Living the life of an Influencer in LA
I've had the pleasure of working alongside Remi Ishizuka (@rrayyme) as a virtual assistant since April 2017. My creative Side Hustle of food photography, recipe development, writing for other people's blogs and content creation lead me to the idea of working with an Influencer. They constantly have to create new content and I've seen a couple hire assistants, usually within their own cities. I've been following Remi for 2-3 years and had an idea that she was a very busy one woman show. I reached out to her and introduced myself, told her what I did and let her know if she ever needed anything I was here to help. Not two hours later we we're texting back and forth and talking details. Honestly, I couldn't believe it!
Now it's been 6 months of working together and I finally got to meet her in the flesh. Taking a peak into her busy, independent, self employed lifestyle was not only amazing but also helped me connect with her and her brand more, which in turn, will help me support her better! Make sure you know your brands inside and out people :p .
On Thursday I arrived after 10pm, because I'm continuing from LA to 8 weeks of travelling south east Asia I had only my backpack in tow (not a lot of room for LA style clothing). Remi picked me up from the incredibly hectic airport after I had no luck getting myself an Uber *eye roll* and we went back to her home, pretty much straight to bed. I had been travelling for 12 hours and she knew I was a sleepy puppy.
On Friday the real influencer-life stuff began. A call with a brand at 10am to discuss upcoming contract work; 2 IG posts, a takeover and a blogpost. It was really interesting to hear the small details and awesome to know that they wanted her to be able to be as authentic as possible, it leaves room for a lot more creativity.
For lunch Great White Venice invited her to bring a friend and try whatever we wanted off the menu in exchange for some social love. We had the fish tacos, blow smoothie bowl, coco chop and sea side bowls. The fish tacos were a clear winner for me and I'm picky about fish tacos so you know they were good. The smoothie bowl was amazing as well. Definitely didn't taste like the algae they use to give it it's stunning colour.
We walked off lunch around Venice Beach. Finally, the ocean. I never realize how much I miss it until I get close enough to hear the waves crashing, and at the first smell of salt, I'm running.
We played around in the water, snapped some IG worthy photos and walked up and down the strip looking into little shops with any LA/Cali/Venice Beach merch you could imagine. We had killed most of the afternoon at this point so went home to regroup. For dinner we kept it casual and Remi took me to Myung Dong Kyoja for udon and dumplings. We sat down, Remi looked at the table next to us, looked at the waitress and said "we'll have that exactly". Okayyyy guess I won't be browsing the menu lol but I trusted her and she didn't disappoint. I thought I was a fried dumpling girl, but I think I've been converted to steamed! Or..at least enjoy them both equally. We went home and laughed at a most-likely-non-existent ghost in the bathroom (it was Friday the 13th after all) and also committed ourselves to not only two by five bikes at Soul Cycle for 9am the next morning. Oops. PSA; Don't get too click-happy when you're booking, it's a one click step and you'rr locked into the bike (ha, no pun intended) there's no confirmation page.
Remi's off the coffee so I chugged some down solo as we ate a quick banana and peanut butter toast breakfast before heading to Soul Cycle. I was pretty nervous, I haven't done 45 minutes of cardio since...well a very long time so I wasn't going to be surprised if I quit/got a major side cramp/puked after.
They gave me some weird clip-cloppy shoes and helped me get my bike set up, it was very dark in there and I assumed lights would come on later, they didn't, it was awesome. Our teacher Madison was incredible. Incredible. She was so comfortable on her bike, incredibly contagious energy and literally moved so gracefully yet so powerfully it was really amazing to see. When we started peddling my quads instantly burned and I thought I wouldn't last two minutes but after the first song I was fully warmed up and ready to go, the next 35 minute flew by. Then we got destroyed by 2lb weights which is a great reality check for all the small muscles in your shoulders and finished off with a cool down and stretch on the bike. I was dripping sweat and high on endorphins. I felt so overwhelmed by the energy during the class I actually thought I was going to cry multiple times. If you know me you know I cry at the drop of a hat. Ellen Degeneres gives away free shit, I cry. Love song, cry. Sad commercial, cry. I realize it's cheesy as shit but I can't help getting emotionally attached to strangers. Overall, the soul cycle experience was a huge win.
After that a refuel was in order so we went to Make Out Cafe for brown rice Mexican bowls, matcha and an adaptogenic latte.
The next task was cooking, plating and shooting a dish for Pulses California. We decided on trying to make a black galaxy bowl with black bean pasta, black lentils, purple cauliflower and chickpea hummus and some other key items. The trip to whole foods was of course a dream for me because grocery shopping for me is like the mall for everyone else annnnnd I got chameleon cold brew for the first time soo I was pretty fired up about that. We went home and got to cooking - it turned out great! Eat your pulses people (lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans) they are inexpensive, high fibre and high protein!
At the point soul cycle had caught up with us so we had a quick nap before the night's main event; a garden dinner for Purely Elizabeth who is rolling out two new granola flavours. The location was absolutely stunning and I have to admit I was pretty starstruck when I saw Lindsay from @thetoastedpinenut . I didn't know anyone else on the guest list but soon found out they were mostly food bloggers. Everyone was so sweet and for me it was a dream come true to be among other girls who wanted to talk about instagram's algorhythm, new superfoods and photo styling.
We were totally spoiled by a terrarium building class followed by a 4 course meal all of which included granola. Hearing about the beginnings of Elizabeth's company was truly inspiring and super motivating.
We followed up the evening's event with a quick trip to target to fulfill my life goal of owning (cheap) gold cutlery. $12 later my life was made. Did I mentioned we don't have Target in Winnipeg? Yeah, the struggle is real. We got home and planned a big photo shoot for the next day then crashed.
Sunday morning I had the pleasure of shooting for Remi, we scouted locations, changed outfits, set the vibe and got it done. In the scorching 93F 34C heat we quickly worked up an appetite.
After 20 minutes of waiting in line at The Bucher, the Baker and the Cappucino we set out to Urth Cafe. I've heard lots about this place in various LA people's insta-stories but I have to admit, I didn't think it was worth the hype. My chicken pesto sandwhich was good but nothing out of the ordinary.
If you only have a couple days in LA....I'd skip it.
Our exhaustion was high and motivation was low after being sweaty and hungry for a little too long so we bailed on the rest of the photo shoot (pros of planning your own work schedule) and headed to the Grove outdoor-ish mall to stroll around. Here we had Fresh Pressed Freeze which did not disappoint, in fact, I'd actually take some right now.
We went back home and regrouped before heading out the an all you can eat sushi dinner which turned out to be, hands down, the best sushi of my life. Sushi Ippo. Keep in mind I live in the middle of a massive country, completely landlocked from any ocean and fresh fish..but I still think it was amazing. You should go.
We got home with full bellies and I packed my stuff up for the 3am trip to the airport. Next stop, China.