MEET A MEMBER - MICHELLE ROTHWELL
Meet Michele Rothwell from Cheshire who moved to LA 7 years ago....
Was there a particular reason you chose LA?
My husband Jayson sold a movie script to Warner Bros. We knew that if he was to make a serious career as a screenwriter we had to live in LA and now was the time. We moved with our 2 children who were 8 and 10 years old.
I was an interior designer in the UK. After a few years living in LA I decided to set up as an interior designer here. I am a huge fan of British brands: Farrow & Ball paint, Osborne & Little and Designer’s Guild fabrics, all available in LA. I specialize in upholstery, drapery and paint. Bringing my English style to the LA market.
I’ve also set up an online store selling selling throws, cushions, candles, beauty products and bags. Many suppliers are sourced in the UK: John Hanly throws from Tipperarry in Ireland, Kristjana S Williams pillows from London, Welton London candles, Chocolate Creative English cushions. Christian Williams creates the Christmas windows for Fortnum and Mason in London.
What do you miss most from home?
Family. Although we all get together for holidays now, something we never did when we were living 20 minutes from each other. We see less of each other but we have better quality time. Winter clothes. Aga stoves. Real fires in snugs.
I’m glad to get away from British Soaps, and the obsessive culture of tabloid newspapers and gossip magazines.
What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since?
Amazing. Although it was hard to find a lease house that wasn’t falling down or had a landlord that you could trust. Design has improved. The style of new homes are stunning. West Hollywood has completely changed. Melrose has rejuvenated.
What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus Cheshire?
I lived in the English countryside, in a small village. My life is completely different in every way. I think the biggest difference is the way my children live their life compared to me as a teenager. My 17 year old son was driving at 15, had a car at 16 and now drives all over LA night and day. My friends back in UK with teenage kids would never believe the independence and confidence most 17 year olds have in LA. With that independence comes maturity and ambition. A recent picture of my son hanging out at the Paul Smith store on Melrose with the man himself!
Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?
We obviously miss the Indian food, good Indian restaurants are hard to find. We love a little Indian restaurant on Montana in Santa Monica called Pradeep’s. It’s a good mix of the traditional Indian dishes you find back home but with LA healthy choices: butter & cream-free, vegetarian, gluten-free & vegan options!
What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here ?
LA is not what you perceive it to be from the pages of OK magazine. It’s competitive, fast moving and often lonely. There are few people you can trust. Most are on their own tough path and haven’t got the resources or time to help you. Work hard and don’t waste money. Value the simple things like the weather and the ocean. Slowly build your circle and grow organically.
What is the best piece of advice you've been given?
We didn’t have any advice or know anybody. We moved over here completely blind. The talent is immense and the competition fierce. A successful South African friend of mine over here told me that she believes immigrants are the most successful in LA because we don’t give up. We’re strong, determined and brave. My advice is if you believe in yourself and your dream go for it and never give up!
Lastly, how can we find out more about you? Are you working on anything at the moment?
I’m developing my online store and have started doing Pop Up’s around the city.