I am a really simple girl when it comes to my style. My classic “Aimee” uniform consists of a white t-shirt or button-up and cut-offs. I can basically wear that combination everyday, but what makes it feel different from day to day are the accessories. My goal is to DIY more of them myself… so when I’m looking down at my arm party, it feels a little more personal. Here’s a fun wrapped pom pom bracelet I recently made.
Once upon a time, a man named Chris Erven walked into a bar and hit on a woman who had a boyfriend. That woman introduced CJ Thomason (her then boyfriend, now a friend) to the guy who hit on her (ahem, Chris Erven). Little did they know at the time, that this magical yet awkward moment would lead to a beautiful friendship, and a super awesome eyewear brand named Sire’s Crown qv.
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough that Chris Erven didn’t screen my call when I had old-fashioned-telephoned-him to introduce myself. It was a brief hello (he was on the other line with a client), but after the emailing back and forth, it was easy to see that these guys were not only businessmen, but businessmen who enjoyed their work. Don’t you just love that?
Check out our little Q&A sesh to learn how Chris and CJ make the magic happen.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Springfield, Missouri and CJ in San Angelo,Texas.
Where do you live now? How long have you been here?
Culver City for 2 years, CJ on a boat in the Marina for 2 years.
What was the inspiration to start Sires Crown?
I would always tell CJ that I wanted to start my own line of frames, so he thought with my optical background and his knowledge of wood we could make something special.
I have 15 years experience as an optician and 9 years in design.
What does Sires Crown mean? Is there a story behind the name?
We came up with the name Sire’s Crown q.v. because we wanted the name to be like American Royalty. The q.v. abbreviation after Sire’s Crown is Latin for quod vide and translates to “of sight or which see” so we think of our frames as modern day crowns. After all your crown represents your thrown.
How long have you and CJ been working together?
CJ and I have been working on this project for 6 years.
Describe your roll at Sires Crown.
I design the frames and fill the RX’s and CJ is the craftsman although we both wear a million hats. CJ and his wife did all the work on the website and do more developmental aspect where I do most of the selling to larger accounts.
Do you wear glasses?
I am super near sighted and require specs full time whereas CJ uses them for shades only.
Tell us about your involvement with Trees For the Future.
For each frame we sell we donate to Trees for the Future. For every frame sold at the wholesale level, we have 20 trees planted and for retail sales we have up to 100 trees planted.
Can you describe the process of making one pair of frames?
There are many different facets in manufacturing our frames. We have Mazzuchelli imported from Italy (cotton fiber/wood pulp) substrated and we have those cut down to our designs. Then we have the OBE hinges imported from Switzerland. After our frames are cut down we apply a wood veneer to the eco substrate and hand sand and finish them in our loft downtown. We tried solid wood frames for several years but were unhappy with the durability.
What’s your favorite part about it?
My favorite aspect of the process is finishing a frame as it looks raw before sanding and finishing it. Afterwards they come to life and ALL look incredibly beautiful.
Where’s your favorite place to eat in L.A.?
The Little Door although I have not eaten there in a while because it’s kinda pricey.
What’s your least favorite thing about L.A.?
Traffic stinks here but I’m super excited about the subway opening up in Culver City a mile from where I live!!
Top 3 things you can’t live without.
My peeps (family and friends), my macbook, and internet porn. Just kidding on the last part. My eyeglasses because I’m blinder than a bat.
Favorite TV show at the moment?
With an 18 month old I don’t really have time to watch TV. CJ just said his is Game of Thrones.
Most inspiring website or blog?
Any hobbies besides making sweet frames?
While the frames are curing we like to hit a few games of ping pong. I am pretty much like Forrest Gump.
Ray’s & Stark Bar could not be more of an appropriate place to have Dessert for Dinner. As many of you know we have no specific rules for traditional dinning. Our taste buds have a life of their own. We sometimes eat breakfast for dinner and dessert for breakfast…So with Ray’s constant evolution of their menu, we thought we should come back for more…
Ray’s & Stark Bar’s classic modern atmosphere inspires us to think outside the box and their menu encourages us to try something new. We decided to begin our adventure with some Stark Bar Hot Seasonal Cocktails: Bobbin For Bourbon and Oaxacan Holiday. Their “seasonal cocktails take inspiration from the flavors of the season, local produce, their Chef’s menu and the herbs that grow fresh in [their] garden.”
After Cocktails, Pastry Chef Josh Graves voted, “Best New Pastry Chef in LA”, in Angeleno Magazine, brought out a four course dessert tasting from his NEW RAY’S Dessert Menu.
In the spirit of the LACMA vibe, I could not help but look at the elements that made up our dessert. The texture, color, and shapes helped our desserts resemble some sort of artistic rendition of a tiny master piece.
All the unique ingredients stood flavorful on their own but as soon as you dared to mix and infuse them all together, another incredible taste completely filled our palate. What I enjoyed most was when the Chef took the time and detailed the natural gluten free ingredients, because of his consideration for some of his loved one’s needs. I always say those little things, putting love in your cooking is always a key ingredient to a great meal.
I must say the most interesting part of my experience was when I went back to look through the colorful photographs of that night, my imagination continued to flow, I was begining to see interpretations of other food in my dessert! Ray’s and Stark Bar leaves an impression once again.
It’s definitively a place to discover a taste of delicious Los Angeles art.
MJ + Ella’s Desserts
Coconut; Coconut pudding, coconut macaroon, coconut, granita, guava frozen yogurt, calamansi gelée 9
Citrus; Lemon budino, tangerine confit, bergamot yogurt
Sticky Toffee Pudding; Date cake, redwine figs, goat cheese ice cream, toffee 9
Chocolate; Dark chocolate mousse, caramel sauce, milk, chocolate whipped cream, praline, chocolate, sorbet, hazelnut brittle 10
Ray’s & Stark Bar
5905 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Neighborhood: Mid-City West
Randolph Engineering, or RE, was founded in 1972 by two engineers with the intention of designing and manufacturing optical tools and machinery for the trade. In time, the company turned its attention to making its own eyewear and by 1982 RE became the prime contractor for military-style aviation flight glasses for the U.S. Department of Defense. These glasses are the real deal: classic styles, built to last, and manufactured at their headquarters in Randolph, MA.
Time to get down to some up-beat music by Philadelphia-based band, Vacationer. The music echoes the sounds of beach holidays and summer flings in tracks like ‘Trip’ and ‘Summers End’. A tad like Vampire Weekend crossed with a lucid dream, Kenny Vasoli of Vacationer lays down lyrics worth a listen. The multi-instrumentalist and singer was born of the band the Starting Line, but has since departed to more experimental sounds. Shortly after Vacationer played in a backyard at SXSW, the band released their first full length album ‘Gone’.
Echo-Park-living husband and wife team Steve and Sarah Dubbeldam, are just beginning to make waves with their intelligent, positive and well-respected webzine called Darling Magazine. Only started seven months ago, Darling has readers from all over the world and contributing writers from all backgrounds. Discussing true topics for women about finance, art, entertaining, body image, relationships and many other things, it is just now spreading its wings to becoming a quarterly print issue.
Want one? You’ll have to check out their video (that I just happen to make small cameo in, no big deal) on KickStarter and then fork over some cash-ola to become one of already over a hundred backers.
Take a little time out and dive into their honest and inspiring articles, and then make a pledge to helping this little L.A. magazine gain the support they deserve.