We had the good fortune of connecting with Kendall Potesta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kendall, what are you inspired by?
I find inspiration in experiencing new places, a well written song or sentence, a group of colors or textures (especially linen) that look right next to each other, and both happy and sad people. I keep a list in my phone. It’s titled “FAVES.” It’s mostly my favorite restaurants, movies, books, etc., but I have a section of “FAVORITE ANYTHING” and it’s things that struck something in me. For example, one is a quote from Patti Smith’s book, Just Kids. Another example is a photo of a corner in Santorini and how I felt when I was standing there. I think those moments of feeling captivated and present all combine to make you, you. Those sweet moments usually end up being the catalyst for ideas.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m drawn to anything that captures a moment. The first time I remember this feeling was when I would scrapbook as a kid. I would pick the exact colors, theme, stickers, patterned paper and photos to tell a specific story. As I got older, I turned that story telling into songwriting, which has remained a constant love in my life. You get 3-4 minutes to create a feeling while choosing every word precisely. With Galles Shop, I combined that same story telling love with linen to make home decor. My customers are able to to personalize their lettered linen art to say whatever they want. Most of my customers customize their linens with cities, nicknames, or phrases that represent them and their home. I think that option to personalize something has been a huge reason for the success of my shop. Besides being drawn to linen as a material, I chose to work with linen because I feel it’s something that could sit in a home of all the places I’ve lived. It’s natural sand color reminds me of an Arizona desert or the tones of the more western house I grew up in in Texas. However it’s also got that relaxed Southern California feel. It’s multi-style and and that shows in the various demographics of my customers.
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?
This is fun! We’d start the day doing something active in the morning. Most likely taking our guests to try surfing in Newport or hiking Back Bay. Next, we’ll pick up coffee from my favorite coffee shop, Daydream. It’s both a coffee shop and a surf shop with great gifts. The staff there are lovely and it’s just like the name – a total daydream. Since we’re close, we’ll head to Semi Tropic Wines, a natural wines bottle shop and pick something up for a beach hang later. They are the same owners as Daydream! For breakfast we’d either pick up Shirley’s or Sidecar. Shirley’s is a New York style bagel place that is a fan favorite around here. However if you’re in the mood for something sweet, just around the corner is Sidecar Doughnuts where the line is always out the door (for good reason!) I’d suggest the huckleberry donut. Next, we’d head over to the always picturesque Lido Village and walk the shops. Alchemy Works, Trovata and Shoppe Amber Interiors are my go tos. Besides being a fantastic store, Trovata is such a hub for our community and loves to highlight other Orange County artists and businesses. With Lido Village being right on the water it makes for a very California lunch. We usually eat at Zinque, Bear Flag or Malibu Farms. Our favorite dinner plans whenever we have guests is to grab burgers from Shake Shack then watch the sunset. It’s not the chain you’re thinking of. It’s a mom and pop burger joint right at the entrance to Crystal Cove State Beach. Once we have the burgers and shakes, we’d walk down the stairway to the beach. It’s a stunning view – high up on my list of California spots. I’d say one of the best places to watch a sunset in Orange County. I’d absolutely suggest paddle boarding around Lido Village or renting a duffy boat at some point on their trip. I love getting friends together to do either activity. They end up being some of my favorite days! Another notable stop would be Prism Boutique. They used to have a storefront in Costa Mesa, but now just have one in Long Beach. It’s worth the drive though! It’s a female-owned business that curates a phenomenal boutique of clothes, decor, and gifts. I’m a huge fan. I could go on and on about more to do. I’m so grateful to live where I do and definitely take advantage of all that Southern California has to offer.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Both the creativity and discipline I posses is from my dad. To this day I still hear his voice in the back of my head, “Finish the job.” We’re both ideas people so it could be easy to come up with projects and let them fade away. However, he has shown me the value of following through on something. He is a multifaceted person with different talents and interests. For example, he played college football while also getting a degree in architecture. He likes to paint farm animals and our dogs on the weekends but works in advertising during the week. He has a blend of creativity and tenacity that is hard to come by. In a world of “branding” yourself and defining who you are on all our various social media platforms, I think that can get cloudy for a person. However, he has always supported me trying different avenues because it helps you figure out who you are. I want to continue to write songs. I want to grow my business. I want to be a good wife, friend, daughter, sister and one day, mother. I want to be all the things I want to be. Who said we have to be just one thing?