My family and I have lived in Westchester for almost 12 years. I still remember when our realtor suggested we consider the neighborhood. Despite years of business travel and taking taxis between the Marina and LAX, I had no idea the neighborhood even existed, hidden as it was behind all those big, beautiful mature trees along Sepulveda Boulevard.
At first, we were reluctant to look at anything so “far” south. I’d always worked in Westwood and Century City, and my idea of “south” was Mar Vista. Comparing Mar Vista to Westchester, we quickly learned that the houses and lots are considerably larger for the same money, so Westchester it was.
We found ourselves a beautiful little updated bungalow in South Kentwood that we had all of 20 minutes to consider before writing our offer in the real estate frenzy of 2002.
It was a crazy time. Our closing kept getting pushed out and the NICU release date of uber-preemie baby kept creeping up (we definitely had no complaints on the latter event). We finally got our keys with one week to outfit the house before our very tiny bundle of joy came home.
“Imagine you’re sitting across from a reporter at lunch. You’re telling them what you do, your story, why they should care about your product. You have to convince this reporter to not only write about you, but that what you’re doing matters. That you’re going to be successful.”
I have loved being at home and focusing on my daughter as she has made her way to her pre-teen years, but it’s time for a change! I am super excited to announce that I have started a new professional chapter by joining Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage as a Realtor & Residential Income Investment Consultant. If you’re wondering why real estate makes sense for me at this juncture, I’ve written about it here.
I think my life has been pretty cool over the last 14 years, but I daresay most people would probably agree that “chaos” is not a gross exaggeration for describing that period of my life.
As I detailed in a previous post, 14 years ago I suddenly found myself in a whirlwind romance that happened to coincide with a career change, all leading to over a decade of craziness.
Flash forward to today and my little 2 lb. 5 oz baby started middle school this year. We also have a year and a half under our belts at a small charter school in Hawthorne. My daughter is relatively happy and things are settling down.
And did I mention that we have a crazy upward real estate cycle underway? And have I mentioned lately how much I dig real estate?
Fourteen years ago I was a single girl working my ass off as an attorney in LA when I was contacted out of the blue by a guy I knew from high school.
Ten years before, we’d had one of those crazy flings at a high school reunion that you might read about in one of those um, mommy novels. We saw each other a couple of times after the big weekend, but we lived 2000 miles apart and were both starting professional careers. We didn’t speak for almost 10 years.
Flash forward 10 years and many boyfriends later, and this guy decides that he’s ready to settle down. He knows what he wants in a woman and he remembers that he even knew one once. 😉 Cue the harps….
His timing happened to coincide with a Christmas trip I had planned to the Northwest to visit my family in 1999. It also coincided with several near misses I had connecting with other boyfriend material at the time. Yup, the stars started lining up.
By May of 2000, we were engaged and by June 2000, my beloved had sold his house, packed up his three cats and joined my in my 900 square foot high rise apartment in Marina del Rey with my two cats. That was a crazy time.
I did not know this until I became a mother, but I am a radical education choice activist. Actually, I’ve been a choice activist my entire life. Education is what has really had my attention for the last decade.
As we get ready for middle school next year, we’ve moved my daughter to a program with the Da Vinci Schools that is a hybrid home school/classroom program.
Homeschooling of any flavor is not for every family, but we’re making it work and ultimately, I do believe it’s a good choice for our family.
Every 4-6 weeks, each family is required to turn in paperwork demonstrating learning at home. Every unit, I jump through what seems like endless hoops to come up with interesting and engaging projects for my uber picky 11 year old.
She is a rabid American Girl fan and we had a lot of fun one unit studying the history of that company. Being an entrepreneur at heart, I love a good opportunity to slip in a few business lessons, like other moms slip zucchini in spaghetti sauce.
For this last unit, I came up with the idea of studying the start up of my daughter’s beloved online gaming community, Animal Jam. In the course of my background prep, I bumped into a beautiful presentation tool called Prezi, and my little techno-whiz readily took up the challenge of presenting her research findings in digital format.
My fearless friend, Mary Ann Halpin, is releasing her fourth photo/essay book this month. Entitled Fearless Women, Visions of a New W♥rld, the book is third in a series of Fearless Women books.
To celebrate the new book and the Fearless Women movement, an amazing group of visionary women are meeting in Los Angeles, May 18-19, to create a soul stirring, heart storming, authentic connection in celebration of Mary Ann’s book and the growing call for women to step in and step up to lead the charge in shaping the future of our planet.
Come meet the women featured in Mary Ann’s new book and be inspired. Celebrate the Fearless Woman that you are with other visionary women! Bring a fearless friend!
Almost 10 years ago, another woman entrepreneur and I started a tech company on a shoestring — as in (almost) no money.
That’s me in the picture signing the incorporation documents. Look at how young I look. =-) And yes, that is Zoe (oxygen tank and all) in that stroller next to me. Anybody who knows me will also recognize my office setting of choice — Starbucks.
It was an interesting time indeed. I hadn’t been married very long to a man I hadn’t dated that long. And we had just moved into our new house one week before our baby came home from three months in the NICU. There were a few things going on.
But you never know when opportunity is going to knock and I’m one of those people who doesn’t sit around wondering if I should open the door.
Interestingly, my new business partner was somebody I hardly knew. She had partnered up with another woman I knew who pitched me as a logical addition to the team. My connection fell out of the equation early on and there I was with I partner I’d known a mere matter of months.
I like to joke that my partner and I went out on a blind date, and ran away and got married. Just like you sometimes see in love, it just worked. We’ve always understood each other, and been able to support each other with few words.
Had it not been for the fact that our company was a real estate technology company with a brand new technology that most realtors didn’t quite get the hang of before the market crashed, I think we’d be headed for an early retirement. As it was, we crashed and burned along with the market in 2006-ish (it’s such a blur now). The company we built, however, was pretty damned impressive for two chicks and a technology.
Fast forward to today. The great recovery to the Great Recession is very slow in coming. A lot of people have decimated retirement accounts, zippo in savings, maxed out credit cards and upside down mortgages. But they still have ideas and entrepreneurial spirit. They either want or need to start a business for supplemental or primary income.
My former business partner and I want to write a book to share the things we learned about launching a relatively sophisticated company on a shoestring. The intended audience is somebody with no experience and little or no money, but with an idea or at least an interest in starting a business (we’ll provide some tips for discovering marketable ideas, also).
With this intended audience in mind, we have come up with a couple of title ideas and we’re looking for input.
What else? We’re interested in hearing all ideas. Leave them in the comments. Please also share this post/poll with your own networks. We want as much feedback as possible. Thank you!