They don’t call Los Angeles the "City of Dreams" for nothing, and these six tastemakers are living proof. Here, they share how they found success in LA.
Jamie McCourt - Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, and Former Co-Owner and CEO of the LA Dodgers
“The moniker is true: Los Angeles really is the 'City of Dreams.' People here are incredibly forward thinking, aspirational, and possess a special energy. As someone who has built a career on investing in and nurturing businesses and talent, I’ve found the city’s growing startup and cultural communities to be amazing sources of opportunity and reward. The excitement of looking around the corner and championing the next great idea to come out of LA motivates me every day.”
“For me, the key to Sydney Evan's success has been the relationships I've made along the way. I grew up in Los Angeles and while still in high school, I worked for a friend of the family who was a fine jeweler in Downtown LA. As I navigated through my career, opening my own showroom, representing other designers, and eventually coming full circle to starting my own collection, I met so many people who gave me insight, advice, and a lot of encouragement. 2016 marks Sydney Evan's 15th anniversary and I still work with many of the same local contacts I made early on. I'm lucky to have created and grown my business in my hometown.”
"I happen to be the rare LA native and, although I was schooled and lived on the East Coast throughout my 20s, I ended up back here and never felt like I had to find a particular ‘LA key’ to success more here than I would anywhere else. In general, I would say that being willing to stand out and try things outside the box helps develop your own voice. And developing a unique, strong voice is imperative. Then there is also how many times you are willing to be knocked down and get back up, who you know, who you charm, hard work, and who you find to get behind your talents be it clients, your family, or a backer. All of these are parts of the big puzzle. So the time old 'get back up and try it again' is the no secret, secret to success.”
“Los Angeles is a very important part of our story as a company. I think the creative energy of the city and the cultural intersection that defines Los Angeles has really been the backdrop that has and continues to inspire our vision and creative process. We have also had a front row seat to watch the evolution of the Arts District over the last ten years and that has played a significant role in our growth. The rich community we connect with, the variety of socio-economic backgrounds, creative industries, and culture, has shaped us and defined how we treat people. Shea and I are trying to always think of what the community responsibility is of a brand within a city and how Apolis can contribute ourselves to that same end. We feel very fortunate to do what we do and we have an interest in being in it for a long time. Los Angeles is a place that rewards passion, and that is why we are proud to live and create business here.”
“As luxury custom home-builders in Southern California for more than 20 years, we had established relationships with some of the finest ateliers and artisans in the business. We know what it takes to furnish homes on a grand scale. Part of our dream for Ebanista was to create a place where interior designers could find beautiful piece after beautiful piece that would be intriguing and unique for their projects. All of our Collection Ten furnishings are hand-crafted by our team of artisans here in Los Angeles. Our expert level of craftsmanship, coupled with our unique design approach and love for bringing a modern approach to a traditional piece, have made Ebanista’s flagship showroom at the Pacific Design Center a coveted destination for many high-profile athletes, celebrities, and entertainers.”
“After moving to Los Angeles as a teenager, and now reflecting on my life here, the myth is one hundred percent real. LA is absolutely the land where dreams come true. I started out as an apprentice jeweler and sold my jewelry on the streets of Westwood, then opened my own art gallery on Main Street in Santa Monica, and now I'm the head of a hand-made artisan jewelry company that ships worldwide. From the UK, Russia, Shanghai, to Vegas, it's been a challenging and miraculous journey. Inspired and supported mostly by my friends that include musicians, artists, and bikers of the highest caliber, I'm living my dream. Even though I'm a southern boy at heart and split my time between Nashville and LA, I'll always have a home here.”