I’ve been asked about the name Silverlake a few times…
actually more than I ever would have thought! I guess here, miles away from the Sunset strip, you just think of an actual lake, like with fish in it. There IS a lake in Silverlake… but it’s more like a little pond that people walk their dogs around before they go to work. Silverlake is hilly, tropical, and alive with energy. It means so much to me and I still go back to visit friends there- such a different perspective I now have of that whimsy little town. I bet you’re still wondering why I named my business after this place though, huh? Well, here’s my attempt to fill you in...
Honestly, Silverlake is absolutely the hardest place I’ve ever lived.
Not because it’s littered with hipsters, not because there was never parking, not even because rent for a one bedroom apartment is around $1,500 a month. All of that seems easy in retrospect. Silverlake is where I set up my first ever capital H Home front. A little back story for those wondering: I moved all the way to LA from Arkansas to pursue a career in acting and then my attention turned to the fashion industry. In the midst of all this, I discovered that I was pregnant with my little girl Mila. When I was 17. I remember calling my mom in horrible LA traffic crying and trying to get the words out… the words that no mother wants to hear from her 17 year old daughter… but I remember her saying “we can get through this.” 9 months later, we welcomed my baby girl Mila into the world. Here’s a picture of us- I was 18, Mila was 1.
During Mila’s early childhood, I was working extremely crazy hours.
My first job in fashion was actually like a 90 minute drive east of LA. That was sooo stressful - especially since I’m not known for my punctuality. I found an awesome mom and pop daycare in Pasadena, so I dropped Mila off there on the way to Irwindale. She cried pretty much every day, probably because she started 10 hours of daycare at 6 months old. In that first job I worked as an assistant designer for a line called Nick and Mo. The job itself was not the most smooth transition into fashion-land, we had a super scary giant Chinese CEO, an amazingly artsy yet sometimes unpredictable designer, a very very loud and angry Chinese pattern maker, and of course long hours into nights and weekends. We were importing super detailed samples from China and they were never right the first time, so we were always pushing deadlines trying to make everything happen last minute.
When I landed my second fashion job in Downtown LA,
Mila had to keep going to that Pasadena daycare because, seriously, you have to wait in line for 6 months to get into a decent daycare… it’s crazy. I also decided in this super unstable time to move to North Hollywood on my own and save a little gas money taking the train to work - genius. So every morning, I rode my bike (with Mila in the baby seat) to the metro, took a 20 minute train to Union Station, switched to the gold line - bike and all - took another 15 minute train to Pasadena - biked up a hill to Mila’s daycare - then back down to Union Station - then on to Downtown LA. It was like 2 hours total… so ridiculous.
This is the moment when I went full on beast mode, like all I need is coffee and Jesus and we can survive this.
Ironically, my husband met me in this season of distress and somehow fell in love with my hot mess self. I know all of this may sound like complete madness to you… probably because it was. But this was a place in my life where I learned so much about responsibility, self discipline, the value of a schedule, how much I truly depend on people - friends, daycare teachers, my co-workers, and ultimately how I couldn’t really function well without God in my life. I am forever grateful for these defining moments. They helped shape and mold me into who I am today.
So how does this all relate to Silverlake?
I just love the word Silverlake, it reminds me to never stop growing. (And at some point you have to start growing.) It also reminds me of Trader Joes, gelato and Cuban cafes… So, that’s the why the name Silverlake. It just makes me smile.