Exclusive Interview With The Code of Style Blog Creator: Claire Godard

Claire Godard is the creator of the stylish blog: The Code of Style (www.thecodeofstyleblog.com). It’s a standout within the blogging world. What is her inspiration? “I decided to start this blog mostly because I am in a state of defining my style and in need of a few key pieces for my wardrobe. I also enjoy helping my mum with fashion and style advice, usually at the beginning of a new season or after she has bought a beautiful piece, but she isn’t sure how to incorporate it in her current wardrobe,” says Godard. The Code of Style focuses on finding a personal style and learning that women can achieve beautiful style regardless of age, budget or body type. It also covers current trends, offers tips on organizing your wardrobe, and shows the readers how to incorporate particular pieces. Godard is on a mission to inspire — both with her blog and as a woman, who inspires other women to go after their dreams.

The Code of Style is a contemporary and prosperous lifestyle and style blog. Did you know your vision from the beginning or it formed over time?
It has formed over time. I started my blog as a hobby, never would I have imagined it would grow to where it is today and the impact it has on the community. I am a proud advocate of women empowerment, and it is our mission to inspire women to go after their dreams.

Claire is all of 24-years-old and currently lives in London surrounded by some of the most inspiring and stylish people. The Code of Style consists of ‘Style Series,’ ‘Streetstyle,’ and ‘How to Style.’ It’s quite refreshing that she takes her job as a role model seriously. She wants to motivate other women and encourage them to be the best version of themselves. As it turns out we have the Urth Caffe and Gucci Street Style in common in regards to L.A. loves. Godard is extremely busy so we really appreciate her taking the time to speak with Gemma.

What is a typical day for you?
*Takes a deep breath. Are you ready? I start my days at 5 am with a killer gym session (spin class, pilates, yoga &, etc.), taking Lauren to school and levels, running errands, meetings, editing/creating content, responding to emails, grocery shopping day to day repeat – regular mommy duties. Regardless of how busy my day is; my number one priority every day is to give Lauren a gift and surprise. The gifts aren’t lavish at all, they are small items like a crispy rice treat, chocolate dipped pretzel, a Peppa pig figurine, &, etc. and I wrap it up in a gift box. The reason for this is because I see every day that we are alive, is a gift. The gift of life to enjoy another day with my daughter is a blessing, plus the smile she gets warms my heart every day. That is the cherry on top after a stressful day of work. Gym, errands, meetings, shoots, and repeat. 😉

You have accomplished so much in the blogging world. What inspires you daily? Also, how do you want to inspire others?
What inspires me daily is excellence. I inspire to be the best version of myself – practice makes perfect! I want to spread a positive message by supporting and actively involving myself with the community by sharing my experience. I feel it is my responsibility to be the role model, it is my job to inspire, motivate, and support women to chase their dreams and pursue to be the best version of themselves.

Are there individual designers that you adore due to timeless cuts, textures and aesthetic?
Growing up, I have always been and am still very obsessed with Oscar De La Renta, Valentino, & Gucci. Oscar De La Renta and Valentino dresses are so well made – from the stitch, fabric, and details are to die for. When you wear an Oscar De La Renta or Valentino dress it transforms you into Cinderella, it is unspoken magic! I also love Gucci for its streetwear collection. The collection gives me all the serene, fresh feeIs. I’m eyeing on their metallic bomber! 😉

Something that you highly recommend all fashion-forward women have in their closet.

The essentials that I recommend are as follows: For day to day basis is a nice, efficient track suit. What I mean with efficient is; its gotta have pockets. Lots of it. Pockets makes busy days smoother. A bomber jacket – it’s sporty for the daily and most of all effortless! Solid color tee shirts (V-neck and crew neck only) and mom jeans with no rip. I wear mom jeans almost every day, and probably while asleep also since I am still on work mode while sleeping… I chose no rip because it’s appropriate for more situations the day may bring. Two pairs of hoop earrings (gold and silver) moderate size that will go with everything. A cap to block the sun from my face, I am proactive on skincare and health. A handbag; any color or size of your choice because color is the new black, right? Lastly, ugly sneakers. If you read my other interviews, you know I am a shoe addict and very much obsessing over the current “Ugly sneaker trend”.

