We had the good fortune of connecting with Arielle Caputo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Arielle, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The road was not easy and it definitely was not paved for me along the way by any means. I moved from Seattle to LA at 23 years old with a 6 month old baby not knowing a soul. I did know sunshine, palm trees, and beaches were crucial for my personal happiness. I got a job right away from a Craigslist ad, of all places, at a post production studio. The team there was incredible and quickly became extended family. I worked there by day and attended film school by night. At the time, I was earning $9 an hour as a receptionist. I would pay bills and childcare and then have about $20 to last me till the next paycheck two weeks away. I knew all the food banks in my area and the dates and times they served new families. Shopping meant going to the dollar store because I could get 5 top ramen for $1 and then would walk to the street market for the remaining items. There was a gentleman there, I swear he must have known I was on hard times because upon returning home there was always an extra apple and bag of crackers added to my basket. (Thank you angel, I will never forget your kindness bestowed upon my daughter and I) In the entertainment industry, summers seem to be the slowest (due to multiple reasons). So each summer, I would pick a personal goal and complete it. One year I attended and completed the suicide intervention training with Didi Hirsch (I am a certified suicide intervention coach) Another year I wrote my first book (Love You, We, Me). Then I launched a depression and suicide support group (which ran successfully for 3 yrs) Another summer I launched a podcast with my best friend at the time called Hidden Heroes, interviewing people who were doing incredible things in their every day life. Oftentimes progression in life like a pay raise or moving to a newer apartment didn’t seem to be happening fast enough, and the mere thought of going back to school with a young child and working full time seemed incredibly daunting, so completing certificates at least felt like I was contributing towards a better future for my young daughter and I. I now have certificates as a Mindfulness Coach, Law of Attraction Coach, Transformation Life Coach, Public Notary, and Active Minds… and currently completing one in grant writing. My vice through all these incredibly hard and monotonous years running off zero sleep and a poor diet, became my charity events. I felt that if I couldn’t move my life forward fast enough, at least I could better someone’s life who was less fortunate than myself. I started throwing events at local shelters calling and asking what their biggest need was. One time we showed up with a crew of barbers and gave all of the youth fresh haircuts. Another time showing up and doing a workshop on what to wear to a job interview. Another was this massive outdoor paint party. Each event got bigger and bigger and more and more people started reaching out wanting to be involved. The events started picking up press and traction and got picked up in the papers. Our biggest event I would say was probably our dance party. We came on site to the shelter and all of the youth were able to get their hair and make up done and the girls got to pick out dresses and heels accessories while the young men picked out suits. We built a dance stage, booked a couple performers, brought in food and drinks and threw the most epic dance party of the century right inside their shelter. One summer we created a mini sneaker festival – built a shoe wall, passed out wristbands, and each of the kids got to step forward and pick and try on a shoe of their choosing. The festival was of course equipped with a DJ, tacos, and prizing winnings all inside the shelter. Many people look at the events now (our gala last yr which raised $320k) and say oh wow she is lucky. And I laugh and say no, I was that girl with $20 to my name and shopping at the dollar barely scraping by. Do you know how many closed doors and no’s I received over the years? Shelters saying no, we couldn’t interact with the youth residing there and that the only accepted monetary donations, to calling so so so many buildings trying to secure a venue for the support group. I was often turned down because their assumption was suicidal and depressed individuals come from impoverished communities and they didn’t want that “rift raft” in the building. But, I stayed at it and kept calling till I received a yes. After six years at the studio I felt I reached a point where I couldn’t advance any further career wise so I decided to part ways. I knew I wanted to be in the entertainment industry but my philanthropy world was becoming my strong passion and I needed to find out if there was a position where the two worlds could intersect. I decided to take a pay cut and pivot to the one place that seemed to be the hub of all entertainment in LA- Soho House. My goal was to work there for two years and network, and build strong relationships while discovering what type of positions were out there in the LA abyss. I worked long hours and oftentimes consisting of what we call clo-pening– a closing shift followed by an opening shift. Meaning one barely got 5 hours of sleep. I knew my goal and I stayed focus (often leaving a shift in tears but that’s a story for another day.) Early on I learned a valuable lesson and realized firsthand the power of remembering people’s names. I made a game with myself. I would meet someone once and actively work on remembering their name forever forward. I pride myself on my work ethics and seek to be five steps ahead at all times. But, most importantly I treated everyone