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Quick & Simple Holiday Shopping

Holiday crunch time is a drag. Go easy on yourself. Here are a few stylishly uncomplicated suggestions to get you started.

Dad Brand Apparel hatsDad Brand Apparel

Dads only want one thing right? Yes!  Simplicity! Make him first on your list this year with a groovy, no-brainer gift he’ll actually use.
($30 & under)


showpo athletic wearResolutions can be daunting. Fear not!
2018 will be the year of the “GLOW-UP”. Australian online retail giant, Showpo. (Show Ponies across the pondbest known for their ultra trendy, must-have athleisure gear, will keep you motivated well past January. Mix and match sweaters, crop tops, leggings, and sets!
($50 and under)


worthy of love leggingsWorthy of Love Leggings

Worthy of Love leggings by Four Athletics, benefit girls rescued from sex trafficking via the non-profit organization Saving Innocence. For every Worthy of Love leggings purchase, Four Athletics will donate a pair of its best-selling black 7/8 Omni leggings directly to Saving Innocence to give to a rescued girl in need.
($30-$175 … check the website for sale pricing).

Gothique Haircare Set

gothique hair care shampoo and conditioner

Beauty ingenuity.

Moisture Balance Shampoo from Gothique Products is a rich, old-world blend of chamomile, sage, rosemary, nettle and aloe extracts and cherry almond essential oils that nourishes and revitalizes all types of hair, and leaves a faint delicious scent in your hair.

Like the Moisture Balance Shampoo, the Detangling Conditioner is rich in nutrients yet extremely lightweight, allowing your hair to feel and be healthy without sacrificing volume. Ingredients include wheat germ oil (providing protein, Vitamins E and B, and minerals), grape seed oil and carrot oil (rich in Vitamins A and C) and have the same beautiful scent.
($27 for the set)

Fashion & Shopping



DIY Botanical Skincare: Mandi Nyambi’s Pivotal ‘Fresh Face’

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

You never again have to be a ‘Beauty School Dropout‘ when it comes to the care of your skin.

Gia On The Move, Tracey Paleo, beauty, reviews, Fresh Face, Mandi Nyambi, Flower School Los Angeles
Gia and Mandi ‘mixing it up’ at the Botanical Skincare Workshop hosted by Flower School Los Angeles DTLA

As an addendum to a Botanical Skincare Workshop by skin tech scientist, writer and entrepreneur Mandi Nyambi M.S., hosted at Flower School Los Angeles (DTLA) I’ve spent the last couple of weeks reading her book, Fresh Face, and trying out luscious class made DIY recipes of chemical-free and GMO-free ingredients on my face and body.

As it happens, this past year, I’ve been investigating a host of new and reformulated natural beauty products to one degree of satisfaction or another. Not all formulations are skin-friendly or even work as claimed, as I discovered. But it has led me to a new understanding of the efficacy and divinity of high-end natural and DIY at-home care. Not to mention a much more heightened awareness surrounding what’s FDA regulated in anything that goes on the face, near the eyes, on the body, or in baby care. Which is even more frightening when you start looking at labels. In actuality, there’s almost none, even in products that claim dermatological testing or doctor-formulated recommendations. (If you’d like to know more about that, get the facts on The Environmental Working Group (EWG) website.)

Now, I wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘true-believer’ in anything. I’m equipped with a healthy sense of eye-rolling ‘whatever’ when it comes to buying into the next new thing. But this tryout of Fresh Face recipes has altered my perception and skepticism – but good.

After only the first week, my microbiome from top to bottom healed from seasonal dryness, environmental impurities, and hormonal blemishes. It felt and looked brand new, fresh, silky, supple and glowed with a newfound radiance. Like, yeah, I looked at least 5 years younger. And that’s not just the ‘feels’ part of the experience.

An accurate expectation for preservative-free, botanical skincare includes a lesson by Nyambi on why not all ingredients are microbiome friendly. All skin is not created equal. Nor is one formula for everyone. Not all oils or other organics should be used on the face. And, nothing lasts forever once mixed. Certainly not like the hand lotion your grandmother saved in her lingerie drawer for 10 years. In her book, Nyambi lists, in order of pore-clogging possibility, which ones are more likely to harm rather than heal.