Do you prefer a handbag or clutch?
Both. For my lifestyle, I use handbag a lot more because I am always on the go and need space to carry lots of stuff in my bag. In my handbag, you can always find a lipstick, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, keys, money, cards, phones, hair accessories, lotion, perfume, a Swiss army knife, and Lauren’s toys – I think that’s all the essentials. Preferably clutch for special events. 🙂

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get out of their comfort zone with individual style?
I would say, “Let’s give it a try and explore change, it’s fun! You got nothing to lose, and everything to gain!” I am a firm believer in evolution. The path to finding the best version of yourself is changing. Let’s go!

 

What are three great beauty tips for healthy-looking skin?
This is one of my favorite questions since I am a health freak. Number one: you must have your beauty rest – be well rested. Two, stay hydrated; drink lots, and lots of water. Three: You are what you eat; having a healthy diet is crucial to youthful looking skin. Four: a great moisturizer because that is food for your skin. I change moisturizer according to season. I know the question was three beauty tips, but I have four. 😀

Do you find it challenging to balance career and motherhood?

Yes. All. The. Way. It is extremely challenging. There is already so much to do with running your own business and being a single, present Mother. Some days are more overwhelming than others – but when I am super stressed with work and feel depleted, I would either take a long nap, detox from work responsibilities, and social media for a couple of days. You must listen to your body and take care of it because, without your health, there is no wealth. Regardless of the challenges, I believe the best investment is in yourself and your future. May you go after your passion today!

Your organizational skills are excellent. Does this come naturally to you?
Before motherhood, I was a carefree, single individual with minimal responsibilities. When I became a single mother, I was determined to get my career back at rocket speed. I set out a plan, strategized, and executed. To manage my time efficiently, I put extreme amounts of effort into organizing & planning. Planning is key. So, to answer your question, no it did not come naturally to me – I had to learn to unlearn and become a new version of myself – Motherhood. What has always been natural was my adaptability to life’s challenge. I embrace all obstacles because what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!

When in Los Angeles, do you have favorite boutiques you love to visit?
I am on “mom’s brain” right now — the last boutique I visited recently was the Disney store. It’s magical, and we pretty much live there. Each time we visit, Lauren gets extra happy, and it’s quite contagious! For myself, I frequent Urth Caffé on Beverly Drive pretty often to enjoy a cup of coffee. For shopping, I like walking around Melrose Avenue to shop for the latest trends.

What do you love to do in your downtime with your daughter?
I love taking her to all the places that she enjoys. She loves going to the outdoor and indoor playground, water parks, Disneyland, Target’s toy section, & the children’s museum. On the weekends, we love going to the local farm to pick our fruits and veggies. She is growing up fast, and I try to spend as much time with her as possible. Anytime with her is pure bliss

Favorite place to travel and re-charge and be Claire?
Hmm, favorite place to travel. I have yet to have a favorite. My ideal situation to re-charge would be sitting on a beach, under a palm tree, coconut in one hand, book in the other, and breathing in the ocean breeze. Life has been quite hectic lately that it’s hard to remember when the last time I enjoyed that scene. Perhaps the big island Hawaii will need to add that re-charge time in the priority list.

I know The Lupus Foundation is close to your heart. Do you work with additional nonprofits
Yes, I stay connected in local organizations regarding Women, Mothers, and children. I believe Mothers make the world go round and children are our future! We must empower, educate, support, and motivate. No effort is ever too small, let’s come together hand in hand and vow for a change!

