We had the good fortune of connecting with Denise Hooper and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Denise, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Travel, travel and more travel. Nothing makes me happier than a boarding pass. I love researching the perfect hotel experience. I have endless lists of restaurants, shops and coffee spots all over the world… Places I’ve been and places I plan to go. Travel is like a history, art, culture and photography workshop for me. Travel is more than a hobby, it feeds my soul like a Summer love affair with butterflies and all. I don’t know what I would look forward to or what I would daydream of it if wasn’t for travel.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

I’ve been a makeup artist in the film industry for about 25 years. Most people would think this is a huge accomplishment. It’s a great career but a bit of a grueling life and not always glamorous. It’s not that I am ungrateful, this career pays for all of my travels but it’s just harder than most people would think, therefore I always have a side hustle to fulfill my untapped creative depth. My current side hustle is my freshly updated business-Daydreamers Wanted. I collect goods on travels and scout makers at craft markets in California and beyond. I travel to Mexico a lot and have found the most beautiful, inspiring and incredibly cool women designing goods there. Some from Mexico and a few transplants who are living out their dreams in Tulum and the Yucatan. Check out the Mercado Collection on my site for beautiful handmade goods.
I recently decided to merge my travel blog (@keeplefttravel ) with the boutique I started back in 2014. It’s currently a work in progress but it gives fuel to my soul. I created a blog called FACES & PLACES which includes interviews with women entrepreneurs, actress friends plus tips on wellness & beauty and road trip inspiration. I have always been like a concierge for beauty and travel recommendations. I have the most amazing rolodex of facialists, massage therapists, hotels, wellness and beauty products. i am excited to use all of this knowledge for content on my blog and to grow this part of my business.

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.

I am obsessed with finding the coolest cafes, hotels, coffee spots, flea markets etc. on all of my adventures. I live on the Westside so If I had a friend visiting me for a week~ I would take them to my favorite spots in Santa Monica, Venice and Malibu first and then I would plan a little road trip so they could experience more than LA.
SOME OF MY FAVORITE SPOTS:
LA~
EAT~Sometimes I have to venture to the Eastside for amazing restaurants like Honey Hi (echo park), Botanica Restaurant & Market (silverlake), Little Pine (silver lake) or Kitchen Mouse and Donut Friend in Highland Park .My favorite place for a Gluten free beer is Laurel Tavern (studio city) I love the Platform in Culver City with my favorite vegan ice cream- Van leeuwen. We would have to make time for vegan Mexican & margaritas at Gracias Madre (weho)
SHOP~I always take visitors to the Rose Bowl because it is an epic Vintage experience. The holidays bring amazing markets like Echo Park craft fair which I look forward to every year. We might head to The Row DTLA and definitely shop for Natural cosmetics at Credo Beauty.
COFFEE~I love coffee and always start my day with a Peet’s pour over at home then an afternoon pick me up at Loupiotte Kitchen (Los Feliz), Neighborhood (la Brea) or Go get em Tiger .
SELF CARE~I love incorporating a day of rest and pampering when my friends or family come to visit. My favorite is  Poppy & Someday (hidden gem in Laurel Canyon)
SANTA MONICA~
STAYCATION~A new place to hangout -The Proper Hotel for a hang by the pool & the magical Surya spa.
EAT~ I am always at Erewhon Market so it would probably be on the list along with Kye’s on Montana. It’s always fun to take people to the Farmers Markets on the Westside. We would def have drinks at Elephante, tacos at Mercado and Acai bowls at Backyard Bowls and  lunch/coffee at Bluey’s Cafe (cool aussie style cafe)
SHOP~The Brentwood country market is a great place to take out of town friends for a unique shopping experience at Doen, Goop and the Farmshop .
VENICE~
EAT~Venice for a foodie experience with Double Zero pizza, Cafe Gratitude, Gran Blanco, Gjusta, Moon Juice and the Butcher’s Daughter. It looks like if you come to visit me..we are going to eat a lot!!
WANDER~Venice Canals & Abbott Kinney with a stop into Le Labo and the General Store.
COFFEE~Since this is a busy itinerary we need more coffee!!
Alanas Coffee, Superba and Flowerboy Project.
MALIBU & TOPANGA
EAT~Malibu Farm cafe & Pier restaurant. I love hanging out at both locations and then we would take a drive to Zuma beach.
DO~ Getty Villa.
Hike Solstice canyon or one of the many hikes surrounding the Malibu canyons & Santa Monica Mountains. Next time someone visits me, I want to check out the wine safari in Malibu!! Out of town friends always enjoy Topanga Canyon for more hikes and hippie vibes. I love supporting the small businesses in Topanga~Canyon Gourmet, The Well Refill and Moona Star
Laguna Beach is a lovely escape. It’s so gorgeous and I feel like it’s a great way to show the Cali beach vibe. I usually stay at Casa Laguna or Hotel Joaquin, shop at Garage Collective, LALA and Ligne Blanche and then head to the beach.
OJAI~ my escape from LA
If we still have time-
COFFEE~My first stop is Beacon Coffee with the best Vegan & GF pastries ever!!
SLEEP~Ojai Rancho Inn. Ojai Valley Inn. Caravan Outpost
EAT~Hip Vegan and The Nest Ojai for cauliflower tacos
DO~Hot springs and the farmers market + hike if it’s not hot as!!
MORE TRAVEL IDEAS & SUGGESTIONS CAN BE FOUND ON MY BLOG~FACES & PLACES.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents for never judging and letting me grow up a free spirit~

Website: https://www.daydreamerswanted.com
Instagram: @daydreamers_collective @keeplefttravel and @scandalmakeup
Twitter: @shopdaydreamers
Facebook: Daydreamers Collective
Other: Pinterest ~Daydreamers Collective Tumblr~Daydreamerswanted

Image Credits
personal photos denise hooper

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