We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Hawken and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started my business in 2016, and if I’m completely honest, I just wanted to stop spending so much time on the 405 freeway and spend more time with my children. I had just had my second baby and the thought of going back to work (I was working at The Getty at the time) made me so sad. With a freelance job as a copywriter, I decided to just take the leap. I thought I’d really dig in with writing, but the path to owning a creative agency fell into place more naturally. My friend Erica Chidi had just opened her space Loom and she needed some graphic work done, she asked me if I knew anyone who could throw a few things together. My sister gave me a contact for her former intern, Kylie, and soon enough, Erica was recommending me to other people and Kylie and I started working together. Today, Kylie is one of three incredible designers, Josh and Sam, who do work for Field Guide. I still write for clients, but I hired a copywriter, Izzy, as my role has shifted to more creative direction.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Field Guide Los Angeles is a creative agency. We do everything from branding and packaging to websites and social media management with a focus on small businesses. During the 1950s, when the Mid Century Modern movement was taking shape in California, Julius Schulman rose as an architectural photographer. I was always inspired by how he found his niche in the landscape of design and architecture–he supported the movement by documenting it. I think of Field Guide this way. In the last few years, we’ve seen a rise in small businesses and brands, all of whom need a digital presence, and we’re here for them! We serve the small businesses, the inspiring people and ideas that need a voice. We have worked on so many projects that have blossomed–like Loom and C and the Moon. Our journey has been easy with so much support from clients, but it has not been without its challenges. We’ve experienced ebbs and flows with work, but we stay the course and try not to be discouraged. When work has been slow, we focus on ourselves and our growth–take classes, do some business development and outreach.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The places I go now are always family-friendly so my kids are occupied while I visit with my friend. Museums–LACMA, The Getty Center and Villa, Norton Simon Museum. LACMA is a no brainer, easy for kids and great for adults. I worked at the Getty for many years and still see it as one of the most beautiful institutions in the world. The Norton Simon is my favorite museum in LA, but it tends to be overshadowed–don’t snooze on the Norton Simon.
Griffith Park–My family visits from the Philippines often, and one of the first places we go is the Griffith Park trails–that sunshine is my favorite way to combat jetlag. We pop our heads into the Observatory and have a bite at Trails Cafe.
Malibu–I will find any excuse to go to Malibu Seafood. I eat some mussels and buy some fresh fish to cook at home. The Annenberg Beach House is also such an easy beach spot with kids. The tide pools in Malibu are also so much fun.
Restaurants–Gjusta is my favorite LA restaurant. Here’s a secret–Gjusta has a Filipino chef and makes the best Sans Rival cake, a traditional Filipino dessert made with more butter than one can imagine.
In my neighborhood–I live in Baldwin Hills. I’m flanked by Culver City and West Adams; We’re surrounded by some really fun spots. Blum and Poe gallery for contemporary art. The Museum of Jurassic Technology because there is nothing like it. Margot at the Platform is delicious. Ice cream at Van Leeuwen’s. Reparations Club and Arcana for an incredible book selection. Homestate for a taco picnic. Highly Likely for brunch. Midland and Broome St. General for gift shopping. Teller to shop for me and Hi Lo Liquor for a kid snack and a bottle of wine.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My team–the incredible designers, programmers, writers and creative people who make up Field Guide Los Angeles are the reason I’ve been able to build my business. Field Guide began five years ago with one golden girl, Kylie. We later grew to include Sam and then Josh. For a long time, we operated with just three core designers, with Josh also programming. Today, we have grown to include another designer, Rae, Julius, who programs for us, Izzy, our copywriter, and Franci keeps us all in line. We have a lot of fun with one another. They are so loyal and supportive and a true dream team. They have all played such a huge role in realizing my dream–I am so grateful.
Morgan Pansing Midland Shop C and the Moon Things Are Looking Up Early Quit Marshell — Betsy Simon Vizala Coffee