City, Features, Lifestyle

Meet The Maker(s): Special Edition

In October 2016, I started a feature on Pasadena Charm called, Meet The Maker Throughout the years I have had the opportunity to have some fabulous individuals, who are local to Pasadena, share their stories!

In a time where small businesses are struggling, I wanted to lend a hand and give back to the Pasadena community. I have decided to do a special edition of “Meet The Maker” where we have four lovely ladies giving us a glimpse into their businesses and their Pasadena Charm connection!

Meet Laura & Jenna of Lex + Park:

Lex + Park is an influencer marketing company that is dedicated to establishing strategic and authentic partnerships between brands and influencers.

Founded by Laura Knapp and Jenna Jefferys – two PR and marketing professionals with over a decade of experience that have known each other since middle school and have worked together in one way or another for the past 10 years. Today they work with brands, agencies and influencers nationwide and run their business between coasts with Laura in Southern California and Jenna in New Jersey.

Since launching in early 2019, Lex + Park has worked with a variety of brand partners including P&G, Bob’s Red Mill, Harvest Snaps, Lakanto, Lumineux, Aquaphor, Lane Bryant, Panera and more.

Laura, co-founder of Lex + Park, was introduced to Taryn by their mutual friend – the amazing Heather Brooker at her annual back-to-school event in Los Angeles. They bonded over their love of digital marketing, fitness and entrepreneurship. 

Stay in-touch with Laura & Jenna of Lex + Park here:

Meet Tee of Tee Hair:

I’m a hairstylist specialized in styling for special events, weddings, editorial, photoshoots, and more. Services are done at the studio in Arcadia or on-location.

I met Taryn through a mutual colleague at Dots Cafe. We got introduced and immediately added each other on Instagram! The rest is history.

Stay in-touch with Tee here:

Meet Janet:

I’m a fashion stylist for private clients and celebrities in NYC and across the country. Whether it’s styling clients for network television, red carpet events, daily “work/mom” life, or a luxurious vacation, my innate ability to incorporate one’s personal style with new trends has proven to be a trusted and winning formula for my clients.

My background as a Buyer (Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel) has offered me exposure to all facets of fashion and retail. I enjoy mixing high end luxury brands with emerging designers to create a look that is unique and classic with “a touch of fun”.

How I met Taryn? Picture this! Sorority house at USC with early 20 somethings in black pants and enough energy to study all day and party all night. This is how I met Taryn. Although years have passed since graduation, we recently reconnected last summer. I had her on my podcast and she has been consulting me on social media.
Stay in-touch with Janet here:

Meet Hanna of Lollaland:

Lollaland is a small brand within the baby product industry. We manufacture the Lollacup straw sippy cup, kids’ dinnerware, play mats, Swedish sponge cloths, and more. Lollaland products are designed to be functional and fun.

When my daughter was 9 months old, I held a straw to her lips, and was ecstatic to see her drinking effortlessly from a straw! Excited by this discovery and our pediatrician’s recommendation to wean my daughter to a straw cup rather than a traditional sippy cup, I quickly went out and purchased several toddler straw sippy cups. Strangely, my daughter could not eke out a sip from any of these cups.

After talking with other parents about my experience, I learned that some of their children found it so difficult to sip from toddler straw cups with spill-proof valves that they were turned off from using straws altogether. That’s when the idea for the Lollacup was born — a straw cup with all the qualities that I value in a children’s product: easy to use, easy to clean, safe (BPA/BPS-, PVC-. Phthalate-free, etc.), made in the USA, and just plain attractive.

Then came Shark Tank. My husband and I stumbled across the show during Season 1, when the Lollacup was just an idea. Fast-forward 2 years, and we had actually taken the Lollacup to market and were running our business full-speed. As many small businesses do, we needed more money to fund our growth, so why not go after funding, national TV exposure, and strategic business partners all in one shot? That’s why we decided to enter “the tank.”

Since appearing on Shark Tank and partnering with Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec, our company has grown tremendously. Lollacup has grown into Lollaland, and we continue to innovative and create modern infant/toddler goods that are functional and fun. We are dedicated to providing safe, smart feeding choices for babies and toddlers. Discerning parents and gift-givers love that Lollaland products are focused on high design, are beautifully packaged, and ready-to-gift.

The Lollacup and Lollaland Mealtime collection are still proudly manufactured locally here in Southern California, and we are still local to Pasadena as we operate Lollaland out of our warehouse in Monrovia and live in Altadena.

My connection to Pasadena Charm? I stumbled across Pasadena Charm on Instagram a while back. Recently, I saw that Taryn was hosting a “guide to TikTok,” so I signed up and loved learning TikTok tips from her.

Photographer: Caroline Tran

Stay in-touch with Hanna/Lollaland here:

Meet Lilian of Just Merried Events:

Photographer: Caitlin Alohilani

Just Merried Events is your go-to resource for a stress-free event planning experience. We love working on weddings, birthday parties, holiday parties, and corporate events, too!  We are all about fun, WOW-worthy, 100% unique events that everyone can enjoy (no cookie cutter events here)!  There is a special place in our hearts for destination weddings – we’ve traveled to Hawaii and Italy and are ready to head wherever an event may take us.
I came across the profession by chance in 2012 when my sister-in-law asked if I could help her with some of her wedding planning.  She and her fiance were both med-school students at the time (very poor ones), doing rotations in different cities every few weeks.  They really didn’t have the time or resources to plan their wedding, and I was in between jobs, so I told them I could help do some of the legwork.  Despite how stressful it was, I had a lot of fun.  I started working on weddings as a hobby on the side while still working a full time job, and I got my certificate in event planning after doing coursework on the weekends.  In 2014, I took the plunge and quit my full time job to focus on JM Events, and here we are almost 6 years later!  Still learning, still having a lot of fun.  We’ve had the opportunity to work on so many amazing events and expand beyond just weddings.  And, I now have a wonderful team of talented, badass women who help make it all happen!
I feel like I’ve known Pasadena Charm for a long time, but really just had the opportunity to get to know Taryn in the last year or so.  I had stumbled across Taryn’s IG account years ago and really loved her relatable (and local!) content.  I reached out to her via DM a few years ago for her suggestions on spots in Pasadena for taking team photos – I hoped she’d have some hidden gems she could share.  She was so sweet and gracious with her time, and we did indeed shoot at one of the locations she suggested.  Last year, I curated a Mother’s Day gift box with products supporting local small biz + artisans, and Taryn helped me spread the word about it.  A few months after that, she reached out to see if I could share a few tips for planning a baby sprinkle she was hosting.  We ended up collaborating on the event, and I brought on some of my awesome #friendors (vendors who have become friends along the way because we love working with one another) to pull together a super fun bee themed fall sprinkle that Taryn featured on her blog.  It’s been a relationship years in the making, and I’m so grateful for it!

Photographer: Gene Kang

Stay in-touch with Lilian/Just Merried Events here:

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