We had the good fortune of connecting with Sheila Morovati and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sheila, what’s the most important think you’ve done for your children?
Connecting with the world around us is what I believe has been the most impactful experience for my children. Through Crayon Collection we regularly escape the bubble of comfort that we live in and see the realities that many families in Los Angeles face. These realities are food insecurity, homelessness, lack of access to parents who hold two jobs, and of course kids without basic learning resources such as crayons. My children are able to practice deep gratitude for what they have in their lives and learn that giving back is essential as so many lives depend on organizations like Crayon Collection who can supplement the missing basics that can bring much comfort. My children are learning that giving back is a part of their regular lives and that it’s not just something we do around the holidays. We try to think of vulnerable children and their families regularly and waste less and give back more.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I began my career with a completely different trajectory in mind. After graduating from college I started working in online advertising and marketing. This actually ended up helping me a lot in my non-profit work. Next, I decided to use my advertising and marketing experience to help my family business, which was an Italian menswear line that needed more sales. I launched the studio services division and had to convince costume designers to buy from our brand versus the easier option which was department stores that had so much more inventory. I was on the phone almost all day “selling” our brand and then once I was able to get a meeting I would take an array of samples into the studios and sell as much as I could. Once again, this work experience helps me daily. Once I realized there was a major amount of waste happening in restaurants I started to think of ways I could resolve the problem. Why were restaurants throwing away still good crayons? So my “grassroots” idea began by calling restaurants and “selling” them on the very new idea to donate those like-new crayons to a school nearby. I also called local schools and tried to convince them to pick up these restaurant crayons once per month. Later, I was able to use my advertising and marketing experience to build a brand that people and corporations wanted to be a part of. It has been an interesting journey and each part of my career has helped me achieve my subsequent goals.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The perfect way to share the City of Los Angeles with a friend would be to start the morning with a workout at the Santa Monica stairs and maybe pop down to do a post workout meditation afterwards on the beach. We would grab a quick coffee at Luxxe Cafe in Pacific Palisades in order to recharge for the rest of the day. The next stop would be the Getty Center for a beautiful museum experience as well as a picnic lunch on the greens there. Post museum we would head towards Venice Beach / Abbott Kinney for a little shopping excursion supporting local small businesses. We would have to swing by Gjusta for an afternoon treat and relax over some tea. In the evening I would take my guest to try her hand at pottery for a bit of creativity. This would be closer to West Hollywood so we would have to stay in that neighborhood for dinner where we would try my favorite plant-based restaurant, Crossroads. Since this would be a special occasion we would end the evening with a drink at Soho House rooftop and see the entire city view.
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 shoutout goes to my former Sociology professors at UCLA because they gave me the knowledge to understand how grassroots movements occur and how powerful our collective energy can be. It is because of my professors that I knew the problems I kept seeing could be changed and resolved. I knew that it would take a lot of effort but the strategy that I learned about creating impactful change was all thanks to UCLA’s incredible department of Sociology.
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