All posts filed under: People

Eliza Blank – Founder of The Sill

Eliza Blank, the 30-year-old founder of The Sill, grew up watching her grandmother garden and believes that every house needs a plant. Here’s how her team is greening the urban jungle. Why did you start The Sill? Owning a houseplant in a city like New York is so important. When it came time for me to move out on my own, one of the things that I really wanted to do was fill my apartment with greenery; immediately I realized how difficult that would be. It wasn’t just the access, it was the missing element of design. You have your choice of 100 shower curtains—why isn’t there that breadth when it comes to buying a potted plant? Do you sell anything besides plants? About a year into the start of The Sill we started designing and manufacturing our own line of ceramic planters. All the tabletop items are designed with input from our plant team. The pots are well suited to the plants, they’re the right size, and they incorporate drainage when appropriate. What’s the most common question you get …

Travis Lett

  The Jersey-born, self-taught chef transformed Abbot Kinney into one of L.A.’s most happening streets by cooking impossibly gratifying Cali-minded food. “I’m working really hard to make it look like I’m not working really hard,” says Travis Lett, who’s sitting beneath a tree on a sleepy stretch of Sunset Avenue in Venice, California, explaining how he manages to make healthy food both delicious and seemingly simple in its appearance. “I don’t want to admit it,” he adds, tucking a loose strand of blond hair behind his ear, “but the simpler it looks, the harder it is.” Indeed, though the perennially tanned, wiry 37-year-old could pass for a reluctant male model with too much time on his hands, he’s been up since 4 a.m. baking bread at his whitewashed bakery/restaurant, Gjusta , and prepping for another busy day at his other Venice restaurant, Gjelina, beloved for its fresh, veggie-forward Cal-Italian dishes like salted anchovy wood-fired pizzas, dandelion salad, braised pork meatballs, and roasted fennel. Per Lett’s usual routine, he won’t be wrapping up until 11 p.m. “I …

Chuck Williams – founder of Williams-Sonoma

Charles E. Williams, founder of Williams-Sonoma and the man responsible for introducing French cookware and high-end ingredients into American kitchens, died peacefully in his sleep early Saturday. He had recently turned 100. Mr. Williams, who was known to everyone as Chuck, bought an old hardware store in Sonoma in 1956 and began filling it with the copper and enamel ware he’d seen while traveling through Europe. He ignited America’s enthusiasm for cooking and quickly turned his own passion into a highly successful retail and mail-order business, one that now boasts 623 stores, including Pottery Barn and West Elm. “He just loved food and entertaining,” said Mary Risley, a close friend of Mr. Williams who formerly ran Tante Marie’s Cooking School and still teaches classes out of her home. Risley first met Mr. Williams when the two were neighbors on Nob Hill and shopped at a grocery store nearby. “The store put produce out front, but the better stuff was in the back,” Risley recalls. “Chuck and I would meet going through the tomatoes in the back room. We knew all …

Rachael Yamagata

   What makes you come alive or inspires you? Rachael Yamagata: Beauty and heartache.  What makes you feel vulnerable? RY: My own brain. When I get it out of the way, I’m fine.  If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? RY: “Love everything.”  How do you handle emotional pain? RY: I face it, write about it, and then sing.  How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? RY: I treasure my mornings. I get up early and ignore everything work-related for the first few hours. It’s just me and my coffee addiction.  What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? RY: Follow your instincts, and handle all with respect and diplomacy. What truth do you know for sure? RY: That we all are trying—everyone is more than what you see on the cover; we all run deep and have our story. That my mother would jump in front of a train for me. That love could …

Patricia Velasquez – Supermodel, Actor and Author

MP: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Patricia Velasquez: Anything that propels me to create, like [my book, Straight Walk]. It kept me inspired for almost four years. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? PV: Kids suffering, with no opportunities for lack of having their basic human needs [met], like food, health, and education, but at the same time, [it] motivates me to keep fighting for them, for the ones less fortunate. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? PV: “The universe only gives you what you can handle, so trust that whatever is happening to you is exactly what you need. Just trust. Have certainty!” MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? PV: I do hot yoga. I try to keep one hour a day where I have space to reflect and meditate and take care of me and what is going on inside. This way, I can be a better person to …

Sebastian Roché

Interview: Robert Piper Robert Piper: What inspires you? Sebastian Roché: The greatest source of inspiration for me recently has been my wife; she is the love of my life, my best friend, and my most ardent supporter. I am lucky enough to be married to someone who I believe in totally and who believes in me totally. Her every-morning smiles and encouragements inspire me to be a better man and to work harder every day. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? SR: I would have to say that my divorce was an incredibly difficult experience in my life, but I am truly thankful for it. It made me a stronger and better person. RP: How do you stay healthy? SR: I am very careful about what I eat, and I exercise pretty much every day, whether it be rock-climbing, running, Muay Thai, yoga, horse riding, stand-up paddleboarding, or plain and simple working out. I am extremely active and conscious of not eating any processed foods. Everything fresh, organic, …

