Girl #9 – Amber Manuwa, Los Angeles

I did not mean to interview Amber when we brunched at The Hive this spring. We met in Santa Monica to catch up and see each other before she moved to Montgomery, Alabama.  So we sat there, one of my favorite places, enjoying our açaí bowls and each other’s company. We talked about whatever, anything…

Girl #8 – Alix Gravel, London

I had the pleasure of meeting Alix virtually through Nazanin, our Girl #5.[i] Originally from Canada and presently in London, Alix spent the past three years in New Zealand. Given she loves the outdoors, Alix thoroughly enjoyed living in Waiheke[ii], a beautiful island paradise with hiking galore. During her time in Waiheke, Alix biked everywhere,…

Girl #7 – Kyndell Gaglio, Los Angeles

My driver pulled over at the corner of 3rd and Spring in Downtown LA and I walked to the door of Spring. From the grimy sidewalk, I opened the door, and entered an ethereal space—starkly contrasting with the setting just outside. Before completely appreciating the space, I was thrown. Am I early? No, it is 6:23…

Girl #6 – Angela Buck; Portland, Oregon

I have known Angela for 20 years. She and I grew up together in the bubble community that is the South Bay of Los Angeles. Angela was a year ahead of me in school, a tiny private school with 30 to 40 students per grade. When Angela went off to college at UC San Diego,…

Girls Killing It – A Look Back at 1-5

Saba[i], Bora[ii], Ashley[iii], Alex[iv], Nazanin[v]. Five girls living in three cities: Los Angeles, London, and Hong Kong. Five girls determinedly killing it. As I completed my fifth profile, I could not help but reflect on the qualities binding these young women together. They all offer something beyond mere drive or determination. Each harbors an intangible…

Girl #5 – Nazanin Bagherzadeh, Hong Kong

I met Nazanin in 1995 in Westford, Massachusetts—specifically, Nabnasset Elementary School. She and I were in the same first grade class, and were friends. My family moved away the following year, but Nazanin and I stayed in touch. We exchanged letters for years, including photos as we grew up. At some point the letters slowed…

Girl #4 – Alex Nichols, Los Angeles

Food, a tiny eatery in the Rancho Park neighborhood of West LA, boasts my favorite pancakes. Handmade cards and local jams line the walls, as do daily specials written in marker on giant white sheets of paper. Sitting on a couch in front of the pastry case, I sipped my coffee as I waited for…

Girl #3 – Ashley Shubert, Los Angeles

It is 5:00 a.m. and my alarm has gone off. By the third snooze, I realize it is nearly 5:30 and I really must get up. Bleary-eyed, I stumble out of bed, throw on clothes, and put on contacts. Since it’s early and I’m moving slowly, somehow it’s 5:45. Grab the keys; grab the phone – out the door. I…

Girl #2 – Bora Rawcliffe, London

I met Bora at a May 2015 event for young lawyers at her then-firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in Downtown LA. When we realized we were both involved in leadership for different bar organizations (at the time, Bora sat on the board of the California Young Lawyers Association), we discussed potentially collaborating on…

Girl #1 – Saba Zafar, Los Angeles

At 5:15 one Monday evening this March, I parked myself on a corner couch in Bodega Wine Bar in Santa Monica, California. Thanks to daylight savings time, it may as well have been noon from where I sat. Having been a clear and sunny day, the air felt warm and fresh. Bodega Wine Bar embraces…