now in its third year, the first round of this year’s competition was held at The Four Seasons Westlake Village’s exclusive location, the Prosperous Penny Speakeasy. It was the perfect setting for the panel of influential judges to experience the tastings and determine which spirits brands were deserving of either gold, silver, or bronze medal status in the competition. Judges included Wootak Kim (influencer and founder of BarChemistry), Corey Marshall (food and lifestyle blogger), Amanda Sasser (mixologist and cocktail consultant), and Chris Adams (entrepreneur, investor, and hospitality expert).
When asked why competitions like this are important, Corey Marshall says, “Historically, wine & spirits competitions rely on the judging from old school sommeliers who might not be taking into account the market that is actually buying these products. This competition brings in a voice that speaks to a vast majority of the audience that is drinking alcoholic beverages today.”
The notion is further backed by judge Amanda Sasser, who says, “The interesting part of being a judge is that we’re tasting these super relevant drinks that are created for millennials – people that are the same age as me. It gives me as a mixologist insight into what sells for this generation and gives me a better idea of what direction their palettes are in when making a cocktail.”
Headlining water sponsor, blk., has been so supportive of this competition and has established what makes being involved so exciting, “First of all, a lot of millennials already know about our product through a number of pop culture verticals, so this is definitely our audience. Additionally, the ingredients in blk. help fight off the effects of alcohol – essentially a hangover cure. So we encourage people to drink blk. before, during, and after they consume alcohol. The basis of combining wine & spirits with millennial perspective made for a perfect match for us.” says Jen Svejda, Marketing & PR Specialist for blk. Beverages.
It’s no doubt that The Millennial Wine Beer & Spirits Competition is rightfully carving its own space in the industry and making itself known as a resource that’s reflective of the generation it represents.
The second phase of the competition will take place on October 6th once again at the Prosperous Penny Speakeasy followed by a dinner at Coin and Candour Restaurant, both located within The Four Seasons Westlake Village.
Be sure to follow The Millennial Wine Beer & Spirits Competition on Instagram and Facebook.
Ruben Rojas Debuts 3 Art Installations and Sculpture at Westfield Topanga Mall and The Village
L.A. native artist Ruben Rojas, best known for his “love” artwork which spreads his message of “Live Through Love” across the city, partnered with Westfield Topanga Mall on a “Summer of Love” series of art installations.
Attendees were able to take a self-guided tour of the installations, featuring plenty of Instagrammable moments, and attend the official unveiling of Rojas’ sculpture “The Heart of the Valley.”
The event included a meet & greet, refreshments from Coffee Cube (a Westfield retailer and minority owned, Valley based start-up which offered 3 types of coffee/tea drinks and pastries) and VIP gift bags including items from Ruben’s fashion line.
The first installation is titled ‘Unity’, and represents Harmony, Balance, and Solidarity. “There’s strength in numbers. Together, we can create change and bring more love into the world.”
Installation two is called ‘Equality’ and affirms that “we’re all human, we’re all love!”
The wall installation located at The Village is titled, ‘You Belong Here’, and is one of Ruben’s favorite sayings. “Yes, ‘You Belong Here!’ It’s easy to question our belonging, worth & life. The truth is that each one of you belongs here and brings so much value to those around you. Never doubt your existence!”
And lastly, the unveiling of Rojas’ new sculpture ‘The Heart of the Valley’ made a statement that has to be seen in person. “Love has many faces: friendly, familial, romantic, self, unconditional. There’s room for all of them in your heart if you’re willing to make the space.”
According to Ruben,
“The heart is the most loving, life-giving symbol of all. It’s crucial to your survival, both physically and emotionally. Every heart is layered in love, overflowing with care and compassion. But we have to be willing to let the love in.
This piece is a true embodiment of living through love. When we acknowledge love in its many forms, it grows exponentially. There is no limit to the amount of love your heart can hold.
The heart is the most loving symbol of all, and I wanted to fill it with the most important thing: love.”
All four installations will be on display at Westfield Topanga Mall and The Village until the end of September 2021. To learn more about Ruben Rojas and his work and collaborations, visit RubenRojas.com and follow him on Instagram and Twitter.
