Last week, Angelenos from all over the city braved the gusty Santa Ana winds to attend our final Glug LA event of the year. Based around the theme “Quality of Life”, our impressive speaker lineup explored their own interpretations of the topic and how they work to achieve balance in this wild world.
Before taking their seats to hear from Rebecca Regnier (Team Flawsome), Nicole Levings (Agency TK), JJ Anderson (HRDWRKER), and Rikki Mendias (Hav A Sole), guests perused our pop-up holiday market featuring crafts from an array of local artisans. Goods on offer included succulent arrangements from Prickley Pals, photography by The Mill’s Lead VFX Artist Ed Boldero, sage sweetness from Malibu Honey, hand-woven pieces from Chule’s Wool Blankets, liquor cakes from Julie Peres of Immaculate Confections, and jewelry from MM Druck. The baristas at Urban Espresso also paid a visit, whipping up spiked coffee and hot chocolate to set the festive mood.
Holiday shopping sorted and warm drinks in-hand, everyone leaned in as our first speaker, Team Flawsome founder Rebecca Regnier, took the stage.
The mission of Team Flawsome is to change the world through cultivating a community of self-acceptance and self-love. Rebecca began with a task for the crowd: name an achievement from the past week and share it with a neighbor. The room immediately went into a buzz with laughter ricocheting off the walls. After quieting the crowd, Rebecca discussed how the simple exercise relates to a healthy lifestyle; celebrating accomplishments daily has the capability to transform one’s confidence and self-empowerment and, in turn, to change the world. Even after Rebecca left the spotlight, the electric energy continued to fill the room.
Next up was Nicole Levings, US Director of TK Agency. Through their unique three-step process, TK Agency serves as trailblazers for changing the way agencies generate content within the industry. Nicole shared that after years of working grueling, endless hours in a previous job, she left those stressors behind and went in search of something else. Nicole went on to discover the crucial balance between work and life, and how it affects one’s ability and desire to be successful within and outside of the office. Nicole is now intent upon sharing her story universally, with hopes that it will motivate people to experience actual living.
The third speaker of the night featured JJ Anderson, Co-Partner of HRDWRKR. Upon introducing herself to the audience, JJ recalled witnessing firsthand how her father’s difficulty with addiction led him to find an extraordinary community amongst men dealing with similar challenges. Inspired by the strong bond shared between her father and those around him, JJ went on to co-form her own community — HRDWRKR. Serving as both a media and production company, the institution encourages individuals to “follow their dreams rather than settle for an easy paycheck.” Along with her captivating enthusiasm, JJ shared photos of her family and video footage from inspiring trips that have inspired the direction of her life’s work.
The final speaker of the night was Rikki Mendias, who told of his uplifting journey of becoming the founder of HAV A SOLE. Raised by a single mother here in Los Angeles, Rikki faced a multitude of challenges growing up such as living with worn-down, broken shoes. Jump to his successful career in the production world years later, and Rikki found himself staring at his closet full of kicks with a hunger to pursue something greater. Enter HAV A SOLE, his LA-based organization with a vision to “provide the homeless and at-risk youth population with quality footwear to encourage healthier lifestyles and prevent disease, while fostering a sense of community along the way.” After a special shout-out to his mother in the audience, Rikki closed the evening—and the applause could not have been louder.
With cups empty and bellies full (with rum cake, of course!), the audience gathered outside under the holiday lights to converse with the speakers and say farewell to new (and old) friends.
Until next year, Glug LA!
Founded in the UK in 2007, Glug has since expanded rapidly with informal talks and “notworking” taking place in New York, Sydney, Berlin, Taiwan, Stockholm, Dubai and Beijing. 2017 saw the launch of Glug in Los Angeles, spearheaded by The Mill LA and Ichi Worldwide.
Keep an eye out for a video recording of this session, coming soon on the Glug website.
All photos courtesy of The Mill's Samantha Bedard