You will still have to spend some time and a little bit of money building, fortifying, properly cleansing, exfoliating – not micro-tearing – and hydrating your skin. But…and this is the good news…it’s ALL within your control. And it IS safe. Assuming that you give yourself a reality check on your current beauty regime, and are open to lifting yourself out of the foggy hypnotic hype of packaged drugstore or corporate department store products. Which is not to say, they are monstrous. Only advocating that there is another way to go.

There is so much mix-it-up information packed into this little table read. 30 stress-free everyday foundational regimes and routines built on ordinary kitchen stuffs. The recipes are instructive, easy to whip up and beneficial for all skin types. There are even eating tips that support the translation from healthy gut to healthy dermis. And, everything used in the preparations can either be ordered off of Amazon or found right on the shelf at your local Los Angeles (or elsewhere) independent or chain grocers like Lassens, Whole Foods, Erewhon, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts and Ralphs (and local farmer’s markets which goes without saying, really). And they are practically edible.

Confession: Yes, I tasted a few whiles mixing before adding Jojoba and Hempseed, SeaBuckthorn, and Squalane oils. Yummy!

Nyambi’s Fresh Face is inspirational to the goal of action which is indeed the point. Because, as she writes, “We all deserve a loving relationship with our skin” and “Everyone deserves the tools to make themselves feel healthy and beautiful.”

The book is purse-size for quick perusal while shopping and is highly organized into small, uncomplicated chapter vignettes. You’ll get to the important information quickly and be on your way.

Highly Recommended

Copyright © 2019 Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.

‘Supportive White Parents’ Expands at The Second City Hollywood

Reviewed by Matt Ritchey

Joy Regullano’s inspired musical about reconciling oneself with how they were raised has moved from its debut at the Hollywood Fringe Festival and into The Second City Hollywood’s Second Floor theater  (6560 Hollywood Blvd.), playing Fridays at 8 p.m. through December 13th. It has expanded with new music The Sam and Tony Show and new lyrics by Regullano.

Directed by Frank Caeti and with great performances from the whole cast, the show is even more charming and funny than its previous iteration, including a brilliant new song about white parents shopping for “exotic” meals at Whole Foods, and even a dig at incel culture. But what has remained is the humor and heart in a story about accepting people as they are and understanding that love comes in different forms.

Highly Recommended

“When an Asian girl tells her parents she doesn’t want to be a doctor anymore, she wishes on a shooting star for supportive white parents. This Second City Hollywood original musical will love you no matter what.”

Copyright © 2019 Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.


SaMo Pride First-Ever Calendar of Family & LGBTQ+ Friendly Events

Press Release

Downtown Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Place and the City of Santa Monica are unveiling a robust calendar of fun, family-friendly events, and experiences for the first-ever SaMo PRIDE. More than 20 events throughout the month of June will celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, individuality, inclusivity, and love in every color, anchored by a nightly display of lights spanning the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place, the historic Santa Monica Pier Bridge and City Hall.

“The inaugural SaMo PRIDE celebration will bring our community value of inclusion to life through a lineup of opportunities for all ages,” said Mayor Gleam Davis. “We look forward to having the community and our neighbors come out to help inaugurate what we hope becomes a new annual tradition in Santa Monica.”

With a focus on family-friendly and inclusive art, events and community connection, Santa Monica city partners are gearing up for a full month of activities to generate awareness and acceptance and celebrate our diversity.

“We launched SaMo PRIDE with a handful of planned signature events, in hopes that there would be an outpouring of support from the community,” said Mackenzie Carter, director of marketing and communication, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. “We’ve seen a tremendously positive response and are thrilled to offer a full lineup of fun, family-friendly events in locations all across Santa Monica.”

Signature SaMo PRIDE events and experiences during the month of June include:

June 1 – June 30 from Sundown to Sunrise
Miles of Pride
Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place and Santa Monica Pier
The world-famous Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place and the iconic Santa Monica Pier will be lit up with all the colors of the rainbow throughout the month of June with the “Miles of Pride” light installation spanning miles of city streets.

June 1 – June 30
Colors of Progress
Third Street Promenade
Colors of Progress is an art installation by artist Phil America, created in partnership with Tre Borden/Co and Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., that will present a visual oral history of the LGBTQ+ movement and will be displayed at Pride festivals around the U.S. When fully installed, hundreds of colored, hand-painted flags with quotes from members of the LGBTQ+ community about their histories, futures, loves, hopes and dreams will hang above the Third Street Promenade. The art installation will culminate at the WorldPride | Stonewall 50 celebration in New York. The flags are inspired by the protest signs from the historic Stonewall Riots which were used to spread a powerful, important message that changed the course of history. Fifty years ago, the Stonewall Riots took place in the West Village in New York City. This act of retaliation and demand for respect sparked the LGBT movement, leading to increased equality around the world.