About Westfield Topanga Mall:
The San Fernando Valley’s fashionable front door for real-life, luxury, and influencer designer brands—Westfield Topanga and The Village combine to provide a single destination experience unlike any other. For pure power shopping bliss in a cool and elegant indoor escape, there is Westfield Topanga’s one-of-a-kind lineup comprising best-in-class luxury and brands, whereas The Village provides the open-air social setting so long craved by Valley residents.
Located in the booming Warner Center district at the highest traffic intersection in the Valley, Westfield Topanga and The Village encompass almost 400 shops, restaurants, and personal service.
Over the course of more than two decades, Dana Michell has constructed a flourishing, illustrious career by capturing the beauty of everyday life and sharing that magic with consumers around the world. Armed with more than 15 years of experience in television production, Michell’s natural aptitude for identifying noteworthy narratives that highlight the compelling stories of average but extraordinary people has led lead her to develop Salt & Lime Media, a worldwide enterprise that specializes in casting, content creation, and talent management. As the agency’s CEO, Account Director and Executive Producer, she works with international clients including Facebook, Instagram and production companies producing popular shows on Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, E and Netflix to make their trendsetting products both appealing and accessible to the 21st century consumer. Her innovative approach to turning life’s defining moments into marketing & memorable gold remains timeless and has shaped Salt & Lime Media into one of the most unique and globally successful companies operating in this space today.
We love featuring exciting innovators. Can you share what Salt & Lime does with our readers?
Salt & Lime is a real people casting and content curation agency.
We are all ex-TV Producers, Reality Directors, Journalists and Researchers who swapped the typical travel-for-work life for work-from-home to source, pitch & present to the rest of the world all sorts of amazing stories featuring everyday folks doing unique, inspiring and interesting things.
We celebrate authentic characters. We nurture the special ones that could never be scripted and we don’t care if they come with no prior on camera experience. We know how to treat people right. We train them, interview them, direct them and for the most part nowadays, help ensure they can make their own selfie style content for use in some of the biggest media productions in the world.
We put these stories front and center of big brands and show business types making content for networks like Facebook, Instagram, Fox, Netflix, Youtube, Disney etc. We pitch them, book them and most importantly, compensate them for their involvement in anything and everything from an Oprah Special to a Superbowl commercial.
What we dig the most is that we have built a company that values treating real people cast with respect from first contact, through filming and way beyond the broadcast. We consider our cast our new friends and want them to think “Heck Yeah! Salt & Lime is a good time!”
Why did you start Salt & Lime? Do you have teams in Los Angeles working on content?
I started Salt & Lime with an old Marketing girlfriend of mine back in 2017. I was working on a Netflix Reality Competition Show in Los Angeles and she had just moved to Napa to work for wine brands. We were both moonlighting between freelance gigs casting for social media campaigns. I could see that the time had come where TV, marketing and tech media worlds had collided when it came to casting. We were all wanting the same thing: impactful stories told by the real people behind them. Audiences were now embracing brands and platforms where genuine users could speak for themselves. Representing your own community and sharing your own experiences became relatable. No actor or model can beat authenticity anymore. Viewers can see straight through it or even worse, these days, scroll right past it.
What is your background?
Over the last 20 years I have worked in business marketing, media, TV production and even corporate tech PR. I have lived & worked in Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, Thailand, UK, Europe, Canada, the US and Latin America. Living the freelancer life has given me so many rich experiences, but it also allowed me to build an incredible network of friends and colleagues around the world.. I feel these experiences and contacts transcend borders both geographically and professionally, and have naturally led me to this latest evolution of running my own global casting and content curation agency.
What kind of campaigns does Salt & Lime create?
Since COVID, most of our campaigns have been centered around how we can all survive lockdown or show support for our fellow communities in need. Most of the media campaigns we have had the good fortune to work on globally, have been about showing solidarity for minorities or supporting small businesses and for the most part ensuring that we protect our most vulnerable.
In such an uncertain world for all of us, it’s actually been really encouraging to see a lot of brands and creative agencies caring so deeply about finding the right real cast and using their authentic content to shape these messages. It’s been more about substance than style in these times.
Who are your clients?
