We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessie McLaughlin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessie, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the most important thing I’ve done for my kids is going to therapy myself. My only regret is not starting regular therapy sooner. Being a person, living in the world with other people is not for the faint of heart, and it’s almost impossible to assess what’s going on with yourself by yourself. There are patterns and ways of being that I was stuck in that were counterproductive. After a lot of therapy, I can honestly say that I feel more like myself and more accepting of myself than ever before. The more myself I am, the less I project my own BS onto my kids, and the more I can allow their journey to be their own. While it may be cliché, I really do feel that parenting is a continual process of letting go and of learning to live life in the present “as it is, not as it should be” as my therapist says. It’s easy to miss the beauty in front of us when we’re fixated on an old idea of how parenting, relationships, work, play, or life in general “should” be. I honestly believe that if we started giving gift certificates for therapy for the parents at baby showers instead of one more onesie, the world would be a better place (or we could just truly make therapy for everyone an attainable part of our healthcare system.)
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.
My preoccupation with interiors goes back as long as I can remember, but I took a circuitous route to seeing it as a career. I majored in music and comm studies in college, got married young, and became a stay-at-home mom. I had the ridiculous idea to homeschool my kids, and I did that until my oldest went into 8th grade. We had an incredible homeschool community. That time with my kids was precious, and while it was a huge privilege to be able to make the choice to stay home with them, I didn’t anticipate the jealousy I would feel towards those around me working in creative fields (namely, my husband!) Finding my way professionally after spending so many years at home has been an incredible challenge. Each project and client is different, and I learn something new every day. Flexibility and creative problem solving are key, and I don’t know if there’s any better training for those skills than motherhood. I love what I do and I’m passionate about it. I went into a wood molding shop today and I don’t know if I have ever been so turned on in my life. That’s probably not normal, which makes me think I’m in the right business.
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?
Ahhhhhh!!! Where to begin?! We actually have family coming into town next week so this is a great exercise for me! Why is it so comforting to know that I will never plumb the depths of all that LA has to offer?? It’s no surprise that some of my favorite places in the city are all about the ambiance, but some killer food and music doesn’t hurt either.
-Hang at Barnsdall Art Park for expansive views of the city
-Dinner at Beauty and Essex (enter through the Pawn Shop!)
-Drinks and good vibes at Good Times at Davey Waynes (enter through the old refrigerator!) and make sure Harbor Party, the best yacht rock cover band in the history of yacht rock cover bands) is playing!
-Lunch at Grand Central Market (something for everybody!)
-Get lost in the Last Book Store, housed in a 100 year old bank with some of the coolest art installations made of…you guessed it, books!
-Stop by the Bradbury building to see some jaw-dropping architecture (it was featured in Blade Runner)
-Dinner at Redbird, in the rectory building of a former LA Cathedral
-brunch at Kitchen Mouse
-funky furniture shopping at Sunbeam Vintage
-Dinner at Joy, a Taiwanese eatery know for their Dan Dan noodles
-After dinner bowling at Highland Park Bowl, a restored Prohibition era bowling alley
-Have a quick brunch off the beaten path at Wild Oak Cafe (in a charming old gas station)
-Spend the afternoon roaming around the grounds of Descanso Gardens (pick up a plant in the shop!)
-Check out the Farmer’s Market in Montrose
-Transport yourself to Spain with Dinner in the courtyard at Casa Cordoba
-Taste the best tacos of your life at Bee Taqueria (the taco omakase experience is on my bucket list but it requires a reservation)
-Hang out in downtown culver city for live music and people watching
-Cool down with an ice cream cone from the LA fave, Salt and Straw
Santa Monica! The Arts District! There’s so much I’ve left off, but I’ve got to go to bed!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m gonna have to take the obvious route on this one and go with my husband, Rhett. He’s a dreamer and his career is the reason we moved across the country to this wild town 10 years ago. I knew as soon as we got here that I was home. These LA weirdos are my people.
Images 1,2,8 Lily Glass Images 4,5,6,7 Emily Cate Rochon