We had the good fortune of connecting with Sophie Gragg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sophie, what do you attribute your success to?
While it’s difficult to narrow it down to one thing, I ultimately think remaining authentic has lead to the success of Luna. We’ve been able to evolve and change in so many ways while always remaining true to our values, taste and the things that draws our audience in to begin with. Though often unspoken, our values have always centered around curating genuinely good and diverse talent. As we’ve grown there have been plenty of opportunities to “sell out” but at the end of the day we’ve grown our platform and connected with our audience based on our genuine tastes and curating what and who we believe to be worth our community’s attention. We continue to be transparent with our audience and make efforts to keep that relationship strong.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Luna Collective is a creative platform featuring an array of talent including visual and musical artists. We create an online and print magazine with film photography only, in addition to endless online content. Creating The Luna Collective has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. It’s allowed me to connect with so many creatives and form some of the most important relationships I have in my life. The work we do allows me to wake up every single day with a purpose and that is a really special feeling to have. This being said, it hasn’t always been the easiest journey and I’ve learned a lot along the way. It can be really hard when you’re putting a lot of work, time and money into something while not always getting the recognition you need and want to continue to move forward. I’ve spent the past 3 years working on Luna pretty much daily and at times it can get really overwhelming. A lot of the work we do requires a decent amount of coordination with others, and it can be frustrating to get stressed about things out of your control. I’ve learned to just stay organized and move forward, and at the end of the day this is all supposed to be fun. While I take things seriously and professionally, we aren’t doing brain surgery so there’s no need to be so intense and stressed all the time. I want people to know that we are really committed to the creative community we get to be part of. I have so many ideas and plans that in time will all come to life, and they’re all for this community. We are able to go down so many avenues and explore so many ideas, and we’re always looking for people to join this journey.
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.
I grew up by the beach but now I live in the city so I’ve been able to get familiar with a lot this city! LA is the best city in the world and there’s so much to do, but here are some highlights my friend would need to check out: Lunch at Sage Bistro + Echo Park. Sage has the best vegan food – sit inside for your meal (literally everything is good there) then get some ice cream (vacation is the best flavor) to go and walk around the lake or sit in the park. Brunch at Geoffrey’s + Malibu. Geoffrey’s is one of my favorite restaurants in LA – make sure you make a reservation and ask for a table with a view, I recommend the egg’s benedict and Moet on ice for a drink. If you’re looking for leisure time make your way up to Point Dume to go to the beach, or if you’re looking for a hike with a waterfall at the end hit up Escondido Falls (down the street from Geoffrey’s) Lunch at The Ivy + Beverly Hills. Though smaller, The Ivy on Roberston is superior to the one in Santa Monica. Their guac and fresh tortillas are to die for, and I tend to get the spinach and cheese ravioli but everything on the menu is delicious. You get complimentary cookies but their red velvet cake is *chef’s kiss*, and is the best when it’s someone’s birthday thanks to the little sparkler they bring as well. Make your way to Rodeo and do some window shopping, if you’re wanting dinner in the area II Pastio is a classic as well. Show/Going out + West Hollywood. Try to catch a concert at The Roxy or The Troubador in West Hollywood or hit up one of the clubs to get a feel of the energy on this side of town. Rooftop Bar + Downtown. Downtown LA is best for their rooftop bars – sunset or the early evenings are the best time to go before the crowds come as most of the bars are a bit small. Broken Shaker, Ace Hotel, Wayfarer Hotel, The Standard and Spire 73 are some gems. Monty’s + Los Feliz/Griffth. Stop by the Monty’s in Ktown for the best vegan burger (their tots are must as well) then take western down to lower Griffth park. It’s easier to park and it’s a way less crowded Griffth park trail, with options to go up to the sign and observatory as well. Go thrifting and walking in Los Feliz and drive around to look at some of the cute houses as well. The Bungalow / 41 Ocean + Santa Monica – Don’t go to Santa Monica for the beach but instead Third Street Promenade or a walk in the area. Hit up The Bungalow for a classy evening or 41 Ocean for a more upbeat, sweaty evening. Some other notable spots are Larchmont Village, Kombu Vegan sushi (Silverlake) Van Leuwan’s ice cream (multiple locations), The Friend bar (Silverlake) and No Vacancy (Hollywood).
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 friends are my biggest supporters and have encouraged and supported me every step of the way. From pulling up to Luna’s college house shows to buying our merch, I have always been so grateful and blown away by the support of my friends. There was never a discussion of “hey guys I’m going to be starting this business and would really appreciate the support” – they’ve just always pulled through without any hesitation. It’s been important to have this core group of people that I know no matter what they’ll have my back as well as keep me grounded when things get crazy. They bring out the best in me and my work and continue to inspire me every day.
Other: IG: @lunacollectivemag
Photo of Madeleine Mayi Photo of Lauren Henry INTROSPECTION Book / The Luna Collective Kari Faux by Quil Lemons / The Luna Collective Issue 13 Photo of Meli Ulkumen