The Santa Cruz based design studio was founded in 2014 by Michelle Lisac, an interior designer who has been recognized for her “California cool” style. The perfect blend of laid-back, luxury, and cool, her aesthetic translates to spaces that are modern and classic with a hint of fun. Since launching, Michelle and her team have transformed homes big and small in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.
ASK ALLYSON: I want to do something that sets my soul on fire. I want to wake up everyday excited to go to work. I’m passionate about a lot of things, but there’s never been just one thing that I feel like is my “thing.” How do I figure out what I’m meant to do and my “why?” -The Wannabe
Dear The Wannabe,
We’ve all heard it before. But after working for 15 years now, I truly believe it. There are two types of people in this world: those that work to live and those that live to work. And I think both are absolutely fine. To me, what’s more important is how you feel about your type. It sounds like you’re ready to be the latter, so you’ve come to the right place, as I am that type, too. But I didn’t get here by accident. I consider my career an intentional experiment that I’ve approached with curiosity. Did I know what I wanted to do straight out of the gate? That’s a big no. Did I know what I wanted to do a year into my career? No, but I was getting closer. With every year that passed and every position that I was privileged to hold, I got even closer to figuring out my why and how I would bring it to life. How? I got clear about what I wanted, followed my heart, took calculated risks, and was open. Doing these four things has led me on the journey of a lifetime, working in industries that I never thought I’d break into, holding titles that both exhilarated and frightened me, and reminding me that when it came to my career, I was in the driver’s seat. But it’s not a one time thing. You have to be committed to doing them over and over again. If you’re still unclear on how to get started, here are a few questions you can ask yourself.
1. What do I want to do? Pro tip: Ask your head, your heart, and your gut! 2. How will I feel when I do it? 3. How will I be of service to myself and to the world doing it? 4. What am I willing to sacrifice in order to do it? 5. Can I make a living doing it? If not, am I ok with it being a side hustle? 6. What will I do if I realize that I don’t actually want to do it?
1. I have recently gotten into La Croix. I know I’m behind. I don’t what happened—I turned 21 and it was like I unlocked new tastebuds and all I want is bubbling water. Key Lime La Croix is a must-drink. I am also a HUGE fan of the grapefruit Izze soda, which they serve at Chipotle and that combo creates the most satisfying lunch of all time. (Can you tell I’m hungry right now?)
2. I have two very different book recommendations— The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair is such a wonderful, light read and makes my color-loving self bubble with joy. And The Edge of Every Day by Marin Sardy is a harrowing story of growing up with a family who has debilitating mental illness. It’s one of the only books that really gives a candid and up-close look at schizophrenia and is an amazing feat. I love to be aware and understanding, and this book challenged how I perceive mental illness.
3. I am a big fan of Van Plating’s debut album. She is a dear friend and I produced all the album lettering for her. I also adore her sound and her writing. “Too Late” is my favorite song off the album.
4. I recently got these boots for a photo shoot and I immediately became my most evolved self. (That was a joke, but the boots are no joke).
5. Okay, okay, okay. Next time you go to a coffee shop, order a hot Earl Grey Lavender Latte with oat milk and just breathe in deeply and sip.
6. I recently watched Marriage Story with my husband and was absolutely astounded by the beauty and pain all wrapped into one. The movie shows the messy and unfair in such a heartbreaking and beautiful way. It truly left an impact on me—and though it is yes, sad, it is so worth watching.
7. After a long day, I love coming home and lighting a candle. My favorite right now is P.F. Candle Co’s Teakwood & Tobacco. It smells woodsy and amazing and is moody enough, even for me.
8. These are my favorite pants ever. I have them in three colors now, haha! They fit like magic, are so well made, and go with everything.
9. I love Baggu bags! We sell them at our storefront now and I am so impressed by how much the reusable bags carry. They are now my grocery companions—my favorite two designs are the smiley face bag and the solid yellow!
10. I collaborated with Rafa Natural to create our signature scent in SOAP! And it is beautiful, smells like magic, and I am amazed at how great it feels on my skin every shower.
Jenna O’Brien is the founder and artist behind Twenty Seven, a Lakeland based line of paper goods and lifestyle products. While Jenna is one of our more recent clients, we can’t help but admit that we’ve had a girl crush on her for awhile now. Could you tell from our Instagram Stories?! We love that her commitment to color has us completely rethinking the traditional PR girl uniform of all black everything, she’s unapologetically “her,” (and we love every bit of it) and that she inspires us to live our lives in our truth, whatever it looks like. She’s like sunshine in human form.