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| January 18, 2011 | People
In a city that’s all about who you know, we think you should get familiar with this crew of Angelenos, each supremely talented and thriving in their chosen fields. If they aren’t on your radar yet, they should be.
Profession: Founder/Owner, Mukti Yoga Teacher Training School
LA area I call home: Manhattan Beach
I got into this line of work because: Yoga and meditation have changed my life by strengthening my body and mind while helping me find peace. I knew it would not serve me—or others—to keep this gift to myself.
My average day: Early-morning sadhana (personal meditation, breathing exercises and postures), followed by teaching private lessons and classes, and writing. Several times a year, I’m also leading teacher training and retreats.
My most significant career accomplishment so far: Teaching yoga to the US women’s national soccer and volleyball teams. Also, serving as a Lululemon Athletica ambassador since 2007 has pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and reach my goals.
What I’ve done in my career that I’m most proud of: Creating the Mukti Yoga Teacher Training School, which has certified hundreds of teachers since 2004. I feel like a proud parent watching the teacher trainees transform into inspiring teachers.
Why I’m so passionate about what I do: When I teach yoga, I feel it is never me speaking, but rather a force much greater coming through. Knowing I’m sharing the gift of peace, balance and inner strength is very rewarding.
Profession: Fitness and health specialist, BenderBuilt Training
LA area I call home: Venice
I got into this line of work because: I have been an athlete my whole life and wanted to help others achieve goals through fitness and health.
My average day: My weekdays begin at 5:30 AM and end around 8 PM. I privately train clients outdoors or in their homes until about noon. I have an hour or so to handle business-related matters, and then I train clients in my underground gym until approximately 8 PM. And I always make sure to get my own workout in before the day ends.
My most significant career accomplishment so far is: The quality of clients, tools and innovative ideas I continue to market to refine one’s fitness ability.
What I’ve done in my career that I’m most proud of: Watching my clients transform their beliefs and attitudes about themselves, which is always followed by the metamorphosis of their bodies.
Why I’m so passionate about what I do: I have watched my style of training develop drastic results where people have learned to overcome adversity and become spiritually fit, which is the foundation for achieving any desired fitness goals.
Up coming project I’m excited about: My Train for Your Sport workout program designed for specific sports. It targets exercises and drills that will enhance the sport you do and works on balance, posture, visual ability, communication and fine-tuning the athlete’s nutrition and intake of supplements. This training is a systematic program that maximizes your performance, health and fitness potential.
KATIE SIMONE NEHRA
Profession: Fashion designer, Simone
LA area I call home: West Hollywood
I got into this line of work because: I was in between acting jobs, and I was always looking for dresses I couldn’t find—that’s how Simone happened.
My average day: I look at and try on new samples in the morning, when I have a better perspective, then I work out with Maria [Kelling] at Tracy Anderson Studios. After that I either have an audition, do fabric research or meet with my pattern-maker to go over new ideas for the line.
My most significant career accomplishment so far is: Hearing Patti Smith loves my leather jackets.
The thing I’ve done in my career that I’m most proud of: There are many.
The reason I’m so passionate about what I do: What you put out into the world should be mind-blowing. Clothes should be well made; they should excite you. I am not interested in a watered-down version of anything. It’s incredibly exhilarating to hear a Simone jacket or dress I made makes someone feel good and has become a staple in the person’s wardrobe.
Up coming project I’m excited about: Fall 2011 faux fur coats—they are amazing!
Profession: Film and theater director
LA area I call home: West Hollywood (I split my time between here and New York’s Upper West Side)
I got into this line of work because: When I was a child, my mom took me to a theater in the Valley to see Hamlet, and in the same week, my grandmother took me to see E.T. Both filled me with wonderment and liberated my imagination. I’ve always wanted to tell stories that have the profound effect on people that Hamlet and E.T. did on me.
My average day consists of: When I’m not in production or rehearsal, it’s a lot of reading scripts, working with writers on developing their stories and presenting workshops/readings to producers and investors. When I’m in rehearsal or production, it’s only that, all day, every day.
My most significant career accomplishment so far is: The documentary American Teen, which I was one of the producers of. We shot it for a year, spent 15 months in post, then went to the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and had the storybook experience, selling to Paramount Vantage.
