We had the good fortune of connecting with Barrett Prendergast and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Barrett, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve always been a creative person and have been making and selling things as far back as I can remember. From handpainted t-shirts to crystal necklaces and butterfly bobbypins, I was always designing and selling things when I was younger as a way to make money. I was raised by a single mom who worked so hard to provide for her family and constantly struggled to make enough for us to get by. If I wanted something that was not essential, I had to make my own money to be able to get it. I learned about hard work at a young age and always wanted to be able to grow up and create something of my own. By my late twenties, the time had come for me to take the leap to really start a business. At that time, my husband and I launched a hand bag line called Sud de Sur. And, while it garnered a lot of great press over its two year lifespan, we just weren’t able to make enough money doing it. So, it all came to an end and I had to pivot again. I took a deep dive into the world of food, working in restaurants, for catering companies, for chefs. And, after another a year of that, I started my own catering company called Valleybrink Road. Over the years, that morphed into the a luxury gifting company it is today.
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?
Valleybrink Road’s luxury gifting is all about the details. From the custom gift box with a gold debossed logo, to the handwritten messages on letterpress stationary, we want the entire experience to feel special. This and customer service are the two most important things to our brand and definitely the qualities that set us apart from other gifting companies. The experience for both the sender and the recipient are extremely important to us and we are constantly working to make it better and better. I believe that we have been able to get where we are and continue to grow because of these things. It has created a customer base that comes back again and again, and is able to trust us with all of their gifting needs. I’ve learned that when you really care about the product you are creating, the customer can see that, appreciates that, and will be loyal to your brand because of it.
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?
Well, now that we are in Covid19 times, it is a bit different…but here is a pandemic version of what I would do. A bottle of wine from Silverlake Wine and DIY pasta kits for us to make delivered to my house from cucinamelissa.com. We would wake up to Raspberry Rose Brioche Buns delivered from @whileyoureup and then go for a walk around the Silver Lake reservoir. Then, off to pick up Bay Citites Sandwiches before heading to Westward Beach for a day under the sun. I would order Din Tai Fung for delivery that night and we would catch up, watch movies, and eat Talenti gelato out of the container. A Sunday morning walk around the neighborhood before heading over to Konbi for the most delicious croissants and caneles. Then, we would hang out in our backyard with my boys, taking up all the room in the kiddie pool while drinking homemade margaritas and eating chips and salsa from Cookbook Market. And, last but not least, sushi delivered from Sugar Fish to finish it all off! So basically, just a lot of eating and drinking all weekend! Ha!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I definitely attribute so much of my success and where I am today to my mom, Kim Livingston. She is such an unbelievable female role model. She was and continues to be hardworking, persistent, and resilient. She put a lot of her own dreams on hold to make sure her children got a great education and then, once we were all grown up, she went back to school to get her Masters and to pursue her dream of becoming a therapist. She is a beautiful example of never giving up, even when things take a bit longer than we originally thought they were going to. And, my husband, Andre Vippolis, also deserves a lot of credit. He has also been an incredible support system for me, constantly encouraging me to pursue my next creative idea and helping me find ways to grow and get to that next level.
Instagram: @valleybrinkroad @barrettprendergast
Nicki Sebastian Andre Vippolis Bridget Burnett