Saturday, June 1 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Santa Monica Pier Deck
Smorgasburg is “The Woodstock of Eating” and one of the largest open-air food markets in the country. With more than 90 food and shopping vendors, a beer garden, live DJs and more, Smorgasburg welcomes thousands of guests per week year-round. Smorgasburg returns to the Pier, along with special programming, decor and treats, for the SaMo PRIDE kick-off.

Wednesday, June 5 at 11 a.m.
Kids Club with Twinkle Time
Santa Monica Place, Third Level Dining Deck
June Kids Club will feature interactive activities and a performance by award-winning kindie music performer, Twinkle Time, who will sing her hit song, It’s Ok to be Me. This song is all about acceptance and inclusivity, encouraging kids to accept every person, color, and race.

Wednesday, June 5 at 7 p.m.
Frank DeCaro and Pandora Boxx present Drag!
MLK Jr Auditorium, Main Library
601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Author Frank DeCaro, in conversation with special guest Pandora Boxx, celebrates Pride with the release of his new book, Drag! Combing Through the Big Wigs of Show Business, an irreverent look at the history of drag queens, and their impact on pop culture and politics. A book sale and signing will follow.

Thursdays, June 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 3 – 6 p.m.
Live Music under “Lanterns of Love”
Santa Monica Place, Center Plaza
Santa Monica Place presents free live music every Thursday evening in June under “Lanterns of Love;” an overhead colored lantern installation that spans across Center Plaza in celebration of SaMo Pride. Commemorative Pride bandanas will be given away to guests in Center Plaza.

Fridays & Saturdays, June 14, 15, 28 and 29 from 8 p.m. – Midnight
House Aquatic Happy Hour Pop-ups
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
Tickets: $45, benefiting Heal the Bay
In celebration of Santa Monica’s first-ever Pride, the Santa Monica Pier is delighted to introduce Happy Hour Agency’s House Aquatic, a colorful mash-up inspired by the childlike fantasy of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” and the grandiose decadence of Ball culture. Guests are invited to an immersive, sensory experience with specialty themed cocktails and performances.

Saturday, June 15 at 3 p.m
West Coast Rising: Gay Liberation In the Golden State.
MLK Jr Auditorium, Main Library
601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Celebrate Pride with a special screening of six short documentary films exploring the early days of the Gay Liberation movement in Southern California. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Gregorio Davila, as well as a preview of his upcoming feature-length documentary L.A. A Queer History.

Saturday, June 15 from 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Pride on the Promenade Festival
Third Street Promenade
Celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with live theatre and musical performances, a DJ dance party, youth art project, games, Instagrammable moments, LGBTQ+ resource center, food, drinks, and a signature SaMo PRIDE moment.

Friday, June 28 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Cinema on the Street: “Love, Simon”
North end of Third Street Promenade near Wilshire Blvd.
Enjoy a special outdoor screening of the award-winning film, “Love, Simon,” based on the novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli. The teen comedy-drama follows 17-year-old Simon Spier as he navigates coming out to his friends and family while falling in love with an anonymous classmate he met online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. Rated PG-13.

For more information, sign up for the SaMo PRIDE newsletter and full view of calendar of events..

About Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) that works with the City of Santa Monica to manage services and operations in Downtown Santa Monica that promote economic stability, growth and community life within Downtown Santa Monica. DTSM, Inc. manages the Property-based Business Assessment District (PBAD) that encompasses the area bounded by Ocean Avenue (W), Wilshire Boulevard (N), Lincoln Boulevard (E) and the Santa Monica Freeway (S).

About Santa Monica Pier
The Santa Monica Pier Corporation (SMPC) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, public benefit corporation dedicated to preserving and enhancing the Santa Monica experience for all visitors. SMPC provides impactful location-specific programming year-round, upholding the Pier as a relevant world-class destination that is free and open to all.

