We had the good fortune of connecting with Ariel Kochbarski and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ariel, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I grew up on the East Coast, in Central New Jersey. From an early age, a strong work ethic in academics and sports was drilled into me. When I graduated from college and moved to New York City, this behavior was enforced and even lauded. Work hard, play hard was a common phrase among my circle. It wasn’t until my early 30’s that I began to tire of the constancy of being “on” for work and “on” for all the socializing I had subscribed to for many years. I desired a different lifestyle and moved to Los Angeles to facilitate that. The perspective in LA is different than NYC. We work hard in different ways. We work had to create balance here; it’s a priority. Balance in life=better performance at work or in your own business. Most of LA’s best features (beach, boardwalk, hiking trails) are all open during the day so working late isn’t ideal). I’ve learned to be more effective with my time so I can enjoy these features in the daylight hours pre or post office time. I’ve learned how to delegate as I advanced in my career, both empowering those who work for me with crucial tasks as well as allowing me to hone in on the projects where I am most needed. Balance to me is about assessing each day’s needs on an individual basis and incorporating moments of joy daily such as morning mediation, exercise, surfing, skateboarding, or a walk with my dog, Freddie.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is fashion and my canvas is people brands that I style looks for. I started in the buying and merchandising side of the fashion business right after getting my degree in Art History from Rutgers University. I transitioned to styling and creative work post pandemic. Transitioning has not been easy, nothing rarely is! It’s now about getting my name out there in this space of fashion vs. the space I was in before. To curate a wardrobe for a website or store is similar to curating campaign or shoot. I work everyday to trust the process. I meditate and exercise so that my head remains clear. Work always comes when I am in a good state of mind so that’s crucial for me in this new phase of working for myself. I want the world to know that no matter what age you are, you can make a change in your career, personal life, or whatever it is you want to affect. It’s scary at times, really scary (!), but it’s worth it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a beach bum so I’d definitely get them out to Malibu First Point for a surf session or swim and then lunch on the Pier at Malibu Farm. I love the vegan food in LA too so I’d take them to two of my favorite vegan spots: Crossroads and Plant, Food, and Wine. I believe the best part of LA is the outdoors so a hike up Temescal Canyon or Bronson Canyon would be in order as well. Along that same vein, it’s super fun to do wine tasting up in Malibu at Malibu Wines or Rosenthal Wines off PCH. It’s a nice way to spend the day!
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?
So many strong women in my life deserve this shoutout to be dedicated to them! I have an amazing support system around me of friends and professionals that I wouldn’t be here without. I do believe it all started with my mother though, so I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to her. She was a single mom since I was from age 4 years old. She showed me how to be successful as a single woman, how to work hard, and how to provide for your family without a partner. She was unwavering in her support of all the endeavors I wanted to pursue. She never criticized or questioned me, she simply trusted that I would figure it out somehow.
Facebook: Ariel Kochbarski
First two images are Julian Ungano of Ungano + Agriodimas for ISSUE Magazine, Styled by me (Ariel Kochbarski). Next four images are Odessy Barbu for Masunaga Eyewear and Kenzo Eyewear, Styled by me (Ariel Kochbarski). Last two images are from my regular column, The Sustainable Stylish Life, featured on Sameside’s popular blog.