S2 Ep. 16 Clare V.: The LA Based Brand With Global Appeal
The made-in-LA success of Clare Vivier's handbags and accessories company is going international. Since starting Clare V. in 2008, Clare has translated buzz into business growth and cornered the accessories market through online, wholesale, and brick-and-mortar retail (she just opened her 9th store). With a signature brand of Cali-Parisian chic and affordable luxury, Clare has ventured beyond handbags into clothing, footwear, jewelry, and beauty. Today, she employs 70 people and continues to design and manufacture exclusively in L.A. Clare sat down with her friends Alli and Michael to talk about her pivot from journalism to fashion, strategizing collaborations and partnerships, and how social media and social justice play a key part in her business. Keep up with Clare at .
S2 Ep. 15 Shower Toga: Alli Webb and Mark Cuban's Big Bet
When "Shark Tank" investors Alli Webb and Mark Cuban made an $80,000 gamble on national television, they were not only buying into Shower Toga but also its feisty and fearless founder, Kressa Peterson. Shower Toga—a wearable, water-resistant garment that allows users to strip and wash off while keeping their modesty in check—is touted as a saving grace after beach days, obstacle races, music festivals, and even emergency events and elderly assistance. Kressa visited Alli and Michael to dish behind-the-scenes Shark Tank moments, why Shower Toga is so much more than a "glorified garbage bag," and how her breast cancer diagnosis kickstarted her second act as an entrepreneur. Learn more at
S2 Ep. 14 Sara Happ: The Lip Expert
The original Lip Scrub—loved by early supporters Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon—was never meant to kickstart Sara Happ's beauty career. She just whipped up a product in her kitchen one cold winter to combat chapped lips. With her scrub, she had stumbled into a blank space in the beauty industry—lip scrubs and lip care—and said goodbye to her job at ESPN to become a full-blown entrepreneur. Sara talks with her longtime friends Alli and Michael about gaining a cult following and becoming known as the "Lip Expert," why she's focusing on doing one thing well like another familiar brand (ahem, Drybar), and how she's ready to scale the business. Learn more at
S2 Ep. 13 U-Nify: Building and Branding a Mental Health Gym
A fitness studio, but for your mental health. This is the idea behind U-Nify, an early-stage company offering affordable workshops led by therapists, life coaches, spiritual leaders, and wellness experts. U-Nify wants to lower the barrier of entry and make mental health a part of the everyday wellness routine, just like going to the gym or meditating. Alli and Michael sat down with U-Nify founders Sandra Kusnnir and Kevin Lehtinen to offer the budding entrepreneurs advice on honing their elevator pitch, finding investors, and opening a brick-and-mortar in Los Angeles. Learn more at !
Ashley Merrill launched Lunya in 2014 with a conviction that women's sleepwear was overdue for a fresh, modern perspective. As an MBA student wearing her husband's old clothes like pajamas, Ashley realized that although people will spend one-third of their lives in bed, sleepwear still tended to be the most undervalued part of a wardrobe. So, she set out to create a new brand of luxury PJs that were both stylish and functional. Today, Lunya (a play on "lugna," the Swedish word for relaxation) is an entirely self-funded sleepwear line made from sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics. Ashley sat down with Alli and Michael to talk about building a business in service of women, her bid to take over the pajama industry, and innovating the tech-bed game with her FDA-regulated "cooling" fabric. Keep up with Ashley at !