We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Barrett Larkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
When I was younger, I really subscribed to the idea that I had to be “booked and busy” and that any downtime I allowed myself was a missed opportunity. I read so many articles about how millionaires and billionaires all wake up at 5 am, never sleep, and just snack on almonds all day.
But as I’ve gotten older and my business has grown, I’ve learned that we all need breaks. My brain is not functioning at a high level when I don’t get enough sleep or a few days off to relax and get inspired by the world around me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am one of those people who has one foot in the creative world of acting and creative direction, & the other foot in business management, and that has served me really well. Being able to understand both sides of a constantly evolving industry truly is an asset.
I got to where I am with a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck. I moved to LA in 2012 with $700 in my bank account and no job. I spent the first year doing background acting gigs and working a serving job at The Counter. Eventually I secured a job at Hollywood Club, Boulevard3 as an event production assistant and helped develop some of their social media campaigns. I started applying what I was learning to my personal social media accounts and people started to take notice. From there I started getting asked to help friends with their business social media accounts and I realized this was something I could charge for.
Almost 10 years later and the business has evolved into a full service creative direction, branding, and community management firm, and I couldn’t be more proud!
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.
If I was taking a friend around LA for the first time, I’d schedule a day for each part of the city they’d want to see. Every time a friend would come to visit me in LA my biggest struggle was explaining the layout of the city, and the fact that we could not, in fact, see Hollywood Boulevard AND the Venice boardwalk in one day, despite what TV shows would have one believe.
I like to get the tourist stuff out of the way first. Personally, I think Hollywood Boulevard is overly crowded and cliche, but I can recognize people want to see it. So I always suggest a sunset walk down the road to look at the stars on the sidewalk that ends with drinks at the Roosevelt Hotel Bar. The Roosevelt is a classic, and the cocktails are good.
The next day I’d take them to my neighborhood of silver lake, starting with coffee and breakfast at La MILL, and a walk around the reservoir. After that we would get massages at the Now, and Later we would head to Night Market Song, my favorite Thai place in the area, for dinner and drinks.
Day 3, I’d take them west, starting with brunch at the Santa Monica Proper hotel, then head up to my secret beach in Malibu. Unfortunately I can’t (won’t) tell you exactly where that is because… well… it would no longer be a secret. After a relaxing beach day we would head to Neptune’s Net for some amazing seafood!
Day 4 we are going Downtown. I love downtown, it has an energy that is unmatched! We’ve got to have lunch at Cole’s, maybe sneak a cocktail from the secret speakeasy in the back if we are feeling spicy, then hitting Santee Alley for some great wholesale deals on clothes. After that I’d take them to Perch for rooftop views!
Day 5, I’ll take them for a hike up to the Griffith observatory, then swing by my favorite taco spot, that I don’t know the name of but it’s attached to the car wash on Vermont Ave. After that we can shop the funky vintage stores on Vermont and Hillside.
From Day 6 onward we are going with the flow, we’re meeting up with friends, we are DEFINITELY hitting up a rooftop movie at some point, perhaps whatever food festival is happening, if it’s October we are going to Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch or a movie at Hollywood forever cemetery. At some point we ARE going to Korean BBQ at Quarters in Korea Town, grand central market, and shopping on Melrose – the funky part, not the boujee part.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To my mom, who did not really understand what my startup business planned to do but helped us financially anyway.
To my first client, Lyra Marble, who trusted me on a whim.
And to Revecka Jallad, of DIVISA Agency, who taught me so many lessons and mentored me along the way.