The day before Valentine's Day, Chevrolet -- together with CraveLA -- showed some love to femme-owned businesses around Los Angeles with its Best of Women Owned Businesses Tour of L.A.
I was happy to hop on board this event to check out not only some creative and top-flight local businesses, but also to meet some inspiring "mompreneurs" -- mothers who are living the dream by owning their own companies while still keeping their kids No. 1.
CraveLA, a city guidebook and champion of local businesses, arranged visits to designer boutique Calleen Cordero, luxury style shop Studio BeautyMix at Fred Segal, blowout salon drybar and chocolatier Valerie Confections.
Together with an eclectic bunch of bloggers and writers -- including food blogger e*starLA, Sandra of SoyFashionista and Nicole from CraveLA -- I rode in a Chevy Equinox (pictured above, and my mom pick of the bunch for its roominess, comfort and view), an Avalanche, Malibu and Camaro, as we were shuttled around the city to watch these women in action.
First Stop: Calleen Cordero
Designer and mom of two Calleen Cordero owns an upscale boutique on Beverly Boulevard that features beautifully handcrafted Italian leather shoes and accessories. Her factory in North Hollywood employs about 45 artisans who create pieces that also use sustainable alder wood and studded metal artwork.
On our visit, Calleen talked about her business and chatted with me about balancing work and motherhood.
Second Stop: Studio BeautyMix at Fred Segal
Beauty-obsessed shoppers will be in cosmetics heaven in this Fred Segal shop. From custom, "bespoke" fragrances (Memoire Liquide) to Tokyo Milk lipsticks -- not to mention 100% Pure Organic Kids lotions and bubble bath -- this boutique turned all of us into giddy little girls.
Studio BeautyMix is the well-appointed brainchild of Robin Coe-Hutsching and her sister Jennifer Coe-Bakewell. They launched the store at Fred Segal in Santa Monica in 1984.
The store manager, Rosie, guided us through the luxurious islands and counters at the shop, as lithe women glided through to demonstrate products. The goody bags alone were amazing.
Third Stop: drybar
The just-opened drybar in Brentwood specializes in blowouts only. As the sign says: "No cuts. No color. Just blowouts. Only $35." But that doesn't mean style is off the menu. Hair stylist and mom of two, Alli Webb created a salon that offers blow-drys with a cocktail menu of options. From the Mai Tai ("messy and beachy") to the Manhattan ("sleek and smooth"), it's not your basic wash and go.
When we arrived, the shop was buzzing with clients. Alli was gracious enough to chat with me about business and mommyhood.
Fourth Stop: Valerie Confections
Launched in 2004, partners Valerie Gordon and Stan Weightman Jr. created Valerie Confections, a Los Angeles-based artisanal confectioner. All of their chocolates are handmade and molded.
While we were there, we tasted a Champagne truffle -- "a boozy truffle," as Valerie called it -- as well as their signature almond fleur de sel toffee that blends salty and sweet. They were all fantastically delicious.
Valerie chatted with me about taking her toddler son, August, around Los Angeles, as well as keeping his sweet tooth at bay.
I had a great time meeting all the writers/bloggers and learning more about L.A. businesswomen. It was totally inspiring and a great project for Chevrolet and CraveLA.