Your mindset is very positive and robust. What are your top three strengths that influence your drive/work ethic?
To Inspire, to Empower and to Motivate!
I want to share this quote with the world. This quote was sent to me from a dear friend during the toughest time of my life and I hold this to my heart.
My friend sent me an hourglass with a note:
“One part of the hourglass is always full, the other empty. This cycle of emptiness and fullness follow each other – just like in life, where joy and sadness for example often follow each other in cycles. “

On behalf of Gemma Magazine, we would like to thank Claire Godard for speaking with us.

www.thecodeofstyleblog.com

https://www.instagram.com/thecodeofstyle/

Powerful Producing with Writer and Producer Kate Pazakis

Kate Pazakis is an actress, producer and artistic director for the Rockwell: The Table & Stage. It’s a quaint and cozy theatre house that feature musicals of bold talent and meaning. The entire concept itself is fantastic. Located in the heart of Los Feliz Village, Rockwell: Table & Stage offers Angelenos a truly unique experience by staging live, musical performances while serving unwavering cuisine (Chef Wayne) with seasonal alternating menus. Baroque chandeliers and a dark rustic vibe fashion a warm indoor eatery and performance space. So, who makes the Rockwell “rock”? Producer and Writer Kate Pazakis and her talented team, especially producing partner Bradley Bredeweg (who also directed “Edward Scissorhands”).

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Specifically, Kate Pazakis is responsible for the concept development and artistic vision, with a strong influence on script and song selection. She hires and oversees a director, musical director, casting director, technical director, and stage manager to evolve each show from creative concept to final production. In many instances, high profile personalities perform as recurring lead roles or surprise guest stars, creating substantial buzz around each show, which makes it very appealing.

img_8760Kate and her team produce 25 plus original in-house shows per month as well as lead and motivate a production crew of 15. Pazakis has also created her unique niche within Rockwell: the UMPO, which stands for (Unauthorized Musical Parody Of) and represents productions that Kate feels will resonate strongly with the audience.
Recently, Gemma was extended an invitation to see “Edward Scissorhands,” the musical. It was incredible and makes you realize how exciting theatre is in Los Angeles. Furthermore, when, you have an excellent showrunner like Kate Pazakis, the productions at The Rockwell are going to be high quality, filled with authentic talent and deliver a great story. When Kate had a moment to speak with us, we were able to get insight about her creative process and what inspires her.

How were you introduced to the Theatre World? I know that you were a performer before becoming a producer/writer.
I started doing musicals in first grade. I was hooked from that moment.

Being Artistic Director requires many details and tasks. What motivates you (since you are also responsible for motivating cast and crew members)?
For me, it would be the reactions of the audience members, how excited they get when they see live theatre — especially in Los Angeles. It’s very inspiring.

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What made you want to start UMPO (which stands for Unauthorized Musical Parody Of)? It seems like an incredible combination of creativity and sharp business skills.
Rockwell hired me as the artistic director of the space and part of my job was to bring in outside shows. I did not like the shows that were being brought in and decided to create them myself. Furthermore, I do feel that I’m in a great space for a venue that mixes creativity and business skills.

Can you please describe the audition process? Strong Vocals would have to be at the top of the list. Vocals are first. And then acting is just about as close. It must be a robust double threat.

You and who else are the core members of UMPO?
I have a group of about 30 actors that tend to do a lot of the shows. It is not a company per se, but people always want to return.

What do you love most about the theater world?
I love being able to play pretend as an adult with no holds barred. It’s life, the feedback is honest and immediate.

It’s interesting that you choose certain favorite cult films to parody
Is there a common thread that stands out?
I usually pick a property that is quotable or very current. Being a relevant production that will resonate with the audience and initiate a discussion.

“Edward Scissorhands is phenomenal.” The cast is so talented and the writing is superb! The production was directed by Bradley Bredeweg There were light and heavy moments. Do you feel that you are given a powerful platform to shed light on particular social issues? For Edward Scissorhands, police brutality stood out as well as the fear our country has of someone they perceive as different.
Thank you! I feel it is a great platform to discuss the terrifying politics in our world today.