What I’ve done in my career that I’m most proud of: My latest project, The Rooster. It’s a short I directed that was written by Danny Strong.
Why I’m so passionate about what I do: There’s a very fine line right between chaos and order where something beautiful and invigorating exists. I spend my days with brilliant artists searching for that place within the stories we tell. When we find it, we create an experience where the audience leaves the theater with more energy and hope than they walked in with.
Upcoming project I’m excited about: I’m directing a workshop in January of Danny Jacobson’s new play, Funny Guys, at The Blank Theatre Company. It has a fantastic cast.
Profession: Lead singer/songwriter, Apex Manor
LA area I call home: Pasadena
I got into this line of work because: The Lakers stopped calling.
My average day: Writing songs and searching for the elusive golden taco.
My most significant career accomplishment so far is: Signing to Merge Records with my first band, The Broken West.
The thing I’ve done in my career I’m most proud of is: Re-signing to Merge Records with my new band, Apex Manor.
Why I’m so passionate about what I do: It’s all I ever wanted to do, and I’m doing it—in the only city I’ve ever wanted to live in.
Up coming project I’m excited about: The release of my new album, The Year of Magical Drinking, on January 25
Profession: CEO/Owner, Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyards
LA area I call home: Malibu
I got into this line of work because: My family purchased a vineyard in Malibu for a real estate investment, but they later found the land produced award-winning wine. I wanted people to experience perfectly balanced boutique Malibu wine.
My average day: No day has ever been average. From the very beginning, I never thought the wine business would take me on such an adventure. In less than a year, I have traveled and designed wines with America’s first Master Sommelier, Eddie Osterland, hosted charity events at the vineyard and seen my wine on shows like Entourage and Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
My most significant career accomplishment so far is: The creation of Red Leight rosé. It will set the bar much higher for those who think rosé is not a serious player in the wine market.
What I’ve done in my career that I’m most proud of: Building awareness that my hometown of Malibu creates amazing wine.
Why I’m so passionate about what I do: Being the “Malibu Wine Guy” has its daily surprises and has instilled in me a passion I never expected to have working with wine.
Up coming project I’m excited about: Bringing the 2010 Red Leight rosé to the market. It was produced and designed by the best in the industry, and I’ve looked forward to debuting it in boutique hotels, restaurants and nightspots in Los Angeles.
Profession: Owner/Designer, Le Petit Gardenia Inc.
LA area I cal home: Hancock Park
I got into this line of work because: I was 16 when I made my first bouquet and decided I was destined for this industry. Le Petit Gardenia was conceived as a vision combining several ingredients: flowers, art and interior design.
My average day: Each day varies, whether it is finding myself on a six-foot ladder designing large displays, meeting brides to talk about their weddings, using my creations to decorate my clients’ homes or condos, or checking out industry events for inspiration and new trends. However, my 6 AM flower-market run is the best part of my week.
My most significant career accomplishment so far is: Re-creating the Great Hall at Hogwarts for a Warner Bros. party for the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. My inspiration for the arrangements was old Flemish paintings. The medieval designs consisted of warm hues of oxblood red, burnt orange and mustard, and I played off the different shapes as well as the colors and textures to achieve an authentic and original look.
What I’ve done in my career that I’m most proud of: Gaining trust, respect and admiration from my clientele.
Why I’m so passionate about what I do: You win the lottery in life when you do what you love.
Up coming project I’m excited about: The Human Vase Art Show at Thomas Paul Fine Art on January 29. It will be a night of awe-inspiring human sculptures using flowers and body paint as a medium.
Profession: Owner, DANC Surfboards
LA area I call home: Torrance
I got into this line of work because: It’s fun and forever challenging to make surfboards. Every board I make, I try to make the best possible.
My average day: Surfing, bike riding (I race bicycles as well), shaping surfboards, eating large amounts of food and napping often.
My most significant career accomplishment so far is: Getting better than the day before at whatever it is I am doing.
What I’ve done in my career that I’m most proud of: Figuring out how to live my life my way.
Why I’m so passionate about what I do: Surfing is the best thing ever! There is something magical about riding waves, and making the tools to ride waves with is rad.
Up coming project I’m excited about: Shaping the next board LAC
photographs by ashley barrett. grooming by roxy for artmixbeauty.com using dior beauty