HUSTLE FILE #100: Clara Polito

NAME: Clara Polito

OCCUPATION: Head baker and founder of Clara’s Cakes, curator, high school student

LOCATION: Atwater Village

WHAT’S YOUR HUSTLE: I bake happiness into people’s lives. The remainder consists of homeschooling, refreshing my instagram, and figuring out how I’m going to make ideas of mine come to life.

WHAT DOES YOUR HUSTLE MEAN TO YOU: Not working for the man, but being the man, in my own world. Baking is something that I taught myself from “scratch” and it’s become the best job imaginable right now. If you’re working and every once in a while feel really stoked to be doing exactly what you’re doing, then I think you’ve got the right hustle going. What I’ve noticed about myself is that I love creating things, whether it’s a cupcake or art show, because there was no complete product to begin with so it’s magical to observe a finished result that originally was just a spark in my mind.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONLY THREE TOOLS FOR YOUR HUSTLE, WHAT WOULD THEY BE: My iPhone, a gift card to Surfas, and an apron.


Visit Clara this Sunday, February 10th for her Valentine’s Pop-Up Shop at Atwater Village Farm from 11am ’til 4pm. 3224 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90039. She’ll have heart pocket pies, chocolate caliente cookie sammies and red velvet cupcakes! All vegan, all the time!

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HUSTLE FILE #99: Sacha Pytka

NAME: Sacha Pytka

OCCUPATION: Sometimes fashion designer, sometimes travel blogger

LOCATION: Venice Beach

WHAT’S YOUR HUSTLE: Quite simply seeing the world and sharing it.

WHAT DOES YOUR HUSTLE MEAN TO YOU: I caught the travel bug young, traveling with my parents. Whether it was a month-long stay somewhere, a weekend getaway to Europe or a two-week tour around the world, no trip was considered unreasonable. This instilled a “why not?” sort of mentality in me—it’s part of who I am. I also find that the more I travel and the more people I meet, the more reasons I have to travel (more places to go back to, new friends to stay with!) The blog is more of a travel diary that I hope inspires other people to get out there too.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONLY THREE TOOLS FOR YOUR HUSTLE, WHAT WOULD THEY BE: iPad (doubles as your boarding pass, in-flight entertainment, sound system for impromptu dance parties, among other things), Cameras (Canon G15 and GoPro), and a guide book to wherever I’m going.

A WORD OF ADVICE TO WANNABE HUSTLERS IN YOUR FIELD: Just go. Getting away doesn’t have to be planned. With all the low-cost airlines and travel sites nowadays, it’s easy to find deals on last-minute flights and hotels. And don’t forget about road trips! An unexpected 3-day weekend in a city you don’t know could be just as refreshing as that 2-week exotic getaway you’ve been saving up for.

Sacha’s blog: (“Soyons Ouf” is a play on words in French. ‘Ouf’ is french verlan (backwards) slang for ‘fou’-meaning crazy. “Soyons fou” is an old fashioned french saying- “Let’s be crazy.”)

Sacha’s travel guides for The Vivant: Adventure Guide to Panama and Guide to Greek Island-Hopping

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Happy, New & Beautiful too!

Happy New Year, friends! Wishing you all much love, beauty and blessings in 2013.

I caught the last few sunsets of 2012 in Venice Beach (with my husband!) and they were magnificent! Hope these photos inspire you as they do me. So happy. So much love to all. XO, s

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Palm Springs & Desert Dreams

Last call for Desert Dance Party tonight at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs! Randy Randall performs and him and I (DJ HUSTLE UP!!!) will be kicking out the jams from 10 ’til 1 in the Amigo Room. Come hang. It’s very pretty here! There’s even a humungo statue of Marilyn where you can stand under her skirt on your way into town. Come!

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HUSTLE FILE #98: Vanache

NAME: Vanache

OCCUPATION: Visual / Recording Artist


WHAT’S YOUR HUSTLE: I created my own record label in college and years later, I’m releasing my major debut album. It’s officially my transition into the big leagues. I love it!

WHAT DOES YOUR HUSTLE MEAN TO YOU: My hustle is life or death. I’ve had to go through some major bullshit for this and if I fail then I might as well just not be alive. It’s a bit extreme, but I believe you have to have that type of determination to make in this industry. So many come and go and I want to make sure that I have firm footing to last the test of time.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONLY THREE TOOLS FOR YOUR HUSTLE, WHAT WOULD THEY BE: A computer, Midi Keyboard, Microphone and I’m good to go.

A WORD OF ADVICE TO WANNABE HUSTLERS IN YOUR FIELD: In the music industry, it’s all to common to find people that want to be molded or people who want to mold you. My best advice is to mold yourself into what you want. It’s the only way you’ll find satisfaction and true worth. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a day job. Not everyone can score sponsorship, and you’ll need to find funding from somewhere.

Vanache’s new album Dancing With Lava Soaked Angels is slated for a December 11, 2012 release. Listen and PRE-ORDER NOW on BANDCAMP. All pre-orders automatically get a hard copy of the album when it releases.

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HUSTLE FILE #97: Ana Ottman

NAME: Ana Ottman


LOCATION: The top of a hill in Echo Park, Los Angeles

WHAT’S YOUR HUSTLE: Wrangling words into prose. Creating space for creative exploration and travel.

WHAT DOES YOUR HUSTLE MEAN TO YOU: Getting paid to be a writer is a childhood dream. My hustle is all about creating meaning, for others and myself. It means being a voice for people who are unable or unwilling to speak, and shedding light on important experiences. It means finding the simple, elegant solution to complicated issues.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONLY THREE TOOLS FOR YOUR HUSTLE, WHAT WOULD THEY BE: I’m going to divide this into tech and non-tech tools (Is this cheating? Maybe). Tech-related tools would be Google Voice, Scrivener, and Evernote. The luddite-version would be legal writing pads, blue gel ink pens, and candles.

A WORD OF ADVICE TO WANNABE HUSTLERS IN YOUR FIELD: Endeavor to be humble and useful. Put yourself in places that allow you to make new discoveries and change your point of view. Be kind – to yourself and others.

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Racing in the Strawberry Fields Whatever

Happy Friday, friends! Let me take you down, cuz I’m going to (and I’m featured on) Strawberry Fields Whatever

Rad writer friend and HUSTLE FILE #81 Elizabeth Barker recently asked me to take part in a survey on her fresh new music blog Strawberry Fields Whatever. Authored by her, fellow writer Laura Jane Faulds and illustrated by Jen May, SFW is fun for everyone, especially music-lovers who enjoy “thoughtful/rabblerousing writing on beautiful rock-and-roll music, most of it from a very long time ago.”

For their SFW Survery, I chose to write about a song that “makes me cry”…

And my piece was one of 25 responses from fellow writers…

Thanks Liz letting me indulge in your and my favorite topic: SPRINGSTEEN! : )

Got a song that makes you cry? For more sweet stories on tear-jerking jams, pop on over to SFW and read the whole post with pieces from 25 contributing writers. Next question is “Describe in detail the most perfectly soundtracked makeout experience of your life thus far.” To submit a story for consideration, email sometime before October 16th. Yes! Makeout!

Nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about…

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