We had the good fortune of connecting with Arynetta Northcutt and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Arynetta, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
I believe that one of the biggest impacts our company can make on the world is teaching children to believe in themselves, and their inherent special gifts and skills, so that they may impact the world in just the way they are meant to. And that’s exactly what Effie Monroe aims to do.
There is a reason why the Effie videos and meditations end with the words: “You are so awesome and smart and capable of doing anything you put your mind to.” It’s because we believe it’s true. On our website’s About Me page are the words: “…your child is as amazing as a double rainbow over a glistening ocean, shooting stars on a glossy night. The Aurora Borealis. The Saturn Jupiter Conjunction! Actually, those are only somewhat substantial compared to the magnificence that is your child…”
Though these may seem a bit hyperbolic, when I think of the fact that children come to this world with their own unique spark of divine individuality and greatness programmed specifically so that they may touch the world in their own unique way, it’s easy for me to see that that is magnificent. It is just as amazing as any of the above wonders, and more.
But often, as adults, we forget this truth about ourselves. We turn to society to tell us what’s right or wrong, profitable or popular, what it takes to fit in, and how to matter. Often, we abandon that divine spark of unique greatness until something––many times, personal trials or tribulations––force us back to our truth. It is Effie Monroe’s desire that children never forget. That they stay close to their individuality, their divine spark, and that inner guidance.
We do this through creating fun, captivating educational videos with a focus on mindfulness, and the development of self confidence and emotional intelligence, starring our children’s character, Effie Monroe.
Effie works hard to lead by example by being a model of positivity, curiosity, and having a can do attitude. As a dual-heritage girl, she also contributes to diversifying the face of children’s animated characters. She’s a logomaniac, a meditator, and an adventurous ambassador of love, living life one mindful breath at a time. And in modeling this, she teaches children to do the same.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Effie Monroe started out as the main character in the children’s book BIG HAIR, a story about a dual heritage girl learning to love that which made her different from her friends, her big crazy curly, Afro. In learning to love what makes her different, she learns to love what makes everyone different and the unique and beautifully diverse world we live in.
I recount a more detailed journey in this Voyage LA interview http://voyagela.com/interview/meet-arynetta-floyzelle-northcutt-effie-monroe-west-hollywood/ , but there are some key incidents that took Effie Monroe from children’s book protagonist, to the meditating, adventurous ambassador of love, living life one mindful breath at a time that she is today.
In 2012, I was having a pretty hard time keeping up with the demands of printing and marketing BIG HAIR. I didn’t have the organization or business systems in place, and there was a lot of knowledge I lacked. In addition, around that time, I was knocked by an emotional blow and a health blow. A family member was in a serious, life-altering car accident, and to be near him, I moved from Los Angeles to Dallas. Also, I found out that I had a health issue that would result in medical procedures and surgeries over the span of a year, and a spiritual and wellness journey that would span the near decade, continuing to this day.
When it came to Effie, after two years, I kind of “closed shop.” I focused on my own mental and physical recovery, turning to meditation, mindfulness, and redesigning my life around physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. But Effie was always close in my heart. Every year I would add something new –– a Christmas Book, Coloring Book, Christmas song –– but I would never do anything to market or push it. During this time, working on Effie was more like spending time with a friend than running a business, and that was alright with me. She was a creative outlet, and that was quite valuable when it came to my mental and physical wellbeing.
Over that time, I also learned and grew as a woman. I lived in London, where I got my masters in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media. I learned more about business and marketing. My acting bookings and writing work picked up.
But even though I wasn’t hyper focused on it, and often didn’t think of it at all––the dream of an Effie animated character would sometimes whisper up from my heart.
By 2020 I was back living in Los Angeles. I began to think of ways to work with Effie on a larger scale again, including as an animated character––even if it was something very simple. As an actress and writer, I knew I could write the scripts and voice Effie myself. I just knew I could do something positive, simple, educational, and fun.
Then, in March 2020, Los Angeles issued the stay-at-home order. That gifted me time and mental space. I decided to use it to go full on with animated Effie.
Once I made the decision, everything flowed. It was like The Universe was dropping resource after resource, after software package after software, package onto my lap. I started a Youtube channel, a children’s organization invited me to present for one of their virtual events, and that led to creating online learning programs. With that, Effie Monroe was reborn.
As the pandemic rolled on, I realized that sharing my personal lifestyle, which centers on mindfulness and personal meditation practice, and my heart centered thoughts of positivity, love and encouragement, was helping others with their perspective on the situation. I also saw how a decade long mindfulness practice kept me grounded, centered, positive, and thankful. It dawned on me that beyond teaching children how to love learning and words, and to approach life with a confident curiosity, I could assist them in tapping into the truth and peace that I’d found during my personal healing journey. With that, I added a mindfulness series to Effie’s teaching, and everything just clicked.
As I shared Effie with parents and professionals in children’s education, social work, and the contemplative arts, their excitement over the mindfulness practices were palpable. They shared their experience with how the practices could be used and the needs of children––one, to have practices to help them deal with different environmental stressors, and two, to help them tap into an inner truth, so that they are following something stronger than the crowd. Today that “crowd” includes Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and other social media, and virtual, platforms here, or on the horizon.