We work with all sorts of brands and networks but also like to take on indy unpaid projects. Most well known would definitely be for big networks like Facebook, Netflix, Fox, etc. For these bigger brands, we work with their incredible creative teams right around the world on sometimes up to 20 active campaigns a week! The work they do is always so beautiful. I honestly get excited every single time we get the call to start the next one. The creative teams care so much about their work and message; and everything they put out is top notch.
We have also worked for most of the big networks in town via their production companies who put out programs on their platform like “Dancing with the Stars”, “The Voice”, “Big Brother” – the list goes on! Most recently I was the Supervising Producer on a show called “Ultimate Tag” on Fox, produced by Znak & Co and hosted by NFL’s the Watts Brothers. That was an absolute hoot working from the world famous WB Burbank lot. And then COVID came along..
We are also enjoying doing little development deals with independent producers on the side – up and coming talents that we think are doing incredible things. I’m loving one of our Latin American ideas we are finessing – it features one very famous and fabulous drag queen. That’s all I can say for now!
Which campaign are you most proud of?
I am proud of all the campaigns we do so the latest one is always the most memorable when you see it go to air. We recently worked on a campaign around Asian American Heritage Month. We spoke to so many incredible API cast and it was so tough for the Director to pick a top ten. Creating content for Pride is also going to be impressive. Our diverse producers find so much gold out there at the end of the casting rainbow!
How do you put together your team when you create campaigns?
When it comes to marketing and media productions, I think diversity is KEY if you want to attract the biggest audience! And to find the best stories, then representation on my story team is KEY! I think the special sauce that makes Salt & Lime so damn tasty is that I always make sure that every campaign has the most relatable, relevant and really good crew I can find working on it. If the team feels invested in what they are making beyond just a paycheck, the results will always surpass expectations.
What about SoCal inspires you be it landmarks, food, music etc.?
I have been coming and going from SoCal for 20 years and you know what brings me back every time? Diversity! Nowhere celebrates diversity like SoCal. Everywhere you look there’s something unique to see or do. Whether it’s in the landscape, the music, the food, the art, the fashion, design, SoCal has something for everyone. I also think that only in California can you go from zero to hero in the space of a few short years. You can be unique and be embraced for it. You can be a trailblazer and feel confident about rocking it. You can be from somewhere else and totally fit in on your own. I have seen this happen time and time again for friends and colleagues – everyone’s got the side hustle going on here. Fingers in many pies to see what sticks and I love it.
Anything else you want our readers to know about your plans for Salt & Lime? What’s next?
I’d like readers to know that Salt & Lime prides itself on being a good time. Whether you work for us or partner with us on productions, we value being reliable and relatable. Next up for me personally is the Olympics. I’ve done a few as a freelancer but now with cabin fever after 18 months of COVID, I’m going to base myself in Bali for a bit and do some good old fashioned athlete storytelling, albeit on a much better time zone for my clients. But I’ll be back in SoCal for the winter – if you can call it that. How GOOD is a SoCal winter!?
Salt & Lime Media is a global partner agency of Facebook’s providing their marketing and social creative teams worldwide with real people stories & their self made content. Salt & Lime media specializes in casting real people, producing real people and creating and managing content on a worldwide scale that is viewed by millions of consumers daily.
Dana Michell founded Salt & Lime in Los Angeles, California in 2017 and expanded to Miami in 2020. She now has teams globally working across 8 countries and various time zones (UK, Europe, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and the US.) She makes hiring a diverse team to help showcase a variety of stories the agency’s top priority.
Dana’s background as a TV reporter in Australia, then reality show producer in AU, Asia, UK & US is what gave her the initial love of sharing universal stories featuring real people.
Founder & CEO of Kurvana, Mehran Moghaddam, has more than twenty years of combined experience in biotech, life sciences, and nutraceuticals, focusing on his longstanding passion for health and wellness. Mehran holds a B.S. in Biochemistry and Exercise Science, as well as an MBA, from the University of California, Davis.
Mehran founded Kurvana in 2014 to address the urgent need for professional operators to bring higher quality and safety standards to the research, development, and manufacturing of cannabis and hemp product. Under Mehran’s leadership, Kurvana has established its reputation as a pioneer in the vape space.