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Do you ever perform in any of the productions?
I played the T-Rex in J”Jurassic Park” and loved it. It was my return to the stage after many years. It’s interesting because, after such a long break from performing, you get to look at the process with fresh eyes. Who knows. Maybe I’ll do it again soon. LOL.

Lastly, you’re a mom and how do you balance that with all your responsibilities?
I’ve made sure that I’ve set strict boundaries with my time so that there is a healthy balance between family and work. I’m an organized person, but delegating is crucial.

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We want to thank Kate for speaking with us. Edward Scissorhands has been extended until the 30th, and we highly recommend you see it. You might even shed a tear.
Tickets: Rockwell-LA.com
www.rockwell-la.com

 

https://www.facebook.com/katepazakis

https://www.instagram.com/pazakattack/

 

 

 

In The Spotlight: Creative Entrepreneur Vicky Mara Story

Vicky Mara Story is a fierce force with an excellent affinity for business. Vicky has defined her entrepreneurial skill set as an art and is the ultimate Creative Entrepreneur, within both her family life and business. She excels as a Producer and all facets of overseeing a business. The loveliest part — she’s humble about it. This makes her a “gem” as we say. Gemma Magazine is excited to cover an inspiring woman with both business and creative talents in addition to managing a family,  as we feel the journey of empowered women is to empower others.

How did Vicky Story become a Gemma Magazine aspiration? After speaking with her for ten minutes at a social gathering that Gemma was covering, we knew. Story is soft-spoken, remarkably calm, and has an inner strength. Vicky is a gorgeous woman but more importantly; she’s a beautiful person. She has concrete goals and a creative business sixth sense. The more she talked about her path, (both within business and life), we wanted to know more.

For a bit of backstory, Vicky did not have the most comfortable childhood. Both of her parents immigrated to the states from the Philippines. Their first stop was Ohio but eventually landed in sunny Los Angeles. The Mara family lived on 37th Street (across from USC). Walking to school in South Central L.A. with her siblings consisted of survival, and as a young Filipina girl, she did not always feel safe. However, her home was filled with love, and her father represented strength to her. Both of her parents instilled a strong work ethic within her that Vicky carries with her to this day.

Vicky is also married to acclaimed film Director Tim Story (https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1103162/). Vicky and Tim founded The Story Company (http://timstorypictures.com), an entertainment production company, in 1996. They have a wonderful partnership while continually achieving both family and business goals. They also are the parents of three children. Vicky explained how it could be challenging working together at times, yet, it’s also a beautiful collaboration. While Tim is immensely busy directing, Vicky handles all business affairs and logistics for The Story Company.

When she had a moment, she sat down with us to chat. We must note, there could not be a more appropriate last name for the Story family. The entire family is lovely and Vicky has set the tone for the family environment. Tim Story is very supportive of Vicky’s projects and they both are advocates for education.

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The Story Family

After hearing your story (Both ups and downs), it’s apparent that you have so much love and respect for both your parents. How did they inspire you?

My dad and mom had an incredible work ethic. My dad was a real businessman — he ran rental properties, owned a market in South Central L.A. and managed a nursery. He was terrific under pressure and never cracked. My dad was a self-made entrepreneurial businessman. My mom worked for LAUSD for thirty years, and her consistency was such an influence. They sacrificed so much for their children, and it made an enormous impact. My interest in a business career is most likely from the importance of having a strong role model as a father and watching him succeed through good and hard times.

Why were you drawn to production?

For me, production is inspiring. I naturally am attracted to business — numbers, organization, logistics, budgeting, and scheduling. I probably got it from my dad. I received my degree in Operations Management from Cal. State L.A. Many of the characteristics of Operational Management consist of the production process. I eventually started producing music videos. I worked my way up from PA to Production Manager to Producer. The hours were long (first to arrive and last to leave), but I loved it!

