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

Hi Linda, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Be true to self.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I never knew you could really make a sustaining career (i.e. pay rent!) out of any kind of art – especially when I grew up loving so many art mediums (i.e. architecture, textiles, visual arts, graphic design, etc.) but not being great at any one of these!

Well, they wouldn’t even let me sign up for mechanical drawing in high school, pushing me into home ec, so first turn in the road was chosen for me. (Keep reading and see how that helped me!!)

But after high school, I must credit my Father who sat me down at the age of 18 and asked: “What would you do all day if you didn’t need to pay the rent?” My answer, “play with textiles, sew things, draw things.” So my career path started in “fashion design” studies in NYC at Pratt Institute..

After graduation, the fashion field became my love – colors, shapes, redesigning something season after season. Next phase was moving to CA with then fiancé, where we both continued fashion careers which took us literally all over the world for design research and factory production, etc. When you’re in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Phillippines, Tokyo, Paris, London, Bucharest, Porto, well, its so inspiring, the colors, art, architecture. I think our world as artisans got much more inspired.

Flash forward, in 1992 then husband had the great idea of the LAB, the Anti-Mall, basically born of our garment trade frustration of selling to commodity retailers. Artists wanting proper representation in a way. If we hadn’t been in the garment trade for 20 years, we wouldn’t have seen the need for the Anti-Mall.

I am proud to be stewardess of the LAB Anti-Mall (nearing its 30th year!) and other arts-minded real estate retail properties. which for me are larger canvases for evolving art installations and hosting artistic entrepreneurs.

And without that mechanical drawing class, without an architecture rule book, we create with a larger medium, brick and mortar.

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?
If my best friend came from CA here’s a typical day: Breakfast at the Zinc Cafe including large latte! (Laguna or CDM) Gain access to Irvine Cove beach (I won’t tell you how!) to sit on the deserted sand for those much needed zen moment. Hopefully its the right Sunday for the Long Beach Flea to get in our steps! Then maybe to Habana (at the LAB) for a patio lunch – I recommend the tamale pie! Gelato at Vitaly. (nap) Live music hopefully at our own Casino San Clemente or elsewhere local. Prefer JAZZ! Watch the sunset at Crescent Beach in Laguna. Goodnight!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My three sons, born late in life, which gave me time to explore and experiment. And yes, the ex husband! lol

Website: the lab.com, thecasinosanclemente.com, thecottageindustries.com

Linkedin: linda sadeghi

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