Furthermore, Mehran is an advocate in the broader cannabis community. He is an active member on the Advisory Board for the University of California, Irvine’s Center for the Study of Cannabis, which is one of the first multi-disciplinary centers for Cannabis studies. He also maintains active memberships with the National Cannabis Industry Association, the California Cannabis Industry Association, the American Chemical Society, and the American Society for Testing and Materials.
We love featuring brands here in SoCal. Can you share what makes Kurvana special with our readers?
Kurvana is the nation’s leading premium vape pen and cannabis lifestyle brand. Our focus is to deliver a high-end, quality product to cannabis consumers. We are the leader in high-potency, pure cannabis, and at Kurvana, we define quality as everyone’s responsibility in order to deliver the most natural and safe products that exceed regulatory standards and consumer expectations.
2.Why did you get involved in the cannabis industry?
I have been involved in the industry for over 15 years. I founded Kurvana in 2014.
When I got started in the industry, I realized that it had an urgent need for professional biotech operators to bring higher quality safety standards to the research, development, and manufacturing of medical cannabis, so I decided to make my own brand.
I made it my mission to bring transparency, accountability, and professionalism to the cannabis industry.
3. What is your background?
I come from a background in science and business. I have a B.S. in Biochemistry and Exercise Science as well as an MBA. My passions have always been health, wellness, and science, and I love combining them in the work I do with Kurvana.
4.What kind of products does Kurvana offer?
We remain authentic to being known as a premium vape brand. We currently offer four distinct THC and cannabinoid vape lines, a tincture line, and an assortment of custom vape batteries and hardware.
ASCND is our high-cannabinoid, full-spectrum, single-origin extract line and is available in 16 different strains. These strains are available in half-gram cartridges, full-gram cartridges, and our brand-new All-in-One ready to use devices.
We just launched our terpene and cannaflavin rich Originals line, which includes 7 classic OG strains. These are available in half-gram cartridges, full-gram cartridges, and All-in-One ready to use devices.
Kurvana also has revamped our CBD vape collection, which includes 3 strains with natural botanical ingredients paired with various cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG for the ultimate wellness and therapeutic benefits. These are currently available in our All-in-One ready to use devices; our 510 cartridges will be launched this summer.
Carbon21 is Kurvana’s pinnacle vape line and has carefully curated raw concentrates in our latest vape hardware. We currently offer these small batch creations in 3 strains, available in half-gram cartridges, full-gram cartridges and our All-in-One ready to use devices.
Our Botanicals Tinctures Collection features 4 unique tinctures, utilizing 100% full-spectrum cannabis oils pairing key nootropics, adaptogens, and cannabinoids. Each tincture has specific wellness benefits and may be applied topically or ingested.
To go with our premium vape cartridges, Kurvana also carries custom button and buttonless batteries in a variety of beautiful metallic and soft-touch finishes.
5.What are the benefits of CBD?
Through the vast endocannabinoid system, CBD has many different benefits to suit a variety of consumer needs. It can be used to help with sleep, reduces pain and inflammation, alleviates anxiety, elevates mood and energy levels, and may even help with appetite stimulation. It has also been found to support the body’s immunity and natural defenses. The way I see it, there’s really something for everyone to be found in CBD.
6.Why did you choose to start your brand in Los Angeles?
I started the brand in Orange County where a lot of great original brands started. The area has a lot of cannabis startups and emerging brands so it is an inspirational area to be in as an entrepreneur. Overall, California was the natural choice since it has the best quality of cannabis in the world.
7.Are your products available in other states?
Our THC products may be purchased through licensed retail stores in California, but we do sell our hemp (non-THC products) online to markets that allow it. Those can be purchased at KurvanaCBD.com, as well as select retailers throughout the country. Those locations can also be found on our website.
8. What about SoCal inspires you be it landmarks, food, music etc.?
I think SoCal has an energy about it that’s unlike any other place that I’ve ever been. Especially in the cannabis industry, it’s really become a space of open-mindedness and innovation, and arguably some of the worlds best cannabis. I’m definitely inspired by the creativity I have experienced here as well as the comradery I have found with other leaders in the industry here. It’s an amazing community, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of it.