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Did you and Tim meet through work?

No, we were friends for two years before working on ‘The Firing Squad,’ the first independent movie we made together. After ‘The Firing Squad,’ we moved on to music videos. Tim directed music videos before getting into the film industry. However, I never produced for him, only for other directors, but would oversee all his business affairs at The Story Company. He’s a true creative storyteller and is in his element when directing a film. We are both very supportive of each other’s career achievements, and it’s a great balance.

As Executive Producer of The Story Company, what type of productions would you like to bring to fruition and what are you currently producing?

We want to broaden the scope a bit and start branching out more into the television sector as well as producing more as a company, whether it’s an episodic, cable, network or other streaming platforms. Currently, ‘Prince of Peoria’ (https://www.netflix.com/Title/80223556) has been the most recent production airing on Netflix. It centers around a prankster prince who wants to experience life as an ordinary teen leaves his kingdom to live incognito with a single mom and her studious son. We are excited about The Story Company’s upcoming film project. Tim will team up with Eddie Murphy for New Line Comedy Inspired by the hit Walter Matthau-Jack Lemmon comedy ‘Grumpy Old Men.’ Tim will direct and produce the comedy through the Story Company banner, and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett is also producing.

What do you like about production?

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I love the energy of production. As soon as you walk on set, there is this fantastic setting for all creatives from all departments to thrive. It allows me to be in my own world and be an entrepreneur. The beginning is always exciting because the project gives you a clean slate, and you get to build in every department. I love dealing with budgets, negotiating, and money. I’m a businesswoman at heart and production allows me to do that on a per project basis since there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. Therefore, I get to treat every production like it’s a new business venture.

You are also a devoted wife and mom. Do you find the balance difficult?

Well, the kids are a bit older now, so it’s not as physically taxing.  I’m very good at time management and setting my priorities for each day (both family and business). Of course, as a mom, there are so many sacrifices we make. I have recently had a renewed sense of wanting to take The Story Company in different directions as well as take on other business opportunities I’m developing. With three children, there are always activities, homework, and sports.  We are big on family life, and it’s our priority.

“Mindfulness represents unconditional love towards the self (without judgment, resentment, or past mistakes), that will transcend and produce a beautiful sense of peace. Ultimately, it is about understanding your true core and letting go of others opinions. My path is in front of me and I take one step at a time.” (Vicky Mara Story)

You are so calm and centered. Do you meditate or practice mindfulness?

I do, but it’s a process. With meditation, it took a while for me because I had to learn that there is more than one way to do it and the most important way is what works for you. In my personal experience, meditation and mindfulness go together. If we are truly able to clear our heads of all the clutter and distracting thoughts, we can have an authentic presence with just “being.” Then, we are completely living in the present moment. I had to get “out of the box” of what it’s all supposed to look like and tap into me. For me, it was honoring myself, accepting myself, being mindful of my time, and understanding what I can give back to others and family. As women, we have a lot of responsibility placed on us as wives, mothers, and work. Mindfulness represents unconditional love towards the self (without judgment, resentment, or past mistakes), that will transcend and produce a beautiful sense of peace. Ultimately, it is about understanding your true core and letting go of others opinions. My path is in front of me and I take one step at a time.

What does self-empowerment mean to you?

For me, Self-empowerment is to stand in your truth authentically and being confident in who you are. It means sharing with people you trust through selfless conversations and giving them insight, empowering them, and having an impact on others. Personally, being authentic with yourself and others is the ultimate empowerment. It has represented understanding my power and accepting it. It has also consisted of standing tall and moving forward without reservation and affecting others who we love.

Vicky Story is such an inspiration as a woman, entrepreneur, and someone who gives back to the community. On behalf of Gemma, I would like to thank her for her time and thoughtfulness for such an insightful interview.


To follow Vicky on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/vickystory

https://www.instagram.com/vickystory/


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