About Santa Monica Place
Located steps away from the Pacific Ocean in Downtown Santa Monica and adjacent to Third Street Promenade, the unique, all-outdoor Santa Monica Place is home to Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch, Hugo Boss, BARNEYS NEW YORK, Nike, dozens more shops and an inspired collection of restaurants and entertainment experiences including True Food Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory, Sonoma Wine Garden, The Curious Palate, ArcLight Cinemas, The Gourmandise School, the new Cayton Children’s Museum, and more. Santa Monica Place also is home to a growing set of engaging, digitally native brands, such as b8ta, Ministry of Supply, Monica + Andy, Peloton, Indochino, and others.

For more information, visit or interact with us via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Access our Concierge services anytime via text: (310) 499-2928.

About The City of Santa Monica
The City of Santa Monica is a full-service municipality working on behalf of Santa Monica’s 93,000 residents. We are a community of 8.3 square miles along the Santa Monica Bay with a mix of residential neighborhoods, an expansive parks system, vibrant business districts and world-renowned destinations, including the Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade. Santa Monica is an inclusive community that puts the highest value on sustainability and wellbeing. For more information on City news, events, and ways to get involved, visit You can also follow along on Twitter (@santamonicacity) and Facebook and Instagram (@cityofsantamonica).

‘Small Little Safe World’ Isn’t Quite Ready For Maturity

Reviewed by Matt Ritchey

The easiest part of creating a play is writing the script. Don’t get me wrong – it is also the hardest part. Creating work from an idea takes long hours and months of work, refining and rewriting. It’s incredibly hard, especially if there is a deadline and the project needs to go into production at a set time. Conversely, if there is no set deadline, then you get the huge benefit of time. Time to refine, time to workshop, time to rewrite. Throwing out and reworking words on a page cost nothing but time. Productions cost money and time. And rushing an idea can lead to problems.

Small Little Safe World, playing at the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre, feels extremely rushed, both in production and writing.

Ultimately, Small Little Safe World is a white male sex fantasy in which a young girl desperately wants an older man and corrupts him with her sinful ways until he is forced to turn her away and grow up. New-in-town twenty-one-year-old Erin (Julia Coulter) blatantly hits on forty-eight-year-old Dave (Pete Navis) employing no subtlety and practically hitting Dave over the head to invite her over to his place. After a date or three (of more exposition and backstory), Erin hands Dave a notebook where she has written a bunch of fantasies – she wants him to pick one and they’ll enact them when she comes back next week. Dave and chooses a story where he plays “Daddy,” calls Erin “Little Girl” and they go through father-daughter fantasies ending in sex. Every Thursday. All of this creepy incest roleplay is Erin’s idea, remember, and she has specific rules about how he must always treat her like his daughter.

Erin continues to “corrupt” the older man by not so subtly encouraging him to drink wine, even though he’s spent his life wisely avoiding alcohol since his father was an alcoholic. But he succumbs and starts to drink. A good start to a character downfall and conflict….. but no. Dave handles his drinking perfectly and now apparently just enjoys a glass of wine. Dave has a moment or two of “oh, hmm… I don’t know if this is a good idea” when Erin pretends to be a fourteen-year-old wanting to have sex with Daddy, but then he acquiesces and is totally fine with it. Over and over again. For all the father-daughter roleplay, not once does Dave act like a real father and question why 21-year-old Erin is obsessed with this particular fantasy or why she won’t engage in an adult relationship. Everything’s fine. It’s all extremely safe, theatrically speaking. No conflict, no stakes.

In fact, the final straw is when Erin tries to create conflict by destroying the only photo Dave has of his dead mother. But rather than entering conflict, Dave gives up and says “it’s over.” Of course, this leads to a shocking line about Erin’s relationship with her real father, who is also conveniently dead, having killed himself after Erin’s mother’s divorces him… I’ll bet you can guess why. The destruction of his mother’s photo, somehow, makes middle-aged Dave worldly and in the finale, he’s seen returning from a months-long hike along the coast, Erin somehow having opened his eyes to the world allowing him to leave San Diego.

I initially thought this play was written by a twenty-year-old. If it was, it would be easier to forgive the exposition and lack of nuance or knowledge of the myriad of emotions an older male character would have in this scenario – a twenty-something can only imagine what that would be like. Playwright Michael Eichler is not in his twenties. And this is not his first play. There is an interesting character study buried in the idea of Small Little Safe World, something that could benefit from time and rewrites and workshopping.