9. Anything else you want our readers to know about your plans for Kurvana in SoCal? What’s next?
Kurvana is always at the forefront of innovation, and we are constantly striving to find the next best thing for cannabis, hemp, and other natural products. We are currently working on expanding our vape line using the latest in technology, genetics, and the introduction of novel ingredients spanning from mushrooms and adaptogens to many other medicinal plant ingredients.
Kurvana is the nation’s leading premium vape pen and cannabis lifestyle brand. Kurvana continually transforms the industry with innovative, high quality products.
Founded in 2014 by Mehran Moghaddam, who has over twenty years of combined experience in biotech, life sciences, and nutraceuticals, focusing on health and wellness. Under Mehran’s leadership, Kurvana has established its reputation as a pioneer in the vape space. Mehran is the rare executive in the cannabis space who has a background in business as well as biochemistry, making him an expert on the science behind the cannabis plant and a thought leader in the industry.
Our/Los Angeles vodka, led by distiller Anton Van DerWoude and located in the arts district of downtown Los Angeles, recently partnered with artist Ruben Rojas best known for his “love” artwork to spread the message of “Live Through Love”. This collaboration saw the creation of a custom designed label on its 750ml bottle and retails at $20.99.
The collaboration also includes a street mural by Ruben in downtown Los Angeles with a donation made to benefit Beautify Earth, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and international movement that creates impactful murals in neglected areas by engaging with brands, cities, developers, small businesses, neighborhood organizations, schools, and individuals. This will be the second initiative as a part of Our/Los Angeles’ LA Spotlight campaign partnering with different Angelenos each month for social good.
You can purchase the first edition Ruben Rojas x Our/Los Angeles collaboration bottle at Simon’s Provisions (Venice Beach) and Flask (Highland Park).
With production at a halt during COVID-19, we’re running out of Netflix content to binge! The good news? There has been a ton of great new digital content in the form of podcasts, IG Lives, made for Youtube series and more! One such show produced by SoCal natives is “Major Minors.” The streaming series stars internationally famed, award-winning dance music artist, BP Major, as he mentors youth talent Gia Pater and Danika Hemmer. Think “Dance Moms” meets modern day “Mickey Mouse Club!” Speaking of, “Dance Moms” star Melissa Gisoni is actually a special guest co-host for several episodes in Season 1.
The first half of the season focuses on Gia Pater, a 10-year old diamond in the rough starlet with a great big voice! It’s BP’s job to create just the right conditions to help her shine. Her first music video, a cover of Aretha Franklin’s Respect, garnered 1.6M views in its first two weeks! Danika Hemmer joins the cast in Episode 7 and BP mentors her to become the next big Youtube star. Viewers take a peek inside Danika’s Dreamhouse- a life size doll house- which features videos in every room including cooking, science, comedy and more!
Season 1 also includes special guest appearances from BP’s closest celebrity friends who surprise the youth talent at rehearsals and teach them the skills they need to become a star from performing, to makeup and wardrobe, to how to walk the catwalk or red carpet with confidence!
What makes Major Minors such a special show and why is now the right time for a Youtube original series like this?
Major Minors is special because it’s something the whole family can watch together. It’s inspirational to watch the growth and development of a young person’s life, personality and career. I’m tough but I prefer to inspire my kids to be the best they can be through encouragement, lot’s of hard work, discipline, dedication and a lot of fun training techniques. Whilst a lot of the entertainment industry is shut down from production right now, I have been able to create and share an alternative to perhaps your usual streaming content as I have been filming my content over a long period of time and before the isolation rules came into effect.
Both youth stars are CA locals. What makes California such a special place for talent?
California is such a wonderful place to create content in as we have such a diverse group of talented people from all over the world. Because of the geography here, it’s possible to discover and develop strong local talent literally in your backyard! My backyard just happens to be Hollywood. There’s also a wonderfully unique energy here in California with a feel of “anything is possible.” This creates an environment of people open to growth and development.
You’ve brought on a lot of celebrity mentors to help coach these two young girls. Tell us what peaked their interest to support the show and share a bit about these special guests?
