We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Calhoun and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
Before there were memes there were refrigerator magnets. My dad had one that read ” ‘To be is to do’—Socrates / ‘To do is to be’ —Jean-Paul Sartre / ‘Do be do be do’ —Frank Sinatra”. Small business owners know our businesses inside-out and backwards. With all the hats we wear and tasks we juggle, we gotta infuse a layer of humor into our day-to-day to stay sane… or at least entertaining.
What should our readers know about your business?
I work at Artemisia Nursery, a small retail plant nursery in Northeast Los Angeles specializing in California native plants. I love working with plants and plant lovers. It’s basically my job to get other people excited about growing plants and creating wildlife habitat, so that’s pretty cool. My friend Carl and I own the business together, and we are extremely lucky to have an excellent group of coworkers. We run the business very collaboratively, with more of a lateral power dynamic than a hierarchical one. We’re almost three years in, and as challenging as 2020 has been for its own reasons, this year has in some ways been the easiest. (The startup curve is real!) We’re finally settling into daily, weekly, and seasonal rhythms. We have a culture of collaboration and open communication. And we all love learning and finding ways to pursue new knowledge in concert with our work.
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.
Sunday We’ll keep it local to the neighborhood so my home girl can get settled in. Caffeine at Laveta Coffee, Tamales Alberto for brunch, followed by a leisurely walk and general loafing about at Vista Hermosa Park. For dinner, we’ll wind our way through Angeleno Heights over to Sunset Blvd to enjoy some tasty tasty Thai food at Sticky Rice. Yeah, she knows to bring her walking shoes. Monday Hello Huntington gardens! We’ll be there all day (she’s a plant lover too, obvi). We’ll swing by Zingo in El Sereno on the way back for some delicious taco served with love. Tuesday Beach day! We’ll head up the coast to check out the tide pools at Leo Carrillo State Beach and then hit the Reel Inn in Malibu on our way back into the city. Wednesday Breakfast at Valerie in Echo Park, pick up some extra hand pies to go so we can snack in style on our hike to Bridge to Nowhere in Angeles National Forest. We’ll be exhausted afterwards, so we’ll probably party with something quick and easy like tacos at Guisados when we get back. Thursday You can find us chillin at WiSpa, wearing matching gym shorts and eating bibimbap for lunch. We’ll take one last ice plunge (well, maybe she will, I’ll just be there laughing) and then head over to Eaton Canyon for a light afternoon hike (a little hair of the dog, if you will) before ducking into the nature center for the monthly California Native Plant Society meeting. Friday We’ll be spending the day at California Botanic Garden (did I mention she’s a plant lover?). We can swing by Sunset Beer on the way home to pick up an assortment of fine beverages to enjoy during a hybrid band practice / house concert with my native plant themed band Sage Against the Machine. Saturday A full day at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles (she likes dino bones almost as much as she likes plants, plus they have a garden), followed by an early dinner at Mizlala.
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?
My sister Amanda Kooser! She is a badass. Hard working lady, passionate about her craft (both writing and making music), quietly determined, deeply loving and loyal.