As it stands, it feels like a first draft by a novice, with the first half of the show almost entirely exposition and characters talking about their backstory which ironically, adds nothing to the story. Director Bo Powell and his actors have little to work with in terms of character and dialogue, but this is when acting and direction need to toil overtime to pull the material to a higher level. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen in this production. What the audience is left with is a story with poorly-handled mature themes and thin characters produced by young artists eager to do a show.

In defense of this production, it IS called Small Little Safe World. The title is meant to be an allusion to Dave being sheltered and still clinging to memories of his dead mother, not wanting to explore the world or himself. But the title is indicative of where the play exists in its current form. The production is small and safe – this has nothing to do with budget, as productions with no budget can be more impactful than million-dollar extravaganzas. The smallness and safety is in the writing and performances, neither of which are ready for a larger, more mature world.

Copyright © 2019 Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.

‘The Curious Palate’ Santa Monica: Supporting Local Artisans, Serving Sustainable Foods

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

A recent private press tasting at The Curious Palate at Santa Monica Place had my taste buds bubbling with delight. Five courses of truly fresh fare, all completely produced and perfected in their kitchen, was an authentic, eye-opening revelation…simply that real, whole food with no awkward surprises could be done with consistency, and without cutting a single corner. Absolutely unlike any experience (at least that I’ve had) to date. There really is something extraordinary happening here. And it’s sitting right under the very noses of health and taste conscious Santa Monica residents and tourists. What excited me most about this restaurant also got me thinking…

Do you really know your food? Do you know where it comes from? What goes into that gourmet holiday feast, soulful stew, romantic refection, plain flavorful fixin’ or gastro grub?

Sure, we’re all very woke these days about choosing organic meats, non-hormone pumped poultry and environmentally safe-caught fish and obtaining fresh fruits and vegetables that give us a nutritional edge to our health, beauty, and conscience. If nothing else, most of us can add ‘label snob’ to our life resumes when it comes to shopping and carbon footprint awareness.

But how much thought are you really giving to the chain of growing, raising, catching, harvesting, processing, and getting it all to market? All that time! So much effort!

And cooking! The chore of decisions every step of the way from menu-to-meal on the table. Have you actually ever thought about all the pinches of packeted or bottled extracts, seasonings, zests and essences that round out or thicken or add that finishing touch of gusto to the perfect recipe?

‘Do you know your food?’ is the question that adults are asking a whole generation of kids subsisting on a diet of fast foods and plastic wrapped edibles from super shopping centers and quicky marts.

Comestible aficionados will insist they know all they know when it comes to their favorite epicurean delights and where to obtain stuffs for cooking at home. Somehow though, that doesn’t always translate when dining out.

Insist to the contrary all you want, but many of us who have worked in the restaurant business know what really goes on in commercial kitchens. I’m not talking sketchy, just not entirely transparent. You know, the kind of ‘oops we skipped that part’ kind of menus that even at vegan and vegetarian establishments have customers questioning potential allergic reactions to ingredients.

So, is it really possible to know every single addition to your favorite restaurant prepared meal?

Yes, absolutely! That is if you are dining at The Curious Palate. This is your fantasy casual, couples, friends and family-friendly dining experience so available you might feel like if you blink it might disappear. (Not if we have anything thing to say about it!). And they’ve taken on ALL of the work involved to serve their community.

For co-founders Elliot Ruben and Mark Cannon who pride themselves on whole foods and sustainability, cooking is all about connecting with people – and the earth. That means they are always exploring new ways of supporting artisans and local producers who can provide them with fresh, natural ingredients.

Here are a few important facts about The Curious Palate:

  • All sauces and condiments are hand-made in-house (includes jams, peanut butter, ketchup, coleslaw, sauerkraut, etc.).
  • All meats are antibiotic free and hormone free and come from sustainable agricultural farming.
  • Fish & shellfish are sustainably harvested and delivered fresh daily.
  • Produce is pesticide free and majority organic; purchased at local farmer’s markets at least 3 times per week for freshness and availability.
  • Only wholesome, natural ingredients are used (i.e. non-bleached flour, no corn syrup, rice bran oil, no artificial additives or preservatives) and that includes the pastas made in their kitchen daily.
  • The Curious Palate uses paper straws and compostable to-go cutlery and cups.
  • Compostable waste from the restaurant is sent to a composting facility

Both the lunch and dinner menus are filled with incredible variety. In addition, they have 20 taps of craft beers, cider, and kombucha direct from independent local brewers. There is a kids’ menu. They are currently partnering with Tutti Frutti Farms, Cadoro Bakery, Wong Farms, and Valdivia Farms – all family owned/operated businesses.