We’ve had so many talented celebrity guest mentors. Melissa Gisoni from “Dance Moms;” International recording artist and Judge on shows like “America’s Got Talent,” “The Masked Singer,” and “X Factor” Dannii Minogue; Miss J from “America’s Next Top Model;” Celebrity Red Carpet host, Dean McCarthy; Brian Justin Crum from “America’s Got Talent;” Professional dancer, Sage Rosen; Brandi Glanville from the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and more. All the guests were so incredibly generous and supportive but also loads of fun. I had a huge laugh when Brandi Glanville told the girls to “learn from her mistakes.”.Brandi is very honest and open about her career highs and lows and having the girls hear from model-turned- reality star on what NOT to do on camera was priceless! Miss J from “America’s Next Top Model” asked
Gia if she knew how to “walk” and Gia said “yes.” I near belly laughed as clearly J meant walk like a model, and innocent Gia thought he just meant walk. She now knows how to “walk.”
We heard that Gia did a collaboration with Drag Celebrity Minnie Cooper that launched during PRIDE. How did this come about and why is it important or significant?
I treat my kids as if they were my own kids, and as such, I want them to understand all cultures and appreciate and understand the importance of inclusion. I teach my kids to be accepting and knowledgeable. We discuss so many different topics – but now as it’s Pride month Gia teamed up with Australia’s celebrity Drag Queen Minnie Cooper to do a duet. It’s fabulous on so many levels. I was impressed and surprised to discover the girls know more about drag culture than I expected; they love hair and make up and what girl wouldn’t want to do a duet with Drag Queen! I think Gia may be the first 10 year old to do a duet with a Drag Queen. This was extra special as the duet was a tribute to Australian star sisters and Major Minors mentor Dannii Minogue & Kylie Minogue. The Minogue’s did this duet back in the 80’s on Dannii’s TV show “Young Talent Time” which I grew up watching. Originally the song was recorded by Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox. So I have Gia learning about the history of music, social movements and Drag Culture, all while doing what she loves most.
Gia’s first music video had over 1M views in a week. What can you tell us about that and what’s next?
Yes, we are so overwhelmed with the response to Gia’s cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Respect.” The follow up single is also another Aretha Franklin cover of “Think.” It is just as adorable! Gia plays 6 different characters in 6 different colors. 2 of which pay tribute to the movie “The Blues Brothers” as well as Aretha Franklin. I creatively direct all of Gia’s work but also encourage her to work with me in creating the overall aesthetic of her work. I’m teaching her to use her imagination and inspirations to create her work. It’s obviously important that I take the lead, but I want to raise kids that know how to “Think” for themselves and also have the tools to do so.
Danika Hemmer recently joined the cast. What can we expect to see as her talent develops?
Danika is so adorable, I literally cannot cope! She is so incredibly energetic and intelligent. I have her playing the piano and singing. She is also discovering the things she really loves to do and is passionate about, and creating organic and fantastic content around that. So, I’ve given her something I think all little girls might dream about, it’s a life size doll house called “Danika’s Dream House.” Inside Danika’s Dream House she will create nursery rhymes, science projects, arts and crafts, and more. She’ll hold a book club from her library and unbox her toys and play with her wigs in her closet. It’s been an undertaking that’s for sure. We are creating all this in her home and will film between “Major Minors” studio and her home in Temecula. On “Major Minors,” we will see her development and growth from an energetic yet shy little girl into a very confident, humble and talented all round performer.
What is your goal or hope with the show?
With my kids, I strive to create an environment where I can make their dreams come true. “Major Minors” is not about finding the best singers or dancers, it’s about discovering what it is inside you that you are truly passionate about. It is about working on those skills and bringing out the absolute best in my kids while keeping them humble, creative, expressive and aware.
My main hope with the show is to express how important it is to nurture, inspire and teach our youth. Yes, I would love “Major Minors” to be globally successful but not for my ego, but because it would mean that the message of bringing out the best in people and raising our youth correctly would be getting out there. We are going through incredibly uncertain times right now, and we need to keep our kids aware and also on point with a clear guide towards creating a healthy future for themselves. I grew up without any real role models or specific direction. I had to learn everything about the industry on my own and was lucky enough to have parents that were supportive and protective, even though none of us had any idea as to what we were doing in the entertainment industry.
