We had the good fortune of connecting with Sasha West and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sasha, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Smiles & Rainbows emerged after my work as a designer of spaces and experiences came to an abrupt stop when COVID hit. I wanted to make a positive impact in what felt like a helpless scenario and channeled my grandparents who were a huge inspiration to me throughout my life. They taught me that attitude is everything and you have a choice in the way in which you view the world, so why not make it positive and pass it on! Grateful for this opportunity to build a brand I have always dreamed of and spread joy when we need it most. It starts at home.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Smiles & Rainbows is a sustainable art and home decor company designed to bring joy. With unique one of a kind handmade goods, we source locally and use recycled material, in addition to planting a tree for every piece sold. All of our items are consciously crafted with love. Feel-good and functional products that are good for you and good for the environment. Our hope is to use the technology and resources available to design differently and do better.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
North Park adventures to start. Darkhorse coffee, peruse Pigment, Artlexia, Modern Times, Underbelly, and sunset and beverages in Bird park. If it’s a Monday, pizza night at Alexander’s. Ocean beach for a chill beach day, people watching at the pier, dinner at OB noodle house, sunset at the cliffs, then fire pit smores and jam sesh. Zoo day, balboa park, the suspension bridge, then South Park for some cute boutique shopping, Communal Coffee, Thread & Seed and then evening concert at Whistle Stop. Brewery bike tour from north park to university heights. Pick up acai bowls at Juicewave and then head to Windandsea for another beach day. Saturday brunch at Cody’s then kayaking at La Jolla shores to see the seals. Sunday is reserved for breakfast lunch and snacks at Hillcrest farmers market, plus some cute gifts to bring home. Really missing my favorite places these days.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Thankful for my community of inspirers, collaborators, and supporters. Jessa Spainhower of A Stellar Co. was a huge mentor and resource in the launch of the business, as well as being a member of the WeWork Labs small business accelerator program. Clinton Brandon Cave and Mavis Herrerra were both supportive in assisting with photography and artistic insight. My friends who have cheered me on, given feedback, and become customers. And of course, my family who is my foundation, my source of inspiration, and my biggest cheerleaders.