They also recently were added to GrubHub, making their food more accessible to the public through delivery.

Here’s what we sampled! Visit for your own experience!

All photos by Lily Fassnacht.

Copyright © 2019 Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher,addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.

Natural Beauty Empowered: Environmental Working Group Establishes New Standards

Contributed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

As pop-ups go, the exclusive press event recently hosted by The Environmental Working Group (EWG), the national environmental health organization, featuring EWG Verified™ products, Le Pop Up Abbot Kinney was hands down one of the most exciting, healthy natural beauty discoveries to date.

environment health beauty

Sampling EWG Verified™ participating brand partner personal care products and interviewing EWG staff and scientists about the new criteria for the beauty industry offered no-bull enlightenment and an empowered way forward for everyone concerned with what’s going into their skin care.  And for good reason too.

Fact: There have been NO NEW LAWS since 1938 regulating what goes into beauty products (including baby products) or how they are tested. It’s the wild west out there and consumers themselves have been the more-or-less guinea pigs for an industry that is banking on your willingness to spend extraordinary dollars without asking too many questions.

Fact: EWG is a national environmental health organization that uses game-changing (for 25 years), original research to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.

EWG Director of Healthy Living Science Nneka Leiba and EWG Vice President Jocelyn Lyle along with EWG researchers were on hand to answer questions about their high-bar, high-standard program, what it means to be verified, and about the 1266 personal care products that have already met EWG’s strictest health criteria.

Gia On The Move walked away with a shopping bag full of new knowledge, not to mention products samples…which…we will be testing in the coming weeks and featuring here with information about them and on where and how to purchase.

Stay tuned and look for our upcoming reviews on many of these products and companies, all of which have either designed or reformulated their products to meet the all-natural standards of EWG and hopefully yours.

Photo (above) by Tracey Paleo

Copyright © 2019 Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher,addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.

Los Angeles Streetwear Clothing Brand OtherLinks Leading a Retail Rebellion

No inflated prices. No high-profile showrooms. No celebrity sponsorships. No pop-ups. No marketing hype.

Tucked away in a warehouse space in Los Angeles, premium streetwear brand OtherLinks is quietly leading a retail rebellion.

The company’s founder, Laure-Cecile Lafond-Fenonjoie (LCLF) has some bold ideas for the direction that streetwear can move in, using a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model that cuts out the middleman as well as the high premiums that consumers end up paying for retail spaces.

In the direct-to-consumer model, companies manufacture and ship products directly to buyers and sell at a lower cost. In comparison, the standard retail model has fashions going through many mediums before it eventually reaches consumers, with watered-down, made by risk-averse brands. The model also allows brands like OtherLinks to experiment more freely with their designs and collections, as they can respond quickly to consumer behaviors and demands. By using the D2C model, OtherLinks isn’t simply competing with other streetwear labels like Comme Des Garçons and Supreme in terms of the product; they’re competing more efficiently and effectively in their practices as well.

OtherLinks uses this model to reach an even broader base of customers who are wild for avant-garde collections of streetwear staples. From their online store, they can serve fashionable clientele who reside all over the world.

The model is a benefit to both the consumer and the company’s bottom line. It also forges a much more substantial connection with customers. The quick turnaround makes it essential to listen to the consumer base, (what they have to say matters.) All OtherLinks, social media channels are open to accepting suggestions and feedback from customers. In fact, ‘customer’ is an outdated term for wearers of OtherLinks apparel who are considered ‘Brand Actors’ for their participation in shaping the company’s direction.

This unique approach is directly inspired from street performance.  OtherLinks designs their clothing to be worn and seen in the urban spaces that we share with others.

“When you’re in the streets, you have the ability to change what you see and how you participate in the community.”

Sweaters to full tracksuits are made from premium, hand-spun Mongolian wool and offered at reasonable price points (in large part thanks to the D2C model). The brand also partners with up-and-coming street artists whose works appear on a range of t-shirts. They promote the work of these partnered artists on their website and are continually looking for more talents to work with and lend their platform.  Partnering with artists not only injects fresh creativity into their designs but also opens up OtherLinks to other perspectives of what kind of items that true street artists prefer.

OtherLinks sells exclusively from their website to their target customers who do their shopping almost exclusively online and seek the instant gratification of seeing, buying, and receiving with speed, and effectively cuts out all of the noise.