I’d love “Major Minors” to become so big that I could just focus on inspiring and training my kids, as right now it’s literally just us and a few iPhones making things happen!
When the pandemic began, VAST, an LA-based surf and lifestyle brand, knew they wanted to make a difference in the Los Angeles community. That is why Founder, Sam Yang, set out to create a product that would be beneficial for Angelenos and the environment. Knowing that one-time use masks, would eventually pile up on the beaches of SoCal, he began looking into creating a mask that is durable, water repellant and made with antibacterial fabrics and ways to partner with local hospitals to help frontline workers. The Vast FM and cozy clothes program is what emerged! We sat down with Yang to learn more about the brand’s mission and what’s next.
We love featuring brands here in SoCal. Can you share what makes VAST special with our readers?
We speak to a wide range of topics while surfing serves as the connective tissue to these different interests. Over the years, we’ve created friendships with car builders, music producers, artists, and chefs through surfing. We blend different perspectives and topics to surfing which is refreshingly different.
What are some of your best sellers to date and what sets VAST apart from other surf options?
We have a few baseball jerseys that are selling, our Primary Tye Dye tee is doing well, and so are the VAST FaceMasks. I’d say our aesthetic and items we offer would be the biggest difference. Aesthetically, we lean towards streetwear/sportswear, positioning ourselves as a surf/lifestyle brand based in the concrete jungle of LA.
What are the environmental impacts to SoCal beaches of the recent use of one time masks and how is VAST trying to combat this?
Not only in Southern California, but ocean conservation agencies around the world, have been discovering an alarming amount of face masks in the ocean. Single use masks are made of polypropylene which is a type of plastic with a lifespan of approximately 450 years. The harmful impact that this could have on the marine ecosystem here in SoCal is scary. At that point, it was a no brainer to us, we need to make an effective mask to keep people and the ocean safer.
What makes the VAST masks a good option for both personal protection and eco-concerns?
The exterior shell of our mask is highly water repellent, which is optimal for blocking contagious moisture droplets. We used AquaTerra for the inside liner, its non-clinging and antimicrobial properties, made from hundreds of deconstructed Vast surf tees. There are 2 straps for a comfortable and secure fit. We also used leather stoppers versus plastic ones for its decompositional properties. Finally, the mask fits securely around your nose and mouth, minimizing entry points. All of the above makes this mask really effective. Not only that, the mask is reusable, so please wash, and reuse.
Is there a charity component with VAST during the pandemic or as part of the brand ethos?
We are going to be supporting the essential staff at various LA hospitals. For every item purchased online, we will donate a cozy item to the essential staff of various hospitals in LA. To encourage donations, the site will also be 40% off. We believe being comfortable is key to resting and recovering after a long shift. (Cozy items: sweatpants, sweat shorts, tees, tanks, long sleeves, socks) So far we’ve donated 300 units to Martin Luther King Hospital in Los Angeles and we look forward to doing more.
What are your personal fav surf spots in SoCal?
I enjoy surfing at El Porto in LA, Huntington Beach Pier in OC, and Trestles in San Clemente. Each zone has a different energy, and the waves are fun.
Outside of the waves, what about SoCal inspires you be it landmarks, food, music etc.?
I often find myself inspired by people and the environment. The variety of everything in LA. It’s Vast. Hahaha. LA is such a melting pot culture, and it’s represented through fashion, food, music, art, and sports. It’s never a dull moment in the city.
Can you tell us about what to expect from your upcoming Winter line?
For this collection, Vast is utilizing red and yellow as it symbolizes good fortune and wealth. The line takes on classic cuts with modern tweaks, featuring key pieces like the signature Block Crewneck Sweater, Puffy Sherpa Jacket, 2-Button Pullover Hoodie, and No Collar Jacket. These intricately designed pieces will keep all men covered this winter. You can find Vast “elements logos” embedded into the red paisley print anywhere it shows up in the line, as well as find “Yogi” the chill spirit mascot on Vast’s cotton tees. With prices ranging from $28-$135, the Vast collection with prominent red pieces is perfect for celebrating the New Year and upcoming holidays including Chinese New Year (Feb. 12th) and Valentine’s Day (Feb 14th.)
