We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina Garvin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christina, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
It’s changed drastically. At the beginning of my career I didn’t understand balance. For the first 10 years or so, I worked on average 80 + hours a week, day and night. I believed that the more I worked, the more people would take me seriously and in turn I would earn their respect. It took an emotional and physical toll on me, so much so that I went and quit my job on the spot with no backup plan. I knew I needed to make a change if I wanted to truly be happy and healthy and it was the best decision I ever made. Even now, there are times I struggle with balance between work and personal life, and in my job of PR there are seasons that are more intense than others and will require more of my time. But even still, I make sure to carve out at least an hour a day, that is for me and my mental/physical/emotional health. To achieve balance, it requires boundaries, and for me when I heard that word, I immediately thought of it in a negative manner. But in reality, when it’s quite the opposite. Implementing a few simple boundaries like business hours, or not responding to texts / calls after hours (emergencies excluded), has brought more positive change in my life and in my clients. They respect my boundaries and know I will respond and get the job done in a timely manner. We can all get burnt out, we can always get consumed with our job, but I truly believe it is necessary to have a well-balanced and full life.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am the founder of Sundari Public Relations, a boutique PR firm out of Los Angeles. We specialize in family-friendly music, television, film, events. We have strategic relationships with various firms including Schure Media Group, Erskine PR, Lexicon Public Relations, Epic Agency and ICON Media Group. I got to where I am today with a lot of support, ambition and drive. It definitely wasn’t easy. I’ve been told I am not cut out to be a publicist, whether I am “too bubbly”, that I don’t have the qualities to make it to be successful and that I wasn’t a good writer. It was hearing this from my superiors that made it hard to believe in myself, so quieting those voices in my head took some time, but it only made me stronger. It’s funny how now, those “weakness” have become my greatest strengths.
I’ve learned the importance of balance and for me to truly love my work and love those around me, I need to implement healthy boundaries between work and personal life. I’ve learned to not be selfish with your time. Use your gifts and expertise to give advice and help others, especially those wanting to get into your field or know more about what you do so they can better their career. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the kindness of others. People said yes to a complete stranger who just wanted to ask them questions about how they got to where they are, and because they did, those conversations led to friendships or connections that have guided me forward in my career.
What do I want the world to know about my story and journey? I truly with hard work and determination you really can make your dreams come true. Be willing to put in the time and effort and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Be a sponge and soak up as much information and experiences as possible in all fields. It will all help you become the person you want and are made to be.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The Grove- if you want to likely witness a celebrity sighting, do some shopping, grab a cocktail and get the best candy apple you have ever tasted. You can do it all at The Grove. UCB Theater or The Largo comedy shows, the improv comedy is hysterical. You will have a great time, hands down no matter what show you go to. The Henry in West Hollywood. Best service, delicious food & cocktails, and the atmosphere is superb. All around a great spot to eat, and there is something for every dietary need. Cinespia during the summer – my all-time favorite summer activity. Grab your friends, some blankets, food and drinks and head over to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to an outdoor screening of your favorite movie. Ride Bikes in Santa Monica along the pathway, and don’t forget to stop and get the best Corn Dog on a Stick, a little stand near Shutters. Take a hike to the Tree of Life or up by the Hollywood Sign to get a breathtaking view of LA. Flea Market on Fairfax every Sunday- always fun to see a diverse crowd, shop for fun knick-knacks, grab a bite at the food trucks and hear live music. For nightlife, go visit No Vacancy speakeasy in Hollywood. Great vibes, beautiful atmosphere with indoor and outdoor areas.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many people! My mom, for always encouraging me to go after my dreams, my first boss Velvet Kelm who gave me my first job out of college. I learned so much working for her like how to work with integrity, grace, kindness. Steve Rohr of Lexicon Public Relations who consistently believes in me and is an ear to listen and guides me along the way. My partner in crime Emilie Erskine, head of Erskine PR, she is someone who I learn from and laugh with daily. Of course my friends for being my biggest cheerleaders through all the ups and downs. There are so many people to say thank you to!
Instagram: sundari_pr ; csgarvin
Twitter: @sundari_pr ; @csgarvin
Lauren Manser Christina Garvin Jose Perez Sequoia Productions