the same; from our valet, to the bus boy, the server, our general manager, to the members walking through the door- everyone got the royal Arielle treatment. You never know who you’re speaking to and you never know who may progress to a high-level position one day. People may forget what you say, but mark my words they will never forget how you made them feel. Think of the last time someone remembered your name? That small gesture makes you feel incredibly special. Working behind the Soho desk my goal wasn’t to usurp some sort of false authority, but to build lifelong relationships that would lead to future projects, bettering our community, and impacting the world around us.. I won’t mention any names here but word got around, and members started contributing to the charity events. One dropped off 200 copies of their newly published book to donate to our children living in the projects. Others contributed bags of new clothes and shoes to be gifted to youth as they were transitioning into finding jobs, and numerous others contributed with monetary donations. So my advice to those who are reading this article: 1. Trust me when I say- if I can do it, a timid girl running away from a religious community with zero support raising a child on my own, then so can you! 2. You never know who you are speaking to or who they will be in the near future. Treat everyone like they are someone; for even just the fact that they could be your new best friend, let alone an incredible future professional relationship. 3. Relationships are everything! (Especially in this town) I can not stress this enough and the smallest thing as little as just remembering someone’s name will get you so far in life. 4. I truly believe that all of the somewhat bullshit jobs will one day come full circle for you in your dream role. So show up fully. Turn on when you walk through the doors of your job. Give the extra 10%. There is something in your current role that will benefit you in your dream position. 5. Take the time to ask yourself what you truly want. What type of role would help you feel fulfilled. (My criteria was x amount of pay, x hours, a specific location, but most importantly office vibes and team culture.) And then, be courageous enough to hold out until you find the one that resonates with you. When I decided it was time to leave SoHo house I sent out hundreds of resumes and went on 17 job interviews. When I would walk into the room 90% of them were members, who knew exactly who I was and offered me a job on the spot (because I remembered their name and their guests name and showed up to the “bullshit” job going the extra mile…). I politely turned them all down until I walked into my current position. I knew right away this was the roll I had been waiting for, because it matched the criteria above that I had so diligently taken the time to truly ask myself. I say all that to tell you- what if I had stopped at interview 7, or even interview 12, or even interview 16 and settled for something that I knew in my heart wasn’t the perfect fit? I would’ve missed out on my position now which I absolutely enjoy. (and get this, it is an incredible intersection of social impact and entertainment.) Your dreams matter. You have them for a reason! But, from my experience they do not always come floating to you on a golden platter. You have got to be willing to get to know you and then be courageous enough to pursue till you find your dream position. And as I sit here getting ready to launch our new talk show series called “With Love” ( co-hosted with my dear friend Kaerhart) I can’t help but smile in gratitude looking at our list of interviewees all from personal relationships built over the past 10 years here in LA. And as we prep to host the LA Global Youth Awards yet again this year… I am grateful for the friendships that join forces with me and continue to create impact all over the world. I truly believe one’s currency is one’s network, community, or friend circle. Do I have a lot more to go? Absolutely, especially career wise… I have an empire to build. Remember, you are your brand. People will join a charity event, read a book, or donate money because they believe in the person. So invest in yourself, invest in others around you, and take the extra minute to consciously remember the person’s name in your next interaction. Written with so much love
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ooo this is fun. I would start the day in nature with a luscious fresh air stroll to Hermit Falls, then followed by a beach day at Paradise Cove to lay in a cabana and soak up sun rays and activate light codes. You can not beat a sunset dinner at Elephante’; the view is incredible and the food spectacular. During the day we would drop into a Think Tank with dear friend, Luke Gledhill, to connect with business leaders and individuals focused on social impact, mental wellness, and sustainability. Then, end the evening dining at Inn of the 7th Ray with some light crystal shopping at their neighboring store. Last but not least, we would end the week visiting Redeye in Watts for some soul fulfilling volunteering with our children residing in the projects.
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?
This shoutout goes to my amazing friend circle and support system of incredibly loving inspirational humans: Varshini, Kaerhart, Kurtis, my sister Justina Caputo, and my fairy facialist Nina. Last but not least my 10 yr old daughter, Kaliya, who fills my life with kisses and laughter. They are my sounding board, my inspiration, encouragement, and motivation. Two books worth a shoutout: 1. Becoming Supernatural by Dr Joe Dispenza 2. The World is (y) ours by Kurtis Lee Thomas Both will blow your mind and change your life!