Anything else you want our readers to know about VAST’s plans in SoCal? What’s next?
We’re working with key retailers to bring VAST products to SoCal stores. We’re proud about the pieces we design and develop. The hand feel, quality, and tech we’ve implemented is a thoughtful design difference you’ll notice. We’re also looking to develop more community programs including surfing classes for hospital and essential workers to help with mental stress and physical exercise. Stay tuned for more on that!
VAST FM masks for the public currently available online ($30 in Khaki with Black, Coral, Teal,
or Navy trim.)
Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. Each episode is produced and edited by host and creator Hrishikesh Hirway in Los Angeles. Using the isolated, individual tracks from a recording, Hrishikesh asks artists to delve into the specific decisions that went into creating their work. Hrishikesh edits the interviews, removing his side of the conversation and condensing the story to be tightly focused on how the artists brought their songs to life. Guests include Fleetwood Mac, U2, Metallica, Solange, Lorde, Yo-Yo Ma.
Now it is an excellent four-episode series on Netflix featuring Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda, R.E.M., and Ty Dolla $ign.
The show is produced and hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway. Although not a journalist, he shapes each show with a profound understanding of the result of music, and here, explores how that music comes to life. In the first episode, Alicia Keys collaborates with British musician Sampha, in an emotional exchange of sound and lyrics. Lin-Manuel Miranda reveals that he wrote his hit song. “Wait for It” from Hamilton, while on his way to a party. REM’s hit, “Losing my Religion” gets revealed to be a song that began with a mandolin riff and singer Michael Stipes patiently explains the lyrics.
What becomes apparent is that songs begin with the simplest of moments, a sound heard, a word that won’t let go, and the building of a song, usually a collaboration, becomes a creation that has many parts. It is also evident that singers and songwriters create out of necessity—this is indeed how feelings get expressed.
On Saturday, September 26, premium vodka brand Kástra Elión will welcome guests to a virtual event hosted by acclaimed actress Stephanie Beatriz. Guests are invited to tune in online to experience a full evening of fun, including a cocktail demonstration from Matthew Biancaniello of Eat Your Drink, a three course paired meal by celebrated caterer Jennifer Naylor, a sip and chat with the Kástra Elión founders, and a performance by alternative rock band Kongos. The special evening is presented in celebration of Kástra Elión’s launch of their new premium sipping vodka distilled from Greek olives
Family-owned, artisan crafted in Greece, and three generations in the making, Kástra Elión combines tradition, innovation, and a love for the flavors and heritage of the Mediterranean. While most vodkas are made with just grain, Kástra Elión is distilled from the finest hand-picked olives found in the Nafpaktos region of Greece, creating a profile with subtle notes of ripe olives refined with peppery undertones and a soft, battery finish.
Along with host Stephanie Beatriz and Kástra Elión founders Mike Camello and Brandon Cohen, guests will experience a cocktail demonstration on how to make the perfect cocktail using Kástra Elión. Chef partner Jennifer Naylor will also provide a walkthrough of her curated Meditteranean meal that includes a mezze platter, Greek salad, grilled marinated chicken and vegetables, plum and nectarine crisp, and much more for guests to enjoy pairing with the vodka. At the end of the presentation, the founders will open up the discussion for attendees to ask questions, engage, interact, and learn more about the brand. The evening will conclude with a special performance by Kongos.
Having launched just prior to the global pandemic, Kástra Elión understands the value of engaging and giving back to the community. Proceeds from ticket sales for this event will be donated to The Art of Elysium – a nonprofit artist organization built on the idea that through service, art becomes a catalyst for social change. Philanthropic efforts, especially during this time, are deeply rooted in Kástra Elión’s brand DNA, and they believe that we are stronger when we work together to make a difference.
Premium tickets purchased for the virtual event will include two meals prepared by Jennifer Naylor, a cocktail kit for two featuring Kástra Elión, and access to Kongo’s performance.