Robert Plant

Maranda Pleasant: Hey! RP: [Laughing.] I’m so sorry, my calculations were a bit adrift this morning. MP: I was, like, Oh, shit, I just woke up Robert Plant. [Laughs.] Not on my top-ten list! Sorry for calling you so early. It’s months in the making. RP: I remember meeting you near the coffee-shop parking lot in Austin. MP: Yeah, I jumped in your car. RP: You’ll have to help me clean it before you get in. MP: We finally have this conversation! RP: What were you going to talk about before? Really, life is life. You do a lot of different things and you have great adventures, but there’s not a lot to talk about unless you’re in the middle of an adventure at the time. Circumspection is not one of my better, favorite conditions, really. MP: Do you want to jump right in? What is it that makes you feel alive? RP: Well, once you get the groove of your life, and you sort out the aspects of your life that you prefer, and …

Erin Keller

What is your favorite part of what you do? I love cooking: it’s what I was meant to do, it fulfills me, and it’s what I’ll do for the rest of my life. When people tell you to do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life — that’s really true for me. What inspired you to start EK’s Crème Brulee? I was living in a small town in northern California last year, and sold these little crème brulees at the farmer’s market, potted up in mason jars and blow torched to order. They were incredibly popular, but I noticed that a lot of my customers were taking them home to enjoy later, or use for entertaining. The problem with taking crème brulee “to go” is that the sugar on top goes soft quickly after exposure to moisture or oxygen, and not everyone has a blowtorch at home, or wants to use one. Eventually I came up with a way to make the hard caramel topping and package it separately from the custard. …

Don Cheadle

Via: Origin Don Cheadle was awarded the BET Humanitarian Award for his humanitarian services in the cause of the people of Darfur and Rwanda, relating to the genocide. He is the United Nations Environment Programme Global Ambassador. He co-authored the book, Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond. He founded the Not on Our Watch Project with George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, and others. He draws upon cultural leaders to protect and assist the vulnerable, marginalized, and displaced.  I know that you’re one of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Goodwill Ambassadors. Why are you passionate about it on a personal level? DC: I’m a parent. I have kids, and what’s happening with our waters, and our oceans, and what’s happening with deforestation, and all these things that human beings are having negative impacts on at this time, are concerning to me. I wanted to do whatever I could to be a part of the solution and not just be a part of the problem.  Are there any causes …

Sebastiao Salgado

Via : photography office MASTERS OF PHOTOGRAPHY: SEBASTIAO SALGADO – GENESIS – THE LEGACY OF PLANET EARTH   Sebastião Salgado (b.1944) is one of the leading social documentary photographer and photojournalist working in the world today. He began his career as a professional photographer in Paris in 1973 and subsequently worked with the photo agencies Sygma, Gamma and Magnum Photos.   Sebastiao Salgado In 1994 he and his wife Lélia created Amazonas images, which exclusively handles his work. Salgado’s photographic projects have been featured in many exhibitions as well as books, including Other Americas (1986), Sahel, L’Homme en détresse (1986), Workers (1993), Terra (1997), Migrations (2000), The Children (2000), Africa (2007) and Genesis (2013). The world-renowned photographer has received many awards, including the W Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, and his many books have been published to great acclaim. He is a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador and an honorary member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in the United States. He is currently based in Paris. The  Genesis project unveils a photographic journey through the planet’s unspoiled …

Bradley Cooper

Via Vanityfair.com With Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Bradley Cooper earned star status, now on display in the Broadway revival of The Elephant Man. But with American Sniper, opening this month, Cooper reaches a whole new dimension, playing Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who was murdered in 2013. Buzz Bissinger discovers what a huge challenge the role represented.   by:  Buzz Bissinger Every day before going on location Bradley Cooper recited the six pages of exercises. They had been pieced together by his speech coach, Tim Monich, to further reinforce a Texas accent and dialect that Cooper knew, if it didn’t come to him automatically, would rob all credibility. In a film such as this, and a role such as this, the most challenging of Bradley Cooper’s career, there was no margin for error. Don’t get it right, don’t do the movie. There are many Texas accents in Texas. This particular one, because of all the places the real-life character once lived, had parts West Texas and country Texas and home-on-the-range Texas, a little bit southern, a little bit western, a …

Jason Mraz

  Via Origin Magazine   Maranda Pleasant: What are some of the things that really make you feel alive? That make you feel inspired? Jason Mraz: I love the feeling of putting my feet back on the sand after I’ve been out in the ocean for a while. I love that. I guess the adrenaline calms down when the sense of balance returns in a really grounded way. I love writing songs with people, which is about really taking risks, throwing yourself over the falls and really seeing what you’re made of and seeing how it sticks. Seeing how others react to it, and seeing also how it can become a melody and how it can really take off from your experience. It’s a way of seeing life unfold on the page before me. I’ve gotten more into gardening over the past couple years. It’s a combination of patience and hustle, and I love it. MP: That’s great! JM: Sometimes I’m out there until eleven o’clock at night, making sure everything is great and no …