The upside on the company’s margins is reason enough to adopt the model exclusively.  Under one roof at OtherLinks, you’ll find design, sales, web development, and marketing personnel dedicated to providing fashionistas with a higher level of streetwear attire. Their size and setup allow them to move fast – a new design can arrive at the warehouse, be photographed, and be online and on sale in a matter of hours.



The fragility of human beings: ‘Too Heavy For Your Pocket’

Reviewed by Matt Ritchey

Too Heavy For Your Pocket, the West Coast Premiere of Jiréh Breon Holder’s fantastic play about two families in 1960’s Nashville, is a touching and emotional success on every level and a wonderful production by Sacred Fools.

Derek Jackson as Bowzie Brandon
Photo by Matt Kamimura

The play is about the fragility of human beings, their dreams, and how hard love can be. Bowzie (Derek Jackson), the first man in his family to go to college, is suddenly confronted not only with a school full of privileged whites, but also privileged blacks, sons of lawyers and doctors with big ideas, who invite Bowzie to go on a Freedom Ride to Mississippi. His wife Evelyn (Jaquita Ta’le), who has supported him for years, is scared that he won’t make it back, and angry that he’s quitting school to do something that won’t make a difference and doesn’t take their marriage into account.

Kacie Rogers as Sally Mae Carter
Photo by Matt Kamimura

But Bowzie wants something more – he wants to be remembered for something, to be a part of something that his children can be proud of. His friends Sally (Kacie Rogers) and Tony (Shane Liburd) are dealing with the impending birth of their first child and Tony’s suspicious habit of coming home late at night. Both men are trying to become something more – Tony’s trying to bring in more money, prepare for a family, and battle his own problems of infidelity, while Bowzie is trying to be more and grow beyond the confines of a black community too afraid, to rise up against it even to reclaim their own collective dignity.

Holder’s language flows beautifully in the performances of the across-the-board stellar actors, from Jackson’s conflicted but determined Bowzie and Ta’le’s fierce musical passion, to Liburd’s raw Tony and Rogers’ strong Sally who soldiers on to keep everyone together. The play does a particularly wonderful job at highlighting the challenging role of women in society and the unrelenting emotional stress that they are under almost incessantly. It’s 1960’s Tennessee and while out shopping, pregnant Sally has to pass two bathrooms and walk down the street in an alley to squat and pee, as ‘coloreds’ aren’t allowed to use the white facilities. Society may have grown enough to overcome this kind of institutional racism, but the work and sacrifice Sally and Evelyn put into their daily lives as their men do whatever they feel is a stark reminder that still today we don’t value women the way they should be valued.

Jaquita Ta’le as Evelyn Brandon
Photo by Matt Kamimura

By the end, Bowzie’s been jailed with a bunch of rich, educated blacks who get bailed out, but he is left behind, with Evelyn refusing to answer his phone calls. He is beaten down and forgotten and only by luck gets a hold of his friends. But it’s Sally’s final moment that gives us the true theme – a parable about picking up a stone keeping it in your pocket and when nothing goes right, grab a hold of it and squeeze and think of one thing to be grateful for. “No matter if the whole world turn its back on you and don’t nothing go your way, there’s always something to be grateful for.

Michael A. Shepperd’s direction is inspired, using the small space to create not only multiple locations but character connections from disparate locations – a phone conversation between Bowzie and Evelyn takes what could easily be a static sequence and transforms it into a choreographed piece about a strained relationship. The music and vocal performance (also perfectly executed by the cast) is skin-tinglingly good.

Shane Liburd as Tony Carter
Photo by Matt Kamimura

Set (Alex Calle), lights (Matt Richter), sound (Jaime Robledo) and original music score (Michael Teoli) for the show are also impressive, a period-realistic kitchen transforming simply and fluidly to multiple locations lit by a warm Southern color palette and a bluesy, spiritual transition soundtrack.

Highly Recommended

Written by Jiréh Breon Holder
Directed by Michael A. Shepperd
Produced by Scott Golden and Associate Producer K.J. Middlebrooks
Starring: Kacie Rogers as Sally,  Derek Jackson as Bowzie, Shane Liburd as Tony
Jaquita Ta’le as Evelyn

Photo (above) by Matt Kamimura:(L to R) Derek Jackson and Kacie Rogers

Copyright © 2019 Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.

