A podcast about what it takes,
and other insights to life.
When Pat Samaddar moved from India to Krakow 11 years ago, she experienced a one-woman cultural revolution—she’d left all her friends and a high-powered career in software, and didn’t speak a word of Polish to boot. But living outside her comfort zone proved to be a personal awakening. Now, she’s the president of the International Women’s Association Kraków, works only on her own terms, and has raised kids who love pierogis as much as her dal. For Pat, culture is a tool, not a rule.
Writer Nicole Campoy Jackson loves home cooking so much, she can’t resist putting her own spin on her dishes. She figured others were doing the same—so she decided to launch a site, To Taste, whereenthusiastic cooks can tweak recipes and share them with others. Nicole tells us about how having a baby gave her the courage to branch out on her own. (Oh yeah, and about the role OJ Simpson has played in her life.)
Jolly Nguyen’s incredible joy and energy is captured by her name. In Vietnam, few people travel beyond their hometown, but Jolly knew there is a world waiting for her to see. After an impromptu solo trip to the north of Vietnam, she embarked on a journey of travel, volunteering, and giving back to the community. She's now completing her master’s degree while running an NGO that brings together local communities with organic farms.
As a migrant who moved from Poland to Australia in the ‘60s, Mira Stanislawska treats the whole earth as her home. She doesn’t see borders or barriers — which may explain her insanely eclectic career. Besides raising a family in Melbourne, she has worked as a publicist, bought and sold a restaurant, became an art consultant, opened an Aboriginal gallery, designed gardens, and finally launched an environmental cleanup foundation back in Poland. Her fearless outlook starts with a simple premise: “I’m nobody, but I have a terrific idea!”
The realest talk comes from those who’ve lived the most. That’s why we loved our co-founder Magda’s candid conversation with her grand aunt, Thea Paoli. Thea has lived all over the world, speaks several languages, and never married—though she’s unexpectedly fallen in love at age 80. What would she tell her 30-year-old self? “Get your act together and make your own decisions!”
Dina Samson calls herself “The Accidental Everything.” Over the years, she’s done stints in investment banking, entertainment (working for Sean “Puffy” Combs!), and videogame production. Now, she owns two restaurants with her husband, Sotto and Rossoblu—but she’s not done trying out careers yet. Her recipe for figuring out what’s next: Do stop thinking about money, and never stop learning more.
It’s hard to tire Janet Zuccarini in conversation. The one-woman powerhouse behind Gusto 54 restaurant group has an appetite for all sorts of topics: food, family legacies, real estate, neighborhood revitalization, taking advice, and the perils of partnership. As she oversees Venice’s hottest restaurant, Felix, she explains why it can be helpful to be underestimated in a male-dominated industry. And no, she won’t hook you up with a table.
Chelsea Naftelberg oversees influencer programs at the social media agency ATTENTION in Santa Monica and is a board member of Women in Influencer Marketing. But what’s an influencer, really? According to Chelsea, we’re all influencers in our ways—if people value your opinion, then chances are you’ll influence theirs. It’s that attention to subtle influences that has guided Chelsea’s approach to her professional and personal growth, helping her know the difference between anxiety and gut instinct.
Ann Shoket has always connected in a very real way to a generation of young women, from helping to launch CosmoGirl to becoming the youngest editor-in-chief of Seventeen. Now, she’s published a book for women growing into adulthood and searching for “The Big Life.”
Two decades ago, Becki Chernoff was living the so-called American Dream. She bought her own home at age 23, held a lucrative software job at Ford for 10 years… and was bored to death. So she packed up and moved to LA to work doing the two things she really loved: ceramics and “car hunting” (a profession we admittedly didn’t realize existed until now). She’s given up on the idea of having life figured out, and she couldn’t be happier.
Shira Lenchewski loves food so much, she never wants to make a choice between looking good and feeling good. That’s been her motivation to help others as a clinical nutritionist, whose practice has reached cult status in Los Angeles. (Yes, she writes for Goop.) Her goal: Teach people to enjoy the shit out of their food—and maybe watch their blood sugar along the way.
Aja Gabel has never loved anything as purely as she loves writing. When we sit down to discuss her debut novel, The Ensemble, our conversation quickly veers to the existential. Aja explains how she found her voice by learning to be comfortable alone—and that it’s ok to not live life according to a grand narrative.
Sister Mary Sean Hodges chose a lifetime of serving others when she was 17 years old. At the age of 60, she charted a new path of service, working with prison inmates to help them integrate back into society. She shares with us the things she’s learned along the way, including the universal need for balance and forgiveness.
According to Zen Buddhist Wendy Egyoku Nakao, life is not a straight line, or even a circle—it’s a spiral. In this fascinating conversation, we go deep about living in the present while recognizing past experiences, developing “spiritual muscles,” and the importance of choice.
Her dad is the bassist of The Commodores. Her mom is a Harvard-educated lawyer from Iran. And Michael Jackson was a family acquaintance. Soraya La Pread is an LA resident who’s truly had a unique upbringing—and not just because she was born and raised in New Zealand. We talk to this up-and-coming producer and DJ about music, racial identity, and speaking up.
Sometimes the world just isn’t ready for you. Dancer and actress Reshma Gajjar learned that early on, when she struggled to book gigs because of her ethnicity. But eventually the universe caught up—after a transformative experience working with children in India, Reshma returned stronger than ever to forge a career that has included film, television and touring with Madonna.
Natalie Johns is an Emmy-nominated director who has devoted her life to sharing the stories of those without a voice. Her highly personal work has brought her profound understanding of the human experience—plus some compassion for herself along the way.