Capital Ideas

The (female) L.A. entrepreneurs behind some things we love

theessentials_masa_tL.A. Eyeworks
Gai Gherardi and Barbara McReynolds, co-owners
Thanks to these two we see more clearly (and stylishly). The designer-entrepreneurs’ first eyewear store helped put Melrose Avenue on the map when it opened there in 1979. The business is now global, but L.A. is still home base. 


Alli Webb, founder
No color, no cut—just a $35 blow-dry. Brilliant. The idea grew out of a mobile service Webb started in 2008. Her first Drybar opened in Brentwood last year; now women can flock to five other SoCal locations.  


Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, executive VP and artistic director
Those long-lasting colors, those clever names. There’d be no “You’re a Pisa Work” without Weiss-Fischmann, who was born in Hungary,  lives in Encino, and cofounded the nail polish company with her brother-in-law in 1981.  


theessentials_masa_tSprinkles Cupcakes
Candace Nelson, founder
She used to be an investment banker. Now she’s up to her elbows in butter cream. Nelson and her husband, Charles, opened their first cupcake venture in Beverly Hills in 2005.  We’ve been licking our lips ever since.  


theessentials_masa_tFree City Supershop Supermät
Nina Garduno, owner

A former buyer for Ron Herman/Fred Segal, Garduno—who grew up in Laurel Canyon—regards her store in Hollywood as part museum, part conversation starter. We adore her hand-printed T-shirts and sweats. 


theessentials_masa_tFIJI Water
Lynda Resnick, co-owner
There’s something about FIJI Water—it’s, um, slipperier. It’s bottled in Fiji, but the company’s headquarters are in L.A. because that’s where businesswoman-philanthropist Resnick and her husband, Stewart, reside. They bought the company in 2004.  


theessentials_masa_tLa Brea Bakery
Nancy Silverton, cofounder
A perfect loaf of crusty bread: ahhh. Silverton and her ex-husband, Mark Peel, founded La Brea in 1989, sparking L.A.’s renewed interest in carbs. Her restaurants, Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, ain’t bad, either.


theessentials_masa_tCalleen Cordero
Calleen Cordero, owner
Her women’s footwear, handbags, belts, cuffs, and other accessories are made locally using what Cordero calls an “old-school shoe cobbling” technique. The result: sexy one-of-a-kind pieces. Studs are often involved.  

Photographs by Dimitri Newman  

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