We had the good fortune of connecting with Justine Raczkiewicz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justine, what role has risk played in your life or career?
To me the greatest risk in life is to be a nonconformist – to be true to yourself. We each have a different mission to fulfill, and if you don’t go on your own journey of self-exploration, go deep inside your own psyche, and develop your own passions and values, then you will never know what you are capable of. Once you conquer your own fears, push your own limits and know yourself, you can take any risk in the world.
When I think of risk, I picture ascending and descending a mountain, but you never know which way is going to be harder, going up or coming down. It can be an arduous climb, or an exhilarating, adrenaline pumping ride. Fear-inducing, but always gratifying.
Early on in my career I found that I took risks instinctively but sometimes naively, without an awareness of the consequences. When I discovered stories of abuse in a work setting, I stood by my values and spoke my mind. Although it cost me my job, it also brought me respect and served as a pivotal moment in my life that I will never forget. I found that with each risk, there was always a lesson to learn that only made me stronger, more authentic and self-aware. Nowadays, I try to approach risk consciously and keep Oscar Wilde’s words in mind: “Be Yourself, Everyone Else is already Taken.”
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Meet Justine Raczkiewicz of Building J in Beachwood Canyon (Hollywood)
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.
Some of my favorite neighborhood hangouts are the Beachwood Cafe for brunch, hiking in Griffith Park and by the Bronson Caves, Barnsdall Park wine tastings while scoping out the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Hollyhock House and jazzy drinks at the Dresden listening to Marty and Elayne sing.
On another day I’d go downtown and hit up the Hauser and Wirth gallery, the Hennessey + Ingalls bookstore, the eclectic shops around Santee Alley, the flower market next door and the Bob Baker Marionette theater.
A trip to LA is never complete without a visit to the beach! I’d also do some rollerblading in Venice Beach, a stroll down Abbott Kinney followed by dinner with the most delicious mushrooms at Plant Food and Wine.
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?
Shoutout to my meditative family and friends who keep me in check and on my path, as well as the Kabbalah Center of Los Angeles, and Astro Gong Yoga for bringing the gong into my life.
Jesse Leake, Ericka Kreutz, Emi Morell, Tess O’Connor