Today, Effie Monroe is a children’s character whose goal is to inspire kids to believe in themselves and their inherent special gifts and skills, so that they may impact the world in just the way they are meant to. She does this through creating fun, captivating educational videos with a focus on meditation and mindfulness, creativity, and the development of self confidence.
Effie works hard to lead by example by being a model of positivity, curiosity, and having a can do attitude. As a dual-heritage girl, she also contributes to diversifying the face of children’s animated characters. She’s a logomaniac, meditator, and adventurous ambassador of love, living life one mindful breath at a time. And in modeling this, she teaches children to do the same.
One major part of my growth with Effie is realizing that growing as a business and growing as a woman goes hand in hand. There are issues that I have come up against in my business that I have realized mirror personal growth that I needed to work on. Whether it’s becoming more disciplined and organized, or dealing with issues of self worth, being seen, or allowing a false sense of a need for validation to hold me back or influence my decision making, if I need to deal with it to step into my best, soul-centered self, my business isn’t going to let me off the hook. In that beautiful way, business can become a self development and spiritual practice, if a person is interested in growing not only as a business owner, but as the fullest expression of their soul, as I am.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
You know, my friends and I value life giving energy, fabulous conversation, a delicious, healthy meal and to kick back and relax. So, that’s what I’ll focus on here (though, yes, perhaps heavy on that meal planning).
Though I love to cook, especially breakfast, another go-to is Kreation Kafe on 3rd for the Salmon Persian Version Taco and the #GoldGoals Turmeric Latte (with their homemade coconut milk). Something about that latte is so smooth and comforting it takes me back to relaxing mornings in the country at my grandmother’s house as a kid (sometimes I’ve rushed up there just to feel that feeling).
After breakfast we can jump into a workout. I have gotten used to some at home gems, like Melissa Wood Health, the Sculpt Society, and Nathania Stambouli’s Yogi Flight School (let me tell you, Nathania will have you exploring arm balances like no other. I’ve found myself in positions I thought it would take months or even years to get in to). But I do have my favorite in-person sweat sessions, too. On the list: Training Mate West Hollywood and Stride Pasadena.
As for outdoor workouts, we could head to the beach for Paddle Board Yoga. Even if you’ve never been on a paddle board before (me, my first class) many studios will teach you the basics that same day, and you’ll be paddling out to your class within half an hour. And, to make sure we were well protected, we’d make a quick stop on the way at Credo L.A. or Detox Market––both in West Hollywood––for some toxic free Zinc sunscreen, and any other clean beauty needs.
Afterwards, it’s Go Get ’em Tiger for a Chickpea Frittata for lunch. That Frittata is amongst the yummiest bites I’ve had in the city, and their Turmeric Almond Macadamia may officially be my fave Turmeric Latte in Los Angeles (and I do fancy myself a bit of a connoisseur). Actually, Cafe Gratitude’s “I am Golden” latte is quite nice, and Bluestone Cafe’s Turmeric Golden Latte makes the grade, as well. So that should keep us all sipping pretty in any part of the city.
And if we were at Bluestone Cafe on 3rd, and found ourselves in need of a mani-pedi, we could dash across to Livingston Nail Bar for an organic gel set or quick color change.
As for a great dinner spot, Conservatory in West Hollywood and Margot’s in Culver City are absolutely charming. And Conservatory has a cute little speak easy bar tucked away in the back.
But here, I have to share that one of the best meals I have ever had, start to finish, is from Majordomo L.A. That place is absolutely amazing and would definitely be on the list.
For a more laid back vibe, we may drop in, or call in, to Izaka-ya by Katsu-ya on 3rd. They have a Toro hand roll that is butter. SImply divine. Though, we’d need to be on it. Whether calling in or dining in, that place fills up quick.
Also, the best Turkey Burger I’ve had is at True Food Kitchen, Pasadena. All their food is pretty yummy, but that Turkey Burger is a winner.
Inevitably, at least one day the itinerary would call for a sleep-in and tv binge, while tucked under blankets, surrounded by our favorite snacks. For that, Erewhon it is. Their hot bar could be a 5 star restaurant if rated purely for its deliciousness, and if you really want make your taste buds happy, the Cookie Dough Cake from Meet the Source gave me an instant-addiction. And, they have their own adaptogen packed Turmeric Golden Latte that I’ve been known to splurge on.
To round out our stash, I may dash up to Whole Foods for the Rawkin Raw White Truffles. I’ve only found them at two places––Whole Foods 3rd Street and Whole Foods Fairfax & Santa Monica, and I am so addicted, I order them online by the case when I’m down south.
So there’s the plan to keep my guests happily fed, polished, sweating, serene, and sipping pretty on Turmeric lattes their entire stay. But I gotta say, though I stand by each and every suggestion, my goodness, Majordomo was a fantastic.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to Shoutout my family, who have been supportive of Effie ever since she made her debut as the protagonist and star of the children’s book and children’s book app, BIG HAIR, and have been cheering her on her journey ever since.
Also, the way that Effie has progressed would not have happened without my own spiritual odyssey. In the beginning, some books and resources that really helped me were: A Return to Love and A Woman’s Worth by Marianne Williamson, Spiritual Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, and A Course in Miracles. Also, developing a daily meditation practice––so I guess that’s a Shoutout to my guides, God, The Universe, and all of the angels everywhere ready to assist at every second. All we have to do is ask.
Youtube: Effie Monroe
Other: Insight Timer : @effiemonroe