‘I Thought Bezos Meant Kisses’ – SSOAK Opens Its Magical Holiday Pop Up on La Brea Ave

By Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Offline. Online. Online Offline. Big retailers can’t decide what they want to be in the shopping world these days. And with many large e-vendors re-homing themselves in street-level retail locations, but hardly varying from often impersonal CX, it makes one wonder why department stores ever go in and out of favor.

Enter SSOAK…an alternate kind of experience and the future of commerce.

The writing’s on the wall…
Grab a marker…create your own story.

SSOAK co-founded by Stanley Shimamoto and Oakjoo Lee aims to gather artists and people together to deliberately meet, converse share, touch, and kibbutz in order to relish the joy of community…while also opening up their wallets.

Currently at 357 North La Brea, Los Angeles, CA 90036, as a temporary holiday pop-up entitled, I Thought Bezos Meant Kisses, Shimamoto and Lee bring 18+ years as buyers of luxury goods from Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Gumps San Francisco to offer unique and magical marketplace of thoughtfully curated and approachable gifts of art, home décor, fragrances, ornaments, ceramics, accessories, and fashion.

‘A little girl’s artwork is an amazing thing’
This young artist was selling her handmade wares and creating upon request.

Inspired by collaboration and the meaningful enjoyment of connecting, discovering and gifting with intention, SSOAK welcomes shoppers, as they would into their own homes, with cheerful smiles and a relaxed vibe.

“Our story and the development of friendships across an exceptional creative landscape established a path that is joyful, beautiful, and thought-provoking; one that we want to share. In our current world of disconnected connection, we are inspired to create an experience that is playful and reflective, and experience that speaks to the soul and to the appreciation of friends and loved ones. We invite shoppers into a unique and tangible moment, unhurried and connective, where they can discover the perfect gift.”

I Thought Bezos Meant Kisses and the collaborative marketplace (originally conceptualized by their friend, LA-based jeweler, Sonia Boyajian) runs from December 6th – 15th from 11:00 am to 7 pm.

“First we eat, then we do everything else.” ~ M.F.K. Fischer

This epicurean conversation starter at the entranced glittered (literally) with a decadence that could rival Comus. Sparkly dried fruits, cheese, chocolate chips and various breads stopped everyone in their tracks, for a truly sumptuous pause.

Various sections and rooms contain clothing displays for men, women and children.  They had me at the entrance!

Meandering to the back will invite you into a gallery of beautiful artistic endeavors. including a milieu of trinkets and delicate small goods.

I was fortunate enough to be accosted by San Francisco artist Clark Kellogg making his soft Los Angeles debut. Mr. Kellogg spontaneously and generously gifted me a copy of one of his posters which displayed his 365 Project of one art piece per day for an entire year entitled, A Year of Art.

Yup…a copy of this is mine!

Your gracious host, Stanley Shimamoto



(C) Copyright Gia On The Move 2018


‘Believe In Yourself’ Project To Donate Dresses To Los Angeles Girls For Prom Season on April 17th

Each season, there is so much emphasis on shopping, with very little consideration for the reality that many girls from low-income families cannot afford to partake in extravagant holiday shopping. That includes the much anticipated prom season.

To combat this, Believe in Yourself will be donating ‘in style’ dresses to underprivileged girls around the country for Prom and Spring Dances.

The donation will occur in Los Angeles on April 17th at 2:30 pm at Boys and Girls Club located at 2635 Pasadena Ave, Los Angeles, CA. (Here’s the Google map)

There’s also a quid pro quo…Dress donations are tied to the girls’ progress in achieving goals.

Each girl who wants to receive a dress is entered into a system where they are then tracked to see their progress, whether towards improving their academics or pursuing an extracurricular interest such as music, dance, sports, etc.

In return, Believe in Yourself provides the girls dresses for any upcoming events they have during the school year.

Believe in Yourself is a foundation launched in January 2017 that provides brand-new, never-worn dresses to low-income girls around the country, while at the same time works to promote positive body image, to reduce cyber bullying, and to inspire girls to believe in themselves and their dreams.

Believe in Yourself is part of a broader initiative. The charity brings in mentors and speakers to motivate the girls to believe in themselves. These mentors also provide tips if the girls are experiencing a negative body image or bullying of any kind, and they counsel the girls to help them achieve their dreams and goals.

Because the most beautiful thing a girl can wear is

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