We had the good fortune of connecting with Cydney Kaplan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cydney, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The thought process behind starting my business was easy, I saw a need that wasn’t being met. I was working at an assisted living and I saw people who needed companionship but not necessarily a caregiver. Seniors wanted someone they could talk to and relate to. That was the original idea behind starting my business. However, it has turned into much more than that now.
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.
I knew from a young age I wanted to help people in some way. In high school I was in a work study program where I was released from school early to go to work. I worked at the local veterans hospital. I worked on the spinal cord injury unit in the recreation therapy department and I loved it! I worked with some amazing people that eventually became mentors to me and that’s how I majored in Recreation Therapy in college. I feel like I’m one of the few people who is actually doing what they studied in college. Starting this business was not easy…I don’t think anyone who starts a business will tell you it’s easy. Everyday is a challenge of constantly figuring out ways to make sure your name is out there and people know that you exist. My business is niche and not a lot of people are doing it. Working with seniors and people with disabilities takes a certain type of personality and understanding of the disability. I have the background, education and wherewith-all to handle the challenges that come with this profession. I also train my staff and if they need support, they always have me to guide them.
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?
I love having people visit from out of town. First and foremost we would go to the Magic Castle! I’m a magician member at the castle and it’s my home away from home. All of my friends and family love it there as well and know that is always on the top of the itinerary! Next we would go to the Annenburg Space for Photography (now closed). It was my favorite museum in Los Angeles. I think I went to every exhibit they had. I would bring clients there as well as visitors. Speaking of museums, another good one is the Museum of Tolerance, not to be missed. So many good places to eat, where do I start? Jones on Santa Monica Blvd is one of my favorite spots, as well as Crossroads in West Hollywood, The Misfit in Santa Monica is always fun, The Grove…I mean, it’s the best!
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?
I have been lucky to have a lot of support around me my whole life. I have amazing friends and family. And let me be clear by when I talk about my family being supportive. My parents were supportive in that they gave me the tools to allow me to be independent. My parents were not helicopter parents, if I didn’t do my homework, I suffered the consequences. When I was 14 years old my parents had me get a work permit and get a tax paying job, answering phones at Domino’s pizza so I had enough money saved up by the time I was 16. Why? So I was prepared to pay for gas and insurance when I got my drivers license. From the time I was 14 years old, I always had a job and went to school…all the way through college. That’s who deserves the recognition for my success today. My parents believed in making sure I knew what it took to succeed in life…that nothing was going to be handed to me. That is why I have the drive I have today.